Ben Mike fielding
Match Reports

Mike takes four at Riverside

SECOND XI FRIENDLY | Day 1: Durham CCC v Leicestershire CCC

SCORE | Durham CCC 359 for nine declared v Leicestershire CCC 67 for one

SCORECARD | Available HERE

REPORT | By Pete Johnson

Following the two SEFT20s on Monday, Leicestershire CCC returned to the Emirates Riverside for a SEF3, the final match of the Second XI’s 2019 campaign.

Leicestershire CCC got off to a tremendous start reducing Durham CCC to 73 for six, but a partnership of 262 for the seventh wicket between James Weighell and Matthew Potts that started before lunch, and continued until after tea proved a stumbling block.

Durham CCC declared at 359 for nine, Ben Mike with four wickets and Brinder Phagura picking up three wickets, were the pick of the Leicestershire CCC attack. In reply County were 67-1 at stumps, Jack Nightingale 37no.

Arron Lilley again skippered Leicestershire, his opposite number Josh Coughlin won the toss, and elected to bat. There was a sprinkling of some 30 spectators scattered around the vast seating areas of the ground when play commenced on a pleasant autumn morning.

One of the Umpires was Phil Mustard, the first time The Colonel has officiated at a Leicestershire 2s game. His colleague was James Middlebrook.

Andrew Jones and Mike opened the bowling with Mike picking up the wickets of both openers in his first over. John Bushnell (0, 2b) and Graham Clark (4, 8b) were both trapped lbw.

Josh Coughlin and Solomon Bell were at the crease for a further 10 overs. Coughlin (23, 37b) was bowled, his off stump uprooted by Mike. Mike came out of the attack after seven overs from the Finchale End, his figures an impressive 7-2-18-3.

The dangerous Stuart Poynter (13, 12b) was pinned in front by Phagura, who had replaced Andrew Jones at the Lumley End, Absolutely Fabulous, Durham CCC now 54-4.

Jones, having replaced Mike, had Tim Mackintosh (0, 10b) caught at first slip by Aadil Ali. Skipper Lilley surprisingly not employing an umbrella field with Mackintosh at the crease.

Bell (28, 45b) certainly had ringing in his ears when Phagura produced a snorter that removed his off peg from its housing. Durham CCC were struggling at 73 for six (20.1 overs).

That was as good as it got for Leicestershire CCC until some 40 minutes after the tea interval. Weighell and Matthew Potts went on to forge a magnificent partnership. The pair took Durham into lunch on 126 for six, Weighell 36no, Potts 19no.

You may recall in my detailed day four report from the Ageas Bowl last week that I commented on the number of spotlights (324) on the floodlight pylons around the ground. Well my I Spy of floodlight pylons now has meticulous details on the number of spotlights on the six pylons around the Emirates Riverside.

Whilst on a Durham half marathon en route from the scorebox to the dining room, I noticed that four of the six floodlight pylons had 88 spotlights each, and two of them 82 spotlights, 516 spotlights in total. This after a couple of personal recounts at Chester-le-Street, just to make sure. I wonder if any county cricket ground has more than 516 spotlights on its floodlight pylons?

Weighell and Potts stayed together for the entire afternoon session of 41 overs. In chronological order milestones achieved were as follows:

- Weighell went to his 50 (61b, 5x4, 1x6), the score at 171 for six (41.2).

- In the next over their 100 partnership came up from 135 balls, the score 173 at six (42.4).

- Potts went to his 50 (74, 10x4), the score at 174 for six (43).

- Their 150 alliance came up from 213b, the score at 223 for six (55.3).

- Weighell went to his 100 (141b, 12x4, 1x6) when he steered Harry Dearden to the unguarded third man boundary, the score at 271 for six (67.2).

- Their 200-run partnership (290b) came up in the next over, the score at 274 for six (68.2).

- Potts went to his 100 (156b, 15x4, 1x6) when he also clipped Dearden to the third man boundary, the score at 286 for six (69.5).

Durham went into tea on 299 for six (72), Weighell 112no, Potts 104no. In the sixth over after tea they posted their 250 partnership from 345 balls when the score reached 325 for six (77.2).

Leicestershire CCC at last broke the partnership when Don Butchart, operating from the Lumley End, had Potts (124, 182b) caught by Nat Bowley at mid-off. Weighell and Potts had added 266 (352b) for the seventh wicket. Potts panned the bowling somewhat, but was now firmly back in the dishwasher.

County took the new ball as soon as it was available. Rory Hanley (3, 23b) was caught at a shortish mid-off by Sam Bates off the bowling of Phagura. In the next over, Weighell (140, 190b) was caught behind by keeper Lewis Hill off Mike.

Durham CCC declared their innings at 359 for nine (85.1). Ben Whitehead (4no). Wicket-takers for Leicestershire CCC were Mike 4-63 (17.1), Phagura 3-76 (16), Jones 1-47 (13), and Butchart 1-22 (5). Bowley did not pick up a wicket, 0-27 (10), but had the best economy rate of the eight bowlers used.

The Foxes had a minimum of 16 overs to negotiate in what remained of the day. Sam Evans and Nightingale opened the innings. Durham CCC had an early success when Evans (6) was trapped in front by Hanley.

Dearden joined Nightingale, and the pair batted soundly and sensibly to ease Leicestershire CCC to the close without any further loss of wickets. Nightingale was playing some lovely cover, and on drives, that flew to the boundary, all along the carpet.

The big fella took a liking to seamer Hanley, dispatching him for five boundaries spread across three overs. Weighell also received the treatment from the chirpie Nightingale, when the Barrow Barnstormer confidently drilled him for two further boundaries.

Dearden played out 37 dot balls from the 43 deliveries he received, but from the final ball of the day, the left-handed Lancastrian pulled spinner Faz Hussain to the boundary to bring up a 50 (84b) partnership with Nightingale. Leicestershire CCC went into stumps at 67 for one (16). Nightingale (37no, 45b, Dearden (15no, 43b). The wicket-taker for Durham was Hanley 1-26 (4).

The day’s play ended at 6.13pm, giving me time to get back to our hotel for a quick freshen up, and then to take in the National League North game between Spennymoor Town and Blyth Spartans, at The Brewery Field, Spennymoor.

Sincere thanks to the gentleman with the same initials as a well-known Vehicle Rescue Service for dropping me off in Spennymoor: Late news, Spennymoor Town 5 Blyth Spartans 0.