MARSHALL HATCHICK TWO COUNTIES CRICKET CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION 2
EXNING I v KELVEDON & FEERING I
EXNING 1 156 FOR 7 KELVEDON & FEERING 143 ALL OUT
EXNING I (20 PTS) BEAT KELVEDON & FEERING (5 PTS) BY 13 RUNS
If ever there was a four-pointer, or a six-pointer, or in this cricket league, a forty-pointer, this was it even at this early stage of the season! The visitors were just one of two teams sitting below Exning 1 in Division 2, and with 6 Exning 2nd XI players standing in for ‘missing’ first-teamers, the hosts were not runaway favourites for the points – four, six or forty!
However, the Park side did have its ‘usual’ 1st XI bowling attack on hand, so if a defendable total could be raised, there was hope. Being asked to take first knock was not to Exning’s liking, but with Simon Lawson (38) and Kris Judge (19) getting their team off to a steady start with 57 for the 1st wicket, there was a basis for optimism.
Gavin Jones (24) and Daniel Baigent (31) batted with extreme care, but did hit the occasional boundary as the slow bowling pair of Ed Smith (1 for 45) and skipper, Tris Peperell (4 for 46) wheeled away in unison for 30 overs. The lower order did their bit in getting the score up to a 3rd batting point, while at the same time not throwing wickets away, as the tea break came with Exning having posted up 156 for 7.
Exning took the brave decision of opening the bowling with 14-year-old spinner, Oakley Colby, in support of the pace of Baigent, with the gamble working to perfection in the 4th over. Pat Ahearn had looked quite untroubled as he stroked three boundaries off Baigent, but playing back to a full-pitched ball from Colby, he was trapped lbw with just 16 runs on the board.
Baigent continued to bowl with some venom utilising variations of pace and length, giving James Grimley the proverbial ‘going over’, before nicking one behind to Gavin Jones – 31 for 2, and then Baigent was perhaps somewhat fortunate to win an lbw decision to see the end of Tom Potter – 41 for 3.
Despite Baigent’s pace, Ed Smith (35) was batting quite confidently during the fall of these two wickets and when he was joined by Tim Smith, the runs began to flow somewhat more freely until Ed Smith was beaten by an inspired piece of fielding from Kris Judge, running him out with a direct hit on the non striker’s stumps from 30 yards out, with Smith well short of his ground – 75 for 4.
Tim Smith (35) then blossomed after a circumspect start, hitting a succession of boundaries, but a change of ends for Simon Lawson together with the return of Baigent turned the game in Exning’s favour, although there were one or two twists before the hosts achieved complete superiority.
Smith was being well supported by Rob Morrell (19), but Lawson induced a nick to give Jones a sharp chance, which was snapped up for the 5th wicket with the score on the dreaded 111.
Edward King then entered the fray with the sole intention of hitting the ball hard and long. For a while, his shots evaded the deep set fielders, but at the other end, Smith was becoming almost runless as the pace and spin attack, supported by enthusiastic fielders, thwarted his efforts to push the score along, until he drove airily at Baigent to have his stumps shattered – 131 for 6.
The odds were still in the visitor’s favour, especially as King (23) continued to take the aerial route smacking Lawson for a six and a four to raise the total to 143. But that was as good as it got for the Essex side as the final 4 wickets fell in the space of 8 balls with no further addition to the score.
King attempted one big hit too many to the deep long on boundary to be ‘pouched’ by man of the match, Daniel Baigent, followed by Lawson diving for a spectacular ‘caught & bowled’ effort to see the end of Clive Bennett, 2nd ball – 143 for 8.
Smelling blood, and knowing it was his final over, Baigent steamed in for the kill. James Balfour managed to fend away the first two balls, but the 3rd ball shattered the stumps and when last man, Tim Leftwich’s stumps followed suit, the game was all over. Kelvedon & Feering 143 all out to give Exning a hard earned victory by 13 runs; Baigent finishing with 5 for 33, supported by 3 for 45 from Simon Lawson.
A match to remember – until the next one.
This was Exning’s only fixture of the weekend. Both the 2nd XI and the Sunday XI did not have any matches arranged.