MARSHALL HATCHICK TWO COUNTIES CRICKET CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION 2
HALSTEAD I v EXNING I
EXNING I 177 all out HALSTEAD I 180 FOR 2
HALSTEAD I (20 pts) beat EXNING I (5 pts) by 8 WICKETS
On a scorching Summer’s afternoon, the visitors won the toss at Halstead’s Star Stile ground and chose to bat first, but on hindsight, with a fast scoring outfield and a batsman’s paradise of a pitch, perhaps bowling first might have given Exning a different result. However, that’s hindsight, and it was going to be a very brave skipper who chose to subject his bowlers to first use of the ball, willingly.
As it was, the Halstead opening attack of Joe Morris (3 for 57) and Dean Fenesey (1 for 22) soon had the visitors in trouble at 34 for 3 in the 12th over, and when 1st change, Dylan Verreynne (1 for 39) – bowling a line wide of off stump – enticed Tim Catley (17) into dragging the ball onto his stumps, Exning’s innings stood in some disarray on 59 for 4.
Matthew Catley (22), playing one of his all to infrequent matches, began to look like the batsman of his ‘glory seasons’, but he became frustrated by the slow bowling of Ian Pont (1 for 21), seeing him swipe across the line as the score lurched to 80 for 5.
That really only left the 6th wicket pairing of Ollie Lawson and skipper, Gavin Jones (18), to bring some order to the proceedings with a stand of 58 before Jones was caught on the long on boundary to make the score 138 for 6. However, Lawson continued to bat in an entertaining fashion until he was 8th out for a valuable 69, after which the Exning innings folded.
The need to score further runs led to two farcical run outs and when Charlie Douglas –Hughes (2 for 35) finished off the innings, Exning had made a recovery of sorts to reach 177 from 80 for 5, but the thought was that the home batters would have little problem in chasing the target, unless the Park side bowled and fielded extremely well, and with one or two chances needing to go their way.
None of those things happened!
Neil Dakin (44) and Ian Pont (45), using a heavy bat at every opportunity, first of all, saw the usually reliable Ian Starling out of the attack, then Simon Lawson, and when Seb Lawson – the best of the Exning bowlers on show – unintentionally stopped a crunching drive by Pont on his shin during his follow through, to leave the field injured, Peter Woods (2 for 44) was called up to give Exning just a glimmer of hope.
In one over, he clean bowled Pont from the 1st ball, and with the final ball, a leg side long hop, was smashed straight into the hands of Ollie Lawson at deep backward square leg. 96 for 2 in only 18 overs – but that was as good as it got for the visitors.
Verreynne (47 not out) and Josh Wells (38 not out) scored runs at will and as the Exning fielding became more ragged in the searing heat, the pair cruised to an unbroken partnership of 84 in under 9 overs as they posted up a total of 180 for 2 to give the table-toppers an 8 wicket victory with almost 19 overs to spare.
HUNTS COUNTY BATS SUFFOLK CRICKET LEAGUE DIVISION 2
EXNING SUNDAY XI v THURSTON
EXNING SUNDAY XI 244 for 7 THURSTON 129 all out
EXNING SUNDAY XI (20 pts) beat THURSTON (5 pts) by 115 runs
Another sunny afternoon; another run scoring pitch; another lightning fast outfield; another toss won by Exning. “We will bat first if you don’t mind!” But, at first, it didn’t go to plan. Andy Malcolm (3 for 26) and John Flower (2 for 37) ushered the Exning score to 76 for 5 at the half way stage, with only Kris Judge (31) showing any real desire to hang around.
But a wake-up call from the skipper at the drinks break led to a match-changing 6th wicket partnership of 124 in just 14 overs as the Lawson brothers created havoc. Seb Lawson was left unbeaten on 64 at the end of the day, with eight boundaries, but he was completely overshadowed by his elder brother Ollie in their partnership, as he smote nine fours and six sixes, before leaving the arena for an entertaining 84.
Seb Lawson continued to put runs on the board and with young Tom Addison (17) doing his best to keep the scoreboard rolling along, Exning finished with a commanding 244 for 7 at the tea interval.
Rob Saddler (34), Sam Ellis (18) and John Flower (40) kept the runs flowing early in the Thurston reply, but Ben Readman (3 for 53) and Vince Colby (1 for 19) also got amongst the wickets to take the score to 81 for 4 at the halfway stage. The introduction of the young spin pairing of Tom Addison (3 for 30) and Oakley Colby (3 for 19) was then the undoing of the visitor’s middle and lower order.
Bowling in tandem for 11 overs, they worked their way through the batting line-up as 81 for 4 became 118 for 6, following which the final batsmen offered little resistance as the innings ended on 129 in the 31st over to give the Park side victory by 115 runs.