Moist. A very moist Knebworth hosted what would become Lilley’s third draw of the season , a game of two halves in every respect.
Lilley took to the field having won the toss on a moist and very green track and the ball flew everywhere as the Knebworth openers chanced their arm against some tidy Lilley bowling. By the time flashes of lightening and crashes of thunder had enveloped the ground, Knebworth had edged, slashed and cow-cornered their way to 62 for no wicket, with Woolley, the motor mouthed opener, registering a streaky fifty. Then came the rain. And what a shower. After several visits to the wicket and blind judgements on how quickly the wicket may drain given a stiff breeze and a bit of sun, play resumed. Ashby finally ended the miserable, edgey, streaky, uncomfortable stay of Lander for six, having him caught behind, before he made the decision to toss the ball to 17 year old ‘Asian Sensation’ Taz. Woolley’s luck ran out straight away as he slashed the ball to Ray Mahmood in the covers, then Cooke slashed the youngster to point were Paddinton took the catch. Next was Wallis, lbw and plum in front, before Nash smacked the ball straight to Ashby at mid off to become Taz’s fourth victim. The young Lilley paceman bagged his first five wicket haul by clean bowling opposition skipper Shart for a big fat nothing.
Ashby returned to bag two more wickets as Knebworth closed on 125-8 to leave Lilley an improbable target of 126 to win in 90 minutes.
Eyres, Malik, Mellor and Ashby went early for Lilley in reply, slipping to 17-4 at one point. However, Tomsett dug in, making a gritty 15 and Phil Horner executed several foul swoops on his way to an excellent unbeaten 32, with Phil Clarke chipping in with a tidy 6 not out to steer Lilley to safe waters and another draw.
Post match frivolities took place at the Lytton Arms, an excellent pub which delivered free sausage and chips to both teams, had a range of guest ales and even provided a bag pipe player in the toilets (pictured). I’m serious. He shall now be known as the bogpipe player.