Lilley returned to winning ways at Bedfordshire Police Headquarters in Kempston with a hard fought victory over Houghton Conquest.
Lilley won the toss and batted on a green but hard track and looked to be coasting along at 62 for no wicket with Tomsett and Brad Tompkins going along nicely. That was until Tompkins was quite ludicrously given out leg before to a ball which struck him nearer his waist than his knee for a well made 24. Harsh luck and the worst decision I’ve seen this year! Skipper Ashby than thrashed a quick-fire 30, including four 4’s and two dropped chances, before his luck ran out – one lusty blow too many! With the score on 106-2 though in the 23rd over, Lilley were well placed.
Tim Perry made a good start, moving to 15, before being bowled off the inside edge. Evergreen Dougy Tomsett continued on his merry way at the other end though, registering another fine half century. By the time he was done by a ‘grubber’ for 61, he’d hit ten boundaries and taken Lilley to 143-4. Gareth Tompkins followed shortly after for 11, brilliantly caught by Saint and Eyres followed suit in holing out for 19, again caught at long off by Saint. Taz was the only other wicket to fall, caught and bowled by a very enthusiastic Belafonte, before Joel Mellor dropped anchor to sour up the Lilley run rate in time for the forty over mark, finishing on 5 not out. Lilley wound up 182-7 off 40 overs.
Perry & Ashby started very tidily with the new ball for Lilley, restricting the home side to 7-1 from the first eight overs, Ashby picking up Carter for 4. Gareth Tompkins replaced Ashby and continued the good work, producing booming inswing and good pace. He yorked the other opener and went on to bag 3-21 from ten quick, tidy overs off the reel, a very impressive effort from the young man. Dave Carman meanwhile didn’t have such an enjoyable experience at the other end and despite some early promise and a dropped catch by Collinson off his bowling, he was eventually sent to graze on the outfield having bowled 4 overs for 32 – still, it only took Doug six balls to concede that last week!
Carman was replaced by big Stevie Eyres. Eyres rewarded his Captain by bowling his socks off to take an impressive 5-32, a spell so good that it kept Tim Perry from coming back to complete his overs! Stevo obliterated the middle and lower order, bagging five wickets in 32 balls for 13 runs. His wickets came bowled (2), caught and bowled, a fine catch in the covers by Gareth Tompkins and a steepler from Doug Tomsett. Ashby returned to clean bowl the number ten to wrap up a 35 run win for the mighty, mighty Lilley.
Taz Qureshi made a very good account of himself behind the stumps for the second time on a very difficult track and with good pace coming through to him from Perry, Tompkins and Ashby. Another string to add to his bow, along with his medium pace and leg spin!