Kempston Sports (148-6, Ashby 3-18) beat LILLEY (147-9, Qureshi 55*) by 4 wickets
Taz Qureshi smashed his first half century in double quick time for Lilley, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Lilley crashing to a second defeat of the season at a sun-soaked Cryselco Park.
Returning Lilley skipper James Ashby lost the toss and Lilley were put in to bat on an unusually slow Kempston wicket. Tight early bowling and a thick lush outfield meant runs were at a premium early on, but Brad Tompkins and Deadly Doug Tomsett nurdled and stroked the ball round with relative ease. The impressive Ahmed came into the attack and changed matters though with the Lilley score on 38, as Tompkins checked a shot and was caught at mid off for a well made 19.
Ashby and Tomsett took the score onto 57 before the opener fell to Ahmed for 27, miscuing a ball into the covers. Gareth Tompkins and Ashby guided Lilley to 72-2 at the halfway stage, but instead of kicking on with wickets in hand, Lilley crumbled into dust – almost. From 72-2, Lilley capitulated to 80-8. Ashby went, caught behind for 14 then Tompkins bowled for 13, then Eyres, Carman, Collinson and Paddington all went for a combined score of nought to leave Lilley reeling.
Phil Horner then dropped his mighty anchor and together with Taz Qureshi, began chipping away at the Kempston attack. Horner’s demise brought débutante Ritchie Kendall in, with Lilley 107-9.
Step up to the plate, Taz Qureshi. Despite obviously possessing some sort of batting talent, Taz has singularly failed to transfer that into runs, bar a 20 odd not out against some five year olds at Kimpton last year. Down at number ten and not happy with it, Taz chose this game to show exactly what he can do at his destructive best. They tried four bowlers against him, including both opening bowlers and the impressive Tony Allbones. He hit all of them for six. With Kendall holding up one end brilliantly, Qureshi-Bang-Wallop at the other end! A series of lusty straight drives for six, coupled with some neat paddles helped Taz notch up his first half century, an excellent unbeaten 55, and guided Lilley to a defendable 147-9.
The Kempston reply was faltering from the word go, with GT and Ashby beating the bat and bowling a tight line. Ashby was in the wickets in his first outing of the season, clean bowling both openers in his third over. A strong partnership from Simms and Kirkup steadied Kempston however, with Lilley’s support bowlers struggling to make a breakthrough. Steve Eyres got tonked for 30 off 3 overs. Sorry Steve. Qureshi, the hero of the batting, trialed his new skiddy off spin and was very unlucky not to pick up more wickets than he did. Kirkup fell to the spinner, leg before, Ashby hung onto a return catch at about the fifth time of asking and then Gareth Tompkins clean bowled another batsman to leave KSCC five down but still in control.
A neat run out by Brad Tompkins/Taz accounted for a sixth Kemspton wicket, but with the cantankerous Thompson at the crease, Kemspton were able to ease home with two overs and one ball to spare to win by four wickets.
Not enough runs, but the fifty extras Lilley conceded was the real damaging thing. Some less than straight umpiring meant Lilley were denied on several occasions with strong LBW shouts too. But on balance, the better side won.