LILLEY (83-1, Tomsett 36*) beat Simmons (80 all out, Perry 5-13) by nine wickets

Tim Perry produced a devastating spell of ten overs which yielded five wickets, including a brilliant hat-trick, as Lilley ran riot at previously unbeaten Simmons’ Mentmore Park ground.

The home skipper won the toss and elected to bat on a dry but spongy feeling track. Ashby and Perry resumed their impressive new ball frolics, again keeping it tight and beating the bat. The clouds began to gather around the ground and soon it was looking gloomy for Simmons, Perry whipping out openers Robinson and Hardeep with just ten on the board.

Simmons recovered to 36-2, despite one of the batters seemingly pulling a hamstring at one point. The injured batsman Mounter was put out of his misery on 10 when Perry trapped him in front of the stumps, leg before. Gear Senior made his way to the crease but was returning just one delivery later as he followed a rising quick delivery from Perry and edged to the safe hands of Gareth Tompkins at second slip. With Perry on a hat-trick, the field came in and Horton made his way to the crease. Perry, who had never taken a hat-trick before now, steamed in and produced another searing lifting delivery which Horton just managed to edge on the rise. The ball flew through to Taz Qureshi behind the stumps, who snaffled the effort at the second attempt after palming the ball into the air first of all. Needless to say, the celebrations were impressive!

Simmons in the meantime had slipped to 36-5 in the light rain, which soon became 43-6 as Hammond got in amongst the wickets. The big man had bowled well, but it took a brilliant diving catch by Stew Collinson at wide mid off to account for Gear Junior, who had moved ominously onto 20. Gareth Tompkins emulated his brother Brad’s effort at Eaton Bray in dropping a regulation caught and bowled, but he bounced back to clean bowl Moore just seconds later. Hammond grabbed a second (2-16) before GT (3-23) wrapped things up with another clean bowled and a brilliant reaction caught and bowled to leave Simmons all out for just 80.

Doug Tomsett and Ken Hammond, blessed with sunshine which had deserted the Simmons batsmen, were out of the blocks in no time in reply, with Simmons bowlers struggling to defend such a small target. The pair took Lilley to the verge of victory, Hammond hitting five 4’s and Tomsett hitting six until the former was clean bowled, with Lilley just one short of victory, attempting a mighty six to win. With Hammond out for 35, Taz Qureshi made the journey to the crease for a short stay. Very short in fact – just one ball – as Qureshi carted his first delivery for four backward of square, to the applause of the watching Lilley players. Tomsett finished on 36 not out, his best knock of the season in terms of quality without doubt. Lilley win by nine wickets.

Not much to do for some players, but a fine overall performance. The fielding was much sharper than has been the case sometimes this year, with Paddington and Qureshi looking very sharp and GT (2) and Stew taking tough chances. Bring on the Pirton!

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