Lilley (229-9, G Tompkins 65, Hammond 60) beat Kempston Sports (94 all out, G Tompkins 6-26) by 135 runs
The Cape Town Express pulled into Kempston yesterday afternoon and wiped out all before it, as Gareth Tompkins enjoyed a day of cricketing excellence in the Cryselco Park sunshine.
Skipper James Ashby continued his 100% start to the season by losing the toss yet again, which looked like a terrible stroke of luck on a rock hard flat track. Fortunately for the away side, home skipper Tony Allbones put Lilley into bat, knowing he had a frail look to his own batting line up.
Doug Tomsett and Gareth Tompkins resumed their opening partnership and got Lilley off to the sort of start you dream of. Fellow Lilley players and the seven strong supporters club were pinching themselves and, by the time Doug Tomsett had been bowled for 15, the pair had put on 86 runs in 52 minutes (13 overs). Tomsett was content to keep the board ticking and the strike rotating as GT at the other end had dropped into sublime form almost immediately. The young South African had a huge slice of luck in the second over when he skied a delivery from Allbones, only to see the chance spilled at mid-wicket. The home side paid a heavy price for the missed chance, as GT weighed in with thirteen boundaries on his way to a 35 minute half century, his first for the club. There was nowhere to bowl that was safe, as the Vice Captain drove, pulled, glanced and cut with aplomb.
The exit of Tomsett brought newly promoted Stew Collinson in, but he lasted just three deliveries before registering Lilley’s first (and surely not last) duck of the year. Ashby followed soon after for one, adjudged lbw to Allbones by umpire Qureshi, in his last appearance for the club (he doesn’t know that yet).
Brother Brad joined Gareth at the crease, but it was a brief brotherly pairing as GT finally was caught for 65. The dream start was looking a tad wobbly at this point, with Lilley flying to 110 in 15 overs – but losing 4 wickets. No need to worry, the old hand Ken Hammond strode to the crease like a warrior of old. The former Chairman began knocking the ball around nicely and despite the loss of Brad Tompkins for 13, he was joined by Taz Qureshi who picked up where BT left off. Nine fours and a towering six later, Ken had registered Lilley’s second fifty of the year, ably supported by Taz (15) and Horner (8), who were both content with the anchor role. The big man finally was bowled by Taylor, who endured a tough afternoon going for 48 runs from 6 overs. Craig Paddington could not capitalise on the good track, however his single run was enough to draw him level with his total number of runs scored in 2004 – 9! Still time for a Steve Eyres cameo and the big man nailed the shot of the day, a sumptuous cover drive for four, signing Lilley off at 229-9 from 40 overs.
Ken Hammond and James Ashby are the only two men in the last ten years to take 5 wickets and score a half century in the same match, but those of us who have seen GT over the last two years know that he more than has the ability. It was crazy that he had never managed a fifty before today, a ridiculous stat that was only beaten by his previous best bowling haul…3-4! It was a day for puting records straight though.
Ashby and GT opened up with the ‘new’ ball and ten overs later, the home side were staring down the barrel at 35-6. Tompkins was out of the blocks like, well, like a man who had just got his first fifty. Taz Qureshi, in his last appearance for Lilley, dropped opener Hussain off the skipper’s bowling. GT began cleaning up though and dismissed three of the top four, all clean bowled, in quick time. Ashby, some way from his best, still managed to pick up two wickets in successive balls at the other end. Indeed both bowlers were on hat-tricks at one point, both hat-trick balls were faced by Neil Kirkup and both he survived. GT soon ended his resistance however, bowled off an inside edge.
The Cape Town Express continued to steam in from the pavilion end and GT completed the brilliant feat of ’50 and 5′ by bowling Simms. Ashby was replaced by Hammond and again, although way off his best, he picked up two wickets. GT completed his days work by bowling Taylor. The end result: eight overs, one maiden, 6 for 26.
Hammond wrapped up the innings, bowling Tony Allbones for 35, leaving Kemspton 94 all out and Lilley winners by 135 runs. The teams come head to head again on July 17th.