Lilley 189 for 9, 40 overs (McLaughlin 42, Khan 36) beat Breachwood Green 146 all out, 35.4 overs (Ashby 4-32, Scanlan 3-23) by 38 runs
Something was spotted in the sky that hasn’t yet been seen this season – the SUN! It was a great summers day for the first time this season! So much so that suntan lotion was being applied to some very pasty skin! Lilley had a great following of supporters and the winning streak continued as Lilley won the toss and decided to bat first. The third opening pairing this season of Ashby and Khan strode to the crease and started off positively with Ashby playing a fluent innings hitting 4s at will in the rather large gaps left by 3 absent fielders. Those fielders were at a wedding but were soon called back. Unfortunately Ashby was soon undone with a prod outside off with the edge finding its way to the keeper for 16. McLaughlin has had a slow start for Lilley this season by his own admission and was wanting to make amends.
With Khan and McLaughlin taking full advantage of the fielding absentees the score was increasing swiftly. Khan had finally found some form with the bat but was bowled for 36. Perry joined McLaughlin at the crease with the score on 74 for two. Perry had been out of sorts at the beginning of the season on the slow, low wickets but seemed to be enjoying the pacier wicket. The partnership grew to over 50 runs before McLaughlin decided to try and whip 14 year old Gaskill to the boundary only to play too early and sky the ball straight up for an easy catch for 42. This was to be the beginning of a great afternoon for young Gaskill.
Perry was joined in the middle by Kruger but the partnership would not last very long as Perry was bowled for 24 and soon after Kruger perished for 4. Both falling to Gaskill. There was a slight collapse with Scanlan going for 3 and Collinson for 0. After serving his 1 hour and 15 minutes for being late, Yasir was able to bowl. Hammod (21) playing his second league match of the season for Lilley and Paddington (10) steadied the ship for Lilley with more valuable runs. Lilley ending their innings on 184 after their 40 overs but the performance of the innings would have to go to young Gaskill with figures of 5-19 and proving to be a thorn in the Lilley side when it looked as though the score would end up over 200.
After tea in the pub, Lilley took to the field full of optimism but weighed down with stomachs full of food. Taz was seen going up for thirds! And I am not sure he was the only one! Khan and Hammond opened the bowling and as always bowled some intriguing lines. Breachwood Green did start off well and the first wicket fell with the score on 31. Khan bowling a great spell again with figures of 2 for 33. Hammond has been very unlucky for Lilley this season with some superb bowling but no wickets to show for it and unfortunately it was to be again. Hammond bowling 5 overs for only 11 runs!
It was time for a change in strategy and Perry was asked to bowl to Yasir who by this time was starting to find his feet at the crease. Ashby was bowling from the other end and even though he had bowled 13 overs on the trot the day before was not showing any signs of seizing up. After a few lusty blows, Yasir was finally caught by Hammond – the ball went to him like a tracer bullet off Perry, but he managed to hang on. Ashby was charging in at the other end and wickets started to fall. Ashby was on a hat trick twice during his spell but never managed to convert any of the chances – jug avoidance perhaps Mr Fines Chairman? The second chance was to young Gaskill and even though James did say that he was trying to bowl a yorker, he ended up bowling a short ball into the ribs of the young player. Scanlan had replaced Perry at the top end and was not to be outdone by Ashby. Scanlan bowling his left arm seamers bagging 3 wickets of his own and taking the other prized scalp of Merchant.
It was a great performance by Lilley winning by 38 runs. Breakthroughs were achieved at the right moments and it was always believed that we could win even though at times it looked like it was going to be closer. Let’s keep this spirit going for the rest of the season.