Lilley 199 for 5, 40 overs (Ashby 59, Mills 48, Kruger 31) beat Hatfield 183 for 8, 40 overs (McLaughlin 3-30, Perry 2-6) by 16 runs
It was an unusual Sunday for cricket – it wasn’t RAINING. It fact the sun was spotted somewhere in the blue yonder! The ground was prepared and the teams were eager to finally play cricket in some decent weather. Hatfield won the toss and put Lilley in to bat. The usual pairing of Ashby and Mills were sent out by the skipper and the faith was repaid with a great opening partnership.
Both played cautiously with the slow outfield making it difficult to hit ordinary boundaries. Both had a go though with Ashby hitting a magnificent six straight over the pavilion. It has been suggested that it skimmed the roof! Both survived dropped catches behind the stumps and with that they made Hatfield pay. The opening partnership held strong until after the drinks break and it was a race to see who would make their fifty first. Ashby was the first to cross the line – a well deserved fifty and the first 50 for the club this season. Unfortunately Mills could not follow suit and fell on 48, ending a mature and game changing innings – it was so close Danzil!
McLaughlin strode out to the crease to join Ashby, looking to carry on the great start. However last year’s top run scorer did not last very long and perished for 5. The Geoff Banks Smith Memorial Cricket Ground continues to prove to be an elusive hunting ground for McLaughlin. Perry in and looking to stop any mini Lilley collapse from happening. The partnership did not last long as Ashby was finally caught for 59 after laying the foundations for an excellent Lilley innings. Tom Cardwell had reappeared out the woodwork to help Lilley and joined Perry in the middle. Both played excellent shots for not much in return. Cardwell was trying to continue the scoring and was caught for 6.
Captain Kruger joined Perry at the crease and soon got stuck into the bowling. The ball was hit hard and flat and was dropped on the boundary only for the ball to roll over for 4. Kruger wasn’t hanging about and the next two balls were hit for 6. It became very clear to Perry just to get his captain on strike. With that a few more balls were lost in the overgrowth until a miscue was finally caught. Kruger hitting 31 off just 7 scoring shots!
Perry (26*) and Scanlan (10*) continued to build on the great start and the innings completed on 199 for 5 after Lilley’s alloted overs. A delicious tea as always was consumed and Lilley took to the field. Kruger decided to open the bowling for the first time this season, injury the only thing restraining him before. Another debutant, Tom Smyth, opened the bowling from the other end. It was proving to be a great day for new players as Tom took a wicket in his first over. Kruger ran out of steam after 4 overs and was unlucky not to get a wicket during his spell. The cricketing Gods denying him a wicket after a clear nick was heard by all.
James Ashby took over from Kruger from the top end but did not have much success either although the batsman tried to mock him by coming down the wicket before the ball was even bowled! Something he might have regretted if Ashby was 10 years younger! Qureshi surprised himself by bowling 8 overs on the bounce and taking a crucial wicket. Davis was introduced just before the drinks break and proved to be an inspired change after taking the crucial wicket of Ashley-Smith (35).
After the drinks break Hatfield looked like they were going to win easily but Lilley pulled together to get the breakthrough and with Gethin-Golder (67) caught by Scanlan the tide started to turn in Lilley’s favour. Perry taking 2 wickets in quick succession proved even more decisive. McLaughlin allowed a few sixes to be hit which meant it got closer than it might have been but he did take 3 wickets which proved the nail in the coffin for Hatfield finishing up on 183 for 8 after 40 overs.
A great performance by Lilley with the players working hard for the breakthroughs. With these consistent performances grinding out results the only thing holding us back challenging the top is the weather. Come on SUN make an appearance!