Breachwood Green 165-7, 40 overs (Scanlan 5-45) beat Lilley 77 all out, 25.1 overs (Extras 24) by 88 runs
A below strength Lilley side were dealt a major blow to their title aspirations as Breachwood Green took revenge for their defeat in the reverse fixture earlier this season with a comprehensive win at the Geoff Banks-Smith Memorial Cricket Ground.
Green won the toss and elected to bat, a bold move given that the wicket had barely 20 minutes preparation as none of the Lilley side had a key to get in to the pavilion! The visitors opened up with the dangerous Haroon and Jon ‘The Wall’ Hall, with Khurrum Khan and Tom Smyth on new ball duties for Lilley.
A couple of tight overs from the bowlers were rewarded when Haroon (1) edged the pacey Khan to James Ashby at first slip, the former skipper taking a very sharp chance low down. The Wall and new batsman Johnson II saw off the remaining overs from the new ball pair, who were replaced after 16 overs by Ashby and Mark Scanlan’s left arm swing.
Lilley should have had a second wicket when Johnson II skied an ugly drive off Ashby to Stew Collinson at deep mid off, but the Dragon misjudged his attempt, narrowly missing the ball by around 27 metres in the end. Green had moved on quickly to 72-1 when the second breakthrough finally came, Johnson II’s risky stroke play finally costing him his wicket as he aimed a mow at Scanlan, only to be safely pouched by acting Captain Tim Perry on the deep mid wicket boundary.
Ed Jeffery’s brief stint at the crease was ended by a Scanlan inswinger which clean bowled the Breachwood Captain and the usually watchful Hall showed rare IPL-esque aggression when trying an ambitious pull, only to see the ball balloon to Lilley debutante Sajeed.
Scanlan got the key wicket of the dangerous Yassir, bowling the right hander with another big inswinger which deflected off the batters pads en route to the stumps to leave Breachwood 103-5. Ashby made it 103-6 when Weates struggled to fend off a short ball and was magnificently caught by Sajeed, who had to sprint and dive full stretch across the artificial wicket to take the catch. As he nursed second degree plastic burns on his arms, there were a few quizzical looks at square leg Khan, who could have stepped two paces to his left to take the catch. Perhaps early signs of the reigning bowler of the year looking to cling on to his title.
There is a new contender for said Bowling award, as Scanlan then completed his first five wicket haul for the club when he had Gaskill caught by Qureshi, making it 9 wickets in two weeks for the swing bowler. Breachwood Green were in all sorts of bother at 106-7.
Lilley then ran into somewhat of a wall when the big drinking pair of Nick Merchant and Stu Johnson took to the crease. Having demolished the Lilley Fosters stocks, the pair then set about dragging Breachwood to respectability. Qureshi bowled a good death spell up the hill, but Merchant was particularly brutal on Perry’s off spin, so much so that the Captain resorted to his pace brand to avoid a looming ‘worst over’ award. Merchant finished on 44 not out and the visitors had registered 165-7 from 40 overs.
Lilley, shorn of Macca and Kruger from the regular batting line up, needed a solid platform to chase down a very gettable target. They got the nightmare start however when Yassir produced pace and bounce from the first ball of the innings and Ashby tamely edged into the slip cordon, where Merchant took a stunning diving one handed effort. Danny Mills was out soon after for 2, aiming a mutant pull off Jeffery and succeeding only in looping up a simple catch.
Smyth’s brief stint at the crease ended when he played on to Yassir for 3. Only Raja’s (11) aggression was making any headway for the home side, but he was on his way, out and to the hospital, soon after. Yassir dropped one back of a length and Raja, having just taken his helmet off, top edged the ball into his nose and eventually down to backward square leg, where he was caught. He left the field dazed and bemused, bleeding from an apparent broken nose, with Lilley in all sorts of bother at 25-4.
Things got worse. Sajeed (4) ran himself out needlessly and Perry (5) was castled by one which kept low from Jeffery before Collinson (1), Paddington (0) and Scanlan (0) all came and went in quick succession to leave Lilley at 51-9 and on the brink of a massive defeat. There was time for a late rally though from Qureshi (10 not out) and Khan (18), who took Lilley inside the 100 plus run defeat mark before Khan was eventually trapped leg before by Harman to leave Lilley 77 all out, a defeat by 88 runs.
The pain of defeat was soon forgotten though, with Scanners first jug for a 5 for at the LA. Well bowled, Sir.