Lilley 193-9, 40 overs (Ali 74, Chalkley 55) beat Stevenage III 104 all out, 27.5 overs (Chalkley 4-8, Ashby 4-13) by 89 runs

Lilley notched their second league win of the season in emphatic fashion with a thumping 89 run win over bottom of the table Stevenage III this weekend.

Lilley skipper Mark Scanlan won the toss and had no hesitation in batting on a ground known as a bowler’s graveyard for many years.  Quite what the skipper was thinking soon after when Lilley had slumped to 37-4 is anyone’s guess!  Gareth Tompkins (0) played all round a full toss from Peebles, Ashby played inside one from the impressive Iranganti, who also caused Scanlan (0) to nick off soon after.  Karl Berry’s (0) return to the crease was steeped in controversy, the left hander forcing the ball away on the off side only for Kinney to claim the catch diving forward in the covers.  There was significant doubt as to whether the ball had carried, but barring any conclusive evidence that the ball had not carried, the fielder’s word was taken and the former skipper had to go.

Three ducks already in the book did not dissuade Ali Shah from playing his natural game.  The big man swung hard at any width and in Marcus Chalkley found an ally at the other end who would stick with him.  The pair forged an excellent partnership, with Ali bringing up a rapid fifty just before drinks.

The partnership was eventually ended when Ali holed out for 74 off the impressive paceman Walker, but Chalkley continued to pile on useful runs.  Bash Ali was castled first ball by Walker and despite looking very good in defence, debutante Umar (1) soon followed in the same fashion.

Enter Connor Waites, playing his first game of the season, who punched Walker through the covers for two to start his innings and didn’t look back.  A breezy 18 was punctuated by two mighty sixes, late innings impetus that Lilley really needed.  Chalkley fell soon after, but not before bringing up his second consecutive half century, another really clever knock and goodness how Lilley needed it.

Craig Paddington and Jermaine Hylton added some late runs and ensured Stevenage didn’t nick a bowling bonus point – and who would have predicted that at 37-4 – with Lilley closing on 193-9 off 40 overs.

Lilley were without last year’s top two wicket takers and new ball bowlers in Khurrum Khan and Dan McLaughlin, but still had a range of options in their arsenal.  New man left arm seamer  Umar took the first over and struggled with his line initially, but soon found his line and length.  No such worries at the other end, as veteran swing bowler Ashby extracted immediate movement, his first ball swinging so far it was a wide!  The radar re-established, Ashby made both the openers play and miss repeatedly.  A second slip was deployed and no soon as he was, opener Welch nicked an away swinger into Gareth Tompkins hands, pouched at the second attempt.  Fellow opener Slater nicked to Scanlan behind the stumps and by the time Kinney had miscued a back of a length ball to Waites in the covers, Stevenage were in trouble.  Chalkley joined th bowling action fresh off his 6 for last week and was in the wickets again.  Parmar feathered behind and Walker then smacked a length ball at Umar at wide mid off, who made a difficult catch look simple.  Ashby(4-13) finished his spell by yorking Hulley for 18 and then Chalkley had Warman caught behind and bowled Downing in successive balls.

Hylton replaced Ashby and extra bounce saw Krovvidi nick to Ashby at wide slip for just 4, before Ali had Iranganti caught by keeper Scanlan, his fourth of the innings, to seal the win, Stevenage all out for 104.

So six catches behind the wicket and a near faultless fielding performance helped Lilley to a big six point win.  Onwards to Hatfield this week for hopefully more of the same!

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