Lilley CC returned to winning ways yesterday with a resounding nine wicket win over Weston in Broadview Windows North Herts Division 2.

Skipper Mark Scanlan won the toss and elected to bowl on a glorious sunny June afternoon in picturesque Weston.  Lilley opened with old stagers Marcus Chalkley and James Ashby and it wasn’t long before chances were being created.  With Chalkley hitting his nagging length, Ashby moving the ball both ways in the air and a two paced wicket to play with, things were difficult for the home side early on. Ashby (4-15) removed Bennett and Payne with inswingers and then Lamprell with an outswinger which he edged through to Scanlan before the Weston number five belted one straight to Ejaz in the covers to leave Weston in real bother.  Only opener Fursland, particularly punishing anything full of length, provided any resistance, although Lilley conspired to give him four lives in the process.

The youthful middle order of Weston was exposed by The Jazz Man, Ejaz Akram, who’s bizarre changing run ups coupled with accurate seam bowling bagged three wickets.  Matt Case also weighed in with a wicket before Jermaine Hylton came into the attack and eventually ended the resistance of Fursland for 69, caught well by Najeeb, and Henry Snowdon, victim of a fine catch at square leg by Bushy Bash Ali.  Weston were all out for just 88 in 27.1 overs, but with a sticky wicket and Lilley’s notorious batting buffoonery, nobody was sure how good that score was!

In fact, there was no need to worry.  Chalkley and Najeeb set Lilley off to a good start, initially thanks to some wayward bowling but then some brutish hitting from Najeeb.  Chalkley was bowled round his legs by young impressive youngster Brace, but that brought Ali Shah to the crease.  The big man was similarly savage in attack and although both survived a few hairy moments, it was a wonderful display of hitting. Ali finished unbeaten on 35 and Najeeb, who won the match with a towering six, unbeaten on 43 as Lilley raced to 93-1 in just 17 overs.

Much better stuff from Lilley and a lovely way to spend an afternoon in the sun.  Our thanks to Weston again for switching to their ground at the last minute.

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