Rains Return to Ruin Round Two
The Second Round of the ECB National Club Championship was heavily impacted by the wet weather on Sunday with less than half of the 64 matches being completed.
For those that did beat the rain there were some glimmers of light in a number of outstanding performances. In the North West, which experienced most of the abandonments, Neston’s Will Evans took a liking to the Audley bowlers as he made 156 from just 78 balls in their total of 388-6 from their 45 overs as they dodged the rain. Evans was supported by captain David Hurst who helped himself to 90 from 73 balls as Audley, from the North Staffs & South Cheshire Premier League, came up 66 runs short of their revised target of 242.
Swarkestone of the Derbyshire Premier League beat Lindum, competition newcomers from the Lincolnshire Premier League thanks to an opening partnership of 142 between Luke Thomas and Harry White. Swarkestone were eventually pegged back thanks to some excellent bowling from Lindum captain Johnny Miller with figures of 6-26 as the hosts reached 202-8 from their reduced 36 overs. In reply the Lincolnshire side struggled as only three batsmen reached double figures, eventually being dismissed for 111.
Warminster opener Richie Underdown hit his first century of the season and only his fourth ever in 191 appearances for the club as they beat fellow West of England Premier League side Weston super Mare by 24 runs. Underdown’s 108 helped his side to 293-4 and Weston super Mare, despite an explosive 81 from only 55 balls from Mitch Smit, were regularly pegged back by wickets in their pursuit, finishing on 269-9.
Ealing piled on the runs against Surrey Championship side Sutton as they reached 356-7 thanks to a century from Luke Stoughton. Rain meant Sutton had a revised target of 190 off 24 overs but disciplined bowling restricted them to 136-6. While at the other end of the M3 a standout performance by Totton & Eling’s Tom Arnold ensure they scraped home in a 1 wicket win against Basingstoke & North Hants. The visitors must have thought they had the game won as they reduce Totton & Eling to 139-9 chasing 188 but wicketkeeper Arnold had other ideas, supported by No. 11 Harry Henley-Smith the pair put on 51 for the final wicket as Arnold hit an unbeaten 84 to guide his team into the Third Round.
Bowlers also had a good day with a number of five-wicket hauls around the country. Ryan McFadyean’s figures of 5-10 from his 9 overs helped Sandiacre Town to a very one-sided victory. Batting first Kimberley Institute was dismissed for just 42, McFadyean supported by fellow opener Daniel Wheeldon (4-21), as Sandiacre Town knocked off the required runs in less than 9 overs. In Kent Hartley County Club’s James Thompson (5-42) removed most of the Bexley top order as they were bowled out for 79 chasing Hartley’s 176-9.
In Yorkshire, Bradford League side Hanging Heaton has an equally easy win as they beat Cleethorpes from the Yorkshire Premier League. Cleethorpes chose to bat first but Gary Fellows, with figures of 5-18 from 8 overs, helped bowl out the visitors for 93 and then Fellows went on to opening the batting, hitting 60* from just 41 balls in an outstanding all-round performance.
In addition to the heroics at Totton & Eling, there were also a couple of very close finishes on Sunday. 2011 Champions Shrewsbury managed a 1 wicket win against Cheshire Premier League side Nantwich, after bowling their visitors out for 136, Shrewsbury had No. 11 Elliot Green to thank as he hit the winning runs with a boundary. In Gloucester hosts City Winget were chasing 181 to win against South Wales Premier League side Ynysygerwn from 25 overs and fell one run short with Jon Brown run out as City Winget were all out for 180.
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