ANY cricket tournament that runs in May and June will experience a certain disruption from the weather. We do not recall, however, a year when we lost the whole quarter-final round, as we did on Monday.
The Church Times Cricket Cup rules allowed for a second attempt on Thursday, yesterday. But the forecast was again poor, and, after hasty consultation, the rules were altered to allow teams to re-arrange to play next Monday. This is when Lichfield and London, and Norwich/Ely and Lincoln will be playing.
Commiserations, though, to Southwark and Salisbury. Although they won through to the quarter-finals, they could not gather enough players to play on either of the alternative days, and thus conceded to Leeds and Guildford respectively. In part this was a consequence of allowing parish engagements to creep into days that should, obviously, have been set aside for cricket. But Southwark, in particular, was also hit by sporting injuries, including one incurred while changing a lightbulb.
Last week’s weather, by no means perfect, was better, but not good enough for Manchester, unfortunately. In a closely contested group, they had to beat Chester to progress the next round. Chester made a tidy 108 for 2 in 23 overs, McLaren passing his half-century, before rain stopped play.
By contrast, Leeds were able finish their match against a reduced Carlisle/Blackburn/Durham team, and with some ease. The combined team batted first, but made only 76 runs. Leeds matched this with no loss, thanks especially to Bavington, who made 55 not out.
The previous week, Carlisle/Blackburn/Durham had played Manchester. Again, the combined-dioceses team were able only to put up eight players, but they battled bravely, making 73 all out. The lynchpin was Fyfe, on 46 not out. Manchester’s openers, the big-hitting Lindop (66) and the more cautious Hills (8) matched their total.
The match between Salisbury and Oxford for supremacy in their group was an altogether tighter affair.
In a reduced-over game, Oxford batted first, and, despite losing their captain, Johnson, in the second over, built a decent total around Gray’s 70 (he had been dropped early on). He was well supported by Bentley (18) and King (21); but the Salisbury bowlers all performed economically, pinning Oxford to a total of 127 for 6 after 30 overs.
Salisbury started well in response, before Paterson fell for 17. But Bradbury (43) provided a solid foundation, and Windsor (28 not out) and Jack (18 not out) accelerated at just the right time to see Salisbury home with two overs to spare.
Further east, Southwark took on London in a game reduced to 25 overs each because of heavy showers. Southwark batted first and Sewell and Aagaard made a solid start on an ungenerous pitch. Aagaard was bowled by Lee for 12, but Stainer joined Sewell, and they looked for a while to be building a healthy score.
When Sewell was lbw to Allerton for 15, no one else was able to stay with Stainer and Southwark finished on 77-7 from their 25 overs. Stainer was unbeaten on 24; Chrystal took 3 for 18.
In reply, Beeby and Watkins struck up a good partnership and took the score to 59 before Beeby was bowled by Sewell for 11.Then came a moment of real quality: Watkins, looking to hit a 6 to bring up his half-century, launched into an on-drive over mid-on, only for O’Brien to pull off an outstanding one-handed catch. London, though, lost no further wickets, and finished on 78-2 from 11.5 overs.
Compared with these results, Peterborough’s 168 for 3 from 30 overs against Coventry looked a big score. Moreton made 51 and Byfield 37. Parker was the tightest of the Coventry bowlers, giving away 17 runs in his six overs.
In reply, though, Coventry managed to run up 172 runs by the 26th over. Top-scorer was Foster on 65. Gandon retired hurt on 41, and Vogel finished off with 22 not out.
Carlisle/Blackburn/Durham 76 all out (Fyfe 26, Sarvananthan 24). Leeds 80 for 0 (Bavington 55 not out). Leeds won by ten wickets.
Carlisle/Blackburn/Durham 73 all out (S Fyfe 46 not out; D Thompson 4 for 8; Emerson 3 for 22). Manchester 77 for 0 (A Lindop 66 not out). Manchester won by 10 wickets.
Oxford 127 for 6 (Gray 70, King 21). Salisbury 128 for 2 (Bradbury 43, Windsor 28 not out). Salisbury won by 8 wickets.
Southwark 77-7 (Stainer 24 not out, Sewell 15; Chrystal 3 for 18). London 78 for 2 (Watkins 44; Sewell 2 for 15). London won by 8 wickets.
Peterborough 168 for 3 (Moreton 51, Byefield 37).Coventry 172 for 4 (Foster 65, Gandon 41, Vogel 22 not out. Coventry won by six wickets.
Chester v. Manchester: rain stopped play.