THE quarter finals of the 2017 Church Times Cricket Cup got under way on Monday, well before the arrival of this week’s rain.
Leeds, the victors of group 1, played Norwich/Ely, the runners-up of group 2, at Newark. Leeds were put into bat first, and started strongly. Tyler and Earnshaw put on 89 for the first wicket, before the former was out for 54. Earnshaw went on to score 52, with good support from Groenweld (45), Buttanshaw (25), and Malone (21 n.o.). Midgley provided some outstanding bowling, taking 4 for 32. Leeds finished on 218 for 6.
In reply, Norwich/Ely started brightly, but chasing Leeds’s total was hard, thanks to the formidable bowling combination of Tyler and Buttanshaw, who took 5 wickets between them. Norwich/Ely finished on 121 all out, with Tuckwell ending on a respectable 35 n.o.
In the quarter-final between London and Bristol in Newbury, London won the toss, and on a rock-hard wicket chose to bat first. It was a good call: Moffatt and Beebey put on 64 for the first wicket, before Moffatt was lbw to Coates for 19. Cunliffe joined Beebey and they took the score on to 126, before Beebey was caught behind off Walker for 54. Allerton made a quick 45, and Lee and Kennedy both got into the 20s as London finished on 215 for 4 from their 35 overs. Good fielding by Bristol probably kept another 20 to 30 runs off the score-sheet.
In reply, Bristol started poorly. Kendall bowled Coates, and then removed Miles lbw for 0 with the next ball. In the next over, Lee bowled Watson, and Bristol were struggling at 24-3.
Then came a partnership which threatened to turn the game once more. Walker and Murray took a few overs to take the sting out of the London attack, and then played some lovely cricket. Murray, especially, drove through the offside to great effect.
These games can be decided on small margins, and this game proved to be one of them. As they closed in on their 100 partnership, with runs coming quickly, London bowlers Kennedy and Cunliffe managed to bowl two tight overs. As the overs ticked away, Walker called for a risky single to mid-off, and Murray was run out for 44. After that, the run rate dropped, and Bristol finished on 164 for 6 from their 35 overs.
London will play Leeds in the semi-final.
Fine weather was also on offer for the quarter-final between Coventry and Lichfield, at Coleshill Cricket Club. With some bounce in the pitch and a fast outfield, Coventry chose to bat after winning the toss. It was not long, though, before the decision looked unwise: excellent fast bowling by Taylor meant that Burch and Gandon were dismissed cheaply, and Lanham and Parker were bowled soon after.
Lichfield began to make errors in the field, however, and, slowly, Moffat (43) and Coleman (45 n.o.) began to return some respectability to the scoreboard. A fine spell by Hemming, who claimed three catches off his own bowling, ended the partnership, and Coventry finished on 141 for 8.
In reply, Gregory held Lichfield together with a measured 50 n.o., sharing in partnerships of 60 with Ackroyd, 45 with Darlington, and 40 with Rylands. Lichfield reached their target in 22.4 overs for the loss of 2 wickets.
Lichfield will face either Winchichester or Canterbury/Rochester in the semi-finals. Canterbury/Rochester secured a quarter-final place on Thursday of last week, after beating St Albans, and becoming runners-up of group 3.
St Albans had put on an impressive 182, but Canterbury/Rochester reached their target comfortably for the loss of only two wickets. Muthalaly shone at the crease, retiring for 100.
Leeds 218 for 6 (Tyler 54, Earnshaw 52, Groenweld 45, Buttanshaw 25, Malone 21 n.o.; Midgley 4 for 32). Norwich/Ely 121 all out (Tuckwell 35 n.o.; Tyler 3 for 13, Buttanshaw 2 for 21).
Leeds won by 97 runs.
London 215 for 4 (Beebey 54, Allerton 45 n.o.; Walker 2 for 39, Watson 1 for 46). Bristol 164 for 6 (Walker 46, Murray 44; Kendall 3 for 18, Lee 1 for 23.)
London won by 51 runs.
Coventry 141 for 8 from 35 overs (Moffat 43, Coleman 45 n.o.; Hemming 3 for 24, Taylor 2 for 16). Lichfield 145 for 2 from 22.4 overs (Gregory 50 n.o., Ackroyd 24, Darlington 23, Rylands 23 n.o.).
Lichfield won by 8 wickets.