THE first round of the 2019 Church Times Cricket Cup is under way, in its 69th season.
The first match actually took advantage of the dry weather at the end of April, as Leicester beat a seven-man Norwich/Ely side by five wickets.
Norwich/Ely won the toss and decided to field first, despite being four players short. Leicester held them to 136, and opener Loveday carried his bat for a stylish 64 not out. Norwich/Ely gave a great fielding display and two wickets a piece for Giles (2-13) and Pickersgill (2-12)
The close game ended when Leicester completed their run chase with six balls to spare. A knock of 54* from Orridge, supported solidly by Miles with 23, was crucial to the chase. Debutant Giles hit the winning runs through mid-wicket in his 17*, showing his all-round ability. Heywood excelled with the ball in figures of 2 for 14 off his 7 overs for Norwich/Ely.
At Burneside last Thursday, Manchester played the combined northern dioceses of Carlisle/Blackburn/Durham.
Manchester, batting first, posted 189 off their overs, with half centuries for both Emerson and Hollingsbee. In response, CBD were on course for a close finish, until they fell away at the end to 142 all out. Manchester won by 47 runs. The standout individual performance of the day belonged to Wills, for CBD, who took a hat-trick in his 5/30 before scoring 51 in a losing cause.
At Perdiswell Park, Worcester, on Monday, Coventry played Hereford.
Coventry batted first on an unexciting wicket, and Hereford gained encouragement from their slow start, held down by the bowling of sometime York captain Hill, and Coventry’s temporary loss of captain Gandon to injury. As the innings developed, however, Coventry took advantage of poor Hereford bowling. Lanham and Moffat retired to allow other batsmen into the crease, and the team posted a total of 232 with no loss. They also helped fill gaps in the fielding.
Faced with this formidable target, Hereford engaged strongly, exceeding Coventry’s run-rate in early overs, thanks to the competitive energy of Pratley, but then lost wickets, notably two to Lanham who also caught Pratley in an excellent all-round performance. Hereford's response was prolonged by Williams, and last of all Parker-Randall, who confessed to never having played cricket in his life and went home delighted to have scored his first run and prevented an all-out. Despite thse efforts, Coventry won by 15 runs.
Norwich/Ely returned to the fray on Monday, hoping for their first win of the season, playing Lincoln at Long Sutton.
The fixture had been a long time coming: the teams had been unable to play each other in the past three seasons owing mostly to poor weather.
Ten-men Norwich/Ely won the toss, and put nine-men Lincoln into bat. After tight bowling and reserved batting, Lincoln had reached only 56 for 1 by drinks at the halfway point. Once play had resumed, however, opener Robinson and Watson set to work to speed up the run-rate with flourishing (and sometimes risky) shots. At the dismissal of Watson (23) by Capron, Robinson stayed at the crease to record 84*, taking Lincoln to the seemingly reachable total of 147 for 5.
Lincoln’s bowling kept them very much in command, however. That is, until Heywood began hitting out, backed by Warren, reaching 120 with 18 balls to go. After some lusty blows, Heywood (57) finally succumbed to Gosling’s catch off Lincoln newcomer Sarvanthan’s spin bowling. With a wicket lost in each of the final two overs, and 14 runs needed from the last six balls, Norwich/Ely, were just off target, ending on 140-6.
On the same day, Leeds batted first against Chester/Liverpool, after a traffic-delayed start. Leeds players arrived piecemeal after the closure of part of the M62. Two of their players took five-and-a-half hours to get there, arriving only when their innings was finished.
Happily for them, Leeds openers scored heavily, with a first wicket stand of 153, which ended only when Carew retired on 103. His partner, Earnshaw, scored more steadily and was the first and only wicket to fall, when he was out for 80. Leeds finished on 246 for 1 in their 30 overs.
Chester/Liverpool scored steadily, but lost wickets rapidly and were all out for 98 in 18 overs. Graham Buttanshaw took 3 for 34, and Dan Christian 2 for 30. Leeds won by 148 runs.
Leicester 137-5 (Orridge 54*, Miles 23, Giles 17; Heywood 2-14). Norwich/Ely 136/7 (Loveday 64; Giles 2-13, Pickersgill 2-12).
Leicester won by 2 wickets.
Manchester 189 all out (Emerson 57*, Hollingsbee 54, Lindop 36; Wills 5-30, Bullock 2-37). Carlisle/Blackburn/Durham 142 all out (Wills 51, McNally 46; Cook 3-16, Hollingsbee 2-28).
Manchester won by 47 runs.
Coventry 232-0 (Moffat 91*, Lanham 65*). Hereford 217-5 (Williams 81, Pratley 75).
Coventry won by 15 runs.
Lincoln 147-5 (Robinson 84*, Watson 23; Lovejoy 2-12). Norwich/Ely 140-6 (Heywood 57, Lovejoy 30).
Lincoln won by seven runs.
Leeds 246-1 (Carew 103*, Earnshaw 80). Chester/Liverpool 98 all out (Buttanshaw 3-34, Christian 2-30).
Leeds won by 148 runs.
Salisbury forfeited their games against Oxford and WinChichester.
London forfeited their match against Rochester/Canterbury.
* = not out