THE Cricket World Cup is well under way, but feats of similar prowess are occurring in a senior competition, the Church Times Cricket Cup.
In north Essex, at Stebbing CC, Chelmsford took on London. Although the weather was glorious, the same could not be said of the pitch. London won the toss and put Chelmsford into bat. After an early wicket, Walker and Wallace dug in for 15 overs against an attack spearheaded by Kendall and Allerton. Walker fell to a lofted catch as he tried to push the pace, and former Chelmsfordian Knowles had Wallace lbw.
The introduction of Kennedy, the London captain, was a turning point. He first unsettled the batsmen, then spreadeagled their stumps to take six wickets for nine runs off 3.1 overs, leaving Chelmsford 91 all out in 28 overs.
After the interval, although Law produced some unplayable deliveries and Wylie occasionally asked questions with his off-spin, London’s batsmen defended resolutely until the bad ball came along. A brilliant, diving catch by Law at square leg brought momentary joy to Chelmsford, but the experienced Rimmer batted through for 47 not out and London breezed home in the 17th over for the loss of two wickets.
On Monday, Leeds played Lichfield at Eckington, in Sheffield. Leeds won the toss and batted first, standing firm in the face of some good bowling from the Lichfield openers. Parkinson on his debut made 42, Riman 33, and Bavington 100 (retired). In the final overs, Christian (32 not out) steered Leeds to a challenging total of 240 for 6. Lefroy (1 for 37) Hack (3 for 51), and Hart (2 for 49) were the best bowlers for Lichfield.
Lichfield never looked like making the run rate against a side with bowling depth. Cranston top-scored with 23 in a total of 111 for 8 in their 35 overs. The best of Leeds bowling came in two seven-over spells from the Parkinsons. Dan (son) opened with a fiery 1 for 13 and was followed by Ian (father) with an even more niggardly, if less fiery, 2 for 7. Christian (2 for 20) and Burge (2 for 11) were the other notable bowlers for Leeds. Leeds won by 129 runs.
Canterbury/Rochester travelled to Redbourne CC for their game against St Albans/Guildford.
Canterbury/Rochester won the toss and opted to bat first. They made steady progress, as their captain Muthalaly made 89 runs, including 14 boundaries, before being caught in the 21st over. Clark’s 55 runs and Baxter’s 32 runs helped the team to an impressive 227 for 6 at the end of their innings. C. Botha took one wicket for 12 runs in his first game.
St Albans/Guildford batted steadily but struggled to keep up the required run rate, losing their last wicket 58 runs short of their target. M. Botha scored 41 and Macey made 38. Baxter impressed with his 3-36, while Muthalaly topped off his all-round performance with 2-12.
Chelmsford 91 all out off 28.1 overs (Wallace 20, Walker 19; Kennedy 6-9, Kendall 2-25). London 92-2 off 16.2 overs (Rimmer 47*, Kennedy 20; Sachs 1-6, Wylie 1-28).
London won by eight wickets.
Leeds 240-6 (Bavington 100*, D. Parkinson 42; Hack 3-51). Lichfield 111-8 (I. Parkinson 2-7; Burge 2-11).
Leeds won by 129 runs.
Canterbury/Rochester 227-6 (Muthalaly 89, Clark 55; C. Botha 1-12). St Albans/Guildford 169 (M. Botha 41; Baxter 3-36, Muthalaly 2-12).
Canterbury and Rochester won by 58 runs.
WinChichester forfeited their match against Exeter.