By Skipper Alex Smickersgill
2nd XI Away vs Headingley Bramhope
22nd June 2019
After weeks of lost games, returning to action at Bramhope was a welcome chance to try to restart the season. Fielding a side oozing class the omens were good for a win. Vinnie Patel was added the side to bring the swagger of a classic bat. A solid bowling line up also boded well.
A sticky pitch and an outfield like the Mato Grosso did not encourage batting and on winning the toss the skipper inserted the oppo. The prime requirement was to bowl wicket to wicket. From the off, Ray and Sam settled into a tight line. Whilst wickets did not come in this early burst but the run rate was glacial. This was backed up by solid outfielding with one bizarre exception. Throughout the afternoon the vice skipper spent much of his time on his back like an upended turtle, waggling all limbs in a random fashion whilst the ball would occasionally fly out from his flailing in an erratic and unpredictable manner. Indeed Paul looked like being the main source of runs for Headingley Bramhope.
First change Ian brought the break through. His metronomic spell (2-16 from 10 overs) was exactly what the conditions demanded. Zaheer (10 overs for 31) kept the squeeze on at the other end. Conditions were perfect for tight seam bowling and the pressure of good lines and lengths eventually produced wickets for Ray (3-22) and Sam (3-44). Meanwhile good catches were taken by Paul (on his feet unusually), Ian, Ray (2) and even the skipper.
Restricting Headingley Bramhope to 123-8 represented a performance of discipline and commitment.
In reply Vinnie P oozed class with technical excellence. At the other end end Adil was all controlled belligerence. This pair rapidly laid to rest any concerns about the track. Judicious in their stroke-play, they put on 78 for the first wicket before Vinnie fell for a stylish 27. Adil carried selecting the ball to hit and then making sure he cashed in. In a classy knock he went to his first Crossgates 50. Will offered steady support at the other end and when Adil was finally out for 56, Ray completed the coup de grace.
A thoroughly efficient performance all round bodes well for the challenges to come. Up the Gates.
Man of the match: Adil
Fielding point: Ray