1st XI Match Report 9th July 2016

Liphook & Ripsley 2nd XI v Steeple Langford 1st XI

For the second week in a row, Steeple Langford 1sts had a long away trip but this time it was much more productive by securing what turned out to be a comfortable 5 wicket win. On winning the toss the Liphook skipper had no hesitation in batting first on a hard flat track and quick outfield and this proved justified as their opening pair got straight into hitting some wayward Langford bowling to all parts of the ground. In particular, the classy Rouse, who normally plays for Liphook 1sts, timed the ball beautifully and reached his 50 in no time. Langford skipper Andy Bennett made bowling changes and this soon paid off with the first wicket falling on 96 in only the 15th over and the second in the following over. However, Rouse was still there and seeing it like a football and brought his ton up in the 21st over out of the total score of 135. Langford took a third wicket and then with the score on 168 Liam Harvey picked up the vital wicket of Rouse who mistimed a drive to get caught at mid on. With Andy Bennett now bowling tightly at the other end the run rate slowed right down with Fiddler (22) and Elliott (30) grafting out a stand of 40. With Harvey off after taking a useful 2 for 35, Nick Partridge returned, taking 2 for 12 from his last 6 overs and the innings petered out to end on 238 for 9 from the allotted 45 overs. Andy Bennett finished with a creditable 2 for 33 from his 10 and Steeple Langford felt confident after pegging the score back from what looked like it was going to be 300+. Credit also to Pete Smith for an outstanding display behind the stumps taking 3 catches standing up. In reply, opening batsmen Martin Grearson and Tom Bennett (26) were straight out of the blocks, punishing anything loose and matching the home side’s run rate before Bennett was stumped in the 13th over with the score on 85. Grearson and Adam McNeilly (29) then put on 67 before McNeilly thought he’d suddenly gained 10 yards of pace, setting off for a suicidal single and running a frustrated Grearson out for an aggressive and impressive 92 in the 26th over. McNeilly then departed in the next over but any hopes the home side had were soon dismissed as the classy Chris Mundy and hard-hitting Nick Partridge continued the onslaught , putting on 67 in 10 overs before Partridge was caught in the deep for an excellent 40 in the 37th over with the score on 220. Steeple Langford lost 1 more quick wicket before Pete Smith and Mundy (32*) saw the away side home with 6 overs to spare.  This win pushed Langford up to 9th in the league and looking forward to not travelling Sussex way again this coming Saturday.