2nd XI Match Report 30th July 2016

STEEPLE LANGFORD II – v – CALMORE SPORTS III

The 10 men of Steeple Langford 2nds, still to record a win this season, travelled to top three side Calmore Sports with a sense of both trepidation and hope of turning the table on its head.

The Council maintained pitch looked as if it had had only a cursory half hour preparation so stand in skipper Chris Miles had no doubt in asking the opposition to bat on what clearly looked a bowler friendly wicket.  The decision was quickly vindicated as the ball moved significantly in both directions off the wicket and in the air which, when coupled with the variable bounce, made batting extremely difficult.  Wickets fell regularly and runs were hard to find.  At one stage Calmore were 30 for 8 but the ninth wicket partnership dug in and managed to eke the eventual score up to 91 all out.  Pick of the bowlers was Chris Miles (7 for 19) with Raj Kumar (1 for 28) and Tom Dennis taking 2 for 19 despite not having bowled for a number of years.  Special praise must also go to Nick Mundy for keeping wicket neatly in challenging conditions and ensuring the extras score was kept low.

At tea, Langford were happy in having restricted the opposition to a low score but also mindful that the pitch was not going to make the run chase easy.  So it turned out in that openers Adi Hughes and Raj Kumar were soon out to be replaced by Nick Mundy and Tom Dennis.  The two adopted differing approaches to the situation with Mundy digging in and playing defensively to most balls while Dennis looked to finish things off quickly by being aggressive.  For a while a decent stand looked to be developing until Dennis was bowled for 21.  Youngsters Jaques Kinnison and Joe McNeilley then took centre stage and developed another useful partnership to inch Langford closer to the target.  However, wickets kept falling and the lack of the 11th man could have made the difference had not Kinnison struck the winning runs with 8 wickets down.  Kinnison’s innings of 26 not out was very impressive particularly given the high pressure situation towards the end of the match.

A very close game on a tricky wicket gave Langford 2nds their first win of the season.  With the game so tight towards the end emotions understandably ran high with some late umpiring decisions being questioned by the Calmore players.  However, Langford did not let that take the gloss off what was a long awaited victory.