Match Reports - 25th July 2015

STEEPLE LANGFORD v ANDOVER III

With captain Andy Bennett off partying in Bristol, it was left to his son Tom to find victory on Saturday; he started well by winning the toss and rightly, after the deluge the day before, put Andover into bat. Langford started brightly and restricted Andover to just 15-2 after 10 overs, Gary Smith in particular bowling a great line, not letting the Andover batsman score and picking up wickets along the way eventually finishing for 3-18 off his 10 overs, Nick Partridge was unfortunate at the other end and finished for 0-16 off 7. Changes were made in the bowling with Liam Harvey struggling initially but then accounting for Ollie Palmer, who made an entertaining 24, but fell into the trap set when a man was sent out to deep midwicket, despite this knock no other batsman found any rhythm against some tight bowling and fielding, bar the two drops from Adam McNeilly either side of taking a good catch at short midwicket. Tom Bennett finished off the innings bowling skipper Ward to take 3-16 and was well supported by Mundy 2-11 and Harvey 2-29, with Andover's innings ended for 99, on a wicket that was drying quickly and playing well.

Langford's reply started rapidly after an excellent tea, Tom Bennett quickly into his stride and taking 15 runs off of skipper Ward's 2nd over as Langford raced to 35 off 6 overs, Alec Lloyd batted patiently and sensibly at the other end with Bennett and was also finding the boundary with ease. Bennett reached his 50 by the 10th over and bar a nick that was dropped behind, both openers saw the team through to 100-0 off just 16.4 overs, Bennett finishing with an unbeaten 66* and Lloyd 27*, seeing the team to a brilliant overall maximum points win.

 

STEEPLE LANGFORD II v ANDOVER IV

Langford arrived at Andover to find a very damp, patchy wicket which on first sight looked like a bowler’s dream and a batsman’s nightmare. Rob Emm won the all important toss and had no hesitation in asking the opposition to bat. Chris Miles (2 for 16) and Raj Kumar (4 for 26) bowled well exploiting the conditions, particularly the variable bounce, to leave the home team struggling on 44 for 6 at the 20 over mark. Darren Harvey replaced Kumar and was unlucky only to get 2 wickets for a miserly 9 runs off 7 overs while at the other end debutant Arthur Hussey replaced Miles. With his size 18 ‘canoe’ like feet perfectly suited to the damp conditions he also bowled well (1 for 28) and looks a good addition to the Langford squad. As always though, it was left to Matt Pieterse, wearing Stuart Emm’s 1930’s style boots (having forgotten his own), to mop up the tail – one ball, one wicket, thank you very much, tea. Andover 84 all out.

The tea was of a very high standard and much appreciated by the Langford team many of whom would have preferred to stay in the pavilion and refill their plates rather than having to bat. As it was Chris Miles and Adie Hughes had the honour and started quickly taking 18 off the first 2 overs. The pitch was clearly drying out and becoming easier to bat on but there was still the odd one rearing off a length or keeping low. Hughes eventually went for 19 followed shortly after by Kumar for 2 but this only brought the wily old campaigner Stu Emm to the crease who looked to take no chances finishing unbeaten on 12. Chris Miles at the other end batted through for 34 not out determined to play front foot and through the V at all times. This he did apart from a couple of occasions when short leg side balls got stuck in the pitch resulting in a good impression of an uncoordinated ballerina.

A good win to keep Langford comfortably in the top half of the table but helped considerably by winning the toss.