2nd XI suffer fourth straight defeat as visitors chase down 236 to win close encounter
Bradninch 2nd XI suffered a fourth successive defeat as they went down by three wickets at home to Woodbury & Newton St Cyres, with the visitors sealing their win with nine deliveries of the day’s play remaining!
At stumps there was one word on the mind of everyone who had both taken part in the game — and watched from the side lines — ‘extras’.
Indeed, Bradninch gave the visiting side 71 runs in extras, a sum made up by 55 wides, seven no balls, four byes and five leg byes!
Batting first after losing the toss, home skipper Connor Carthew sent a new opening pairing out to bat in the form of Will Birley and Max Cooper and the pair gave the home innings good early impetus with a run-a-ball partnership as far as 23 when Cooper was bowled for seven.
Birley was joined by Tom Hardy and they took the total to 47 before Birley fell for 26 — his 26th run also being his 250th league run this season — and he is the second 2nd XI player to reach the landmark after skipper Connor Carthew.
It was on 55-3 as Hardy fell for 10, but that brought Chris Acton out to join his skipper and the pair moved the score on to 115, adding 60 for the fourth wicket which was that of captain Carthew for 25.
Eleven runs were added when Acton was sent packing, but not before he had scored a 63-ball 45. Will Greig and Nick Acton pushed the total along to 174 when Greig fell for 29 and just three runs later Nick Acton fell for 15 to leave Bradninch 177-7.
The eighth wicket pairing of Paul Nott and Rob Acton saw the home side safely to maximum batting points, adding 43 for the eight wicket which became that of Rob Acton for a quick-fire 17-ball 26.
Paul Nott was unbeaten on 29 at the close with James Mills the other not out batsman — though he did not face a delivery as Bradninch closed on a healthy 235-8.
The consensus at tea was that the previous week a higher score than that had not been defended and so an improved display with ball and support fielding was required.
Max Cooper and James Mills were given the new ball duties and Mills struck in his second over with a leg before decision in his favour. The second wicket was snared with the total on 50 with Will Greig holding a catch off his own bowling.
A third wicket was bagged with the score on 99 and a fourth just four runs later — both wickets falling to Will Birley who is now out in front in terms of wicket taking for the 2nd XI this season with 13 wickets. Rob Acton claimed the fifth wicket — that his 11th of the campaign to leave the run chase on 130-05 after 30 overs.
It all meant 116 being required off the last 15 overs and, despite another fine spell by the ageless Chris Dean — he finished with 1-30 from 4.3 overs, the visitors got home thanks to unbeaten knocks from skipper Nalin Chouhan and Dave Church who hit 25 and 29 respectively.
However, in defeat, there was a ‘champagne moment’ to enjoy and that was a superb throw from the boundary that hit the stumps to run out a visiting batsman — take a bow Tom Hardy for a wonderful piece of fielding!
Injury to Chris Acton almost prevented him from playing and he batted superbly through the pain barrier to play his part but, crucially at the end of the day, his injury stopped him bowling and that, combined with that ridiculous extras count — played a big part in this latest defeat.
Scores: Bradninch II 235-8 (C Acton 45, P Nott 29no, W Greig 29, W Birley 26, R Acton 26, C Carthew 25; M Pearce 3-39); Woodbury & Newton St Cyres 1st XI 238-7 (S Boundy 62; D Church 29no, S Grossberg 28, N Chouhan 25no; W Birley 2-42). Woodbury & Newton St Cyres (19pts) bt Bradninch (8) by three wickets.
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