The 2nd XI suffered a second successive mauling in East Devon when they were beaten by eight wickets at Ottery St Mary II.
A week after the team were bowled out for 70 – a score they so nearly turned into a winning one as hosts Honiton 1st XI were eight wickets down when they crossed the winning line – Chris Acton and his merry men were bowled out for 94, a total the home side sailed past, losing just two wickets in the process!
Indeed, that 94 would have been significantly less had it not been for a battling 39 from opening bat Darren Paul and then a 21 run partnership – the joint best of the game for Ninch, between Vinny Clark (13) and Liam Reed (7no).
After losing the toss and sitting round for half an hour before we could start owing to rain, Darren Paul and Will Birley went out to launch the Ninch batting effort.
They had put on 19 when Birley, for the second week running, was undone by the wicket, with this delivery ‘popping’ to see him caught behind and the opener trooped off with a 13-ball duck to his name.
Ankit Badwal was in at three, but he fell to a peach of a delivery, the third one he faced and he joined Birley back on the sidelines, also without troubling the scorer!
Connor Carthew joined Paul and the pair saw the score to 41 when Carthew also fell to a delivery that was ‘helped’ by the wicket and he was out for one.
Dave Penberthy was next man in – and out – but not before he had rifled a brace of fours on his way to 10 before he was bowled by a delivery that kept low.
It was opener Paul who was the fifth man down, eventually out to the 57th ball he faced, caught for 39, a knock that included seven fours.
That left the score on 70-5 and it was soon 71-8 as Ryan Shrewsberry (1), skipper Chris Acton (0) and James Mills (0) all fell – the latter run out looking for a single off the very first ball he received! Indeed, one observer was heard to note: “It took James longer to get his kit on and get out into action than the time he actually spent ‘in action’ in the middle” – [for those that don’t know ‘our James’, he is smashing lad who is happy to ‘take it’ and ‘dish it out’ and the 2nd XI is a better unit with him in it – on and off the pitch!]
Seventy-one for eight down was quickly 73-9 as Pete Harmer fell to a catch – his the fifth duck of the day in the Ninch batting order!
Last man Liam Reed aka ‘Leroy’ joined Vinny Clark at the wicket and they took the fight to the Ottery bowlers – indeed, such was the ‘oomph’ that the final pair put into their efforts with the bat that they added 21 for the final wicket – the joint most profitable partnership of the game for Ninch.
Vinny was last man out, but not before he had scored an 11-ball 13 (he slammed two splendid fours in his cameo) and Liam was the not out batsman with seven to his name, including one terrific ‘blast’ to the boundary line.
Bradninch were eventually all out for 94 scored off 23 overs and four balls.
Given that the week before a ‘score on the board’ of just 70 so nearly produced a victory, hopes were high that something similar may be possible for Chris Acton and his men.
Sadly, it was not to be for the home openers had put 55 on the board before second change Will Birley made the break through thanks to a catch by Dave ‘Digger Dave’ Penberthy – father of 1st XI player Craig – who has so kindly stepped into the breach lately to help the 2nds out and he is a VERY welcome addition to the team.
Just one more wicket was snared – that also fell to Birley who trapped the home skipper leg before wicket, but by then the scores were tied on 94 and a six off the fourth ball of the 23rd over consigned the Ninch 2nd XI to a sixth successive defeat.
Those Ninch bowling figures read:
James Mills (0-14 from four); Ankit Badwal (0-22 from six); Chris Acton (0-40 from 7.4) and Will Birley (2-17 from five).