Squire lords it at Braunton as Bradninch 2nds sit top at halfway mark of league season
Bradninch 2nds, for the third week running, scored in excess of 250 – and that’s the first time this has EVER happened as they clocked up a total of 292-5 and then bowled hosts Braunton II out for 153 to sit proudly atop the Tolchards Devon League F Division East at the halfway stage of the season!
After winning the toss on a seriously hot afternoon at Braunton, Chris Acton opted to bat first, and he and his brother-in-law Paul Nott launched the Bradninch effort. They took the total to 53 without loss after 10 overs and then moved that onto 96 after 17.3 overs when Chris Acton fell in the most unfortunate circumstances; a Paul Nott drive cannoning off the bowler in his followed – through to catch Chris out of his crease and so ‘run out’ having scored 27 from 37 deliveries, hitting four fours.
Will Squire, in at three, joined Nott and they added just 16 when Nott, who passed his half century, hitting the 45th ball he faced to the boundary, fell for a 67-ball knock of 57 (hitting seven fours and one six) with the score then 112-2 after 19.4 overs.
Connor Carthew joined Squire and the run rate immediately increased! Indeed, Carthew hit the ball hard to all parts and reached a splendid half century in just 37 deliveries and the pair added 91 for the third wicket in just 13 overs at seven runs an over before Carthew fell for 60, scored from just 40 deliveries, hitting eight fours and two sixes.
Kalann Nessling was next in, and, from the number five berth he scored a quick-fire 17 from just eight balls, slamming a six and rifling two fours. At the other end, Squire reached his second half century of the season – getting to 50 from 45 deliveries. When Nessling fell, Will Birley came in and the lad, who has been opening this year and is not known for ‘getting on with it’ – did just that plundering two big sixes in a nine-ball knock that saw him score 20. He fell with the score on 276 – he and Squire having added 21 in two-and-a-half overs. Alex Dunlavey helped Squire see the innings to its conclusion with ‘Big Al’ unbeaten on three and Squire not out for a splendid 76 from 60 balls faced and he hit eight fours and one six as Bradninch closed their 40 over stint with the bat on 292-5.
After a stunningly good tea (at Braunton they operate a tea where all players are designated to take something in – it works!) which was taken while watching France knock Argentina out of the World Cup on the big screen TV in the Braunton clubhouse, Kalann Nessling and his skipper Chris Acton, took the new ball duties. Nessling worked up good pace and bowled three straight maidens, the second of them a wicket maiden as the wily ‘old fox’ that is Chris ‘Deano’ Dean took a smart catch behind. Braunton, who were then 1-1 were soon 5-2 and 16-3 as Chris Acton clean bowled the other opener and Nessling bagged a second, like his skipper, hitting the stumps.
The fourth wicket was snared with the total on 39 with a smart stumping by Dean giving Acton his second wicket and Nessling struck for a third time, this time with a stunning one-handed catch in the deep by Paul Nott to leave the home side with half their side out and just 48 runs on the score board.
It was soon 53-6 as the 2nd XIs leading wicket taker this season, Will Birley, struck with his very first delivery – Chris Acton holding a fine catch above his head. Birley struck again leaving Braunton 89-7 when he got a leg before decision and a third Birley wicket, this one down to a great catch held by Kalann Nessling, left the home side eight wickets down and with 112 runs on the score board. The ninth wicket pair put up solid resistance. Skipper Chris Acton gave his brother Rob five overs (0-30) and there was an over from Will Squire (0-9), but he was clearly in great discomfort from a shoulder injury, before Chris Dean swapped wicket keeping duties – Connor Carthew took over behind the stumps – and he turned his arm over to claim the last two wickets, one to a leg before and one to a Carthew catch behind as Braunton were bowled out for 153 in 33.2 overs.
Those Bradninch bowling figures: Kalann Nessling (3-35 from eight); Will Birley (3-43 from eight); Chris Acton (2-16 from eight); Chris Dean (2-10 from 2.2 overs); Will Squire (0-9 from one), Rob Acton (0-30 from five ) and Max Cooper (0-9 from one).
So, halfway in the season arrives and Bradninch 2nds are top of the table – long may that last!