Jones and Dunlavey see 2nd XI to victory at Bohea Field
A 36-run partnership for the unbroken eighth wicket took the 2nd XI to within a handful of points of being able to celebrate a much-cherished promotion as they won by three wickets at Clyst St George II.
The home side won the toss and, on a ‘green-but-solid’ track got off to a confident start, powering to 90 without loss when 2nd XI skipper Will Greig introduced Will Birley as the third change bowler and it proved a masterful switch as Birley claimed a smart return catch with only his second delivery to finally break the opening partnership.
Indeed, Birley and his skipper [Greig], bowled overs 21-30 conceding, between them, just 29 runs – just seven of the off Birley’s first five overs and he claimed a second wicket as well thanks to a smart catch at square leg by Rob Acton. That second wicket fell with the score on 119 and it was Rob Acton who bagged the third wicket with a leg before decision in his favour. 153-3 was soon 169-5 with a third wicket for Birley, the off-spinner now has 24 for the season – his highest ever return in senior league cricket – and a wicket also for Will Squire, this thanks to a smart Charlie Sheen catch. Sheen held a second catch to give Squire a second wicket and Sheen, who bowled in three spells got the eighth and final wicket with a direct hit. The other wicket claimed was a run out which was down to Connor Carthew’s quick-thinking.
So Clyst closed on 177-8 after their 40 overs. The Bradninch bowling honours went to Birley (3-32 from a full shift of eight overs) and there were figures of 2-28 from four overs for Will Squire and the other wicket takers were Charlie Sheen (1-16 from eight) and Rob Acton (1-41 from eight). Max Cooper (0-18 from four) and Will Greig (0-30 from eight) were the other bowlers used.
Will Birley and Paul Nott got the reply off to an excellent start putting on 44 in the first nine overs before Birley fell for a 22-ball 20. However, both Connor Carthew and Will Squire fell without troubling the scorers to leave the reply 47-3. Skipper Will Greig joined Nott and they took the total into three figures before skipper Greig fell to the seventh (!) delivery of the 21st over with the total then 103-4. It was soon 110-5 as Nott was adjudged leg before – again, rather like the Carthew ‘decision’, it did seem a ‘strange one’! However, out he was given, and he trooped off with 21 to his name from a 66 ball stay at the crease.
Rob Acton became third ‘duck’ but he was very harshly treated with a leg before decision that went against him!
Charlie Sheen and Bryn Jones then took on the mantle of trying to get the side over the line and Sheen looked like doing it on his own as he faced just 10 balls for a hard-hitting 32 before holing out on the boundary the delivery after he had ‘launched’ a ball over the netting and clean over an adjoining house to the Bohea Field cricket ground!
The Sheen departure left Bradninch 142-7, needing 36 and with plenty of overs to get them in, but running short of wickets.
However, there was no panic as Alex Dunlavey, batting at nine, joined Jones, and the pair eased their side to a comfortable win, sealing victory with almost nine full overs to go. Jones finish unbeaten on 18 and Dunlavey was not out 14.
It all means the 2nd XI are now just in need of 16 points from their final four games to guarantee a top three finish and with it a place in the higher division next summer!