The BCC six-a-side team were involved in a ‘classic’ encounter when they faced Newton St Cyres on match night three of the Exeter Indoor Cricket League.
‘Classic’ in as much as all six of the players will have journeyed home wondering just how the game was lost!
The final scores were Newton St Cyres 89-5, BCC 69 all out. However, there’s much more to it than just a line of scores!
The BCC team produced, without doubt, their best bowling performance to date to restrict the opposition to 89-5 at the end of the 12 overs.
Chris Acton sent down two overs and claimed a wicket at a cost of 20 runs – he also managed to bowl an over with four dot balls (a new best in this format for the team). The best figures were those of 16-year-old Will Birley who took his wicket haul to four this indoor season, returning the excellent figures of 2-18 from three overs.
The other wicket taker was Will Greig who sent down his three overs to finish with figures of 1-24.
Greig also held another two catches – that’s four catches for the big fellow in the three match indoor season so far! Both the Greig catches came off the bowling of Will Birley. The Will Greig wicket was courtesy of a catch from wicket keeper, 17-year-old Tom Bunker – his third successive catch behind the stumps.
The fifth wicket claimed was down to a splendid pick up and direct hit by 16-year-old Max Cooper.
The two other bowlers used were Mark Ashplant (0-15 in two) and Max Cooper (0-11 in two).
The Newton St Cyres’ score would have been far less had it not been for the exploits of opener Usman Manzeer – the Exeter University student who was linked with BCC earlier in the year, first retired having reached the mandatory retirement score of 25, and then returned at the fall of the fourth wicket. He was out to the final delivery of the innings. Manzeer’s knock of 45 was 50 per cent of his team’s score!
What BCC needed was a good start and they got a steady one with Tom Bunker and Max Cooper tasked with launching the reply. Bunker fell first, run out for nine – this his lowest score to date this term, though he is still running with an average for the indoor campaign of 22! Mark Ashplant was next in – and out – for four. The fall of the ‘Ash’ wicket saw Will Greig come to the wicket. Max Cooper was third man out – in his case for a splendid 18 – a score which gives him an average now this season of 44!
The arrival of Chris Acton at the wicket to join Will Greig gave cause for optimism that the 28 runs needed to win was a very gettable target. However, disaster struck with Acton run out for one and that left last man Will Birley joining Greig with 26 needed to force a second victory of the season. Greig’s demise was down to a caught and bowled – he fell for the sides top score of 20. Young Birley saw an opportunity to make a name for himself with 20 needed from eight balls and he the last batsman with the ‘already out’ Greig sticking around at the other end. Sadly Birley fell to the very next delivery, caught behind and the innings closed on 69 with Newton St Cyres winners by a margin of 20 runs!
Reflection: A night of big contrasts! The bowling performance was outstanding – the catching was superb and the all-round fielding was admirable. The team ‘came of age’ during the fielding in this contest. However, the batting was below-par and a REAL opportunity was lost to claim a second success this indoor season.