BELTON EDGE OUT TITLE RIVALS
Belton edged out fellow title challengers Felthorpe by 24 runs in a tight encounter. Belton skipper Ali won the toss and elected to bat first on a wicket that was hard and pacey.
Savoury and Rehman looked comfortable in the early exchanges with both batsman hitting Tipple straight down the ground to the fence. Tipple got his revenge however when Savoury chased a wider delivery and could only find the hands of Chelladurai at point.
Rehman was the beneficiary of a couple of streaky boundaries through the gully region before he departed for 20 – tamely chipping Tipple to Leak at square-leg.
Despite the early wickets, skipper Ali looked to attack the hosts bowling, despatch Leak for three consecutive boundaries. Belton however, lost both Ali and Goreham to the bowling of Chelladurai shortly before the drinks break.
Goreham was the first to go, edging a fine outswinging delivery with the ball just carrying to ‘keeper Lofthouse. Ali then went for 29, being bowled via a deflection off his pads – Belton wobbling on 68-4 at the drinks break.
Cropley and Nichols were left with the somewhat difficult prospect of not only rebuilding the visitors innings but also increasing the run-rate in a bid to get the score up to a defendable total.
The pair were seemingly happy to initially knock the ball around and spend some time in the middle, although Cropley did launch Durrant straight down the ground for a maximum – his first of five sixes.
Nichols was content with playing a supporting role to Cropley at this stage, although he did unfurl a couple of trademark drives through cover-point off Chelladurai.
Cropley went past a valuable half-century with a four over mid-on before dispatching Soanes for another maximum over square-leg. Cropley also launched Derrick for a huge six over mid-wicket that cleared the pavilion.
The duo had compiled a game-changing partnership of 101 before Cropley’s innings of 76 was finally ended. Cropley attempted to launch Chelladurai for a seventh maximum but could only find a top-edge that was claimed by ‘keeper Lofthouse.
Nichols now attempted to take on Cropley’s mantle with a one-bounce four from the very next delivery over mid-off. Savoury rotated the strike at every opportunity in a bid to get Nichols, who was nearing a half-century of his own, on strike.
Savoury was run-out from the penultimate ball of the innings before Khan was dismissed the same way from the final ball leaving Nichols unbeaten on 49 – Belton closing on 201-7.
Felthorpe’s reply got off to a poor start when Nichols got one to nip away off the seam to left-hander Doyle with ‘keeper Savoury taking the catch diving across first slip. Ali got in on the act in the following over, Collard also edging with Cropley taking the catch on this occasion.
Ali picked up his second wicket shortly after, when Tipple was adjudged LBW for just six. Felthorpe were reeling on 21-3 but Rideout and Kuderi proving to be a more formidable partnership. Rideout jumped out of his bunker to smash Rehman for five consecutive boundaries in the 13th over to take the score from 29-3 to 51-3 in the blink of an eye.
The pair had put on just over fifty and taken the hosts to 89-3 before Wright got the all important breakthrough when Rideout looked to leave one that jagged back off the seam to take off-stump.
George Savoury, making his first appearance of the season, made an instant impact when he picked up two wickets in consecutive ball straight after the drinks break. Kuderi departed for 22 when he got a faint nick through to ‘keeper Adam Savoury before Chelladurai was cleaned up first ball attempting a shot far too expansive for the circumstances.
Belton were seemingly in control at 81-6 but Durrant and Derrick had other ideas. Derrick was mainly dealing in singles whilst Durrant was dealing with boundaries, with a maximum off the bowling of both Wright and Savoury.
The pair were looking pretty comfortable before Durrant departed in what is probably the most bizarre dismissal this season. Durrant attempted, and missed, ungainly heave to the leg-side off Savoury before, assuming he was bowled, started his walk to the pavilion. Keeper Savoury was left with the simple task of removing the bails to bring a blossoming partnership to an end.
Lofthouse came to the crease and continued the fine work with a couple of boundaries straight down the ground off the returning Ali. Belton were beginning to get a touch worried with 60 runs required from the last ten overs.
Lofthouse and Derrick had put on 37 when Lofthouse was bowled by Savoury attempting a pull shot for 24 before Derrick was Savoury’s fifth victim in his following over when he top-edged into the safe hands of Rehman at short fine-leg for 29.
Nichols had Leak put down at the wicket but Savoury (6-52) finished the job in the following over when Soanes was caught at cover by Warner – Felthorpe dismissed for 177.
|A.Rehman||ct Leak||b Tipple||20|
|A.Savoury||ct Chelladurai||b Tipple||8|
|R.Goreham||ct Lofthouse||b Chelladurai||2|
|C.Cropley||ct Lofthouse||b Chelladurai||76|
|Extras:||(2b, 1lb, 8w)||11|
|TOTAL||For 7 wickets||after 45 overs||201|
Fall of Wickets: 1-16 (A.Savoury), 2-33 (Rehman), 3-58 (Goreham), 4-68 (Ali), 5-169 (Cropley), 6-201 (G.Savoury), 7-201 (Khan
|M.Doyle||ct A.Savoury||b Nichols||2|
|C.Collard||ct Cropley||b Ali||6|
|S.Kuderi||ct A.Savoury||b G.Savoury||22|
|P.Durrant||st A.Savoury||b G.Savoury||19|
|S.Derrick||ct Rehman||b G.Savoury||29|
|P.Soanes||ct Warner||b G.Savoury||9|
|Extras:||(6lb, 12w, 3nb)||21|
|TOTAL||All Out||after 40 overs||177|
Fall of Wickets: 1-7 (Doyle), 2-14 (Collard), 3-21 (Tipple), 4-79 (Rideout), 5-81 (Kuderi), 6-81 (Chelladurai), 7-115 (Durrant), 8-152 (Lofthouse), 9-167 (Derrick), 10-177 (Soanes)