BELTON TAKE MAXIMUM POINTS IN SEASON OPENER
Belton took maximum points from their season opener on a glorious May afternoon at Southtown Common. Rollesby skipper Duxbury won the toss and elected to field first.
The new-look opening partnership of Savoury and Wayne Goreham were given the task of getting Belton’s season off to a good start. Unfortunately, Savoury was unable to see out the first over – edging Sparkes into the safe hands of Brooks at gully for 2.
Skipper Ali joined Goreham at the crease and set about re-building after the poor start. Sparkes and Algar, the Rollesby opening bowlers, were finding some swing in the early stages which meant that runs were hard to come by.
Once the early movement had subsided, the runs started to come more easily – Goreham taking Sparkes for consecutive boundaries. However, the introduction of spinner Cook ended Goreham’s upward momentum. Cook’s first ball was short and wide but Goreham could only help it into the hands of Duxbury at point for 22.
Richard Goreham replaced his brother in the middle and he was also just beginning to settle into the new campaign before Cook made it a Goreham-double – finding a way through his defences for 18.
With Belton on 82-3, Cropley and Ali had to bide their time in the middle and knock the spin duo of Cook and Duxbury around, although Ali did launch Cook out of the ground for a huge six over square leg before reaching his half-century with another boundary in the same region.
With the partnership nearing fifty, the skipper departed for a 59 when he attempted one sweep shot too many and was trapped lbw by Duxbury. With Belton on 128-4 with only 13 overs remaining, the innings required some impetus – which Nichols duly provided.
Nichols rapidly upped the run-rate and went past Cropley with an array of glorious offside boundaries off both the front-foot and back-foot. Cropley then decided that he too wanted a piece of the action when he took Sparkes for 18 runs in the 41st over to take Belton up past the 200 mark.
The 74-run stand was ended in the following over when Nichols’ fine innings of 43 was ended when he made too much room for himself and was bowled by Algar.
Cropley past his half-century before Belton lost a three quick wickets – Chanchalani and Toll both bowled by Algar in quick succession for two and one respectively. Cropley’s anchor innings of 51 was then ended when he skied Sparkes into the hands of Langford.
Warner and Comer, helped by a few extras, added an unbeaten 14 for the ninth wicket, in which Comer slapped the last ball of the innings over mid-wicket for four. Belton 222-8 from their 45 overs.
The Rollesby reply got off to the worst possible start when in just the second over Nichols had Chaney trapped in front for just 4. Nichols didn’t take long to strike again – his following over in fact when Roffolo shouldered arms to a ball that nipped back off the seam to take the off-bail without scoring.
Ali then got in the action with a wicket-maiden followed by a double wicket-maiden. Firstly, Ali had opposite number Duxbury dismissed lbw, although it appeared the batsman was a tad unfortunate. Roffolo Jr came and went in the next over when Ali’s yorker was too good, before Sparkes went for two when he was also clean bowled.
Ali picked up Algar to claim his fourth wicket although he did get a helping hand in the shape of a stunning diving catch by Cropley at slip. Rollesby were in danger of an embarrassing defeat as they had stumbled to 26-6 from 11 overs.
Youngs was the only man that looked capable of altering the one-way traffic, but he did lose another partner when the aggressive Langford was bowled by Wright for 5. Youngs did find an able ally in Brooks though with the pair beginning to trouble the Belton change bowlers.
Youngs reached his half-century with a boundary over extra-cover and Belton were beginning to get slightly twitchy. The returning Nichols did get the fortunate breakthrough to end the 82-run stand when Brooks was bowled by the infamous Southtown Shooter for 27.
Whilst Youngs was still at the crease the game was still not won as he was still finding the boundary at regular intervals. Cook plundered 18 runs from a Warner over before Youngs took Goreham for 12 to keep Belton worried.
Chanchalani ended the contest with two quick wickets when Youngs fantastic innings was finally ended just 15 runs short of a century when he was trapped lbw before Simnett lobbed to Wayne Goreham at mid-on without scoring. Rollesby eventually dismissed for 181 (Cook unbeaten on 29) with Belton’s margin of victory 41 runs.
|A.Savoury||ct Brooks||b Sparkes||2|
|W.Goreham||ct Duxbury||b Cook||22|
|C.Cropley||ct Langford||b Sparkes||51|
|Extras:||(10b, 4lb, 1w)||15|
|TOTAL||For 8 wickets||after 45 overs||222|
Fall of Wickets: 1-2 (Savoury), 2-37 (W.Goreham), 3-81 (R.Goreham), 4-128 (Ali), 5-202 (Nichols), 6-206 (Chanchalani), 7-208 (Toll), 8-208 (Cropley)
|C.Algar||ct Cropley||b Ali||0|
|R.Simnett||ct W.Goreham||b Chanchalani||0|
|Extras:||(4b, 1lb, 3w, 1nb)||9|
|TOTAL||All out||after 45 overs||181|
Fall of Wickets: 1-10 (Chaney), 2-10 (E.Roffey), 3-10 (Duxbury), 4-15 (W.Roffey), 5-15 (Algar), 6-20 (Sparkes), 7-42 (Langford), 8-124 (Brooks), 9-173 (Youngs), 10-181 (Simnett)