This week the 2nds had an away trip to the south of the county to the picturesque settings within the hills of Bredon.
With Captain (Mainwaring) Wood pre-occupied and unavailable due to hosting a sophisticated soirée, he left the troops in the capable hands of the senior pro’s Messer’s M Cound and M Whitehead supported with the tactical knowledge of Jon Brunt.
As per previous weeks, team changes yet again had 5 players come in to the XI in the shape of Messer’s C Pitt, K Prudhoe, D Apperley, C Morris plus Master L Warren.
Arriving early due to the extra time allowance taken as per previous years experiences for the start of the holiday season on the M5, met with a view of a very dry/brown outfield with a green (yes green) square in the middle and swayed as per discussions on the journey down that we should bowl first if the toss was won.
Toss won and electing to bowl first, change in the plans of the usual opening bowlers with Cound snr and young Warren taking the new ball bowling. The pair combined in the 3rd over when opener R Fenney mis-timed a ball from Cound to Warren in the covers for the 1st wicket. Despite the pair not picking up any more wickets, runs weren’t flowing significantly and maintained the Bredon run-rate at just over 3 runs per over.
Warren and then Cound were replaced by Wilkes snr and Charlie ‘grandson of Sir Rodney’ Ness who continued the tight lines supported with some excellent ground fielding and the pair were eventually rewarded with Pitt taking the catch at point to remove D Fenney of the bowing of Wilkes then Ness got his name in the wickets column with a nicely taken catch by Wilkes jnr at gully to remove C Fenney.
Whitehead then came into the attack and picked up a couple of wickets with his ‘flight and guile’ and getting some good bounce at times not only deceiving the batsmen but also wicket keeper J Brunt, good job he was wearing his helmet!!
Drinks break at about 32 overs still had the Bredon innings run-rate at around the 4 runs per over, however the Bredon batsmen of M Notley (70) and O Hall (51*) picked up the rate with some attacking shots, quick singles and putting fielders under pressure by making easy singles into quick two’s. This got the innings to a total of 256-9 off the allotted 45 overs.
Thoughts at the interval that this was a score that wasn’t daunting and was achievable with application. Following his efforts behind the stumps Jon Brunt moved himself down the order, so a shuffle of the pack concluded with Chris Pitt opening with Kev ‘sonic’ Prudhoe.
Bredon’s opening bowlers of McGuigan and Hall soon found their rhythm with some pace and bounce and the unfortunate Prudhoe looped one to the covers off Hall in the 2nd over. Hall went on to claim the wickets of Pitt and Whitehead with McGuigan accounting for the wicket of Wilkes jnr to leave the score at 67-4.
Brunt then joined Apperley and started to re-build the innings, however with the score on 97, Apperley edged behind to a sharp catch by the keeper off Fenney. Regular wickets began to then tumble with off spinner Fenney picking up 3 in total plus M Notley claiming 2 wickets as well.
At 133-9, Cound joined Brunt and the last pair put on 30 runs to at least gain a batting point with Brunt achieving another half century before finally caught behind for 60 runs and the innings closing on 163.
Though soundly beaten by 90+ runs, there were some good performances in the field to support the bowlers with special mention to C Ness whose spell of 6 overs went for just 21 runs.
The 2nds can get themselves back into winning ways again next weekend with a home fixture against local rivals Astwood Bank.
Match Report by Martyn Cound, 23/07/2018
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