Mens 1st Team Win before June!
A good all round team performance
Following disappointing but encouraging performances against Long Marston and Sherburn, Saxton travelled to Meanwood for what could turn out to be one of the key games of the 2016 season.
Meanwood was a new venue for most of the Saxton players who were greeted on arrival by a small sloping pitch, which implied lots of boundaries and big totals. With the sun shining and all present in good time, Bottomley marched out to claim the toss and elected to bat first.
As usual the opening pair of Bottomley and Borrowdale took guard and faced up to some opening bowling which was quick, accurate and deadly. Bottomley departed for an uncharacteristic duck with Gopi following shortly after having been caught off the same bowler. A succession of quick wickets followed resulting in a slightly precarious situation at 51 for 5. Denno and Sowerby then steadied the ship to build a partnership with some good defensive work and lusty blows to take the score past the 100 mark and then to Sowerby’s 50 with a straight 6, much to the teams delight. The partnership was broken at 91 though with the score on 142 after one too many shots through the covers. Sravan entered with his new bat in hand and continued the scoring with a straight 6 and magnificent reverse sweep 4 before getting out LBW contentiously (at least to Sravan) next ball for the third time this season. Nick Dee came to the crease and the steady scoring continued with Denno reaching his first 1st team 50. Following another couple of quick wicket, Walshy entered the game and defended well, smashed a 4, before being run out at the non-strikers end to end the innings. 195 the total and something to bowl against following a good middle order turn around.
The interval provided an “excellent tea,” remarked Steve Hutton our official tea’s inspector. Saxton took to the field knowing any score would be difficult to defend on Meanwoods small pitch. Walshy and Gopi opened up and struggled early on with the first 10 runs coming in extras. They quickly found their lines though and Walshy removed the opener with a demon ball which nipped back in and Gopi swung a length ball away which nicked the edge and was caught behind by Bottomley. Then came Meanwoods in form batsman Copeland to up the run rate, but the bowling changes of Heselden and Cunningham put the hand brake on run scoring and a number of maidens resulted in Heselden removing Copeland LBW. The pair then traded wickets at regular intervals finishing with figures of 3 for 38 for Heselden and 3 for 15 for Cunningham. With only a few wickets left and still needing 90 runs from 12 overs the run chase was effectively over, but the opener Collier remained and Meanwood still posed a potential threat. Walshy and Gopi returned to remove Collier caught and bowled Gopi and Walshy persevered to claim a well-earned second wicket. Walshy finished with figures of 2 for 59 and Gopi 2 for 30.
A good win for Saxton who fought back from 51 for 5 to post a decent score with good bowling and fielding to restrict Meanwood to a low strike rate and their ultimate demise. Roll on Ledsham next week and lets continue the improvements.