3rds hold their nerves to secure a 2 run win

3rd XI v. Earlswood IV

On Saturday 16th June, Kenilworth’s Thirds travelled to Earlswood for the second time in two weeks for their Cotswold Hills League Division Six fixture, looking to make it back to back wins there. They held their nerves and so did in an absorbing final over finish.

As per the other fixture, skipper Sam Leach lost the toss and his side were asked to bat again.

Openers Uma Shanker and Ant Kerry strode to the wicket, after a steady start, both openers fell with the score on 25. Then, at the crease were Andy Dadswell and Nigel Thompson, both players looked to be positive until Dadswell fell to a sharp catch at slip for 11, the score now 48 for 3 that brought  Jack Howard in to join Thompson. There was sensible batting, hitting the bad ball and rotating the strike saw pair add a fine 95 together, before Howard fell one after reaching a fine 50, his innings including 8 x 4 and 1 x 6. Kenilworth well placed at 35 overs on 143 for 4. Next man in Tom Anscombe hit a sublime cover drive for four first ball, before he fell for 14 with the score on 164 for 5. Ed Smith was the new man in, he began to up the tempo, a typical Smith power innings of 27 not out, along with Thompson who was unbeaten on 61 (7 x 4), Kenilworth finished on 212 for 5 from their forty five over allocation. For Earlswood, Ben Fitzgerald took 2 for 45 from ten overs.

After the players enjoyed another quality Earlswood tea, the home side went in search of 213. Matt Dadswell and Ed Smith opened the attack for the visitors Kenilworth, and both claimed an early wicket each, both to slip catches from skipper Sam Leach, the first of Smith an absolute screamer, the home side 13 for 2. Another wicket for Smith saw the home side tottering on 36 for 3, but with a dark cloud appearing from nowhere, the players were forced off, as a twenty minute cloud burst saw the teams leaving the field after 11.2 overs.

After the rain had stopped, both sided agreed a start and revised total, this was now 180 off 38 overs for the win. With the wet ball, Leach made an immediate change at both ends, spinners Geoff Edmunds and Tom Skinner replaced Dadswell and Smith. This put the brakes on the home side, both picking up early wickets, Earlswood now 88 for 5 after 19 overs. The pair bowled 19 overs between them, leaving Skinner with one left.

Edmunds was in miserly form, he was to keep taking wickets, one of which was due to a spectacular two handed diving catch from Tom Anscombe, backed by his enthusiastic celebration. Edmunds returned excellent figures of 4 for 21 from ten quality overs. The home side in trouble on 95 for 7, but Thorne was being a thorn in the side for Kenilworth, while he was there they still had hope. After two overs from Jack Howard, skipper Leach turned to Skinner to bowl his last and the penultimate over, the home side 15 away from victory, but Skinner tempted Thorne down the wicket, only to be stumped by Andy Dadswell for 37, Earlswood 169 for 9.

Down to the last over, eleven needed for the home side, Ed Smith to bowl, after a four singles and a two, Earlswood needed five off the last ball, they only managed two, ending on 177 for 9, Kenilworth the winners by a narrow two runs, a great game of cricket from both sides sees Kenilworth rewarded with a 21 point win. Other wicket takers after Edmunds were, Ed Smith with 2 for 48 from ten overs, Tom Skinner 2 for 53 from ten overs and Matt Dadswell with 1 for 19 off six overs.

A very solid team performance with a happy outcome for the side.

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