Corporate 6 a-side challenge
British Land 116-5 beat Gardiner & Theobald 22 all out by 94 runs
Playing their first game of the tournament, British Land got off to a flying start against G&T, as some well-placed shots and clever running kept the scoreboard ticking over as they reached 49 without loss after four overs. Both openers looked imperious and both soon retired, prompting the first wicket as brilliant boundary fielding and a direct hit saw Kaylan retired for 1. On 71-1 after six, a big score was on the cards and after more brutal hitting which included a six through the bowlers hands, British Land reached 101-1 off eight overs and were in line for 120+. G+T brought it back well from here, removing Paul (16) and Charles (3), both clean bowled by Tom (2-19) and Ben (23) to a fine catch off the wall. The openers Adam (28) and Nick (32*) returned in the final over and pushed the score up to a very competitive looking 116.
Chasing 116, G+T decided their tactic at the crease would be… self-destruction. After serenely cruising to 10-0 off one, absolute chaos took over the innings as Kyle (6) and Jim (3) were run-out in the second over thanks to some miscommunication and tight British Land fielding. Kalyan (2-3) then picked up two wickets in his over, both impressively pouched in the field to leave G+T reeling on 16-4 before Tom edged one behind that was wonderfully plucked from the air on the rebound off the wall. Brian had battled valiantly to top-score with 7, but perhaps stunned by what he had seen, he too nicked one through to the keeper to end the innings on a rather impressive 22 all out. A bit of a thrashing for G&T unfortunately, although they were able to escape to the bar for a couple of drinks and a debrief… perhaps they had the bigger picture in mind! Either way, an impressive start for British Land.
Mindshare 85-5 beat KWM 84 all out by one wicket
The second game saw Mindshare playing their first game against the returning KWM side, and it was the latter that took to the crease initially. Rich (2) was run out early doors as Mindshare impressed in the field although a big six punctuated an impressive knock by Steve who retired with the team on 37-1. Andy (12) and Tom (17) kept the innings rolling along, although both would be caught out on the boundary trying to accelerate as the innings threatened to stagnate. Jon (7) and Dave (8) scrambled a few well-run threes to keep the scoreboard ticking over, but both were retired at the death and even some impressive shots from the returning Steve (30) couldn’t see them through to the end of the innings as they were bowled out for 84 with two balls to go.
Knowing they needed an impressive performance in the field to defend 84, KWM started strongly as tight bowling prompted Rupert to nick one behind for just 8 and Rob was stranded out of his crease for 6. On 19-2, Mindshare knew they needed a rebuilding partnership and that is exactly what Steve and Tom provided, playing clever shots and surviving a few close run-out shouts. Tom eventually departed for 14 after he skied one off the wall. Back to back sixes meant that Mindshare were keeping up with the required rate on 68-3 after 7 and looked likely to score the 17 required from the final three overs. Ben (6) was run out in the next over however, after a fine direct hit in the covers and the very next ball was nicked behind to leave Mindshare struggling on 73-5. With the crowd making great noise up on the balcony, Gatenby fizzed another jaffa past the edge to finish a fine over. 12 runs required, just one wicket left to play with but danger man Steve was at the crease. A couple of wides and a couple of singles nudged Mindshare closer – 6 off 6 required – and despite a loud caught-behind appeal in the final over Steve did enough to guide them home as two wides brought the winning runs in. A great effort from some brilliant KWM bowling, but a serene 30* from Steve carried Mindshare to victory.
KWM 88-4 beat British Land 87-5 by two wickets
Coming off their painful defeat, KWM took to the field to try and replicate their impressive bowling performance against British Land. Adam (3) went early, as a good catch was made off the ceiling to restrict BL to 11-1. Kalyan was then run out in strange circumstances as KWM missed a routine run-out at the bowlers end only to have the striking batsman halfway down the pitch too. One batsman had to go, although on 28-2 after 3 the run rate remained solid. Nick (18) had played some fine shots to keep the score rattling along and a after some confusion over a run-out that was called back, he departed to a blinder of a catch at gully. Paul and Rod then suffered an awful miscommunication that saw the latter run out for a duck leaving BL struggling on 34-4. Ben came to the crease and helped to rebuild the innings as he and Paul first played conservatively and then pushed on, bringing up the 8 mark in the 9th over. Paul (23) would play all around a straight one in the final over to be bowled, but Ben’s 26* took them up to a competitive 87-5.
KWM raced away to 16-0 after one in response, but David (7) flicked a full ball into the leg-side netting from which it dropped for an easy catch to give British Land an early breakthrough. As in their first game, the British Land fielding was terrific, with some brilliant boundary efforts saving four runs. Richard (8) was removed by Kalyan, edging one to gully one ball after almost being caught behind. Steve was having another strong game atop of the line-up, and he and Andrew played cleverly, picking up threes with good running although a hammered six down the ground did no harm either. After the sixth over went for just four, KWM still required 38 off 24 balls and two quick retirements would lead to a mini collapse when Tom and John departed in the penultimate over. With just six required off the last over however, Steve (28*) and Andrew (28*) returned and showcased nerves of steel to guide their team to a first victory of the day.
Gardiner & Theobald 74 all out beat Mindshare 69 all out by five runs
Fresh off their trouncing in the first game, G&T batted first against Mindshare in an attempt to put the early horror-show behind them. On 16-0 after two overs, expectations were already surpassed and even after Andy (8) departed for a rare indoor cricket LBW the team was well set on 28-1 after three. Kyle was anchoring the innings well atop the line-up and he and Ed (9) ran well to keep the scoreboard ticking over. The latter departed to a nice catch before Deep was run out first ball to set the team back on 44-3. A monster six precipitated Kyle’s retirement before Ryan departed caught and bowled after a fine snag by Gill off his own bowling. Bell kept the runs coming, rejoined by Kyle, but he too didn’t last long after getting set as he was run out at the bowler’s end for 9. Last-man standing Kyle pillaged a few more runs off tight Mindshare death bowling but another run out ended the innings on 74 – a decent total that would require a tight performance in the field…
Their defence of the total got off to a dream start when Andy removed Ben early doors to a fine catch off the wall and Mindshare found themselves two down in the following over when Ryan made a mess of Tom’s timbers. 8-2 after two overs and G&T found themselves exactly where they had to be. The bowling and fielding remained extremely tight, although Rupert and Rob were staunch in defense. On 22-2 off four overs they were a little behind the required rate but they could afford to be in order to rebuild the innings. The acceleration soon came through a few punishing boundaries and on 43-2 off six it was clear we were in for a grandstand finish. Rob was run out for a vital 15 runs by a direct hit and Mindshare were left with 25 to win off 18 balls. Rupert and Steve (8) nudged the score up to 58 off eight but the former retired and the latter was removed by a fine catch to leave them with 10 needed off the last over. Nick was run out at the non-strikers end to leave the bat in the hands of Rupert (31) who could only look on in horror as he hit one right back to the bowler for an easy run out with six runs still required! A brilliant bowling performance from G&T and a total turnaround from the first game. All four teams now with one win and one loss!
Mindshare 52-4 beat British Land 50 all out by two wickets
The final game of the day for these two teams started well for British Land as they cruised to 15 without loss in the first over. Kalyan (11) departed in the third over however, to a good catch off the wall that was bobbled on the first attempt. Charlie (10) soon followed him after a mix-up in the middle led to a run out at the bowlers end and new man Adam could not fix the communication issues as another run out saw the team collapse to 29-3. Nick and Paul led a mini comeback with some decent shots to pick up runs but the Mindshare bowling and fielding was watertight. Paul was bowled for 7 and Nick edged one behind for 14 before final man Rod launched one off the wall that was also well held. Just 50 runs on the board for British Land as Mindshare put in a superb all-round performance in the field.
Defending a small total, British Land needed a strong start and they got it when Paul bowled Steve for just 3 as the opener looked to force one off his legs. The bowling and fielding was immaculate and runs were impossible to come by, the pressure eventually leading to Nick being run out for 2 as Mindshare limped to just 22-2 after five overs. With plenty of balls left to knock off the runs, Rupert didn’t panic atop of the line-up, and he and Rob pushed the score along slowly but surely. The latter was run out by a great direct hit to leave the team 39-3 after eight overs. 12 needed off 12. Tom was the new man but his fierce shot came to nothing as a good catch was held off the wall to reduce Mindshare to their final pairing. Ben saw out the over to leave eight needed off the last as British Land looked like they might pull off a stunning victory. After three off the first ball, BL sent down two dots to leave five needed off three but consecutive hit-and-run tactics were enough to see Mindshare over the line in a nail-biter! 28* from Rupert the game-winning knock.
KWM 54-2 beat Gardiner & Theobald 53-4 by four wickets
G&T batted first in the final game of Thursday’s action but they were quickly pegged back when Gatenby continued his impressive day by clipping the top of off stump to remove Jim in the first over. Kyle was batting well at the other end however, picking up a fierce boundary down the ground as they reached 14-1 after two. His partner, Andy (4) was removed in the third, edging one to the man at gully. Beeby then joined him, and after some runs were tacked on by wides he too had to depart, stumped after some fine glovework behind the stumps. KWM kept it tight in the field, and after Kyle’s retirement in the 7th over, G&T were on just 50-3 with two overs to go. Another great over yielded just one run and when Deep (7) nicked one behind in the final over it completed a brilliant performance from KWM, with Kyle’s 29 not out the crucial contribution on the G&T side.
KWM got off to a flyer in response, picking up 18 off the first over but G&T grabbed the crucial breakthrough when Jon (9) was removed by a nice catch off the side wall. Rich followed him soon after, popping up an attempted sweep which was safely gloved by the keeper to give his side a sniff. Dave (19*) and Steve (15*) accumulated cleverly, picking up singles and threes abound as the G&T extras started to add up. With several overs to spare, KWM closed the game out to secure their second win of the day!
An exciting day of action that saw all three teams get wins alongside some gripping finishes across the board!
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