31st Aug 2022

                  NEPL Division 2, Sat 27th August 2022, SNCC v Benwell Hill (h)

Benwell Hill 179ao (47.5o) Rohaan Aatif 51, Freddie McGregor 13, Adam Heather 58: Allan Davidson 1-17, Ben Hobbs 0-23, Sadiq Khan 3-35, James Ruddick 3-39, Sree Kanakala 2-44, Ru Fletcher 0-16.

SNCC 182-4 (39.5o) Parth Mannikar 24, Nick Tomlinson 29, James Ruddick 70, Alex Weetman 32*: Anthony Hunter 2-37, Joe Kilpatrick 1-49, Peter Jones 0-27, Abu Siddique 0-19, Safiun Diip 1-34, Prahalad Nadella 0-8.

SNCC won by 6 wickets - 20 points, Benwell Hill 4.

On a pleasantly warm day at Roseworth Terrace for this top of the table clash, SN won the toss & invited the visitors to bat. Joe Moore & Rohaan Aatif faced the seam of Davidson & Hobbs. Allan's first over was eventful - 4, dot, wicket, wide, 2, dot, 3. Having pulled the first ball for 4, Moore drove expansively towards leg at ball 3 & edged to w/k Parth, a wide, then U15 Freddie McGregor hit 2 & 3; 10-1 after 1!

Ben began a very good, consistent line & length, 5 over spell from the Park end which yielded only 11 runs, Allan was equally miserly, 1-17 off 6, so after 11 overs the score was 30-1. Sadiq (Park) & James (Grove) also began 5 over spells & in James' first, McGregor (13), who had played some nice cover drives, gloved a rising delivery for a leaping w/k Parth to take a splendid catch, high to his left, one handed, 39-2 in the 13th.

Aatif & Adam Heather, once of this parish with over 10000 runs for SNCC, batted sensibly hitting the bad ball but taking no risks. The score rose steadily to 81 after 22 overs at which point Sree Kanakala entered the attack. Runs continued as singles were taken & a 4 over spell from Ru yielded no breakthrough, 124-2 after 31.

At 126, after a partnership of 87, in the 32nd, Sadiq persuaded Aatif (51, 84b, 118m, 4x4) to loft to long off where Nick Tomlinson caught him without fuss, 126-3. This became 133-4 in Sadiq's next as Nadella was slow to react to Heather's call for a sharp single, behind the bat on the legside, only for Alex Weetman's throw to find the stumps at the bowlers end.

Ben Hobbs second 5 over spell from the Grove, odd overs between 33-41, conceded only 12 runs, putting the pressure on the batters to score. 10-3-23-0 was a fine return & contributed greatly in restricting the visitors. At the other end, 3 wickets fell.

At 146 Dawson (4) was back & bowled by Sadiq, 5 down. Next ball Hunter was half forward & adjudged lbw to Sadiq, 146-6. Sree began another spell & in his first, after conceding 2x2, trapped Heather (58, 105b, 111m, 6x4) in front with a well flighted googly, 159-7.

At the same score James bowled Jones (5), the middle stump rocked back. At 166 Kilpatrick launched Sree to long on where Alex Charnley took the catch, 9 down. Two overs later James had Diip caught at point by Allan, 179 all out, a most creditable display. 

Three wickets each for Sadiq ( now 37 for the season) & James, two for Sree & a slick run out, only one dropped catch, some decent ground fielding & Parth excellent behind the stumps catching two, but also saving bowlers blushes with dives down the legside.

Parth Mannikar & Alex Charnley faced the right arm seam of Hunter & Kilpatrick. Parth stroked 3x4 with a hook, a cover drive & a cut & Alex (6) followed suit, succumbing next ball to be lbw to Hunter from around the wicket in the 5th, 26-1.

Parth picked up thrillingly to deep backward square leg but found a fielder who dropped the catch & conceded 4 ! In the next Hunter over he pushed at one, that might have stopped a little, to offer a gentle catch to over, 24 (30b,5x4) a pity, he was going well.

James joined Nick Tomlinson & the contrasting left/right pair put together a match defining partnership of 97 which had its moments. Whilst Nick defended resolutely picking up the occasional boundary through extra cover, James drove stylishly but rode his luck, especially against Peter Jones' sla. A stumping chance was fumbled when he had 43 & when Jones returned from the Grove end, an edge to the w/k was not taken, several other big shots fell to earth between fielders. When its your day take advantage & he did.

Bowling changes saw Diip, Siddique & Nadella into the attack & the score rise to be 67 after 17, 126 after 31 (an almost identical score to the Hill at the same stage) but it was not until over 34 that Nick's valuable 29 (78b, 104m, 2x4) ended, out of the blue, as he cut Diip to point, 135 -3.

Enter Alex Weetman to change the dynamic. 32* (18 balls, 6x4) as the ball was tickled to fine leg, dispatched  imperiously past point off a returning Kilpatrick & eluded the w/k & first slip. Meanwhile, James had reached a deserved 50 in 73 minutes off 60 balls. Fatigued, he finally fell to a catch at point by Nadella off Kilpatrick with the score at 172. James 70 ( 74b, 110 m, 10x4), marvellous!

Angus Southern (6*) joined Alex & stroked a two to mid wicket & lofted a boundary over backward point to win the game after 39.5 overs. Resounding!

20 points for  the Bulls, 4 to the Hill. Bulls now second in Division 2, 12 points behind Tynemouth & 3 ahead of BH with two to play. Tough games against Sunderland (h), Sat 3rd Sept & finally Hetton Lyons (a), Sat 10th Sept. All to play for, we must continue! Do come along to support, it will be exciting!


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