16th May 2019

SNCC 120-7 (20o: Ruddick 49, McGee 23, Birtwisle 18, Wightman 18*: B Baig 3- 30 S Amin 3-24.

Blue Flames 118-9 (20o: McGee 3-20, Wightman 2-34, Wade 2-30, Birtwisle 0-28: Zeb 25, Maqsood 27, S Amin 25)

SN won by 2 runs.


History tells us that in 1973, at the then George Angus Sports Ground, now Blue Flames, SN, Northumberland League Division 1, tied a Wilson Cup tie with George Angus, Northumberland League Division 3, 96 each side, 12 x 8 ball overs. Messrs Mackenzie & Stephen at the crease to secure the tie.

 There was a hint of deja vu yesterday as Blue Flames were cruising on 104-3 in the 18th of 20 chasing SN's 120-7 only for McGee, in the last of his 5, to snare three in that over & for another 3 to go down such that at the beginning of the 20th 10 were needed. 8 were scored & a tense win ensured !

 Losing the toss SN were asked to bat on a sunny evening which would turn colder. Birtwisle & Weetman opened against the medium pace of F Baig & B Baig. In his second over Balal Baig had Weetman (2) caught at cover & bowled Edwards (0), 6-2. 

 Enter James Ruddick to play the best innings of the game, 49 from 42 balls, 5x4, 1x6, driving with style down the ground. He lost Birty (18) to a long on catch at 47, Ryan Sid (3), to a stumping at 65, Ru (1) to a catch behind at 68, & perished hitting, high to backward point one short of what would have been a most deserved 50. 92-6 in the 17th.

 Wightman 18* showed composure such that a below par score of 120 was achieved. Only Maqsood, the briskest of the home side, was punished, 41 in 5 whilst F Baig 0-23, S Amin & B Baig all bowled well & the field placing was effective.

 When w/k Zeb struck Jonny Wightman's first ball for 6 over mid wicket & smote 25 before gloving to Weetman (+) in the 4th, the home side's intent was clear. 30-1 became 35-2 when Bhatti (4) spooned Wightman to Ryan Sid at mid off in the 5th.

 Rehan (12) was run out by bowler Birtwisle after collecting Alex Weetman's under arm throw, 55-3 in the 8th. Thereafter Maqsood (27) & S Amin (25) batted with great good sense for 10 overs before, switching ends, McGee persuaded Amin to mishit to short fine leg where 'Brian' took the catch followed next ball by Maqsood who was caught by Wade, a foot from the boundary, at deep square leg & last ball when new batsman Riaz lofted into the leg side for Wade, running in, to take his second catch. 105-6 at the end of the 18th. 12 balls to go, 16 runs needed.

 The 19th, bowled by Wade, went for only 5 with Khan(2) bowled by a yorker. 110-7 with one to go, 11 to win. Wightman started the last with a wide, two driven twos were followed by B Baig(7) being bowled, 4 balls to go, 115-8, a single & a one run to count run out, David Cragg beating an optimistic call for two at the bowler's end, 117-9. One off the last, a win by two runs !

 Birty had switched the bowlers ends for each of the last 4 overs & it seemed to work well. Banana skin avoided....just ! The Tyneside Charity Bowl holders move into round 1.....onward !



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