5th Sep 2022

                  NEPL Premier Division, Sat 3rd Sept 2022, SNCC v Sunderland (a)

 Sunderland 172ao (49.2o) Dan Shurben 17, Chris Youlden 17, Joe Defty 36, Rob Potts 38, Hamza Tahir 30: Jonny Wightman 2-42, Sean Tindale 2-23, Calum Fletcher 0-24, Oli McGee 1-29, Lee Crozier 2-38, Simon Birtwisle 3-7.

SNCC 173-5 (37.1o) Sol Bell 35, Simon Birtwisle 29, Rob Peyton 41, Sean Tindale 18, Adam Cragg 14*, Parth Mannikar 15*: Hamza Tahir 1-34, Kieran Waterson 0-35, Micky Allan 1-34, Joe Defty 1-21, Brett Hutchinson 1-19, Milo Coates 0-2.

SNCC won by 5 wickets- 20 points, Sunderland 4.

A blistering opening stand of 66 in in 8.2 overs by Sol & Birty, in reply to Sunderland's 172, set the Bulls well on the way to a 5 wicket win at Ashbrooke. This win maintains a 16 point lead over Burnmoor with one game remaining. So, 5 points required to seal a 14th NEPL title, from the game v Hetton Lyons (h) on Sat 10th September.

Winning the toss, the home team were invited to bat. Shurben & Stuart faced the seam of Wightman & Tindale. 7 off Jonny's 1st but in the second, Sean struck Stuart (0) on the grill & bowled him next ball, 7-1. Allan (11) joined Shurben, taking 4's off Wightman until in the 9th Jonny trapped him lbw on the back pad, 30-2.

7 runs later Shurben (17), driving, inside edged on to Jonny, 37-3. Cal Fletcher's 5 over spell was tight but wicketless & a partnership of 26 followed between Youlden & Defty as McGee & 3 overs later Crozier entered the attack. At 63 in the 25th Youlden (17) appeared to york himself, chopping on to Oli, 63-4.

Pritchard (6) hit one 4 but succumbed, on the crease, lbw to Crozier in the 28th, 70-5. Potts & Defty battled. Defty may have been fortunate to survive a caught behind appeal when sweeping McGee & very well caught by w/k Parth down the leg side off pad & glove.

After accelerating, & with the score at 105, Defty (36) chipped Crozier to mid off, half way back, where Oli took the catch, 6 down. Tahir was equally positive striking two early boundaries & he & Potts put on a good 63 for the 7th wicket, finding interesting places to score, until in the 48th over Potts (38), attacking, was bowled through the gate in Birty's 3rd over. Waterson (0) followed, yorked first ball by Tindale & then Birty completed an uncelebrated hat trick !..... having Tahir (30) caught by McGee at mid off & next ball trapping Coates(0) lbw from the first two balls of the last over, 172 all out.

Sol & Birty faced the sla of Scotland International Hamza Tahir & the seam of Kieran Waterson. After a two over spell, Tahir was replaced by Allan. 20 -0 after 4 overs as Birty hit 2x4 & 31 after 3 as Sol hit 10. In over 6 Birty drove & flicked 3x4 off consecutive Waterson deliveries & in the next Sol took 3x4 +2 off Allan mainly through the leg side, exhilarating to watch. At 66 in the 9th Sol (35 6x4) flirting, outside edged to w/k Youlden off Allan.

At 85 in the 12th Birty (29, 6x4) got one that bounced unexpectedly & gloved to slip off Defty. A pity, just 4 needed for Simon to be the first to achieve 12000 NEPL runs. Rob Peyton was again imperious 3x4 driven off Defty in the 10th & he was joined by Chris Hewison. Hewi (2) slapped a short ball off Hutchinson to point at 96 in the 15th.

Rob continued to score 4 or 1 & after 2 consecutive 4's off the slow left arm of Tahir in the 20th, attempted a third & was caught at mid off for 41 (8x4). (He will reflect again that after looking in no trouble at all, he should have gone on !!), 118-4.

Sean joined Adam & the pair, eschewing risk, pushed singles towards the target. 121 after 21, 142 after 30. Hutchinson, Tahir, Stuart & Waterson were rotated in search of a wicket. At 146 in the 33rd Sean (18) pushed forward to Stuart's sla, the ball turned to take the edge & be caught at slip by Allan. Parth joined Adam & got off the mark with 5 as a throw from short fine leg, clipped the bowler's stump & raced to the boundary.

A cover drive for 4 followed, two x 2 for Adam & one over later, a 4 & a 2 to Parth bringing the score within one. A wide & a run completed the win from the first ball of the 38thover, Adam 14* (65b) Parth 15* (15b).

One tough game to go on Sat 10th Sept against third placed, & playing well, Hetton Lyons. We must continue to maintain the standards set. Onward, mes amis!



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