23rd Aug 2022

              NEPL Sunday Division 1, 21st August 2022, SNCC v Benwell Hill (a)

SNCC Academy 120 all out (34o) Varun Gudipati 36, Ru Fletcher 13, Ross Ward 28, George Gray 10*: Abu Siddique 3-12, Owen Blackburn 0-7, Safiun Diip 2-17, Taylor Matthews 1-36, Ben Robinson 2-25, Shay Marley 2-19.

Benwell Hill 3rd X1 121-4 (25.5o) Freddie McGregor 36, Safiun Diip 37, Matt Lockey 26, Abu Siddique 8: Ben Hobbs 0-24, Simon West 1-21, George Gray 0-13, Ross Ward 2-19, Ru Fletcher 0-18, Albie McPate 1-16, Jacob McCord 0-5.

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

Overnight rain & a damp surface toward the lower half of the square at Denton Bank offered difficult conditions for the team batting first. The hosts won the toss & invited SN to bat.

Charlie Wilson & Varun Gudipati faced Abu Siddique & Owen Blackburn. Wilson (0) was undone by the last ball of the first over that popped, for him to be caught & bowled by Siddique. 0-1. This became 2(wides)-2 in the third as Jan Ozmen (0) was caught at 1st slip off Siddique.

Jacob McCord joined Varun & the pair advanced the score to 21, including a 6 for Jacob (8) before he was caught at mid on 3/4 back after the 6 the ball before off Siddique, 21-3. Woody Wilson (3) was caught & bowled by Matthews with the score at 28-4.

A partnership of 33 between Varun & Ru was heartening but ended when Ru (13) found mid wicket of Diip spin to be caught by Dawson, 61-5. One ball later Ben (0) was caught on the crease, 61-6.

Varun had been playing positively & with the ebullient Ross Ward took the score to 99. Ross hitting 3x6 in his 26 before he tried for another & was bowled by Robinson, 99-7. U13 Varun's excellent innings (36) continued until he cut Marley to point where Lockey took the catch, 103-8.

Albie McPate (2) drove Robinson to mid off, 109 -9 & although George Gray (10*) struck some nice shots, Simon West (5) was lbw to Marley in the 26th over, 120 all out. Varun's battling innings of 36 the highlight, fully committing to attacking shots or defending, showing the determination required on a difficult surface, together with Ross's unerring ability to clear the field.

A strong wind had blown throughout the first innings & the drier surface seemed easier to bat on. Freddie MacGregor & Safiun Diip faced the right arm seam of Ben Hobbs & Simon West. McGregor (36) dominated the scoring & the total had reached 46 when he was bowled by West.

Diip & Lockey faced the spin of George Gray & Ross Ward & it was Ross who bowled Lockey (26) at 91. Siddique joined Diip (37) who was next to go, caught by Jan off Ross, 106-3. Siddique (8) skied Albie to mid wicket where he was caught by Woody Wilson, 110-4.

Matthews (4*) & Bhuiyan (4*) saw the Hill home at 121-4 after 25.5 overs. Difficult batting conditions but 3 dropped catches & some indifferent ground fielding, run out chances going astray, made the task harder, there are things to improve upon.

Two vital league games to go in Sunday Division 1, both at home, v Sacriston (Sun 28th August) & Newcastle (Sun 11th Sept). SN played 12 & currently in 7th position on 128 points, 6 behind Newcastle who have played 13, the need is to move up at least one place to secure NEPL Sunday Division 1 cricket in 2023. Please be available, we can do this!



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