30th Aug 2022

            NEPL Premier Division, Sat 27th August 2022, SNCC v Benwell Hill (a)

Benwell Hill 244-8 (50o) Angus Guy 28, Kyle Coetzer 11, Moshin Mukhtar 69, Finn McCreath 79, Haydon Mustard 25: Jonny Wightman 2-46, Sean Tindale 1-31, Simon Birtwisle 0-44, Oli McGee 3-45, Lee Crozier 0-62, Gavin Paton 0-13.

SNCC 215 ao (47.5o) Sol Bell 13, Simon Birtwisle 24, Rob Peyton 47, Alvin Dithole 21, Adam Cragg 21, Sean Tindale 37, Nathan Gough 21: Moshin Mukhtar 0-36, Callum Harding 2-32, Kyle Coetzer 1-25, Daniel Gardiner 1-20, Max Williamson 2-31, Fin McCreath 0-34, Joseph Torre 2-27.

Benwell Hill won by 29 runs- 20 points, SNCC 7.

Missing Hewison & Fletcher, Gough & Paton came in. Winning the toss & batting on a flat wicket, a chanceless partnership of 142 for the third wicket between Mukhtar & McCreath set up the Hill total of 244 in the 50 overs available. In reply, no one innings or partnership could fashion a similar response, lots got starts but no one went on.

Guy & Coetzer faced Wightman & Tindale. Steady opening spells from both, Guy scoring more freely, the score had moved to 43 in the 13th when Oli found some turn to have Guy (28) caught by Alvin at first slip & three balls later Coetzer (11) edged to w/k Rob Peyton, 44-2.

Mukhtar & McCreath batted sensibly against the spin of Birtwisle, McGee & then Crozier, 72-2 after 20 overs. Paton had a two over spell & Tindale returned in over 27 with the score at 99. Birty continued but no breakthrough was forthcoming. Wightman returned in over 35 with score at 130-2, Crozier likewise in the next. 

Between over 36 & over 40 Mukhtar hit 28 including 3x4 1x6. McCreath pushed the singles. Mukhtar's fine innings (69, 87b, 6x4, 2x6) ended at 186 in the 43rd as he advanced to McGee but was stumped by Rob. Mustard joined McCreath & attacked, slog sweeping Crozier & McGee.

At 225 in the 47th McCreath's excellent knock ended (79, 102b, 8x4) as he was bowled by a Wightman slower ball, 225-4. Mustard (25) miscued a forcing shot off Sean to mid off to be caught by Alvin at 227. In the next, Bell pushed to Cragg at short extra & ran leaving Halliday (0) with no chance as the captain's throw directly hit the stumps at the striker's end. Gardiner (1), attacking, was bowled by Wightman in the 49th, 239-7 & Bell (11) run out via a Cragg/Tindale combination at the bowler's end; 244-8 after 50.

Bell & Birtwisle faced the sla of Mukhtar & the left arm seam of Harding. Two boundaries to Sol  (13) in the second but at 17 in the 6th he feathered a low catch behind to w/k Mustard off what seemed to be a slower ball.

The bowlers rotated, short spells from Coetzer, Gardiner, McCreath & Harding with Williamson bowling through as Birty & Rob took scoring opportunities. They had fashioned a partnership of 54 before Birty (24) slapped a short wide Gardiner delivery to point, 71-2 in the 18th.

 Another useful partnership of 50 between Rob & Alvin ended in somewhat controversial circumstances as Alvin's (21) forward push off Williamson was deemed to have carried to cover as Guy dived forward. Two balls later, perhaps affected by the incident earlier in the over, Rob 47 (71b,5x4), who had again batted really nicely, inadvertently chipped a catch to mid-wicket, 122-4 at the end of the 26th. 

Adam & Sean rebuilt. Torre's off spin entered the attack bowling in tandem with Williamson. With two extra covers in place for the drive, Cragg (21) found one of them at 152 off Torre. Nathan Gough joined Sean & the pair advanced the score positively, 6 off Williamson to Nathan, consecutive 6's to Sean off Mukhtar until at 193 in the 43rd, Sean 37 (49b, 1x4,2x6) slog swept Torre to deep mid wicket where McCreath took the boundary catch.

4 balls later Nathan drove past the bowler & Oli (0) called for two only to misjudge the return & be run out at the bowler's end, 194-7. The scores after 45 overs were identical but SN had lost 7 wickets to BH's 3. In the 46th Gavin Paton (6) drove Coetzer to long on where Gardiner took the catch, 205-8 & in the 48th , Gough (21) who had batted well, chased a second run & just failed to beat the throw, 209-9. Wightman (5) attacking, skied Harding to point from the second ball of the 48th over, 215 all out.

Disappointing that no individual innings or big partnership could be fashioned & to rue the manner of some of the dismissals. 

Two tough games to go, Sat 3rd Sept, Sunderland (a), fighting for survival & Sat 10th Sept, Hetton Lyons (h), still in the mix for the title. After the 2021 penultimate weekend shock at Washington, nothing can be taken for granted. 16 points clear but 25 points needed to secure a 14th NEPL Premier Division title. We are capable, we must concentrate, be determined & battle.... SNCC expects that every man will do his duty.

Onward mes amis!




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