18th May 2023



            ECB Royal London Club Championship Group 2 ( Round 1)

                       SNCC v Harrogate (h), Sunday 14th May 2023.

Harrogate 247-6 (40o) Isaac Light 114, Henry Thompson 22, Arjun Ramkumar 18, William Bates 57*, Mathew Pillans 16*: Jonny Wightman 1-67, Sean Tindale 2-48, Calum Fletcher 1-27, Oli McGee 0-51, Lee Crozier 1-43, Simon Birtwisle 0-9.

SNCC 164ao (32.2o) Simon Birtwisle 21, Rob Peyton 15, Nikhil Gorantla 41, Chris Hewison 60: Matthew Pillans 1-24, Craig Broadley 1-15, Ishan Abeysekara 2-39, Henry Thompson 5-25, William Bates 1-4.

Harrogate won by 83 runs.

A superb innings of 114 by Yorkshire Academy/2nd X1 opener Isaac Light (115b, 9x4,4x6), which lasted until the 37th over, & a partnership of 101 (78b) for the 4th wicket with captain William Bates (57*, 48b,7x4), gave Harrogate the perfect platform for a commanding 247-6 in 40 overs. With little respite for the bowlers, Calum Fletcher's 1-27 in 8 overs, was the most economical.

At 150 for 3 in the 28th over, the Bulls were on a par with the visitor's rate, & just above DLS, thanks to a partnership of 95 between Nik (41) & Hewi (60) for the 3rd wicket, only to implode dramatically losing their remaining 7 wickets for only 14 runs in 5 overs. All ten wickets went to catches, spinner Thompson taking 5 for 25.

The Bulls won the toss & on a gloomy day, perhaps mindful of the forecast rain later, invited Harrogate to bat. The right-handed Light & Thompson faced Wightman & Tindale. 62-0 in 10, including 3x6 & 4x4 & a maiden from Sean, showed their intent. At 76 in the 13th Thompson (22) was caught by Nik at point off Calum Fletcher. Oli's first three overs for 21, then gave way to Lee.

Two overs later at 84, Allinson (2) was caught by Calum at short third man off Lee Crozier. The incoming Ramkumar had a life first ball as the ball skied into the offside between fielders, but the chance went to earth. In the 17th over, Light, driving hard, survived a very, very tough c & b chance to Lee. At 20 over drinks Harrogate were 102-3.

In the 23rd non striker, Ramkumar (18) was run out by Nik/Adam when Light refused a single. Calum's economical spell ended in over 24. Bowling changes saw Lee & Sean in tandem & then Oli & Jonny but they were unable to break the 4th wicket partnership between Light & Bates which lasted until the 37th over; which featured Light's century  (107b 135m, 9x4,3x6), good shots, good use of feet to the spinners & hard on anything short & Bates's innovative 50 (40b, 47m,7x4), lots of singles between them; when Light was bowled by Wightman for 114, 222-4.

Sean took two in two in the 38th as Stiff (1) was bowled & Topham (0) lbw next ball. Pillans (16*) & Bates (57*) attacked taking 25 from the last 3 overs.

Simon Birtwisle & Rob Peyton faced the right arm seam of Pillans & left arm of Broadley. Rain & light after over 1 but only a short break. Birty (21) was positive but at 31 in the 9th drove Pillans to extra cover. Three overs later, an uncharacteristic Rob knock of 15 ended as, defending, he edged Broadley to Allinson at slip, the ball after he had hit a boundary, 48-2.

Hewi joined Nik & the pair batted nicely to progress the score & at 20o drinks the Bulls were 91-2. Hewi then accelerated only to fall to a boundary catch at 143, off Thompson's spin in the 25th over. An important partnership of 61, Hewi's 60, (48b, 6x4, 2x6), vital.

Harrogate had reached 150 in 28 overs, the Bulls in 27.2, both for the loss of 3 wickets & the Bulls were just ahead of DLS. However, at 151 in the 28th Adam (6), having just hit a maximum off Thompson, drove the next ball hard to cover where Abeysekara took a good, low catch. 

At 153, 3 wickets fell, Nik (42, 45b, 6x4) was caught at point off Abeysekara, Sam Ewart (0) edged behind next ball. Sean (0, 5b) lofted Thompson to long on. Two balls later Jonny (0, 2b) lofted to long off, 153-8, 4 wickets in 6 balls !

At 160 Oli (1, 5b) found backward square leg to be caught by Pillans & having hit a boundary, Calum (8,12b) edged Bates to w/k Light. 164 all out in only 32.2 overs, the last 7 wickets lost for only 13 runs. 

We must regroup, we are better than this !

Congratulations to Harrogate, a team with all round strength. May they go well in this year's National Club Championship, our victors usually do !



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