3rd Jul 2023


SNCC 242-8 (58o) Simon Birtwisle 45, Chris Hewison 51, Adam Cragg 24, Sean Tindale 32, Ru Fletcher 20, Oli McGee 43: Stanley McAlindon 2-54, Quentin Hughes 0-15,Liam Simpson 1-23, Sebastian Hughes-Pinan 0-43, Robbie Dawson 2-74, Amaan Ulhaq 3-33.

Chester-Le-Street 232-9 (52o) Jacob McCann 22, Andrew Smith 95, Robbie Dawson 29, Liam Simpson 25, Sebastian Hughes-Pinan 13*: Jonny Wightman 5-68, Sean Tindale 1-54, Oli McGee 0-37, Calum Fletcher 1-32, Lee Crozier 1-30.

Match drawn: Chester-Le-Street winning draw 17 points, SNCC losing draw 10.

This top of the table clash ebbed & flowed throughout producing an exciting finish as the visitors needed 30 to win with 6 overs remaining, 3 wickets in hand & Andrew Smith on a magnificent 95* at the crease. Two singles but then Smith drove Wightman to short extra where Cragg took the catch, 215-8 in the 47th, a fifth wicket for Jonny.

Ash Thorpe (7) was lbw to Tindale in the 51st but Sebastian Hughes-Pinan & Amaan Ulhaq showed good composure to resist the last 10 deliveries & secure the winning draw.

The visitors won the toss & chose to field. Birty & Shayne Moseley faced the seam of McAlindon & the off spin of Quentin Hughes. Accurate bowling restricted the scoring to singles but at 13 in the 7th McAlindon got one to bounce & Shayne (5) edged to w/k McCann. 4 runs later, in over 11, Rob (3) drove at a wide delivery from Simpson & edged behind, 17-2.

In over 14 Birty felt a twinge as he twisted to play behind square on the legside. At drinks after 15 overs no boundary had been scored, 28-2. Q's 9 overs went for only 15. He was replaced by the sla of son Sebastian at the Park end. The seam of Liam Simpson & Robbie Dawson shared the attack from the Grove. There was a bit in the wicket for the bowlers.

Between overs 16 & 32, at lunch 11x4 had been scored & the total had risen to 101, Birty 38*, Hewi 49*, including pulling Dawson for 4x4 in over 31. Attacking shots often found difficulty in piercing the well-set, mobile field.

Ulhaq's leg spin began a spell after lunch from the Grove end.  A Birty boundary to square leg but two balls later he mishit a short ball behind the bowler &, retreating, Ulhaq took the catch over his shoulder, Birty 45(92b 4x4), exemplary on one leg, 105-3. In over 35 Hewi got to 51 but in driving at Ulhaq edged to w/k McCann; 51,(77b,8x4), another valuable contribution, 114-4.

Sean pulled his first ball for 6 over mid-wicket. Then Adam, sweeping the all spin attack, & Sean fashioned a partnership of 33. Dropped once at deep square leg Adam 24(30b 3x4) swept Ulhaq again & Dawson redeemed himself, moving in 8 yards to take the catch tumbling forward, 147-5 after 43overs.

Sean & Ru added 34 nicely for the 6th wicket until Ru 20 (26b, 3x4) mishit Dawson to mid-on where Ulhaq took a low catch, 181-6. Oli McGee entered & proceeded to strike the ball very cleanly. Surviving one chance to long on he took 6,4,4 off Dawson, then 4,2,2,2 off McAlindon, then 6,4 off Dawson such that the total had risen to 228 in the 56th, when he mistimed Dawson & Thorpe took the skied catch at cover. Oli 43 (22b,5x4 2x6), magnificent ! Sean, a valuable 32 (58b 1x4 1x6) was caught at long on off Thorpe in the 57th. Jonny (8*) & Calum (6*) scampered to 242 at the end of the 58th, defendable.

Coxon(rh) & McCann (lh) faced Wightman & Tindale. The pair stroked 6x4 in the first 7 overs but then 2 wickets in three balls as Wighters found some swing to have Coxon (13) edging to w/k Rob at 32 & bowled Whitfield (0). This became 41-3 as the in form McCann (22,31b 4x4) was lbw to Wightman, one ball after Rob had moved up to the stumps. 

Smith & Hughes, with a runner, settled. Driving straight or through extra cover Smith was timing the ball well. Q was watchful & accumulative. McGee & Fletcher began spells but in the last over before tea, the 20th, Q played a ball into the leg side but inadvertently left his crease & was run out as Adam threw to w/k Rob from only a few yards away, 74-4, Smith 25*.

Smith & Dawson accelerated the score by 30 in the 4 overs after tea. Crozier replaced Fletcher (5 overs for 17) but he was driven straight by Smith for 6 & 4. Dawson repeated the maximum off Oli, 141 after 32, then in the 33rd Dawson (29) advanced to Crozier & was bowled, a good partnership of 69, 143-5.

Tindale returned but Smith again drove straight for 6 & 4. Simpson joined in with two boundaries so 181 after 38 overs, Smith 85*. Wightman returned in over 37 & in the 41st, having been hit for 2x4, had Simpson (25) lbw, 197-6. McAlindon (2) skied to mid on to be caught by Jonny off Calum at 203 in the 44th.

Jonny & Cal continued, Seb Hughes-Pinan stroked past point for 4, until Andrew Smith 95 (104b,8x4,3x6) hit Wighters to Adam at cover from the 3rd ball of the 47th. A magnificent innings full of well-timed shots, a 5 fer for Wighters, 4 more for 500 NEPL Div 1 league wickets !

Ash Thorpe & Seb Hughes-Pinan secured the winning draw at 217 in the 48th. 229 after 49 as shots were played but then in the 51st Thorpe (7) was lbw to Tindale, 232-9. With close fielders everywhere, Ulhaq & then Hughes-Pinan saw out the last 10 balls. Breathless ! Applause from spectators for both teams as they left the field.

A flatter wicket & a faster outfield for the second innings but positive batting saw CLS get very close. An exciting game to observe.

This result means a 41 point lead for the Bulls over CLS at half way.

Next weekend:

Friday NEPL T20 ¼ final SNCC v Burnmoor (h) 20/20, 1800.

Sat 8th July SNCC v Burnmoor (a) 110 overs, 1100.


We hope you can be there, it should be exciting !!



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