Hedgehog stops play as Pont romp to win

Ponteland (138-5) v Greenside (137-7) Northumberland & Tyneside Senior League, Division A2

PONTELAND stayed unbeaten in the league despite a bit of rain and an unusual pitch invader.

After a short delay which reduced the game to 45 overs a side, Greenside batted first and an early wicket fell to Tom Common as he bowled an excellent opening spell of seven overs for 11 runs.

With Ifty Fazal less effective, Mark Turnbull replaced him and continued to keep the scoring under control but Scott punished any wayward bowling to reach 42 before Wayne Ritzema dismissed him with a catch by Chad Hitchcock.

Ritzema claimed two more as the visitors’ middle order crumbled to finish with figures of three for 28, then Turnbull (one for 24) and Fazal (one for 31) returned to take important wickets. Stuart Taylor made a contribution with the ball by having Smith caught in the field for 17 as Greenside finished their innings on 137 for seven.

In reply, Ponteland started their innings steadily and had reached 32 when Wayne Ritzema was given out lbw.

Hitchcock struggled in the conditions and after a brief rain interruption was bowled for four off 19 balls. Taylor likewise scored four off 15 before becoming the second lbw of the innings. But James Ritzema was playing well and he hit a few boundaries, including one six.

Another interruption in play then followed as the pitch was invaded by a wandering hedgehog that had to be evicted from long-off.

Shortly after the interruption, James Ritzema was dismissed for a season’s best 44 as he and Tom Seymour increased the tempo of the innings. Seymour followed for 19 with a mishit shot caught at mid-wicket to leave the innings on 92 for five.

Paul Lindsay and Tom Common calmly resumed the chase and went into the 43rd over with 17 still needed and it proved to be the pivotal moment of the innings.

A couple of early singles were followed by a three through the covers for Lindsay, a wild delivery then produced two more and the ‘extra’ delivery was despatched for four by Common to leave just four needed from two overs.

Lindsay (27 not out) and Common (21 not out) then guided Ponteland to a five-wicket win and 18 points. Their unbeaten partnership was worth 46 runs.