Nail-biting end to undefeated run

Blagdon Park II (167-9) v Bedlington II (168-8) Northumberland Cricket League, Division B1

BLAGDON Park Seconds’ undefeated start to the season came to an end in nail-biting fashion this past Saturday at the Bull Arena, writes Stuart Dick.

Despite the monsoon weather in the area on Thursday, the hosts managed to get the game on after three weeks of cancellations. The away side won the toss and made the decision to bat on very good wicket.

Pirasannan Inpathurai and Andy Pryor opened the bowling for Blagdon facing Ian Anderson and Martin Leason. Pryor bowled an exceptionally tight line, conceding just one run in his first three overs.

At the other end Inpathurai, returning from injury, struggled with his length as Anderson took a like to his short bowling, hitting several sixes off the paceman. Even Pryor suffered from Anderson’s wrath as he conceded back to back boundaries in the eight over.

Anderson attempted one shot too many and was trapped LBW in the 13th over as Pryor switched ends for 37. Leason soon followed for nine as he lofted a drive to Steve Oxley at mid-off. Pryor struck again soon after, seeing to number three Peter Finch in the final over of his spell.

With the score on 63-3, Christopher Pearson and Jason Canavan pushed the score on, with Pearson in particular hitting a number of sixes.

Adam Clarke put down two sharp caught and bowled chances in his first over before the young leg-spinner bowled Canavan for 40. Steve Oxley struck the next over, cleaning up Josh Laverick for two, then the very next ball removed Mark Davies for a duck.

Pearson continued to take the bowling on, but also fell to Oxley for a brilliant 58. The final wicket to fall was that of Tom Whitworth, who played passed a ball from Clark and ‘keeper Stuart Dick had him stumped.

Mick Leybourne and John Whittaker opened for Blagdon Park and Leybourne went early as he was caught off the bowling of Whitworth for two. Bain was the next man in but only made nine before departing, bowled by Whitworth. Whittaker’s innings of 19 saw a similar end as Whitworth picked up his third wicket.

Simon Howe and Inpathurai were now at the crease, but an ill-advised two saw Howe run out for just six, leaving the hosts on 65-4. David Simpson joined Inpathurai at the crease and the pair rebuilt the innings. Simpson was determined and assured with the bat as Inpathurai used his power to increase the scoring rate.

Simpson’s innings came to an end off the bowling of Fitch for 15. Dick was next in, but suffered his third golden duck in three league games as he played over the top of a straight one.

Things looked bleak for Blagdon, but Inpathurai had not given up, smashing two massive sixes off spinner Josh Watson. At the other end, Finch removed Henry Blake for a duck before the big turning point of the game. With Blagdon needing 35, Inpathurai was given out LBW for 47 despite the ball hitting him on the thigh pad with his leg in the air.

Oxley followed soon after, caught on the boundary for four, leaving Blagdon on 140-9. Young Clarke and veteran Pryor battled for the remaining nine overs, getting the score to 164 with two overs left.

A maiden by Steve Irvine and a tight over from Watson gave Bedlington a one-run victory.