Plenty of ducks in wet battle

Corbridge II (67 all out) v Blagdon Park II (68 for 3) Northumberland Cricket League, Division B2

DESPITE two weeks of rain leading up to Blagdon Park’s first game of the season, the Corbridge pitch stood up to the weather and the game went ahead on Saturday afternoon, writes Stuart Dick.

Visiting captain Andrew Bain won the toss and elected to field on a very green early season wicket. Second team veteran Andy Pryor and pace-man Graeme Gaff opened the bowling and immediately put pressure on the home side and after seven overs the home side had only managed two runs.

Pryor struck in the next over, as a frustrated Roberts top edged a delivery to Gaff at fly-slip for three.

He was successful again as the halfway point of the innings approached. Maude tried to cut a wide delivery, but only managed to bottom edge it into the gloves of ‘keeper Stuart Dick.

Leg-spinner David Simpson replaced Pryor and struck in his second over. An advancing Walker played all-round the delivery as Dick whipped off the bails to leave the score on 23-3.

The Simpson and Dick combination struck again two overs later, as this time Jowsey left his ground and was stumped. The next three batsmen fell in quick succession, all for ducks, David Simpson taking two of the wickets, and Paul Johnson getting one. Smurthwaite provided the only resistance, taking the attack to Simpson and Johnson hitting a four and a six to accelerate the run-rate. He made it to 21 before the returning Gaff removed his off-stump.

Gaff struck again in the second to last over, this time snagging a caught and bowled chance off Clouston. In the final over, the final pair took a risky single and Dick picked up the ball and fired it at the non-strikers end where Simpson broke the stumps as Corbridge were all out for a modest 67.

Blagdon’s innings got off to an awful start when Mick Leybourne and John Whittaker were bowled to leave the visitors on 4-2. Bain (15) and Johnson (34 not out) played themselves in, then accelerated the run rate to put Blagdon on top. And a quickfire 10-not-out from Simon Howe helped them to reach their target with seven wickets and more than ten overs to spare.