Ponteland just drop short

Ponteland (171-9) v Consett (174-7) Northumberland & Tyneside Senior League, Division A2

PONTELAND came up a little short on Saturday against a fellow promotion contender.

The home side batted first in a game reduced to 44 overs per side because of a rain shower just after the toss. James Ritzema (16) was the first to go but Wayne Ritzema and Chad Hitchcock played themselves in and then started to find the boundary.

They put on 61 before Hitchcock fell to the second ball after the drinks break when on 18. Stu Taylor hit a massive six but was sent packing to an lbw decision despite appearing to hit the ball and with the score still on 93 Ritzema was caught behind for 47.

A cameo 16 by Tom Seymour ended with a catch to point so Dan Wright and Tom Common had to rebuild the innings. Wright (13) was first to go but Common continued to push the score upwards.

Ifty Fazal (five) and Peter Nesbitt (seven), who hit a straight six, were also dismissed before Common was run out trying to retain the strike for a good 32. Pont completed their 44 overs with a score of 171 for nine.

In reply, the hosts seized the early initiative with a brace of lbws to Common and Fazal.

Forster and Winn battled against some good accurate bowling, but Common got the next breakthrough in the 20th over when Winn was well caught at slip by Taylor for 33, Common completing his 13-over spell with figures of two for 32.

The score continued to climb and Ponteland made a crucial breakthrough in the 31st over. Ian Smart drew a mis-timed shot by Forster (36) and James Ritzema was able to take an excellent running catch over his shoulder at cover.

This brought Chapman to the crease though and he was stunningly into his stride, taking 18 runs off the first five balls he faced.

Wayne Ritzema dismissed Greenwell for a patient 12, caught by Hitchcock, then Smart bowled Bridge for a duck, but Chapman remained unfazed – taking 13 off Smart’s final over to leave him with two for 36 off his 13.

Chapman brought up his 50 in just 22 balls in Fazal’s first over back before Fazal had him caught at third man by Smart for a stunning 53, his six fours and four sixes completely changing the innings.

The run rate declined as the hosts tried to regain control and it took until the final over for Consett to reach their target to stretch the gap between themselves in second and Ponteland in third to 28 points.