Two on the bounce for twos

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Percy Main II (135 all out) v Morpeth II (247-5) Northumberland & Tyneside Senior League, Division B1

MORPETH grabbed their second successive victory on Saturday at Percy Main and did so in comfortable fashion.

It was a strong team performance, although two individual contributions stood out above the rest.

The visitors were put into bat by their opponents, who could not find an early breakthrough as openers Wailes and Cowell once again started solidly – with Wailes opening his account from a pull shot over square leg to a short-pitched delivery that went out of the ground.

Cowell was also getting going, with his favoured square cut effective on more than one occasion.

With the pair on 38-0 from 10 overs, Wailes gave away a good start to give Gammon a wicket he deserved, hitting a full ball to mid-off.

Brown walked to the crease and as the more experienced change bowlers came on, began looking comfortable quickly.

Cowell was looking to break loose as well, with a lofted off-drive and graceful straight-drive, both against experienced seamer Blyth Duncan Jnr.

After drinks, Duncan got Cowell caught at point for 34 well-made runs, but Brown was continuing on his merry way. Several square-cuts were cracked through backward-point and Brown was looking to hit anything on his pads through mid-wicket with consummate ease.

Ingram was supporting well from the other end and hit an almighty blow out of the ground over long-on.

The pair were going well as spin was introduced, something that did not bother Brown as he combined power with placement to keep the run rate soaring – the big man cleared the rope over mid-wicket and long on twice from Merryweather’s mix of leg and off-spin. Before long, he had raced past 50 and the innings was gathering real momentum.

Taylor was introduced and his slow left-arm was faring better as he got the wicket of Ingram for 28, caught at long-off. James Craigs was then caught by Beer for three to get Merryweather a wicket.

Brown was unwavering though, continuing to dominate the bowling and showing his class by scoring all around the wicket. He passed three figures in typical fashion by clouting Merryweather over long on, with his team-mates in raptures on the side.

Wonders was bowled by Taylor for five when going for a wild swing and the returning Tom Wilkinson ended two not out.

Brown finished with a flurry of boundaries, including some more lusty leg-side blows and an effortless extra-cover drive. He ended unbeaten on 129 from 104 balls in a truly memorable knock, as the away side closed on 247-5.

It was always going to be a tough ask for Percy Main and after a slightly sloppy first couple of overs, Craigs and Jones really settled into the task.

Jones was finding the edge regularly, bowling with good pace and plenty of movement but little luck. Craigs has been unlucky in recent weeks and the run continued as he delivered an in-swinging ball that seamed away and clipped off-stump, but did not remove the bails. But how things would change.

Stewart prodded at a length ball and Craigs took a smart, falling return catch to send the opener back for five.

Taylor was out two overs later, tamely driving Craigs to Wonders at mid-off, for 15.

Jones was continuing to bowl well but Craigs was really getting a sniff for more wickets. Number four batsman Boyd was clean bowled by an in-swinging ball for nine and Beer, who had just walloped a straight six from the bowler, suffered the same fate for 10.

The receding seamer then picked up his first five-for by inducing a leading edge from Stannerstreet, caught despite the low sun by Jones at cover. At 78-5, the hosts were in big trouble.

Rose replaced Jones and joined the fun. Gammon was next out, Rose jagging one away to get the edge with ’keeper Wailes doing the rest.

Smith was next in but Rose was too good for him, bowling him with a full ball.

At nine, Watts came in and took the attack to Morpeth from the word go. He was keen to cut hard at anything wide and hit through the line of any full bowling.

His partner Merryweather (22) had been in at number three and had hung around for a while before Craigs got a sixth wicket, another clean bowled, this time to a swing across the line.

Despite Watts’ heroics, he ran out of support to be unbeaten on 35 at the end, with Parker bowled by Craigs as he finished with an incredible seven for 57 from his 13 overs.

Last man Duncan was yorked by the returning Jones, who got the wicket he deserved as Percy Main were all out for 135.

Man-of-the-match: Edwin Brown.

Morpeth Seconds will look to continue their recent form at home to Lanchester II on Saturday. The match starts at 1.30pm.