East Leeds CC 1st XI v Heckmondwicke CC 1st XI
Report by Tom Chapman
To say the prospect of cricket looked unlikely at 12pm on Saturday would have been an understatement. Rain was in the air (and forecast all afternoon), the covers had been put on wrong and there was a firework on a length. Fortunately, the rain did start to clear around 1pm, the covers had been carefully rearranged to avoid damage to the pitch and the firework was removed, which all lead to (despite the umpires best version of a hokey cokey with the covers) a late start at 2pm and 40 overs per side.
East Leeds won the toss and with the moisture around, opted to bowl first. Without Allan Olbison and Willy Storey it would be Tom Chapman who took the new ball with Baz Hussein. The decision to bowl first looked a poor one when the Heckmondwicke raced to 47-0 inside 8 overs with one opener deciding to try and hit every ball into next week. In the most part he only managed to edge it to 3rd Man (on one occasion the ball flying for six he tried to hit it so hard!). When he was out caught at mid off by Ben Wilkinson off Tom Chapman (6-49), East Leeds began to turn the screw. The scoring slowed and East Leeds were in control, Tom taking wickets at regular intervals seeing Heckmondwicke fall to 62-4 and then 92-6. Ben Wilkinson (4-35) came into the attack and along with Jimmy Watling (0-10) picked up where Tom and Baz left off. Ben bowled with his usual pace and venom and rounded off the innings well, with Jacob (Snakey) Naylor finishing with three catches. Heckmondwike all out for 132. Surely the first victory of the season was on the way?
Dean Atkinson had a new opening partner in Brad Cunningham (38), and they started well before Dean was bowled for 11. Brad, who looked in fantastic order – cover driving for fun, put on 61 with Jacob (41) who also looked in good touch, hitting a huge six over Extra Cover which sent the balcony into a frenzy. When the pair were out things threatened to get a little nervy, especially when East Leeds were within two of victory. The Heckmondwicke saw fit to bring the field in to the ever green Chris Cannings which brought cries from the balcony of ‘oh no where will Cannings score a run here!’. Fortunately the nerveless Chris, middled one which just about made it through the infield and out of the thirty yard circle, running two and seeing us home to the first win of the year! Cue the karaoke and the booze!!
An all round performance which is closer to what we’re capable of. Though there’s still areas for improvement, the bowling was fantastic and the batting looks much better with the addition of Brad. Onto Great Preston next week in high hopes!!