Great Preston 1st XI v East Leeds 1st XI
Report by Tom Chapman
East Leeds came into this fixture off the back of their first win of the season, with confidence flowing and looking to exact revenge on Great Preston for their cup defeat two weeks ago. The team had one change with Willy Storey returning in place of Adam Farnell. The pitch looked a great batting track, if a little dry, but with the pitch being positioned at the very edge of the square leaving a short boundary, the thought was that defending any total may be tough. It wasn’t really a surprise therefore when the Great Preston Captain won the toss and bowled first.
Brad Cunningham (8) and Dean Atkinson opened the batting again and looked solid, with Dean in particular hitting some lovely shots to the boundary. The pair put on 38 for the first wicket, with Brad’s Dad arriving just in time to see him dismissed. That brought Jacob ‘Snakey’ Naylor to the crease. Snakey and Dean continued to build on a strong start, reaching 71, before Dean was bowled for a well made 38. Snakey was joined by Jimmy Watling and the pair again set about putting together a partnership. Jimmy was caught for 19, before Snakey brought up his 50 with a string of boundaries and was looking in imperious form. There were more partnerships between Snakey and the middle order, his partnership with Chris Cannings (12) particularly pleasing with the tenacity in the running, but it was Snakey’s partnership with Jehan Rana which turned the game. The pair came together at 184-6 with the game in the balance, but put on 80 in quick time. During the partnership Snakey’s stroke play was a joy to watch, with some fans saying it was the best knock they’d ever seen! He brought up his 100 with a well run two and from then on there was no stopping him. A couple of overs later he’d brought up his 150 and was dragging us towards a fantastic score. Jehans role in the partnership shouldn’t be ignored, he scored 24 off 20 balls and allowed Snakey to do his thing – a great knock Jehan. Jehan, Ben Wilkinson and Snakey (172 off just 117) were all dismissed in the persuit of quick runs at the end and it was left to Banaras Hussein and Willy Storey to ensure we didn’t give Great Preston an extra over. The pair duly delivered, before Baz was dismissed in the last over. East Leeds 301 all out.
It was Willy Storey (1-44) and Tom Chapman (1-44) who took the new ball for East Leeds, with the hope of early wickets to take the game away from Great Preston. They got off to a great start when Tom had their opener plumb LBW in his first over. Great Preston took advantage of the short boundary and moved to 50 before Willy struck through a good catch taken at Mid-Off by Jimmy. Another partnership ensued and it seemed the key to victory would be the wicket of the Great Preston overseas. Jimmy (1-37) and Baz (6-40) came into the attack and bowled very tightly, at one point bowling five overs between them for just three runs. That spell cranked up the pressure and resulted in a couple of wickets. Jimmy taking the first through an LBW, before Baz took his first from the other end. Then the big break through, Dean taking a great catch off Baz to dismiss their overseas, leaving Great Preston floundering on 117-5. That lead to a mini collapse, with Baz taking four wickets in the space of just twelve runs before taking his sixth of the game leaving Great Preston on 145-9. It seemed a matter of time before East Leeds wrapped up a 20 point win, but the Great Preston number 10 & 11 batted very resolutely, not only seeing their team safely through their 50 overs, but picking up three extra batting points in the process. Non the less it was a fantastic victory for East Leeds by a huge margin of 94 runs.
A fantastic team performance lead by a terrific knock from Snakey, and backed up with a brilliant bowling performance lead by Baz and Jimmy. Two wins on the bounce and we’re on our way up that table. It’s a big test next week again high flying Oulton, but confidence is flowing, and I’m backing us to make it three wins on the spin…