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GILDERSOME 1st XI v EAST LEEDS 1st XI 23 June 2018

Gildersome 1st XI v East Leeds 1st XI 23 June 2018-06-28

Report by Ben Wilkinson

Chooo-choooo!! All aboard the East Leeds Victory Train.

It was a warm and muggy Saturday afternoon when the boys arrived in Gildersome, a big outfield was telling us 300 was on the cards. It was Bradder’s (Brad Cunningham) turn for the warm up, probably the only thing he did right that day. A bit of football, a few forfeit laps and some great tandem fielding later and the skipper strode out to the middle for the toss.

A sign of things to come, Tom Chapman won the toss and stuck us in. All of the batsmen in the team licking their lips at the thought of 3 figures that day, and a few lads finally wearing the correct kit, it was time to begin.

The first ball deserves a mention. A short ball that had Bradder’s reaching above his head, slipped through the keepers gloves (this would happen a lot throughout the day) and ran away for what everyone in the ground believed to be a bye. Everyone, that is, besides the umpire who went about signalling leg byes. Things went down hill quickly from there.

Their opener set about removing our top order, Bradder’s again missed a straight ball (somehow blaming the fact we were playing away and his Dad had come to support him), Dean Atkinson received the identical ball a few overs later and he too went leg before. This brought Snakey (Jacob Naylor) out but the pressure told, again he showed his impressive locker of shots and somehow managed manoeuvre the ball onto his off stump with the outside edge of the bat. The team were left shell shocked at 36 for 3, that 300 looked a long way off.

Enter the man. Enter the legend. That wicket brought the captain to the crease and he set about the rebuilding of the innings, ably supported by Jimmy Watling (21) and JehanRana ( 24). As the score increased there was a lot of talk on the side lines; what score could we get? What is cottaging? Who is Bradder’s mum? Can Tom get his first century?

When Tom was joined at the crease by Big Shak (Saqab Mohammed) the fun really started. Once they both realised how to call for runs, both started to stroke the ball to all parts of the ground with Tom displaying beautiful technique and Big Shak showing his power. There was a huge cheer on the boundary as Tom brought up his first ever century (there were question marks about Will’s ( Will Storey)scream/growl when the ball reached the boundary). A great knock from the captain and shock at the fact it was his first century. The two of them saw us to a challenging 293-6. Over to the bowlers.

East Leeds had a new opening partnership in the form of Will (1-50) and Ben Wilkinson (1-40), after a couple of early wickets the runs started to flow. Gildersome’s opener looked like a man on a mission to overhaul our great total, that was until we brought in the big guns. Enter Jimmy ‘Magic Fingers’ Watling and Tommy ‘I scored a century with my new haircut’ Chapman. As the two legends started to stem the run flow the pressure began to tell, a few rash shots played by the Gildersome batters and some great line and length bowling meant wickets began to tumble. Jimmy’s raw pace saw him knock off stump out the ground, gift a regulation catch on the boundary by Ben and create one of the greatest catches ever seen on a cricket pitch. Gildersome’s opener had batted well to reach his fifty and after a thick outside edge he would have thought he had earned 4 more runs. Out of nowhere (well, first slip) Jacob ‘Snakey’ Naylor dived to his right and took the ball one handed behind his shoulder. It was the highlight of the day, until Brad’s Dad no longer wanted to speak to him and instead made the walk to talk to Ben on the boundary. Tommy was menacing at the other end, making the ball move off the seam and picking up 3 wickets for himself. We all believed Tom was on for another 5 wicket haul until Gildersome’s number 10 came in and smashed him to all parts of the ground. Enter Big Bad Baz (B. Hussain) the paceman limbering up and giving himself a few looseners before cleaning up the tail and helping himself to 2 wickets.

Gildersome all out for 154 meaning East Leeds win by 139 runs.

Everyone played exceptionally well, especially Adam (Farnell) who came straight from work and gave up his afternoon to be our 12th man. Chris Cannings was brilliant behind the stumps (he managed to catch 4 balls in the whole game) and Dean was electric down at 3rd man.

20 points in the bag and even time for Gildersome to accuse us of cheating, sore losers but a great win.