East Leeds A v Rodley A 14th July 2018
Report by John Steel
East Leeds A 368-6 Rodley A 78-10
For those who bore witness, this was a match which will survive in the memory; for those absent; be jealous, as records tumbled in spectacular fashion on a sweltering Summer's day at Pontefract Lane.
Winning a rare toss, skipper Dan Thewlis elected to bat; there was little alternative with only 8 men and whilst a ninth was expected, the would be debutant, Faisal Haq never showed up; a name rhyming with that scratchy bog roll much beloved of Jack Gahan summed up the feeling of the eight good men and true who faced a young but full complement from Rodley.
John Steel and Aaron Pearce opened for the home side, but were soon gone, Pearce for 1, caught behind by Paul Smith off the bowling of Dan Hill 1 and Steel, after taking boundaries off the first two balls of the match, failing to go through with an aerial square drive off the 17 year-old James Bradbury to be well caught at point by Jordan Slack for 12.
David Young, recovered only sufficiently to bat following his groin injury of a fortnight ago was joined by Zahid Tarvaz with only 18 on the board; however both batsmen were soon taking advantage of any errors in line and length to race to 72 at the ten over stage at which point Tarvaz really got into his stride. The pair added 115 runs in only 14 overs with Tarvaz reaching 50 from just 35 balls before Young (39 from 42) nicked one off Bleasby to Smith and bring Adam Farnell fresh off the plane from Cyprus to the crease. If there was any expectation that Farnell would be rusty from a few weeks’ cricketing inactivity, they would be wrong as he drove and pulled, predominantly off the front foot to great effect in racing to his own, maiden half century in 34 deliveries.
Whilst the bowling changes were rung in quick order, the visitors had no answer to the onslaught; this was not batting in a brutal sense, however; good cricket shots all around the ground saw Tarvaz pass his own previous best of 77 (1st XI v. Buttershaw in 2011) and bring up a maiden century in 58 balls and his 150 in a further 24.
In 17 overs of unbridled mayhem, the pair added a 4th wicket stand of 178, just 5 runs short of equalling a 64 year record, (Halliday and Pratt v. Pudsey Britannia – 1954) before Tarvaz, in almost identical fashion to Young, edged a sharp chance to the reliable Smith off the bowling of a relieved returning Dan Hill for a chanceless 174 from 94 balls with 23 boundaries and 10 sixes.
Farnell, completely unfazed by his partner’s dismissal, accelerated to his own century in 66 balls; Dan Thewlis came and went for a quick 14, whilst son, Sam made a quicker duck before last man, Matthew Knight joined Farnell to post a record 2nd XI total of 368-6 and leave Farnell on an unbeaten 114 from 69 balls with 21 fours and two sixes when stumps were drawn.
Faced with such a total; even with the gaps necessarily caused by the absence of three fielders, Rodley were always likely to cave in to the scoreboard pressure of requiring 9.2 runs per over and so it came to pass.
Tarvaz, as though he’d done little enough already; a round trip from North London of over 300 miles and the small issue of 174, opened the bowling from the Abattoir end with Dan Thewlis partnering from the pavilion and it was the latter who struck first, taking a second attempt caught and bowled to dismiss Ian Brear, (6) with the score on 25 after a partnership which would prove to be the most productive of the Rodley innings. Tarvaz then accounted for Bleasby, (5) with a rapid Yorker before Thewlis nipped one back to bowl Dan Turbitt for an attractive 35 and the collapse ensued.
An ill judged single attempted to Young at mid-off was thwarted by an excellent pick up and direct hit, before he took an excellent catch, running backwards at mid-off to dismiss Slack and give Thewlis his third wicket. One more wicket apiece for Thewlis and Tarvaz before the latter was replaced by Sam Thewlis who wrapped up the innings in fine style with three clean bowled victims to leave Rodley all out for 78; a mammoth 290 runs short.
Perhaps it was as well that the bowlers used completed victory with such alacrity as, with neither Young nor Farnell fit, there was little left to deploy; Dan Thewlis took 4-37, Tarvaz 2-28 and Sam Thewlis 3-6 backed up by some solid fielding; scarcely a blemish in contrast to the visitors’ effort which wilted under the sun and capricious vagaries of a lightening outfield.
This was an absolute privilege to witness, but the lack of commitment which led to East Leeds only fielding eight players remains a concern; it should be noted that we were forced to concede last week against a Windhill side who could quite easily have yielded 20 points and the resultant 40 point turn around would have put the side in 4th place,
With a trip to title challengers Adwalton next week, it is to be hoped that we can field a full eleven.
For the record:
This was the highest team score achieved in the 118 year history of the club in 2nd team cricket and the third highest overall: