Third Team March On Unbeaten.

Knaresborough CC 3XI vs Horsforth CC 3XI at Horsforth CC.

Sunday 22nd May 2016. A report by Jordan Tear (c).

Horsforth away; a game I always dread as a third team player, however, the gossip of the new pavilion lightened my premeditated approach. After rain affected games for both the 1st and 2nd team on the Saturday, the forecast looked better for Sunday.

On arriving at Horsforth, the new pavilion looked outstanding, and the facilities up close were even better. Although construction was still underway, it was much more pleasant to be around than the old building.

With a Joe Lumb game scheduled and a few absences, I had just 7 players, including myself, on Friday night. The team was somewhat different from previous weeks; nonetheless, we still had a very strong junior unit, and some experience in Tony Blackburn and Tom Burrell. Thank you all for your availability and commitment.

I, once again, lost the toss (I haven’t won one yet this season!) and we were put into bat on a wicket which was a similar colour to the outfield. I was surprised by this, but not fazed in the slightest. T Baines and J Tear opened the batting, an interesting opening pair as some may think; I certainly did! The wicket was one on which the short ball would sit up nicely around stomach height to pull. Our main priority, though, was to get forward and protect our wickets. We started well, and after the 6th over, we were 40-0. T Baines was dropped on low double figures, a lifeline which he made great use of. The first wicket fell in the 11th over as J Tear was bowled for 42 at just over a run a ball. B Brennan then joined T Baines at the crease, but fell for 2. T Wilson then came to the crease and stayed for a while, giving T Baines a lot of the strike and an opportunity to continue scoring runs. But eventually he fell for 8. Knaresborough were now 138 for 3 after 30 overs. T Baines still going strong and starting to play some lovely looking attacking shots. A 9 for D Weatherill and a further quick wicket saw Knaresborough at 147 for 5 after 33 overs. T Baines was finally dismissed for an extremely important and quality 80 from 94 balls. He spent 2 hours at the crease. J Proctor then joined the fun and scored 28 from the same amount of balls; an important and possibly game changing knock that boosted the score from 150 to 175 quickly; another batting point there. Knaresborough finished on 187 for 8 after 40 overs, a brilliant score that surprised everyone I think, especially on that wicket. 5 batting points, what a great effort! The way we are batting as a team recently is superb, the top 4 must make a platform and score runs for the middle and latter order to attack on; I think we have developed this skill well.

Credit must go to T Baines at half time for the way he opened the batting; he was patient, hit the bad ball hard and corrupted Horsforth’s usual confident and somewhat intimidating approach.

After some dinner and a laugh, Knaresborough went out to bowl, defending a very good score. We knew that we had to bowl full and make the Horsforth batsmen drive rather than pull and cut. T Baines and J Tear opened the bowling, forcing Horsforth to a slow start with plenty of dot balls; we were on top from the offset.

Baines dismissed both opening batsmen in his 4th and 5th over whilst J Tear bowled plenty of dot balls from the other end. Horsforth found themselves at 14 for 2 after 6 overs, an opposite start to our batting. D Weatherill and J Proctor then took over and continued the great start. At the halfway point, Horsforth were on 80-4, and the game seemed like it could go either way. By the end of the 23rd over, Horsforth were 95-7, and the game looked like it was ours for the taking. However, batsman number 3, who survived a few close calls was on a score of over 50, we needed to keep him of strike or take his wicket. D Weatherill bowled extremely well and took 4 wickets for 28 from his 6 overs. T Blackburn then finished off Horsforth’s batting line up taking 3 for 8 from 3 overs; he dismissed their number 3, brilliantly caught by D Weatherill who received a fielding point.

So there is its, 5 batting points, 5 bowling points and 10 points for the win! We’d finally done it; we had beaten Horsforth away. Instead of it being a dark, miserable and dampening day, it was one of the most enjoyable days of Knaresborough cricket for me since I started playing. It must be said that B Ward and S Baines also fielded brilliantly, and Ewan May was faultless behind the stumps.

Well done lads, absolutely superb. My man of the match goes to T Baines.

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