2nd XI match reports – May 2022

Southborough 2nd XI

7th May 2022

The first league weekend of the season saw the 2nd XI take on local rivals Southborough, featuring one of the smallest boundaries you’re ever likely to see in cricket, measuring 35 yards. The teams were balanced by Speldhurst fielding 10 strong players, and Southborough a “weak” 11… Southborough won the toss and fielded. Openers Iqbal and JFlem started at contrasting tempos before JFlem fell to a rare misbehaving ball. MFlem followed suit soon after, aiming for the vociferous Hand and Sceptre crowd but finding the fielder’s mittens instead. A 50 partnership between Skipper and Iqbal got us back on track, Iqbal finally finishing on a fine 61 after a very lean 2021. Tristan fell later for a serene 19, Skipper for 86 (taking full advantage of the short boundary before slapping the worst ball of the day to a diving point fielder) and Owen for a single, large biff over extra cover. Plunkett and Hart pushed us to 205 before the innings was done.

The Youth opened our bowling account: Owen finding an excellent line and length whilst Will took advantage of extra pace and bounce accumulated over the hibernation months. Neither, however, could find the breakthrough as Southborough’s openers looked resolute and eager to deposit even the smallest slip-up to the short boundary. A triple breakthrough was initiated by a running boundary catch from Owen and two good wickets from M Flem – the first facilitated by a superb diving catch from young Zach. Siraj produced an excellent, luckless spell of fast bowling, rattling their new batsmen, but wasn’t enough to stop his later onslaught, hitting five 6s in a rapid innings of 61* to win Southborough the match.

Many more positives than negatives despite the loss. An excellent league debut for Zach, who fielded immaculately and bowled with skill and bravery, unrewarded. Runs for some, rhythm for (most) bowlers, and excellent boundary patrol by Nick Fowler and JFlem. A sunny day and an opposition that described themselves as feeling “lucky” to be on the winning side. The first win is just around the corner!

Scorecard is here.

Leigh 2nd XI

14th May 2022

We won!

With the weather hot, the pitch hard, and our team temporarily incomplete, batting seemed the only option upon winning the toss. It started terribly, however, as Iqbal departed first ball of the innings dreaming of another 50. J Flem (19) then looked at total ease before spooning one up in the air. M Flem survived a tough period of flashing everything through or over the slips, hard, before wrestling complete control for a fine 64. Skipper negotiated a maiden century before being rudely (and correctly) given out LBW by his father. Quick-scoring cameos from Nash (31), Wesson (18), Bond, Phil Bond (10) and Thompson (9) propelled us to our fourth-highest score ever: 279.

We bowled with equal dominance, never allowing Leigh the room to free their arms and take advantage of a lightning outfield. A very impressive opening spell from The Deane set the tone, taking 1-12 from five shoulder-destroying overs. Often unplayable. The Pavillion End was tied up by both Flemingtons: James opening with a feisty 2-34 and Mark finishing with and brilliant 4-25. Tight overs from James Thompson and high-quality spin from Nash (2-28) sealed the deal, ensuring that Leigh never looked like getting there. A big win by 146 runs! A fantastic all-round performance featuring excellent league debuts for Phil Bond and James Thompson.

The 2nd XI is looking strong this year, and a fantastic season only looks endangered by availability. Please, please make yourself available when you can, and we can keep as many people as possible playing and enjoying the game we love.

Scorecard is here.