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Shackleford Carries Bat in League Opening Thriller

Streetly 1st XI v Walmley 1st XI @ Streetly Sports Club
Saturday 18 July

After last week’s warm up win, the Whammers didn’t have any new additions to the team sheet for the season opener of the Warwickshire County Cricket League Premier West campaign.

With all the necessary hand sanitising etc. this is going to be a 45 over win/lose setup with plenty of local ‘derbies’ in store. Today’s trip up the Chester Road ended at a beautifully presented ground that I had never been to before. Fantastic facilities, small boundaries and a car park in range! Let’s just hope the rain doesn’t spoil this.

Jon Newis won the toss and stuck Streetly in, probably with the thought that this game could get affected by the weather. The talented Sachin Dubb took the new cherry to open the 2020 league season. He was ably assisted by the Stokes-esque Jordan Hoffman (2/26) who bowled great lines to put the openers under pressure. But the openers survived, and just like last week, it was down to change bowler Jamie Hall (2/46) to affect the momentum of the tie and put the first wicket in the book with the score on 40.

Unlike last week, the hosts were able to avoid clusters of wickets and built solid partnerships throughout their innings. Walmley just about kept them reined in, but were very glad to see the back of Qadir (94) as Kiefer Woods (1/44) held on to a cracking catch at short 3rd man to give Mikey Waugh his only wicket. Prior to that, Streetly looked well placed at 186-4 with 10 overs to go.

His dismissal saw the Walmley bowlers regain a sense of control and allowed the return of Dinuk de Silva (4/48) who bowled fantastically against batsmen going at him to curtail Streetly. Jordan Hoffman proved a perfect foil too, mopping up the tail and getting the wickets his first spell deserved.

253 all out with 2 balls left in the tank. Interestingly 6 of the Streetly wickets were caught at cover, suggesting the ball may not have been coming onto the bat.

At half time the game looked in the balance, but after scraping to 150 last week and Bob telling me it was too many, I sat down with my half time cider thinking we were up against it.

254 to win @ 5.64 rpo

A wicket in the first over, followed by an ‘umpires call’ LBW, for Demari Prince in his first league match for Walmley, brought Mikey Waugh to the crease with the score at 15-2.

Thankfully, the middle order found some resilience to partner opener Pete Shackleford (95*) who provided a constant presence at the crease and Walmley rebuilt to a more promising looking 144-4.

A Christmas Tree of Partnerships for Peter Shackleford

15 overs to go – 117 required @ 7.8 rpo

This looked achievable with plenty of batting still in the shed but when Newis (31) fell LBW for the second week in a row, the result was on a knife edge. Hoffman was promoted to 7, and after a couple of early wafts, he got his eye in and brutally dispatched the Streetly bowlers who were into their second spell. His innings of 45 in 36, which included 4 sixes, created an 89 run partnership for the 6th wicket.

When he was stumped, with 19 runs still to get, it was opener Shackleford who steered the ship home with calm, poise and the occasional reverse sweep. As Mo Sheikh hit the winning boundary with 13 balls to spare, everyone wished that the scoreboard was working so they knew how close the young man was to his maiden ton!

256-7 off 42.5 Walmley win by 3 wickets (scorecard)

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