Cranham's challenge proves wide of the mark
1:37pm Wednesday 14th August 2013 in Sport
Readers Glos CCL Div 2. Birdlip & Brimpsfield 195-9. Cranham 180 all out. CRANHAM are always a stiffer challenge than their league position suggests and neither side, at any point, had the upper hand.
Birdlip were asked to bat and despite most the top order making starts, Cranham kept taking wickets. The frugal James Pockett (nine overs for 23 runs) and Charlies Overs (two wickets) bowled in tandem to stifle any momentum the home side wanted to exert. Only the consistent Nitin Shetty (43) scored freely until Pockett claimed his wicket.
With the innings in the balance, the normally expansive Toby Harris had to play the holding role to see the innings through and keep wickets in hand for the final push. Fortunately for Birdlip, despite the loss of Harris, Andy Hieron (31) and Sathya Prakash (17*) made good use of the final overs to extend the score to 195. This reasonable total, boosted by 15 wides, gave Birdlip something to defend, which for most part of the innings looked unlikely.
Opener James Pockett made a solid start along with brother Benn (22) but like Birdlip, Cranham wickets kept falling just as partnerships started to form. James Pocket continued to a half-century and kept his side in the hunt with good support from Alex Pockett. Eventually James had his middle stump taken out by Will Von Behr for 55. Behr added two more wickets to his tally as the game progessed - still with no real advantage to either side.
Birdlip's main strike bowler this season Prakash returned for a second spell and turned the game in the hosts' favour, removing Alex Pockett (30) who was now accelerating the score and pushing for victory.
Prakash also bagged two of the tail-enders to seal the win for Birdlip with Cranham 15 runs short, the visitors probably rueing their 15 wides earlier in the day.