After passing 200 for the first time this season last week, hopes were high of being able to compete with the leaders. The ground looked resplendent on a bright sunny day and Hucknall had first use of a good looking wicket. Hucknall rattled along to 43 by the seventh over until Matt Dean pouched a fine catch off Billy Bennett. Any thoughts that this would slow the run rate down were dashed however as Captain Maxwell joined South African Dale Campbell at the crease. The bowlers toiled the fielders wilted, as the ball disappeared to all parts. When both batsman passed a hundred and the partnership approached 200, one wondered what total would be posted! However, when Campbell was dismissed for 113, a 'mini collapse' was sparked!! Maxwell fell soon after for 109 and some fine catching saw four more wickets taken as Hucknall reached 326-7 from 50 overs. A huge total, but it could well have been more had it not been for the catching effort in the field.
Now 300+ scores aren't chased down very often and thoughts were very much on getting past 200 initially & seeing what was what. With the top three back in the 'hutch' with just 42 on the board, things looked ominous. Billy Bennett then joined Ryan Evans at the crease and the two young-uns put together a fabulous partnership of 136 belying their tender years! When Billy fell for 43 & James Toogood shortly afterwards, five wickets were down for 186. But Nathan Johnston then steadied the ship putting on a further 53 with Ryan. Although Nathan fell just before the innings closed there were no further alarms and after 50 overs, Calvo closed on 242-6, Ryan undefeated on a magnificent 109.
A hard earned nine points gleaned from the game, let's hope things continue to improve after this battling display.
MOM - Ryan Evans