On a beautiful sunny day, Clifton Captain Alastair Walters won the toss and elected to bat first in sultry conditions, making first use of the 'road'. However, in a game that ebbed and flowed all day, Calverton's opening attack of Evans and Welch immediately put the hosts in the driver’s seat with 3 quick wickets reducing Clifton to 15-3. A recovery then followed as Hart & Cowlishaw added 73 for the fourth wicket until Billy Armstrong struck, bowling Hart for 53. Cowlishaw & Gunn then put Clifton in the box seat with another fine partnership of 61, before Brinsley Kirkham decided to put his mark on the game. From a position of strength at 149-4, Kirkham ran through the rest of Clifton's batsmen taking 5-67 off 16 overs as the visitors were bowled out in the 46th over for 196.
So Calverton had two extra overs to reach the target of 196 and consolidate the lead at the top of Division B. With Run Machine Scott Andrew surprisingly rested in the 'rotation policy' (or perhaps he was away playing with a smaller round ball), Billy Bennett & Daz opened the innings. BB fell early doors, but Daz & Adam Peel took the score beyond 50 until Peeler became the first of four batsmen to be adjudged LBW - rather harshly. When Daz was bowled by one that kept a bit low, the total stood at 66-3. When 3 more LBW appeals were upheld, Calvo were tottering on 105-6.That man Kirkham joined Billy A at the crease and steadily rebuilt the innings adding 41 for the seventh wicket until Billy was caught on the boundary. With 52 still required for victory & just 3 wickets left, the game was firmly in the balance. On the plus side there were plenty of overs left as Kevin Evans joined Brinsley at the wicket. The two of them batted with watchfulness and Kev used all his experience, whilst Brins played probably the best innings of his 1st team career as they edged the team towards victory. Sure enough the winning runs came with a late cut for 2 from Kev to set off the celebrations.
A cracking game of cricket played in the best of spirits by all concerned & 20 more points gained.
MOM BK - 5 for and 38 no, great stuff!