Brunswick middle order batsmen loose momentum
(20 August 2015 - Brighton Brunswick v Queen's Park, Trinidad)
Most regrettably the English weather intervened and upset the "triangular" 20/20 matches between the touring Queens Park Cricket Club from Trinidad and Tobago, Eastbourne C.C. and the Brunswick. Heavy overnight rain, an uncovered pitch and a soaking outfield delayed any play from the intended 10am start, until 1,30pm.
The much reduced playing day had to be re-arranged and it was decided to play only two 20/20 matches. The first between the Brunswick v QPCC followed by Eastbourne CC v QPCC.
Winning the toss QPCC elected to bat in humid overcast conditions. Justin Guillen and Petrock Nicholas opened the batting against the medium fast attach of Carl Simon and Ryan Brown. Nicholas is renowned for his hard hitting and scored 767 in the 2015 home season. He was soon off the mark and hit a ball in Simon's second over for a massive 6 into the adjacent football stadium. After four overs and with the score on 33 a change of bowling saw the introduction of the left arm spin of Mike Rose and medium fast Shaun Johnson. Nicholas was particularly severe on Johnson hitting his two overs for 25 runs. However, at the other end Rose, bowling a very good length, tied both batsman to their creases. Guillen in frustration went for a big hit against and was well caught by Jonny Phelps on the long-on boundary. The score 44-1 off 6 overs.
Another shrewd bowling change saw the introduction of the fast medium bowling of Andy Smith, the S.A. overseas player for Three Bridges. Andy has struggled this season to come to terms with the slower Engish wickets but today he hit a good length from the off. Finding the outside edge, James Silk took a good catch at slip and Tion Webster was back in the pavilion for "0". The score 71-2 off 8 overs.
At this stage an excellent Brunswick spell of bowling slowed the scoring rate dramatically. But for a wonderful innings from Nicholas, the QPCC other batsmen found the Brunswick bowling hard to score from. Daron Cruickshank, who has been a regular player in the English Minor County leagues, was well caught by Dan Phillips at cover for only 4 off an arm ball from Rose which stopped and turned. The score 79-3 off 9 overs.
Andy Smith bowled the QPCC captain Kevon Cooper for "0" and five balls later a beautiful length ball from Smith, which swung late, sent Jonathan Augustus back for only 4 caught at mid-on. Brunswick were well on top at this stage. But the limited 4 overs per bowler saw Smith end his fine spell with 3-34 and Rose's magnificent 2 wickets for only 18. The score 82-5 off 11 overs. At this stage Nicholas had moved on to score a wonderful half-century with a well struck 4 through the covers. The short boundary at the Saffrons with the football pitch now encroaching on what was once a full sized County Ground for Sussex C.C.C. matches, allowed Nicholas to play a series of risky shots which all went for 6! At one time Nicholas had scored 82 of the 122 runs on the score board. He was joined by Sherwin Peters, who recently played in a warm up game against England. These two accelerated the scoring rate over the last 8 overs with Nicholas flaying the spin of James Silk for three 6's into the football ground in one over, to bring up his 100. A very fine innings. These two took the score 145 when Peters was LBW to a good length ball from Carl Simon for 46. The score 145-6 off 17 overs.
Nicholas and Yannic Cariah took the score to 188 off the 20 overs with Nicholas 112 not out. A break for tea and it was back to business for the opening Brunswick batsmen Dan Phillips, captaining the Brunswick for the first time, and Jonny Phelps. These two thrashed the QPCC opening bowlers to all areas of the ground. After 12 overs they had scored 101 runs with the target of another 87 runs off 8 overs well in their sights. Phelps brought up his 50 with a fine cover drive which rattled the boundary. But then in going for a quick run he was turned back by Phillips and was run out for a fine 51.
Shawn Johnson, who has been in particularly good form with the bat for Bexhill in the Sussex Premier League, went for a big hit off only the fourth ball of the leg-spin of Yannic Cariah. He mishit and was caught off a skier at deep mid-wicket for only 1.
Cariah is one of 15 players contracted by the TCCB for the upcoming 2016 Professional Cricket League 4-day tournament. He is recognised more for his left-hand batting than his spin bowling but his introduction into the attack today and the variety of his spin baffled the incoming Brunswick batsmen. While at the other end Dan Phillips was batting very well and reached his 50 with a massive 6 over long-on. However, Cariah tied the Brunswick batsmen into such knots and slowed the scoring down to such an extent the responsibility to keep the score racing along was left totally to Philips. With Wahead Saffi scoring only 4 runs in two overs it was left to Philips to try and accelerate the scoring. Going down the track to Cariah for a big hit he was deceived by the spin and was stumped for a fine 64. 122 for 3 off 15 overs.
The Brunswick now required 66 runs off only 5 overs. However, wickets tumbled for next to nothing with Cariah taking 4-27 off his four overs and the Brunswick closing their 20 overs at 133 of 9. With the last 5 wickets falling for only 11 runs it was not one of the Brunswick's best batting displays. However, it has to be said that the QPCC spin bowling, and in particular Cariah, was of a very high standard and they deserved the victory.
The QPCC went on to play the next match against Eastbourne and batting first amassed 200 runs. Eastbourne were a man short and Jonny Phelps, the Brunswick opening bat, was invited to open the batting for Eastbourne. He scored a wonderful 118 in the run chase but Eastbourne were well short of the target being all out for 150.
The well-remembered West Indian wicket keeper Deryck Murray is the President of the QPCC. He writes in their Tour booklet how fondly he remembers well his first visit to England in 1963 as a member of the victorious West Indies Team, captained by Frank Worrell. He comments that throughout history, so many of the Queen's Park family have graced the Test and County Grounds of England – the Grants, Jeffrey Stollmeyer, Gerry Gomez, Bryan and Charlie Davis and most recently the illustrious Brian Lara. He says the current Tour comes at a time when QPCC has been dominating the local scene in all formats of the game and as the club also continues to produce internationally-recognised individual players.
Without doubt QPCC has sent over a very fine cricketing side whose talents on the field this week were matched equally by their excellent team spirit and good humour on and off the field. It was a delight for the Brunswick to have the opportunity to play against them.