Brunswick in Run Feast

(8 June 2016)

On Wednesday 8 June the Brunswick travelled to Tunbridge Wells to play Linden Park CC. The ground is set in one of Kent's most scenic parklands and it was a joy to play in the warm and friendly environment we were welcomed to.

With a strong Brunswick XI, winning the toss skipper Callum Smith elected to bat on a true, medium paced wicket with little bounce and an extremely fast outfield.

With the Captains having agreed a 40 over match, Victor Davies and Safi Waheeb opened the batting for the Brunswick against Linden Parks' fast bowling attack of James Speer and Ryan Addison. Both batsmen were in fine form and runs flowed quickly from their bats. Victor was especially aggressive to anything short or well- pitched up and he raced to his 50 with a straight on-drive in only the 9th over. With the score on 85 Victor played all around a straight ball from Addison and was adjudged LBW for a fine 53. 85-1 off 9 overs. Waheeb went soon after bowled by a full-toss from Speer which he misjudged and unbelievably ducked under. It took the top of the bails! Almost a no-ball!

This brought Mark Solway, Findon's overseas player from Australia, to the crease with captain Callum Smith. These two took the score to 129 when Smith mistimed a drive and skied a simple catch to mid-wicket for 25. 129-3 off 16 overs.

Dan Phillips joined Solway, who was in particularly aggressive form. He quickly moved to 50 off only 50 balls, cover driving Pienaar's right arm spin for 4. Philips, who had moved quickly to 23, was deceived by Pienaar's arm ball and was comprehensively bowled and sent back to the pavilion. 160-4 off 22 overs.

This brought Matt O'Keefe, Haywards Heath's overseas player, in to bat. Having been bowled for only 1 by Carl Simon in his previous and first match for the Brunswick, he was determined to show his true mettle on a surface conducive for batting. He and Solway tore Linden Park's bowling to pieces. Solway was eventually caught on the boundary going for a big hit off opening bowler Speer, for a fine 75. 255-5 off 34 overs.

O'Keefe was joined by Mike Rose who hit a quick 28 off 16 balls before being well caught on the boundary off Speer. O'Keefe continued to hit the ball to all areas of the ground and when the 40 overs ended he was on 85 not out while suitably supported by Josh Menzies 12 N.O.

The Brunswick innings closed on a massive 339 off the 40 overs.

After tea, Linden Parks opening batsmen Scott Newman and Will Collins took up the challenge of having to score at almost 9 an over. Scott, a left handed batsman, played first-class cricket for Middlesex and Surrey. On his debut for Surrey in 2002 against Hampshire he scored 99 and in his next match against Leicester 183. He was selected in 2003/04 to attend the ECB national academy and toured subsequently to India.

Carl Simon and Dave Everett opened the bowling for the Brunswick and the battle between Simon and Newman, was particularly enthralling. Newman while defensive to anything short, attempted to hit any good length ball from Simon for 4! Carl beat Newman's bat several times and at the end of his first 6 overs, from which only 24 runs were scored, the weight of opinion was Carl had just won the first round! With the bowlers limited to only 8 overs Carl was retired after his first 6.

At the other end Everett bowled a tight length and swung the ball in the humid conditions. With his first 7 overs going for only 35 and Simon's 6 for 24, Linden Park were well behind the run rate having only scored 56. But with Newman still at the crease and on such a fast scoring ground, anything was possible.

Callum Smith's change of bowling saw the introduction of Josh Menzies medium pace swing and Becca Silks spin. While Newman and Collins started to accelerate the run rate they were never in total control of the match. Both Menzies and Silk bowled fine length's never allowing the batsmen to gain control. Silk deceived Newman twice, almost bowling him with her arm ball and with another she pushed through, slightly faster. However, it was Menzies who gained the scalp of Newman. In attempting to hit an away swinger from Menzies through mid-on Newman mistimed the shot and skied the ball to Carl Simon, who made no mistake in taking the catch. 99-1 off 19 overs.

With Newman back in the pavilion having scored a fine 70 the run race was still on. However, the new batsman Pienaar was never comfortable with Becca's spin and totally misread her faster ball which hit him smack in front and he was adjudged LBW for only 1. Menzies induced Addison into attempting to hit him over extra cover and was well caught by Rose. 126-3 off 23 overs.

While opening bat Collins endeavoured to hold the batting together, Callum's bowling changes were inspirational. With Menzies having taken 2-41 off 6 overs and Silk 1-40 off 6, they were replaced with the left arm spin of Mike Rose and pace attack of Matt O'Keefe. Rose was soon amongst the wickets having Morrel caught by Everett in the covers for 1 and Robors well caught at slip by Phillips for 0. 177-5 off 30 overs.

After Collins, who had carried his bat was bowled by O'Keefe for a fine but slow 47, O'Keefe's pace was too much for Linden Parks lower order batsman. With Clarke back in the pavilion having mistimed a drive off O'Keefe to Victor Davies in the covers for 38 and Tayler being bowled next ball by O'Keefe for 0, the rest of the batsmen succumbed with little aggression. Dan Phillips' spin saw Speer, the number 10 bat caught at slip and to end the match Dave Everett caught a wonderful skier, out of the sun at deep mid-wicket off the bowling of Solway, to dismiss Elliott for 2.

Linden Parks innings closed at 192 off 36.5 overs.

A fine second win for the Brunswick.

Man of the match was Matt O'Keefe for his fine 85 N.O. and his 3-16 off 4 overs.

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