‘League cricket’ was back on the agenda on 25th July 2020, as the newly formed structure for the season kicked off.
Lydney 1st XI entering the GCCL A West Division and the first opponents were Kingsholm away at the Henry Oppenhiem Memorial Ground.
With the forecast looking dodgy, hopes were that the rain would miss Kingsholm and allow a full game with Lydney coming into the match on the back of two good friendly victories.
The clouds were low as the toss was done, Lydney being asked to bat.
A new look opening batting partnership was on show for Lydney as Alex Nelmes and Smokey Joe Hale went to the crease. Nelmes coming off an impressive half century last week and Hale having two solid performances behind him with the bat.
In what was clearly bowler friendly conditions, batting was tough as the openers had to dig in. Kingsholm’s bowlers finding good lines and lengths as Lydney reached 9-0 (4 overs). Nelmes in particular was impressing with his ‘play and miss’ shots.
In the 5th over the shackles were released as 13 runs were scored as Lydney looked to set a good platform. Nelmes starting to find the middle of the bat with some glorious square cuts. However, the partnership ended when Hale miscued a leg side clip to mid wicket for 3. Lydney 30-1 (7 overs).
Record run scorer Jonny Kear came in at 3 and soon looked comfortable hitting a powerful pull shot through mid wicket for a boundary. Nelmes though was soon out for 18 as he nicked one behind to the keeper. 34-2 (8 overs).
34-2 soon became 43-5 as Lydney’s batsmen came and went in quick succession. Jake Bonser bowled for a golden duck, Jordan Stone getting caught at point for 4 and Henry Sleeman caught for 0. Not a great ground for Sleeman who has bad memories from his innings at this ground last season.
Lydney needed some stability as Jack Bartlett came to the crease. Bartlett, a big lad, confirmed by one Kingsholm fan he said ‘f**k me he is a big chap, he must only know one way to bat.’ Well thats true, when Bartlett hits the ball it stays hit. Bartlett his usual attacking self which included a straight drive that was hit so hard it reached the boundary before you could blink, never seen such a powerfully hit drive…all along the floor too.
Kear and Bartlett put on 24 until Bartlett was out, well caught in the covers for a quickfire 19. 67-6.
It was 68-7 before long as the last recognised batsman, Kear was caught for 10 and things were now looking for bleak. Heads were down in the dugout, Bartlett and Sleeman choosing to walk round the boundary. Chunk, who umpired, and the onlooking Nick Nelmes suggesting that the conversation between the two would unlikely be about splitting the atom or the current Brexit negotiations delay. Bit harsh maybe?
Kingsholm were now full of energy as Lydney looked skywards for rain. There had been spits and spots but nothing major. Jack O’Connell and Callum Miller were the new batsmen.
With the chat about reaching 100 being a good score, players looked on the trepidation. However, the fears were unfounded as O’Connell and Miller turned the tide playing some sensible cricket, defending the good ‘uns and attacking any loose deliveries. The pair put on 52 taking the score to 120-7 (25 overs) before rain stopped play. O’Connell 33* and Miller 17*.
The rain kept falling as the players looked on, most noticeably Alex Nelmes who was wearing a dodgy coat. He claimed it was designer or something and worth a bit. It may have been true, but who has heard of ‘Patagonia’? We reckon he nicked it off some chav and knitted on the first badge he could find.
The rain finally stopped, the captains and Umpires agreeing the game could not continue however, as the match was abandoned. Would have been interesting to see what would have happened. Lydney initially looking unlikely to get 100 but then possibly looking at 175+.
7 points for Lydney, 9 pts for Kingsholm. On to Tewkesbury away next weekend.