On what can only be discribed as a difficult ‘sticky’ wicket (although consistent), KPCC 4s were brought back down to earth after their win last week with a 53 run loss to Baldock 4s.
KPCC won the toss and elected to bowl first hoping that the dampness would leave the wicket by later in the afternoon and the damp would suit the Park’s bowlers. Charlotte opened up with an excellent spell and despite the pitch offering little in the way of pace it did give her and other bowlers a fair amount of movement and she was rewarded for some tight bowling by removing one of the openers with a ball which ‘jagged’ back considerably and caught the top of off stump. She was unlucky soon afterwards with a catch being put down behind the stumps. Her excellent bowling continued through all 8 overs of her spell finishing with superb figures of 8-0-15-1 and was unlucky not to add to her wicket. Drew opened the other end and continued his fine form and accurate bowling with a spell of 6-0-23-0.
The conditions were likely to suit Dave Mantle and when he replaced Drew it proved to be the case with some excellent accuracy and plenty of movement causing the hosts batsmen trouble. Dave’s spell was misery and he was rewarded with 3 wickets with one clean bowled, one caught by John Inman low in front of him and a very well taken catch off his own bowling. David finished with stunning figures of 8-5-7-3. At the other end, Toby Brown (6-0-35-2) settled into his spell and once length got fuller was rewarded with a couple of wickets one caught be Phil behind the stumps and the other another caught & bowled. Richard Wheeler, replacing Toby had an extra bit of pace and had, on the whole, a good spell with one wicket another catch for his brother!
Unfortunately, the Baldock 3s (and ex Stevenage captain) Kieren Lambert gradually built his innings and it really was his innings which was the difference between the sides. He hit boundaries well with some from Richard and with Catherine (5-0-39-0) stuggling for consistency and an expensive final over Kieren moved to his half-century with relative ease. The Baldock innings closed on 157-7 with Kieren finishing on 66*
The KPCC reply got off to a poor start with Phil departing bowled for 3. However, Millie (21) and John (17) batted well and gradually built a steady base to the innings for a hopeful acceleration later on. The slow outfield (longish and loose cut grass) restricted our boundaries though and the Park reached a decent 47 before Millie, John and Ian Murrill fell in quick sucession. At the other end, Jonathan struggled with timing and very unusually only managed one 4 in his (for him) slow 27 from 50ish balls. With the run rate required increasing quickly and Jonathan then losing partners Catherine, Richard and Charlotte before he was LBW the game was well out of reach before Toby and Drew and then David tried to get the Park to a closer, respectable score. However, with the innings finishing on 104-9 from the 40 overs and Kieren 3 wickets for just 12 runs from his 8 overs, it really would could have been a much closer game.
The game was played in excellent spirit and most of the time it felt like it was a KPCC vs Stevenage game with many of the Baldock players having played for Stevenage in previous seasons!