Bay of reckoning
REED progressed to the regional semi-final of the National Village Cup with a 45-run win against Botany Bay on Sunday. Heavy rain over the previous week had left Reed s pitch resembling more of a Bangladeshi delta than a sporting venue, but the tireless
REED progressed to the regional semi-final of the National Village Cup with a 45-run win against Botany Bay on Sunday.
Heavy rain over the previous week had left Reed's pitch resembling more of a Bangladeshi delta than a sporting venue, but the tireless efforts of groundsman Richard Robertson and a warm breeze ensured that the damp squib was safe to play, albeit in a 32-over-a-side reduced format.
With the prospect of a bowl-out to decide who would book a place in the regional last four, both sides were keen to play, and the weather did little to dampen their spirits.
Having won the toss, and electing to field, the visitors made light work of the opening three Reed batsmen on a lively yet slow pitch, reducing the hosts to a 22-3 off six overs, with Wilkinson (7-2-23-2) doing the early damage.
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Mindful of Reed being skittled out for a paltry target, William Clarke (33) and Tom Fulk (37) dug in and began to blunt the Bay's attack with some impressive aerial shots to reach the boundary and avoid the sodden outfield.
Fulk then suffered a torn leg muscle that eventually led him to require a runner, and certainly hindered him progressing to a higher total.
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When he fell to a reckless stroke, Chris Shorrock (19) partnered Clarke to press the score a little further before Clarke was adjudged LBW with the score on 100 and 24 overs gone.
Perhaps thankfully, this brought the light-footed skipper Simon Jackson (21 not out) to the crease, and he worked the ball well into many areas, with Marcus Martin (7 not out), as they hared between the wickets to drag the total to 152-6.
It was doubted that this would be enough to defend, but Botany Bay certainly underestimated Reed's strong bowling attack.
The innings could not have got off to a better start, as Clarke achieved a direct hit to run out opener A Harris, who opted for a kamikaze run.
Clarke(7-1-21-1) then followed up with a ball that left D Lawrence's off stump horizontal.
Peter Tidey, meanwhile, kept runs very tight at the opposite end, registering 7-2-11-0.
Sharp fielding by Chris Jackson accounted for Wilkinson run out, and Karl Ward (6-2-20-1) quickly followed up with by sending S Hunt back down the A10 with a ball that moved in sharply to connect with his middle stump.
This allowed S Clark (30) and J Hayes (29) to take grip of the innings as they began to take the game away from Reed.
But this was the perfect platform for Chris Jackson (5-0-16-2) aided by a sharp catch by his brother keeping wicket.
The tail was truly exposed by now, and it allowed Jason Archer (7-1-27-1) and Marcus Martin (1-0-2-1) the perfect opportunity to snaffle a couple of late wickets, as the Bay limped to a meagre 107-8.
Reed skipper Simon Jackson was delighted with the performance.
"On a difficult wicket, and with our backs against the wall after six overs, we truly showed some depth in spirit to post a target which in hindsight was challenging" he said.
"Our bowlers then exploited the pitch with guile to see us a step closer to Lords
Reed will now play Waresley on Sunday.