Crows captain praises Kindred as Royston squeeze past Thriplow

Max Kindred batting for Royston CC

Max Kindred batting for Royston CC - Credit: Archant

Skipper Martin Leary praised Max Kindred’s all-round expertise as Royston edged out Thriplow 2nds by just two runs on Saturday but believes his side need to improve their batting if they are to remain top of the Junior One South division.

Kindred (54) was the only Crows batsman to make over 20 in a woeful innings that saw Royston dismissed for just 174.

With Thriplow licking their lips at a reachable target, opener Tom Care (67) got the hosts off to a great start but Royston’s bowlers, led by Kindred who claimed 2-36, redeemed themselves after a poor show with the willow to restrict Thriplow to just 172-6 from their allotted 40 overs.

Speaking after their fourth straight win, captain Leary said: “Max has had considerable all-round potential for a while, and this season we’re beginning to see that being realised, with both bat and ball.

“Nonetheless, we’ll need to bat better than we did here if we’re to keep our winning streak going against stronger opposition.”

After a solid start from Paul Leary (11) and Mick Miller (12) had taken Royston to 30-0, the visitors slumped to 37-3, leaving Paul Miller and Rob Gill with some rebuilding to do.

This they did for a time, however when Miller departed LBW for six and Gill quickly followed for 18, the Crows were again in trouble at 68-5.

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Martin Leary (17) looked in good touch before a direct hit in the field sent him on his way, and with Matt Houghton having departed a few overs earlier, Royston had slumped to 90-7.

Kindred steered Royston away from immediate capitulation and after a flurry of boundaries pushed Royston past 140 in quick time.

His half century off 44 balls left his side in a much stronger position at 159-8. Royston finished on 174 all out, four balls shy of their 40-over allocation.

Despite the early wicket of Jon Goodacre (three), bowled by Kindred, Thriplow made good progress led by the attacking strokeplay of Care (67).

Thriplow soon passed 100 and staying close to the required run rate, they looked strong favourites before Care fell to a Rob Gill catch at mid-wicket off the bowling of Pete Merrell (10-2-41-1).

With the weaker batting line-up of Thriplow exposed, Royston now applied the pressure and were rewarded with an excellent Martin Leary run-out of Ivan Bennett (24).

The hosts continued to accumulate and with 50 required from the last 10, they remained favourites.

However, some tight bowling from Royston increased the required rate and with 20 still needed from two overs, the pressure told, Kindred (10-2-36-2) and Phil Hall (10-3-40-2) closing out a tense game and picking up three further wickets.

With four needed to tie off the last ball, Thriplow could only manage two to finish two runs shy.