It’s that winning feeling – at last!
SKIPPER Simon Jackson was a happy man as his Reed side recorded their first victory of the season with a 75-run win against Abbots Langley. We feel relieved we now have a win under our belts, he said. We have had some bad luck, some winning draws, and
SKIPPER Simon Jackson was a happy man as his Reed side recorded their first victory of the season with a 75-run win against Abbots Langley.
"We feel relieved we now have a win under our belts," he said.
"We have had some bad luck, some winning draws, and poor weather, so to register a win against a team higher than us with two main players missing from our set-up, the lads did a fantastic job.
"It was a really hot day, and we stuck to our task well to ensure Abbots had their first loss of the season."
Despite missing star batsmen Tom Fulk and James Heslam, who were on holiday, Simon Jackson opted to bat on a pitch which again resembled a bowler's nightmare.
A free-scoring start by Baz Curtis (29) and William Clarke (16) suggested it would be a long afternoon for the fielding side, particularly as the opening bowlers only bowled four overs each before the spinners took charge.
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Yet the introduction of Warner (22-3-0-78-4) and Dunstone (18-0-57-3) slowed the run rate, as they progressively chipped away at the top and middle order.
At one point it looked like the home side might be bowled out for under 150, but Chris Jackson found his feet to strike an authoritative and fluent 83.
With Marcus Martin (38) playing some exquisite strokes and rotating the strike sensibly, the pair accelerated the scoring rate and managed to drag Reed to 191 all out off 52.3 overs.
Doubtful whether this would be enough, the Reed bowlers and fielders were mindful to be very tight, and were immediately rewarded as Michael Berks (8-0-33-2) bowled opener C Smith with a beauty for 18.
This was further compounded when Andy Young (14-4-44-2) asserted his authority on the game with an unplayable delivery to their Australian batsman to bowl him for one.
As the middle order began to settle with Carlisle (26) and Cox (33) helping the score creep nearer 100, it took a gamble to bring on Reed's developing spinner, Chris Jackson (6-2-12-1).
On this occasion it paid off, as he caught and bowled Carlisle, and he and Peter Tidey (9.1-9-7-4) pegged back the scoring and began to put pressure on Abbots Langley.
Tidey bowled an exemplary line, a true role model for young swing bowlers, as he tore through the middle order on a lifeless pitch, with one of the main performances of the day.
Abbots Langley gave up the chase as they tried to bat out the draw, but a sharp catch at short leg by Marcus Martin off Andrew Emms (4-3-2-1) ensured that Reed pressed towards their tail and continued to apply pressure.
Some resistance from their final batsmen made it seem that a draw was inevitable, until some good thinking by Berks, by serving a full toss to the young tailender, ended up in a deflected drive off a fielder's boot presenting a simple catching chance for Reed, to give them a long-overdue victory with only five balls to spare.