Bedminster 2’s faced top of the league Bristol Pakistanis on a scorching Saturday afternoon at the Clanage. The most anticipated fixture of the season for the side so far having lost the first leg by a staggering number of runs. Greek won the toss and chose to let the opposition swelter in the heat first, hoping to deliver a similar punishment in return.
The opening partnership of Elphick and Greek went out with a nervous atmosphere, the Bedminster captain had hyped the opposition up to WEPL standard referencing the Bristol Pakistani team to have 4 current professional cricketers in the line-up. After establishing quickly that neither of the opening bowlers did in fact bowl 90+ MPH the pair got down to business and made great use of the hard, new ball and lighting outfield. Gareth made a strong start but couldn’t push on to a big score, caught behind on 30.
Little Sheen joined Greek and the pair made sure to steady the ship with a combination of blocks and leaves, the partnership literally boring the Russlar to sleep on the boundary. Greek found his feet eventually, pushing past his half century before Sheen was caught on 28, top edging a sweep shot he has played so well all season. This brought Macca to the crease with expectations of fireworks from the excited Bedminster crowd. Unfortunately, the veteran could not deliver and was sent for a shower after missing a straight one for a duck.
This brought ex 1st XI player Russell to the crease with a collapse looking likely against a fired-up top of the league. After a cautious start he started to pile on the runs with Greek giving him the strike from the other end. Russell scored quickly all around the ground before the captain was dismissed in the 70s bottling a ton in the big match. More wickets fell at the other end but Russell continued to dispatch the opposition bowlers to bring up his century in just 47 balls. Having done the job, he miss-cued one to deep cover in big gun fashion the very next ball to get a quick shower in before tea.
The tail failed to wag, a Mason 6 over the pavilion the only highlight from the lower order as Bedminster made there way to an above par 296 on a pitch looking worse and worse as the game continued.
The opposition came out to bat in the 2nd innings facing an uphill struggle and possibly the strongest bowling line-up the 2s had put out all year. J Duckworth opened up down the hill with a strong line and length beating the bat several times before Russell had to struggle in, up the hill the other end into the gust for his first bowl in 6 weeks. The over did not go well early on, struggling to hit the correct wicket. The quickie finally found his mark, snicking off the opposition pro opening batsman with the final ball of the over, a 12 ball over to forget!
Duckworth joined the party shortly after and Bedminster were right on top picking up wickets at regular intervals, all bowlers contributing to the effort with the fielding backing the bowling up. James Carter produced a strong spell down the hill as expected with a precise line and length throughout. Worth mentioning the big fella was hit onto the square on the top pitch, widely considered to be one of the biggest sixes at the Clanage in a decade.
Young Sheen found keeping tricky on a tough surface and after shipping more byes than hed scored in runs again, had to swap with an already shattered Russell (after an “injury” had halted Sheans ability to continue. The bravery Russell showed to step up was fully appreciated by his team mates and they backed him up entirely, the results were not so good however, a missed stumping left him red faced before the Pakistani’s were cleaned up 150 runs short. An outstanding performance from the 2nd XI who should be proud of how they stepped up against a team boasting 4 pro cricketers that have dominated the league for years.
Roll on Next Week ....