Eastleigh and Otterbourn II (H) - 15 July 2006
Won by 10 Wickets

Idlers 73-0 beat Eastleigh and Otterbourne II 71 all out by 10 wickets

After steeling themselves for their toughest encounter of the campaign with war-like words peppering both clubs’ websites in the week leading up to the encounter, the top of the table clash was decided with only 30 overs bowled, and the Idlers were undoubtedly the more contented team. The maximum points acquired by the Idlers has reversed the two top spots and lays further foundations in their bid for promotion.

E&O 2nds were delighted when their skipper won the toss after having lost nine on the trot but that was to be their only success of the day. The Idlers’ fiery opener, Nick Lawrence (2-20), got proceedings off to the best possible start taking a wicket on his third ball when the previous two had beaten the bat and had been edged over the slip cordon respectively. Enthused by this promising start, fellow opener, Martin Clements (2-12), gave no quarter from the other end and dismissed the other opening batsman who edged one to the ‘keeper. Lawrence picked up his second wicket with a fine off-cutter and of Clements’ eight over spell, five were maidens.

This superb platform was built upon by Jasper Gilbey, who, after a shaky first over, found his length and pace to bag a brace of wickets. The pick of the bowlers was Charlie Stow whose variations in speed and an ability to move the ball both ways through the air flummoxed the E&O batsmen and resulted in the impressive figures of 4-10. Throughout these periods of pressure the Idlers were readied for a league-topping counterattack but none occurred.

In order to secure maximum points the Idlers were set a simple equation: score 72 runs without losing a wicket. To complete this mission the big guns were sent in early. George Shepherd and Gilbey strode confidently to the middle and set about their task with fervour, attacking the aggressive E&O bowling and launching four huge 6s between them in an onslaught that lasted only 10.3 overs. Acting-captain for the day, Shepherd scored an impeccable 38*, whilst his batting partner, Gilbey, amassed an elegant 30* to win the game and climb to the top of the table.

TEAM : George Shepherd, Jasper Gilbey, Simeon Douse, Charlie Stow, Alex Richards, William Kay, Max Biles, Alex Ince, Rawle Beckles, Martin Clements, Nick Lawrence

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