Donnington (H) - 26 August 2006
Won by 164 Runs

Idlers 250-5 beat Donnington 86 by 164 runs

The Idlers Cricket Club have won the Hampshire Regional 2 North West Division after their twelfth win of a highly successful season. After having secured their 3rd promotion in 5 seasons last week, the Idlers notched up another maximum point victory to top the table.

The opponents unable to spoil the Idlers’ party were Donnington who travelled to the Harnham headquarters of the Salisbury-based team for the last game of the campaign. The home side batted first and after a ponderous start had lost a few wickets to the swinging ball and ill-behaved pitch.

A quickfire 22 from Ben Impey acted as a catalyst for the run-scoring that was to come. Following a decidedly unsteady start, Impey’s partner at the crease, George Shepherd, found his timing and began to show the form that would ultimately bring him the coveted ‘Idler of the Year’ award later in the day.

Shepherd bested his previous highest number of 6s in an innings feat by smashing eleven 6s over the ropes (and into the river). Punishing the support bowling of the visitors, George forced most of the disgruntled fielders onto the ropes and stole runs in the gaps they left behind. In a knock of 126 not out, Shepherd surpassed the Regional 2 NW record for runs in a season which brought his tally for the season to 600 runs which included three centuries and thirty 6s at an average of 66.67!

In Shepherd’s record-shattering innings at the crease, he and Max Biles put on a club record 6th wicket partnership of 151 runs – 41 of which were scored by Biles, who also remained unbeaten. The last eight overs yielded nigh on 100 runs as Shepherd’s explosive hitting and the pair’s eager running ran their opponents ragged and moved the score to 250-5.

Donnington started slowly but surely until Martin Clements ended the opening partnership’s resistance. Clements, the Idlers’ leading wicket-taker this season, continued his fine form with the ball and injected an extra yard of pace into his deliveries as his hostile spell reaped rewards of 3-18.
Clements’ partner-in-pace, Nick Lawrence, also picked up three wickets with figures of 3-28.

The Idlers’ workhorse Rawle Beckles’ exceptional bowling in the tail-end of the season continued from the ball one of his spell as he consistently beat the bat. His deadly spell of quick bowling resulted in well-deserved figures of 3-9.

Artful spinner Alex Ince sealed the win by adding a wicket to the blinding reflex catch he took earlier whilst under the helmet at short-leg.
TEAM : Alex Richards, Simeon Douse, Alex Ince, Andy Harms, George Shepherd, Ben Impey, Max Biles, Jasper Gilbey, Rawle Beckles, Martin Clements, Nick Lawrence

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