Ropley (A) - 22 May 2010
Won by 83 Runs

IDLERS 239/7 beat ROPLEY 156 all out.

On the hottest day of the year so far, the Idlers produced a fine team performance to defeat Ropley and continue their promising start to County division 2.

The day started well when the Idlers captain, won a crucial toss and put the home side in to the field on the tortuously hot mid-afternoon sun. Idlers openers, J. Cranch (93) and A. Ince (18), provided the firmest of foundations on which to build a defendable score and saw off the majority of the Ropley opening bowlers' overs.

In an awesome display of attacking strokeplay, Cranch punished the Ropley bowlers and raced to his half century, which included 11 boundaries. Cranch looked more at ease at the crease the longer the game went on; producing some sublime shots including 3 sweetly timed 6’s straight back over the bowlers head. Cranch was ably supported by Idlers captain A. Harms (28), in which they shared a century partnership setting the scene for what should have been the Idlers 3rd consecutive score of 250 plus.

However, Ropley fought back well in the middle overs with the introduction of spin, the pick of the bowlers being M. Peters (3-54). The regular fall of wickets put the brakes on the Idlers innings somewhat, but solid performances from G. Shepherd (23), S. Douse (16), and hard running from the lower order ensured that maximum batting points were accrued and a difficult target was posted for the home side. Idlers finished on 239/7.

Sensing the importance of getting off to a good start the Ropley openers both looked to be positive. N. Gerrard (23) played some flamboyant strokes before being trapped lbw. A good opening spell from N. Lawrence & M. Clements saw the Idlers arrive at the first drinks break on top with the home side struggling at 55/2.

With the sun still beating down, short spells were the order of the day. Five bowlers were used by the visiting Idlers and all chipped in, each collecting 2 wickets. Faced with an ever-increasing run rate the batsmen struggled to settle at the crease with the exception of M. Peters (56), following up his earlier fine bowling performance.

J. Shears, arguably the pick of the Idlers bowlers, produced a superbly tight spell, bowling at a crucial point of the game and was rewarded with figures of 10-1-31-2, including an excellent caught and bowled. R. Beckles bowled with aggression and accuracy and managed to extract some awkward bounce from a rather ‘tired’ wicket.

Ropley were finally dismissed for 156 in the 39th over.
TEAM : Joe Cranch, Alex Ince, Andy Harms, George Shepherd, Simeon Douse, Alex Richards, Grant Whitcombe, Martin Clements, Johnny Shears, Nick Lawrence, Rawle Beckles

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