Bramhall 2nd XI v Brooklands 7/7/18

Andrew Reynolds Senior Match Reports

The summer of wonders continues – another sunny Saturday, and England in the quarter finals of the world cup! With an earlier start agreed to allow the players to watch the second half of the football, Bramhall – like England – were looking to win again. I doubt that Gareth Southgate has the same availability issues to deal with as Bramhall 2nds. In the space of 20 minutes just before the start of the game, the Bramhall team went from 9 players being available, to 13, and then back to 11.
Brooklands won the toss and opted to bat, with the prospect of fielding in the heat doubtless playing its part in the decision. George Jones got Brooklands off to a flying start as the Bramhall bowlers took their time to find their rhythm, before Tim Wood had George Storrow caught behind. Khares came to the wicket and runs continued to flow as the ball raced away over the scorched outfield. James Davenport entered the attack and bowled Khares as Jones became becalmed, but the introduction of the slow “grenade” bowling of Tom Drury changed the innings. A succession of batsmen succumbed, hitting catches which Bramhall gratefully accepted – a significant improvement over the previous week. Davenport contributed further, bowling Mark Bloomfield for a well-made 43, and Brookland subsided to 122-9. James Hugall and Tom Mitchell hit out to extend the score by a further 41 runs before Mitchell was finally bowled by Gavin Tomlinson to leave Brooklands all out for 163, with Drury having taken 6 wickets.
After an extended tea break, watching the second half of the football, Bramhall came out to bat knowing that a win was within their grasp if they could show the necessary patience and determination. The start was not, however, quite as they wished, as Andy Reynolds was bowled by the second ball of the innings. James Oliver was next in, again showing what a superb timer of the ball he is, but his cameo of 14 ended with a tame guide to second slip. Gavin Tomlinson joined Ellie Mason in the middle, and the pair showed the skills to survive whilst punishing anything wayward from the bowlers. Ellie was eventually out for a fine 42, with a carbon copy of James Oliver’s dismissal, to be replaced by Harry Oliver. Despite showing more restraint than he would, perhaps, enjoy, Harry didn’t last long, and when Tomlinson was out for an obdurate and important 32, Bramhall were still 55 runs short of their target with the last two recognised batsmen at the crease. However, Tim Wood continued to show the skills that he had demonstrated the previous week, whilst James Davenport is in danger of gaining a reputation as an expert “finisher”. This was the fourth time this season that he has remained undefeated at the end of a run chase, and the two of them knocked off the necessary runs with 14 overs to spare.
Another win, another 25 points, and Bramhall now find themselves second in the league, albeit only a little ahead of the teams in 3rd and 4th.