Methodists backfire at home
Methodists 145 all out Stapleton 3rds 166 all out
The Methodists’ first league game of the season saw them welcoming newly-promoted Stapleton 3rds to a sunny Norton Hill School.
Asked to bat first, the visitors from the start employed an ‘everything must go’ mentality as the big shots were unleashed immediately - but they were quickly in trouble as Stuart Green struck three times by employing the old ‘you miss, I hit’ technique.
Skipper, Mike Birkinshaw, continued to attack the bowling and largely prospered, finding the boundaries regularly while his partners stuck to the ‘kitchen sink’ method, and the scoreboard had rattled along to 47-4 after seven overs.
A measure of control was then found due to the ever-accurate bowling of David Baker and the scoring-rate subsided to a moderate 85-5 by the innings’ midway point.
Methodists’ new recruit Paul Evans (playing his first game for thirty years!) claimed a couple of wickets with his left-arm seamers and on-loan Miles Hadrill chipped in with some spin, but Birkinshaw continued to clear the rope regularly and with ten overs to go, a big score looked on the cards.
Howard Jones, however, had other ideas - his deceptive deliveries finally removed Birkinshaw (87) and then ripped through the tail, Jones picking up 4-7 as Stapleton were bowled out for 166 in 35 overs.
After tea, the Methodists’ reply never really caught fire - several of the top-order getting in and then getting out.
Mark Robinson played some great shots in his 27, but it was left to the experienced Green to save the hosts’ blushes as he notched up an important 41 runs.
Christian Leggatt (3-20), Matt Selwood (2-19), Rhys Wilson (2-23), Sulayman Hashim (2-32) and the sharp-but-unlucky Safiullah Khan proved too good on the day - the home side eventually dismissed for 145 in the 39th over.
Methodists’ next game - Bradley Stoke 3rds (away).
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