Following the abandonment of the BUCS game at Newport and the loss of Day 1 of this game at Usk due to torrential rain, the ground staff at the Monmouthshire club did a wonderful job to enable play on Day 2 – ably assisted by players from both teams.
A slightly delayed start (11.30 am) meant there would be 112 overs possible in the day – the team batting first being able to use 55% of that allocation. Christian Davis won the toss for the Yellows and decided to field. Alex Lilley immediately made this decision pay off in the in his second over when Norris was caught behind by Steve Bullen. That, however, was to be the only success for a while, as Scriven & Brand complied a partnership of 166 in 41 overs before Scriven became Lilley’s second victim, Nathan Hill taking a catch on debut to get rid of the opener for 80. Cardiff skipper Jake George was run out for 9 with the total on 184 and the Joe Ellis-Grewal took a return catch to see the back of Tim Rouse – brother of Harry – before Lilley returned to the attack to take his 3rd wicket by bowling Cullen.
Jegs was then involved in the running out of Brand, the South African born batsman having scored 117, and Cardiff’s innings finally closed after 61 overs with their total on 267 for 6, leaving the Yellows 51 overs to try and chase down the total.
Steve Bullen & Henry Thompson set about this challenge with gusto, taking the total to 95 after 20 overs before Bullen was caught by the keeper, Cullen, two short of what would have been his sixth half-century of the season. Bullen caught Cullen. The ball wasn’t a full ‘un sadly.
Thompson was joined by Billy Root & the pair of them continued taking the attack to the Welsh students, Thompson in particular playing his most fluent innings in some time. Unfortunately with the total on 173 the lanky Lancastrian drove the ball to long on, Scriven taking a spectacular catch just inside the rope. He had made 73 from 96 balls (7×4, 1×6).
Henry Thompson – his 3rd fifty for the Yellows
Root was joined by Davis, the duo hoping to continue their prolific run of partnerships, although it wasn’t to be today as the captain became the first of 5 victims for Westphal, the Cardiff opening bowler, after they’d added 28. Still, needing another 67 from 13.4 overs the clever money was still on the Yellows gaining a win. Clever gamblers we are not though!
Root fell for 70, trying to steer won to third man but only succeeding in finding the keeper and thereafter Harry Rouse was the only batsman to make any inroads as Weston & Scott were both bowled by Westphal.
However, with 6 required from the last over and 4 wickets in hand, the odds were still in our favour! That is until we lost 3 wickets in 5 balls – Rouse being bowled by Westphal for 27, Ogden getting run out after trying to take a suicidal single as the ball passed through to the keeper and then Ellis-Grewal falling to an unbelievable direct hit from Leverock on the cover boundary as he came back for a second. Hill came to the crease on his Leeds Bradford debut needing to score 3 to win from the final ball of the innings to make a heroic start to his career. Sadly it was a swing and a miss, the game ending in a hugely frustrating draw!
Cardiff picked up 12 points to our 11 and full credit must go to all at Usk cricket club for getting any play in at all.