Backwell Flax Bourton crash to first defeat of the season

PUBLISHED: 09:35 01 August 2018 | UPDATED: 09:35 01 August 2018

The new cricket season is well underway (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

The new cricket season is well underway (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Backwell Flax Bourton crash to their first defeat of the season against promotion rivals Pakistani Express.

Pakistani Express 217-8

Backwell Flax Bourton 127

(revised target 183)

Flax suffered their first defeat of the season against promotion rivals, Pakistani Express in a rain-affected game at Flaxmead, but remain top of the Bristol & District League Division 4.

In this crunch fixture, it was the visitors who went out on the front foot despite only having five team members present at the time of the toss. As such, Flax won the toss by default and asked their guests to bat as the cloud gathered and the wind picked up.

Jake Burge provided the most threat with his pace and movement and he passed the outside edge of the bat frequently. On the one occasion the edge was found, it carried to Fitzgibbon at slip where the ball bounced away from the skipper’s diving fingers at both the first and second attempts.

Iqbal, on his second life moved to 28 before chipping Matt Joyce to Burge in the covers and Flax had their first wicket with the score at 40.

Malik was in at three and after surviving a close run out scare was bowled by Pete Beale. This saw Ifzal enter and with Sohail built a strong partnership that took the score to 122 before Todd struck, bowling the opener for a solid 45.

Ifzal went on to make a steady 59 before being bowled by Burge. Sam Flowers was introduced and with the game interestingly poised, the young spinner took 3-26 runs from his eight overs.

In between the wickets, unlike in previous weeks, the score continued to moving and the Pakistani Express innings closed on 217-8.

The Flax reply could not have begun in a worse way as the top four, who have been in superb form in recent weeks managed just eight runs between them.

Fitzgibbon was first to go, lbw for one in the fourth over. Martin was next to go, just two balls later and then Sam Flowers departed first ball, both to the left-arm seam bowling of Zuhaib.

Tom Phillips was next to go to register another nought on the scorecard as the total reflected Flax feeling at 13.

Harsha Vardhana dug in as he patiently dropped anchor, waiting for the bad ball but with Burge in at number six, the first of Junaid Khan’s four wickets, the score reading 34-5 hadn’t moved on to a position where Flax could realistically get back in to the game.

Todd and Joyce supported Vardhana (43) as rain threatened, but when eventually the sides came off briefly with the score on 102-7, it felt like it may just be a delay to the inevitable outcome.

As they emerged from the 30-minute delay, Flax had a revised target of 183 from 38 overs. Khan was then reintroduced to the attack and he mopped up the remaining wickets and Flax were bowled out for 127.

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