If you follow Clevedon 1st X1 then look away now

PUBLISHED: 12:13 16 August 2017 | UPDATED: 12:13 16 August 2017

Marc Lezar.

Marc Lezar.

Archant

Clevedon were shot out for 81, making a slight recovery from being 19-7 at one stage against Potterne.

Potterne 208-6

Clevedon 81

Piers McBride from a shell-shocked Dial Hill

For 59 long years the following names have been shrouded in infamy since they took their place in Dial Hill cricketing history for posting the lowest total ever to be recorded by a Clevedon 1st X1.

Dennis Bullimore, Ron Matthews, Eric Bostock, Jack Freeman, Jack Howsley, John Hitchings, Mal Millard, Len White, Tony Newby, Ken Porcher and Jim Melling.

For all that time these sad souls have been carrying the burden of being dismissed for just 20 against Bridgwater back in 1958. Off-spinner Brian Langford, you may have heard of him, took six wickets for three runs and it was only thanks to four overthrows and seven extras that the home team managed to get into double figures.

Now the reason I am drawing this sad episode to your attention is purely because last Saturday that long spell spent in the wilderness by 11 cricketers searching endlessly for redemption since 1958 was possibly going to be over.

When it became apparent that Clevedon were within touching distance of expunging the 1958 collapse from the record books, excitement began to grow on the balcony as the nerds and statisticians counted the current side in and out in short order.

16-2, 16-3, 16-4, 18-5, 18-6, 19-7, but then some measure of sanity was restored as numbers nine, 10 and 11 added 62 to restore just a smidgeon of respectability.

Let’s get back to the beginning.

Winning the toss, Jake Lintott inserted visiting Potterne and with Joshua Davy, 10 overs for 20 runs, and Andy Solomons 1-43, keeping prodigious run scoring openers Thomas Cullen (75) and Basil Akram (66) under pretty tight control, the pair took 33 overs to add 118 sharing just three boundary fours.

Clevedon’s spin triumvirate continued to tighten the shackles with Masoor Khan (2-37), Adeel Khan (1-37), Jacob Lintott (1-51) keeping the runs down and by the end of their 50 overs the visitors had reached 208-6, with only seven boundaries included in their total.

With the sun beating down and the players fed and watered, Clevedon stumbled from the off as Marc Lezar was bowled for six and when Masoor Khan perished for just five, the storm cones were hoisted.

Josh Davey made just three and Will Carpenter, Jacob Lintott, Andy Solomons and Jake Rowe departed in great haste with just one run between the four of them and so we arrived at 19-7.

The balcony pundits found themselves grateful for small mercies when Will Plummer made eight before getting out with the score now 31-8. but at last some genuine defiance was shown by young Ben Keysall, who included three fours and two sixes in his enterprising 28.

Tabish Kha (11) shared a stand of 34 with Ben before being trapped lbw to bring the curtain down on a bizarre batting exhibition which lasted just 28 overs. Potterne’s workmanlike attack swept all before it and Clevedon really had no answers.

Let us not judge our favourites too harshly for they have served us superbly throughout the most successful series in the club’s history. It would have been a great story though to replace the long suffering team from 1958 with a side more in keeping with the modern game.

Whatever happens from here on in Clevedon are going to finish runners-up to Bath come the end of the season and as they have beaten every side in the league at least once this term they have nothing to regret and nothing for which to answer.

This Saturday, Clevedon will be looking to climb back into the saddle with a victory at Lechlade.

At the other end of the table Corsham appear doomed while there are just three points separating Bridgwater, Frocester and Potterne, who are all flirting with the second relegation spot.

Standings, all played 15: Bath 271 pts; Clevedon 223; Bedminster 183; Downend 178; Bristol 177; Lechlade 176; Bridgwater 169; Potterne 168; Frocester 166; Corsham 129.

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