Man of the match Max makes all the difference
PUBLISHED: 14:48 12 July 2017 | UPDATED: 14:48 12 July 2017
Clevedon top order batsman Max Curtis scored 92 not out to help the Seasiders to a narrow victory over Frocester.
Piers McBride snr on the road again
I can’t go on watching Clevedon, it’s doing my head in. At my age all this tension, stress and anxiety cannot be doing me any good, but yet again I found myself drawn into witnessing another nail-biting conclusion to a match which had a large audience on the edge of their seats from start to finish.
Once again, Jake Lintott and his merry men contrived to spin straw into gold, but there was little evidence of such a glorious victory when Clevedon’s fragile top order caved in in pretty spectacular fashion once again.
Pace bowlers Perera (2-26) and Martin (2-36) bowled unchanged in tandem for 20 well directed overs at the end of which the visitors found themselves fumbling around at 77-6.
Standing alone among the debris was young Max Curtis, who had watched in amazement from the other end while all around him perished. The classy youngster was totally at ease throughout the early bombardment and it was rather like watching England bat at one end with Brick Street Mission 3rd X1 at the other.
Max found the perfect partner in the unflappable Jake Rowe and gradually the momentum began to shift. The pair added 81 before Jake left for 39, including five fours, and Tabish Khan (13), then kept Max company in a stand of 29 for the eighth wicket.
With just two and a half overs to go, Matt Carpenter arrived at the crease and he launched two massive sixes and a couple of fours, 22 not out from just nine deliveries, while the imperturbable Curtis also cleared the boundary twice during the final over.
It was certainly Max’s unbeaten 92, seven fours and two sixes, which lifted his side out of the doldrums, but full credit also to numbers eight, nine and 10 who played vital roles while adding 151 runs.
Carpenter took an early wicket and bowled his massive heart out while reeling of his 10 overs for just 27 runs, but Clevedon’s attack looked pretty frail at the other end. Matt cleaned bowled the dangerous Qureshi for 27, but at 74-2 the home side appeared well set.
The innings stalled briefly when skipper Lintott picked up two wickets, but with the score at 206-6 with four overs remaining the smart money was all on Frocester.
Andrew Solomons had lynchpin Wand caught behind for 44 and then left-arm spinner Masoor Khan (3-33), held his nerve to snare the last three wickets with little or nothing to spare.
And so we move on to Saturday when table-topping Bath will turn up on Dial Hill for a game which might well decide the destiny of this season’s championship title. With both teams boasting played 10 won nine records, the visitors will be out to reverse the lone defeat suffered at the hands of Clevedon at the start of this campaign.
Bath are considered to be cricketing royalty throughout the Premier League and it is certain that, in their honour, Dial Hill will be looking its best when the toss takes place. Saturday’s match begins at 12.30pm.
Premier One League standings, all played 10: Bath 188 pts; Clevedon 173; Bristol 128; Potterne 124; Downend 121; Bridgwater 119; Frocester 116; Lechlade 109; Bedminster; Corsham 97.