Max and Jake secure revenge over Bristol

PUBLISHED: 12:30 02 August 2017 | UPDATED: 12:30 02 August 2017

Max Curtis.

Max Curtis.

Archant

A fine batting partnership between Max Curtis and Jake Rowe led Clevedon to a revenge victory over Bristol.

Bristol 135

Clevedon 137-6

Piers McBride snr on the edge of his seat again

Let me tell you, it’s a man’s life following Jacob Lintott and his band of cricketing brothers all over the West of England because even the most routine of victories eventually comes down to steely resolve while all the time the spectre of defeat can be clearly seen popping it’s head above the parapet.

Clevedon were fully focused for this match, after having been soundly beaten by Bristol earlier in the season, and, under leaden skies, they were absolutely astonished when the visitors opted to bat first upon winning the toss.

Matt Carpenter struck immediately when he had the highly touted Trenouth brilliantly caught by Andy Solomons, but the young purveyor of pace was forced out of the attack after just two overs due to a side strain.

Up stepped lively seamer Max Curtis to claim Shaw and Osman by having them both caught at slip by Marc Lezar and when Solomons had Redwood lbw and Jacob Lintott followed suit by trapping Hardwick bang in front, the visitors were all at sea at 55-5.

While all this was going on around him though, ice-cool opener James Bracey, who inevitably racks up three figures against Clevedon, was calmly going about his business finding no difficulty in handling both the situation and the home side’s rampant attack.

He discovered a sound ally in number seven Lakhani and together they added 41 before Jake Rowe broke the stand thanks to another catch by Lezar.

By now Bracey had reached 67 without putting a foot wrong, but he was totally bamboozled when eighth bowler Adeel Khan had him wafting at thin air halfway down the wicket leaving keeper Will Plummer with plenty of time to remove the bails. Jake Lintott and Andy Solomons picked up the empties to leave Clevedon requiring 136 for victory.

Fortified by Mrs Rowe’s sumptuous spread, salmon rolls, chicken legs, pate de foie gras, peach melba and buttered scones all washed down by a nicely chilled Chablis, no Lidl special offers for Jake’s mum, Clevedon looked to race to victory before the weather intervened.

No such luck though because, as usual, Bristol’s attack proved too hot for the home side’s top order to handle and before we knew where we were Masoor Khan, Marc Lezar, Jacob Lintott, Will Plummer, Andrew Solomons and debutant Ben Keysall were all seeking the solace and anonymity of the dressing room for a combined total of next to nothing and at 45-6 the pundits on the balcony were shuffling their collective feet in embarrassment as the visiting supporters vocally urged on their favourites.

Not for the first time this season, young number three Max Curtis stood alone while all around him perished, but now he was able to welcome to the crease his batting buddy Jake Rowe, the obdurate all-rounder who has to be prised from the crease under sentence of death before he will give his wicket away.

In mounting tension, Max and Jake gradually gained the upper hand and in truth they made it all look so easy. Without offering the vestige of a chance, the pair added the required 92 by keeping the ball on the ground, by scampering every run on offer and above all, remaining calm under immense pressure.

Max remained 62 not out and Jake 38 not out to repeat their partnership at Frocester where they put on 81 to set up victory just a couple of weeks earlier.

Another cliffhanger and another victory. Skipper Lintott utilised his attack superbly, rotating his cast of eight bowlers with shrewd acumen, while the out-cricket, once again, was of the highest quality.

On Saturday, Clevedon are off to Bedminster while on Sunday they migrate to Cleeve to contest the final of the B&D Cup competition against Stapleton, play gets underway at 2pm.

Current league standings, all played 13: Bath, 232 pts; Clevedon 200; Downend 163; Bedminster 160; Bristol 153; Bridgwater 145; Frocester 143; Potterne 142; Lechlade 138; Corsham 116.

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