Understrength Cleeve come a distant decond

PUBLISHED: 09:17 09 August 2017 | UPDATED: 09:17 09 August 2017

A cricket scorebook and pink balls for a T20 fixture

A cricket scorebook and pink balls for a T20 fixture

Archant

A weakened Cleeve side were well beaten at home by relegation-threatened Long Ashton.

Last week’s selection meeting provided a dilemma with just seven first team players not on holiday which resulted in four stepping up from the seconds to include the captain and vice-captain.

That said, with a match versus relegation threatened Long Ashton, hopes were high for a victory at the King George Playing fields where runs have been aplenty this season.

The visitors opted to bat on winning the toss and took advantage of several dropped catches and poor fielding to post 197-6 from the allotted 45 overs.

Wickets came from veteran John Hance with 1-26 from his nine overs and spinners Sam Williams nine overs 2-32 and James Cole five overs 3-31 picking up the rest.

What looked to be a below par score, soon looked like a mountain as Cleeve openers, Carey Elswood and Williams went for a combined six runs with just guyNikhil Bhajipale (22) and Connor Hance (20 not out) making double figures with Cleeve only managing just 72 all out in the 22nd over.

Skipper Glenn Lewin offered no excuses for the below-par performance, but hopes for better availability and an away win on Saturday at St Mary Redcliffe.

The first team selection issues had serious ramifications for the seconds as desperate phone calls were made to the Cleeve mailing list in a bid to get 11 players, but had to settle for 10 to include a number of Cleeve youngsters stepping up for their club.

Not what the doctor ordered when playing a promotion chasing team, lying second at the start of the day.

Netham Park’s uncovered pitch was soft following the recent rain. However, Cleeve took first blood with stand-in skipper, George Parsons, winning the toss and electing to bat with senior players Charlie Grubb and Stuart Williams charged with securing a sound base to the Cleeve innings.

With a combined 40 runs between them (15 and 25 respectively), the innings started well but quickly fell away ending on 62 all out after just 22 overs. The only other double figure score was extras on 11.

As tea was not yet ready, Bristol Pakistanis knocked the runs off in just 12 overs, but not before 17-year-old Harry Parsons picked up two wickets (and two bowling points) in three overs, finishing with 2-16.

Youngster Alex Grubb bowled three tidy overs for 23 and was unlucky not to pick up a wicket. Under-15 player Josh Geal secured a great diving stop at square leg, so some great contributions from the younger players towards the end.

An enjoyable curry tea followed before engines started before 5pm for the journey home.

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