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This fixture was hotly anticipated after the fiery first game earlier in the season where the Cooks came away defiant winners. Sadly the weather once again wanted to get involved and the doomsayer weather radar apps showed a front sweeping towards Northamptonshire.
The Second XI, while admiring the excellent facilities, were buoyed by Captain Bird promptly losing the toss and being put in to bat on a flat, hard surface.
The opening pair of Longley and Coleman strode purposefully to the crease to face what was always going to be a lively opening salvo. Unfortunately both openers departed in the second over, Longley at midoff and Coleman behind. This brought A. Bushell and Quennell to the crease. Alex decided to come out swinging and quickly accumulated runs before being bowled for 10. It is worth noting that this innings for Alex included his 100th run of his first season in senior cricket at the age of 14. Knight joined Quennell with a job to rebuild the innings and mount the offensive. With the bowlers early intensity starting to flag Quennell and Knights typical shot making saw the score shoot from 16-3 to 86-4 when Quennell was bowled for a tempered 29. Jason Roberts, called in to add maturity to the batting lineup showed great poise has his leg glance was caught at square leg for 0. Wreford hastily joined Knight, and although only added 3 runs personally, he worked hard for Knight and showed excellent determination before he was cruelly run out. James Bushell was the new man, however he was bowled straight away for 0.
At this point the game was swinging back in Kislingburys favour at 115-7 with Knight running out of partners and with only 22 overs gone the runs scored would be easily knocked off with extra overs added. Mark Bird was the next man to join Knight and the two, mostly Knight, added 21 runs. Sadly Bird decided on a quick single and as Knight stretched to make his ground hit bat got stuck in the ground and decent work from the fielding side combined to break the stumps. Knight left the field with an excellent 75 including 10 4s and 2 6s.
Bird, riddled with guilt at the loss of Knight, was joined by “Syd” Mason. Syd, never one to shy from a contest mixed defence with boundary hitting and added a quick-fire and important 24 before the returning opening bowler found a decent yorker to skittle the stumps. Tony Bird, the last man, came to join his son at the crease with clear instructions to not get out first and foremost. Sadly, the first ball faced struck in line and T. Bird departed for 0 leaving M. Bird marooned on 19.
The Cooks managed 172 from 33 overs. Interestingly a similar score was enough earlier in the season so confidence was high as tea was taken.
T. Bird and J. Bushell opened the bowling as the skies darkened and the clouds rolled in. Chirp was high and the field was lively as the first 5 balls were dotted away before Bird trapped the opener LBW for a wicket maiden. Bushell, loosening in to his rhythm kept his end tight as did Birds second over. At this point the heavens opened, light at first and then heavy and sustained. The Kislingbury ground staff and players rushed to put the covers on and the teams huddled under cover to see out the rain.
After a while the rain slowed and then stopped with the clouds disappearing towards the horizon. However the damage was done, the square in particular had standing water and after 30 minutes of waiting with no signs of drainage and no heat in the sun the game was abandoned.
The result secured promotion for both teams and, despite the challenges faced following the earlier game, was played in a generally positive competitive manner.
So another season draws to a close for the Second XI. The season has been relentlessly positive and includes many great team and solo performances throughout. We move back in to Division 10 after finishing second and the thoughts must be towards building on what we have accomplished and seeking promotion again to Division 9.