3s settle for rain-affected draw despite Srikanth heriocs
By Antony Ireland
Llamas rue missed chances but run league-leaders close
With five regulars called up to the 2s due to an availability crisis which threw up some of the best excuses for missing cricket of all time (a day at Legoland the clear winner) , the 3s took the field against top of the table Spencer knowing they'd have to get the basics right to compete. Fast forward two hours and Spencer were 138-1, the Llamas having shelled an impressive 6 catches, including a couple of dollies Boycott's gran would have had little trouble taking, one-handed, while knitting.
Young Will Brewis (0-17 from 6 overs) did a fine job stepping up to take the new rock, and along with old James Brickley did a commendable job of containing Spencer openers in slippery conditions. Zeeshan Shabeer shook off an extended lie-in to create a couple of chances which were not taken (see above), and only Pete Friend had made a breakthrough by the drinks break.
Friendy settled into a good rhythm and kept Spencer under control, finishing with 2-43 from 14 overs. Spencer never got away from us, and wickets eventually began to fall, Brickers picking up two in a disciplined second spell, ending up with 2-65 from his full allotment of 14.
Zeeshan (1-32 from 8) finally got a deserved wicket, taking the fielders out of the equation to hit the pegs, and was also involved in two run-outs in an over as Spencer tried to up the pace but declared with their innings petering out at 225-7 from 52 overs. Given the calamitous fielding effort, the Llamas had done well to restrict the run rate and felt well in the hunt at tea.
chris mallows and Srikanth Vuppala got Priory off to a fine start, putting on 67 from 13 overs before Mallows fell for 26. By now, some heavy downpours had robbed the home side of another four overs, meaning just 44 to get Spencer's total. However, the stiff chase was being made to look easy as Srikanth played one of his best and most measured knocks and Abhi Lohokare (29) - elevated to number 3 to keep the run rate going - did exactly what he was tasked with and started dropping bombs on the neighbouring properties.
Abhi fell at 114-2, and Ant Ireland (22) and Sri took Priory to 160 leaving 13 overs to get the remaining 66 runs. Spencer were at this stage getting very worried, but Ireland failed to go on, picking out extra cover as is his hobby.
The Llama innings then began to stutter, with no-one else getting out of single figures and Sri eventually falling for a fine 79. By the time Brewis came to the crease (looking a million dollars and every inch the all-rounder), the required rate had risen over 10 and the sensible option was to shut up shop and block out the final 4 overs to claim a winning draw, which he duly did with the help of stand-in keeper and dependable clubman Charlie Lee, Priory ending on 199-7.
Brewis did, however, spank 8 off the final over just to send a message to the skipper. Oh what might have been...