Inexplicably poor batting of Corsham ...
By John Gale
Match report by Lechlade CC (copied from Play-Cricket)
A home game against bottom of the table Corsham appeared a must win as Lechlade fight for their Premier One survival. Freddie Martin duly lost the toss again but was probably not too disappointed when asked to bat as they have struggled to chase in recent weeks. The pitch was offering something for the bowlers and the overhead conditions favoured the bowling side but it was another indifferent batting display by Lechlade’s top order that contributed significantly to their plight. 61-5 soon became 99-7 and an early finish looked likely. Brad Dial was his usual phlegmatic self at one end, pushing the ball around and punishing the odd bad ball but the spell of 10-3-25-3 from James Arney appeared to have won the game for Corsham. Finally Dial found a partner in Harvey Jupp. The fifteen year old has been bowling well all season but he is a competent batsman and displays a cricketing brain well beyond his years. He defended stoutly, gave Dial the strike whenever possible and hit some elegant boundaries while his partner tried to give Lechlade a target to bowl at. When Dial went for 68 the partnership had added 62 in twelve overs. Jupp himself finished on 34no and Lechlade posted a score of 182 all out, below par but possibly defendable.
Lechlade’s luck didn’t change when Chris Harwood had to pull out of the attack after only one over. Corsham’s Steve Bullen (73) was in aggressive mood and although Barnes had Abbott lbw with his first ball Corsham raced to 131-3 at drinks and needed only 52 from 25 overs to seal victory. While Lechlade spilled a couple of half chances their ground fielding was good and they generally bowled well but what happened next was probably due more to the inexplicably poor batting of Corsham. In the fourteen overs after drinks they lost seven wickets for 32 runs, with none of their bottom eight reaching double figures. The 18 point victory takes Lechlade above Frocester but just as importantly only 13 points behind third place Downend – it is going to be a monumental battle to avoid relegation as Bath run away at the top and the season enters its final phase.