Half centuries from new captain David Anderson, Will Taylor & 6 wickets from Mark Armstrong set up a convincing 146 run win for Percy Main over Ponteland in a preseason friendly.
Percy Main captain Anderson lost the toss & was asked to bat first on a green wicket in the 40 overs per side contest.
Percy Main didn’t get off to a great start as Anthony Hornby was caught at square leg by Ashley Parker off the bowling of John Gardiner (1-38) in the first over. Hornby’s dismissal for 4 was a little unfortunate as it was off the 7th ball of the over & no extras had been bowled.
However Anderson & Will Taylor shrugged off the disappointment and added 128 runs for the second wicket in just 19 overs. Taylor was aggressive to Gardiners bowling pulling him over midwicket for 6 twice in 5 balls before then smashing him over long off for another maximum. Taylor raced to 28 from just 30 balls. Anderson was more watchful reaching 20 from 30 balls as he and Taylor took Percy Main to 65-1 after 12 overs. The Percy Main run rate increased dramatically when Ashley Parker was brought on to bowl. Anderson greeted Parker’s first ball with a pull over square leg for 6 before hitting him through the covers for 4. Taylor joined in the fun by hitting Parker for consecutive 6’s giving Parker figures of 0-44 after 4 overs.
Anderson brought up a run a ball half century with a quick single through the covers before retiring out on 57 at the drinks break in the 20th over with Percy Main 136-2. Anderson’s 57 came from just 53 balls and contained five 4’s and two 6’s.
Will Taylor continued playing shots, taking 14 runs from Dave Waters (2-39) second over before retiring out on 76 to allow the middle order to have some practice. Taylor’s 76 left Percy Main 162-3. His 76 came from just 65 balls and contained four 4’s and six 6’s.
Michael Phillips hit three consecutive 4’s on his way to 20 from just 19 balls before he was caught at cover by Paul Lindsay trying to loft Liam Cosgrove (1-30) for another boundary. Phillips dismissal triggered a rush of wickets as James Stanistreet was bowled for 6 to a ball that kept low from Waters. Phil Cramman was caught by Gardiner at midwicket for 11 of the bowling of Saqib Amin (1-17). Before Michael Boyd was bowled for 12 by Parker (2-67)
At 210-7 in the 35th over Amit Sunda displayed his fine ball striking ability as he slog swept Amin for 6 over midwicket and then smashed Parker for 6 over long on. However Sunda was caught at long on for an entertaining 20 from the next delivery. Mark Armstrong hit Amin for 4 with a lovely drive but was bowled for 8 by Waters two overs later trying a similar shot.
With the score at 235-9 Adrian Woodward & Blyth Duncan Jr played out the last over sensibly to take Percy Main to an impressive 240-9 off their 40 overs.
Defending 240 Sunda & Woodward bowled beautifully with the new ball. Both men beat the bat on several occasions & Woodward was unlucky to see a few outside edges elude the slip cordon. With the score on 12 Sunda (1-4) got through the defence of Paul McReady with a change of pace which bowled him for 3.
The second wicket arrived in the next over as Woodward found John Lumb’s outside edge and Michael Boyd at second slip caught the ball millimetres above the ground, to give Woodward (1-17) his maiden Percy Main wicket.
Needing 219 from 32 overs Ponteland’s hopes of winning were in Hassan Raza’s hands. Raza accelerated the scoring rate as he took 12 from David Anderson’s first over before hitting Mark Armstrong for consecutive boundaries. Having raced to 32 from just 25 balls Raza looked set for another big score however Armstrong got a ball to bounce and Raza pulled it straight to Will Taylor at Short Midwicket who took an excellent catch.
With Raza gone the Ponteland middle order was blown away by the guile of Armstrong’s variations as he finished with 6-26. Saqib Amin attempted to slog sweep Armstrong over midwicket but only succeeded in hitting the ball straight up in the air for Armstrong to take a simple caught & bowled. Jeff Oliver lasted just 3 balls before Armstrong bowled him for a duck. John Gardiner managed to hit Armstrong for 6 straight down the ground before Armstrong bowled him 2 balls later with a change of pace. Dave Waters tried to loft Armstrong over mid off but missed the ball to give Anthony Hornby a simple stumping before Armstrong then trapped Liam Cosgrove lbw to complete his 6 wicket haul.
In between Armstrong’s rush of wickets Will Taylor’s left arm spin (1-12) bowled Paul Lindsay for 10 with a beautiful delivery the spun past the bat & hit the top of off stump.
At 94-9 Phil Cramman (1-0) came into the attack. He struck with his first delivery as he found John Appleby’s inside edge which went onto the stumps to bowl him for 11, meaning Ponteland were all out for 94 in 28.1 overs giving Percy Main victory by 146 runs.
Percy Main captain David Anderson will be delighted with the win & will look to keep the momentum going as they host Leadgate at Crosslings St John’s Green on the opening day of the season on Saturday 22nd April. The match starts at 1:30pm