Derbyshire County Cricket League Division One
Eckington 140/8 (22pts) beat Marehay 139/9 (5pts) by two wickets
Marehay travelled to Eckington for the first game of the 2012 season and although the weather had not been great throughout the week the Eckington ground was playable unlike the waterlogged Maryfield.
There was a short delay in the game starting while the umpires deliberated in the fitness of the ground however it was agreed that the game would start at 1pm with 46 overs per innings. Captain Rich Wood lost the toss and Eckington had no hesitation in asking the visitors to bat first.
Mat Bailey, fresh from his winter in Australia, opened the batting with South African import Simon Khomari. A watchful 11 overs passed without much action before Bailey got a reprieve when he was dropped by the keeper. This didn’t prove costly though as he was soon on was way back to pavilion after he lobbed an easy catch to cover with the score on 21.
Andy Walters walked to crease and proceeded to hit his first ball to the boundary, however he was soon departed after being cleaned bowled by Eckington’s own South African Anton Van Dam. Khomari (7) was next to follow, this time LBW to the same bowler leaving the visitors 23/3 after 14 overs.
A double change in the bowling saw slow left-armer Wayne Dye and Jonathan Balfour introduced to the attack as Ben Perry-Taylor and Jonno Bradder looked to repair the damage in moving the score to 64 before Bradder was out chasing a wide one and edged behind. Tom Burke joined Perry-Taylor who was looking in good touch before being trapped LBW on the crease by Dye for 28. Burke (22) hit a couple of lusty blows before presenting the keeper with an easy stumping and another wicket for Dye (3/31).
Buckley followed in similar fashion leaving the visitors struggling at 100/8 with still 10 overs to go. New signing Bil Hartley held the remainder of the innings together with an unbeaten 28 with some sensible batting ensuring Marehay completed the innings on 139/9, and giving them a competitive total but would probably have felt 20 or so short. The pick of the Eckington bowling was Van Dam who collected 3/28 from his 14 overs.
James Kyte opened the bowling and soon had his first wicket with a short delivery that looped to keeper Hartley to take an easy catch.
Kyte made further inroads as he made short work of the Eckington top-order, dismissing Lewis Staniforth with a juggling catch to Wood at first slip, clean bowling Steven Nicholas for a duck and trapping Van Dam LBW.
With Perry-Taylor collecting his first wicket at the other end the home side were in serious trouble at 40/5. Skipper Tom Dawson and Liam Musselwhite then put together what was to prove a match winning partnership taking the score to 114 with some watchful batting before the latter was dismissed for 26 by Perry-Taylor.
Just as Dawson looked to be guiding his team to victory he fell LBW to Perry-Taylor (3/38) for 39 leaving the home side needing just nine runs with three wickets remaining. Wood returned to trap Perry-Jay Blair LBW but the joy was short-lived as Eckington reached their target in the 44th over with two wickets remaining.
Kyte was the pick of the visitors bowling, picking up 4/22 from his 14 overs but his efforts were in vain as Eckington collected 22 points to Marehay’s five.
Marehay will be hoping for a dry week in order to get the Maryfield fit in time to face local rivals Stainsby Hall, who started the season well with a maximum points win against Alfreton.