Aston-on-Trent (18pts) 210-9 [46 overs] (M Tariq 47, O Yussean 52) drew with Belper Meadows (10pts) 167-9 [46 overs] (Rob Borland 65, M Tariq 3-31, M Kaleem 3-46
BELPER Meadows first team travelled to Aston-on-Trent with an average age of 18.5 which must be some kind of record for a first team match.
In the end, the youngsters fought hard to hang on for a losing draw and gain ten precious points in their battle against relegation.
Aston batted first on a hard wicket which should make batting for both sides the easier part of the day. Even so, Matt Wheatcroft (2-6) bowled with good pace and swing and removed opening bat Omar Yussean (7) with ease, bowling partner Rob Borland (1-60) again bowled brilliantly showing great consistency for his side however, he was let down by some lack lustre fielding which hurt the bowler’s final figures.
Pressure was mounting on the Aston batsmen and the run rate was slow giving Belper the upper hand in the game, a partnership was needed and in came from middle order pair Abdul Rehman (52) and Mehmoon Tariq (47) they saw off the pace men and played comfortably to build the innings for their side until a quicker wide ball was thrown down by spinner Neil Horton and with the help of C Whiteley extendable arms for a stumping, awarding Meadows with the breakthrough they desperately needed.
Pace returned to the attack with skipper M Cox (1-49) and J. Wozniczka-Wells (4-60) picking off the rest of the Aston batsmen, quick wickets fell to hands off the bowling off Wozniczka-Wells giving him the opportunity of a hat-trick but the Aston tail hung in there to deprive Meadows of ten wickets.
The Meadows reply didn’t get off to the best of starts as at one point were 29-4, it took a gutsy innings from Rob Borland (65) to hang in there for his side.
He batted slow but steady allowing others to play off him, given the situation C Henson played a more sensible role than usual for his 21, captain M Cox played some thunderous drives for his 17.
When Borland reached his half-century he played some delightful shots of his own to entertain the crowd.
However, continually good bowling from Mohammed Kaleem (3-46) and Mehmoon Tariq (3-31) took surprise wickets to put Meadows under pressure once again leaving M.attFairey and Neil Horton to bat out for a losing draw.