The Devils are back!
With a limited season of competitive cricket in the BCEW south and west in 2021, the Devils were very pleased to be able to arrange a midweek friendly against Berkshire Stags. The game was played at the University of Reading, as a 15 over format with illegal deliveries only re-bowled in the last over so that the game could be completed between five and seven-thirty.
Hassan started the day by winning the toss and chose to bat first on a pitch with quite long, 50 yard boundaries, with an artificial strip and a pleasant neatly trimmed and flat outfield. Asif and Hassan Arif opened the batting, with Hassan impressing in his first innings by scoring 17 from 14 balls with just one dot delivery before he was retired out at the end of the sixth over.
Asif had been run out just before that, by leaving the crease for a second when Tom Barton had the ball in his hand and paid the inevitable penalty; he had previously survived a shout for LBW when all agreed he had hit the ball first after an initial decision of out.
At that stage 39 runs had been scored with 15 extras, but from that point on Berkshire showed good skills in the field and their bowling improved with a lot more dots; and just 11 wides. Prem managed 7 from 8 balls as the Devils reached 63 for 5. The wickets taken were in the latter part of the innings were bowled by Tom Barton and Chris Wallace, who also each took a catch off Rob Turner’s bowling.
After a quick turnaround, the Devils opened the bowling with four overs from their totals going for just 14 as they bowled to the home side’s totals. The next over from Alan was almost a maiden – just the final ball going wide, and when Chris conceded just two from his opening over the Devils worm scoring was well ahead.
However, Paul Fisher and Chris Wallace now came to the crease and upped the scoring rate with twelve off the bat in the next two overs. Their replacements Rob Turner and Thomas Fround also scored quite freely; Thomas being given a life when caught at square leg by Hassan A as it was from a no-ball.
Rob was dismissed caught and bowled by Hassan A but this just brought Tom Barton to the wicket with just 13 runs needed and still more than 4 overs to be bowled. Stags had won the game before Everton bowled their skipper and the match ended, on time, with a maiden from Asif. Prem ran out the non-striker as Stags tried to sneak a bye – then ended up on 86 for 3.
The Devil’s season starts in earnest with a trip to Hampshire in the south and west T20 cup.
Match Report by Paul Toplis
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