Sturminster & Hinton 139-6 V Charlton Down 140-6 Div 4 30/4/16
Charlton Down’s opening game of the Saturday League season was a low scoring tense affair with Charlton Down winning by four wickets with only two overs remaining. Mainly due to a two hour knock of 51 not out by eighteen year old Nick Voss and 4-25 from Matt Stevens. Special mention should also go to Dan Stevens and James Pretty who only conceded 12 and 14 runs respectively from their 8 over contributions.
Charlton Down won the toss and put Sturminster into bat on an early season green wicket which offered assistance with the hard ball. Opening teenage duo Matt and Dan Stevens produced a superb six over spell leaving Sturminster rocketing on 9-4. Matt(4-25) bowled with good pace and control on a slow wicket and younger brother Dan(1-12) only conceded 12 runs from his eight impressive overs and was so unlucky not to have taken more wickets. James Pretty continued the pressure, who missed most of last season through “marathon training” returned to bowl his eight overs for only 14 runs. Sturminster’s strength in batting was proven when Chris Reed(19) and Adam Rose(63no) added 60 runs before Reed was deceived by spinner Kim Park(1-36) with the score on 68-5 but another 50 run partnership was added with the help of Henry Lewis(24) before the returning Matt Stevens bowled him for a quick fire 24. 118-6. it was left to Rose to punish any bad balls in the remaining overs to set a testing 140 runs for victory.
Sturminster Newton’s experienced bowling attack bowled tightly and soon had Charlton Down 19-2 off 8 overs. Intelligent field positioning, accurate bowling and keen fielding made runs hard to come by.
With the score on 51-3 off 20 overs it was Matt Stevens who was brilliantly caught by the diving Griffiths Jones. A valuable 20 run partnership ended when Dan Stevens blocked a ball only to see it jump back onto his stumps with the score on 71-4 off 27 overs. Still requiring 70 runs off the final 13 overs the game was in the balance. The match winning partnership of 57 between Nick Voss(51no) and Kim Park(22) saw Charlton Down to victory with intelligent shot selection and good running between the wickets. Kim Parks 22 runs in 22 balls was important but Nick Voss’s contribution to see it to the end was crucial.
It was right that the winning runs came from the bat of Nick Voss who had batted with great patience for his unbeaten two hour stay at the crease and brought up a very well deserved half century. His innings included 5 fours and a beautifully timed straight six.
Captain Tommy Tucker said “ the victory was set up by a good blend of youth and experience but it was really good to see the teenage players producing some excellent match winning performances, especially Nick Voss and Matt and Dan Stevens, backed up by some senior players, James Pretty and Kim Park. The young lads have now been playing league cricket for over 5 years and they were able to draw on past experiences to see us over the line. If this game is anything to go by it is going to be a very competitive season”.