Head over to our Twitter page to vote for your Player of the Match ……
Welcome to Day 5 of the 1st Test – still all to play for but wickets will be crucial if the Captain’s XI stand any chance of recording victory but with Paul Draper undefeated on 49, the President’s XI are in the box seat.
After the lengthy delay for the rain, play finally got back under way with the President’s XI chasing down their target of 256 and they have not found it easy going.
DAY 4 DELAYED START due to RAIN:
The heavy rain from yesterday has finally relented to leave a cloudy but still pleasant day but the groundstaff have had to work hard to get the ground ready and play will recommence at 3pm.
The President’s XI will be chasing down 256 runs to win and have four sessions in which to do it.
DAY 3 CLOSE OF PLAY:
The heavens opened as the players left the field and play was abandoned for the day, meaning the sides will return to see if the President’s XI can chase down the 256 target tomorrow.
DAY 3 ALL OUT: Captain’s XI 303 all out (lead by 255)
It was a particularly good innings on this increasingly concerning pitch, especially from Wallace and Manning with good support from Archer and West but now the bowlers need to get in amongst the wickets before tea and the close.
DAY 3 LUNCH: Captain’s XI 269-8 (lead by 221)
But three wickets in the space of eight balls would halt any momentum the Captain’s XI had as ‘Nelson’ accounted for Wallace, who sliced Newman to Goode in the gully for a magnificent 111 but then Vann went fourth ball to the same bowler. 239-4 became 240-7 when Lavelle was trapped lbw by Brandes first ball and the President’s XI skipper removed the dangerous Manning for 60 off just 57 balls, getting him leg before as well.
West and Rose saw their side to the lunch break – but a session of 125 runs in just 25 overs showed their intent but the loss of five wickets might be seen as being too reckless.
DAY 3 PITCH REPORT
The pitch report took place earlier on and it was reported that the pitch was unchanged from yesterday.
The end of another fascinating day of Test cricket and the match is tantalisingly poised with the Captain’s XI ahead by 96 runs with seven wickets in hand although, once again, a very late wicket could prove crucial.
They were given the perfect start to their innings, getting through the tricky period to wipe out the first innings deficit and punch on to 96 before Archer was deceived by Draper and was bowled for 37. Johns’ single figure score was felt in the batting sides camp when he fell to Hibberd but it was the wicket in the second last over of the day that could be particularly damaging when Cass’ wild shot found the waiting hands of Garrett to give Hibberd his second scalp.
Lewis refused a nightwatchman and will resume his innings alongside Wallace, who was imperious at the top of the order with a wonderful unbeaten 71 which will be the key tomorrow morning to setting the opposition a challenging target on this increasingly challenging surface.
TEA DAY 2: Captain’s XI 45-0
The Captain’s XI safely negotiated the remainder of the second session today without loss as Mark Archer and Michael Wallace came through 15 testing overs – the last five of which were spin as the President’s XI went to their dual left-armers early.
They trail by just three runs going into the final session of the day – they will certainly to be still intact at the close.
The wicket of Hibberd just before the break was certainly the boost that the Captain’s XI needed as they needed under 10 overs after lunch to dismiss the President’s XI for 253, giving them a lead of just 48 when it looked like it was going to be much bigger when the all-rounder and Goode were going along nicely.Rose completed his over but was replaced from the bottom end by Cass, who got instant reward, trapping Bailey lbw for 1. The big wicket came in the next over as Lavelle, who who plugged away from the top end finally got through Goode’s defences and caught him on the back foot in front of all three, leaving with 109 to his name and a warm reception as he headed back to the pavilion.
LUNCH DAY 2: President’s XI 222-5
A sensational ton from Jez Goode, along with James Hibberd’s supportive half-century, has put the President’s XI in a dominant position at lunch on day 2, leading by 17 runs with five wickets in hand at 222-5.
It was a chanceless knock from the number three, negating the threat of the Captain’s XI three-pronged spin attack of Lavelle, Manning and Rose while feasting on the early pace of West and Proudley, despite the former sending Emery back for 11 when he rearranged his stumps from a ball which cut back off the seam.
There was a late twist though as the clocked ticked over to 1pm. Hibberd must have heard the lunch bell go and tried to loft Rose over the top where Lewis took a stunning catch to send him back to the pavilion, alongside everyone else, for a fine 55 which ended the 120-run stand but it might have just given the Captain’s XI a glimmer of hope and a new batsman to bowl at after the break.
DAY 2 PITCH REPORT:
Good morning everyone and welcome to Day 2 of the 1st Battle of the Eras Test where the President’s XI will restart at 98-3, still trailing by 107 runs on first innings but Jez Goode looking in good form on 40 not out. But, as always, early wickets for the Captain’s XI will be vital.
Michael Holding has been out to look at the pitch this morning and has reported that it has deteriorated since yesterday, which will be good news for Mark Lavelle’s side after seeing John Shepherd take six of the eight wickets to fall to spin yesterday.Play starts at 11am and there will be updates at lunch (1pm), tea (3.40pm) and close of play (around 6pm).CLOSE OF PLAY DAY 1: President’s XI 98-3
The President’s XI have claimed the honours on day 1, despite losing three weeks in the evening session which left them 107 runs behind at the close of play.
TEA DAY 1: Captain’s XI 205 all out (53.4 overs)
If the batsmen had been confident of pushing on from their steady base at the lunch break, they certainly didn’t take the threat of John Shepherd seriously after he had shown signs of significant turn earlier on, as the tore through the Captain’s XI line-up to dismiss them on the stroke of tea.
Even though Johns hit Newman for six in the opening over after the interval, it was Shepherd bowling down the hill throughout the session that dominated. He snared Cass, bowled through the gate which ended his 71-run stand with Johns and then Lewis cut to Goode in his next over to leave them 114-4.
The big wicket was that of Johns, who had held firm and progressed to a pleasing 64 from 119 balls before the left-armer shot one through quicker and tripped him plumb in front and then, three balls later, Manning’s 33-ball innings of 23 was ended when he found Hibberd who took a good catch.
The Captain’s XI’s claimed that they batted all the way down didn’t bear fruit as their last four wickets tumbled for only 11 after Vann became Shepherd’s second lbw victim to complete his five-wicket haul and Rose was number six next ball, playing down the wrong line. West survived the hat-trick ball but didn’t survive the next over from Draper, gifting Hibberd a second catch. Proudley clubbed a four off the veteran all-rounder but, attempting the same shot, didn’t spot his arm ball and was fired off as the Captain’s XI trudged off with just 205 to their name – captain Lavelle left exasperated but encouraged by the turn on 21 not out.
Shepherd finished with the outstanding figures of 6-44 in 15 overs while Draper claimed 2-36 with his brace at the end.
Runs on the board were always going to be the key currency in this game, given the indifferent nature of the pitch. The Captain’s XI will be disappointed with only 205 and know early breakthroughs will be vital before close of play.
LUNCH DAY 1: Captain’s XI 100-2 (27 overs)
With the news of the pitch conditions weighing heavily on the mind, the start of the Captain’s XI was frenetic to say the least with Wallace and Archer cracking 19 from the first two overs – Emery’s first over going for eight and Garrett’s 11.
But that swashbuckling mindset was to be Archer’s underdoing when he swiped once too often and was bowled by Emery in the third over for 10.
Johns arrived and settled the innings down, while also reigning Wallace in but a horrendous mix-up in the 11th over left the Australian scrabbling back to his crease but he was beaten by Pegler’s direct hit to sink the Captain’s XI to 41-2.
The drinks break came at a good time as the gave the batsmen time to regroup and they safely negotiated the second hour unscathed against tidy bowling from Draper and skipper Brandes – the former getting plenty of turn while Shepherd also extracted plenty when he came on for the final two overs down the hill.
The fact that there were only two maidens through the whole of the 27 over session certainly showed the intention of Lavelle’s side as they reached 100-2 – scoring at 3.70 runs per over. But they will definitely be going into lunch cautious after seeing the amount of turn the President’s XI got.
10:34am: Captains at the toss – Mark Lavelle “Happy to win the toss as first innings runs could be crucial out here. We are hoping to knuckle down and get through the first session. The pitch isn’t going to improve over the five days so it’s important to score them early and ensure we are in the game come the 4th innings.”
Steve Brandes – “Yes, we would have batted first as well but looking at the pitch, it is likely to turn early on which will bring Shep [John Shepherd] into the game so we need to take early wickets and make sure they don’t push on as the wicket isn’t going to get any better”.
10:32am: The Captain’s XI have won the toss and, unsurprisingly, elected to bat first. No changes to the published teams although there was a couple of late fitness concerns on Mike West and Chris Garrett (of course there was!!).
10.15am: Former England captain Nasser Hussain has conducted the pitch report for TV and has questioned the look of the wicket. After speaking to the groundsman, he is not happy that he has not been able to get as much water on it as he wanted so it is quite dry. So winning the toss today is going to be important to get first use.
Good morning everyone. The tension is building in the ground as the two teams go through their warm-up routines – the Captain’s XI are throwing balls around on the outfield while the President’s XI are having a cup of tea in the pavilion … it is a slightly chilly morning after all.
Will this, once and for all, decide which is the best era of Calmore Sports Club history? Over the next few weeks, there will be a simulated three-Test series between a President’s XI, selected from players in Steve Brandes’ era, taking on a Captain’s XI, chosen from within Mark Lavelle’s playing career.
The First Test starts on Monday 8 March and there will be regular updates (see the times below), plotting the latest news from the ‘match’.
So, get behind your team … and let’s see who comes out on top!
The timings of the updates will be posted on here and on our Facebook page and will happen at:-
Day 1: 10.30am (toss, pitch and interviews).
All days: Lunch 1pm. Tea 3.45pm. Close of play 6.00pm.
Plus updates at end of innings whenever that happens.
Enjoy everyone …. good luck to both teams!