Belmont & Edgware beaten by 54 runs in Chess Valley opener

Belmont & Edgware suffered a 54-run defeat against Bharat Olympians in their first league game of the season.


BECC took to the field on Sunday for the first Chess Valley Sunday League game. Returning skipper Adam Jacobs lost the toss and BECC boys were sent out to field for the first innings after toiling hard to roll the wicket, a decision that they later came to regret.

They were buoyed by the return of the 'calming' voice of "boom boom" Phil Mayer in the field and Aussie quick Jonny Eintracht, following a hamstring injury.

Injury concerns abated, Eintracht and the beleaguered Scott Gerard - obviously feeling the ill effects of Spurs' defeat the night previous - opened the bowling. If Gerard was in a bad mood before, this was almost certainly worsened by a missed caught behind chance of his bowling early on.

The reprieved opening batsman, Mahesh, played delightfully to make 50 with a series of stylish drives and impressive pull and hook shots. Fellow opener Nirav fell early to a jaffa from Eintracht, who clipped the top of middle and off, sending a bail flying halfway to the boundary.

The Bharat no. 3 played out the spells of our two opening bowlers nicely. Josh Reynolds and Noam Attar were brought on to break this fruitful partnership and succeeded by bowling both in quick succession.

With two new batsmen at the crease, and the Bharat run-rate slowly dropping after their early flurry of boundaries, BECC had their tails up. This was short lived. Bharat skipper, Rohan, and no. 5 Dev batted excellently to wrestle the initiative back. By their partnerships end, brought about by Jack Mendel who bowled his second impressive spell in as many weeks, Bharat had already amassed 150 runs, on a wicket notorious for its low par scores.

From then, Bharat lost wickets periodically, with Bension Tilley, Gerard and Attar getting in on the act. Eintracht took two in as many balls and nearly had a hat-trick as he struck the fresh batsman on the pad, thought it was going comfortably down leg.

To BECC's credit, they bowled out Bharat within their allotted overs. By this point, they had accumulated 212 runs, an impressive total at Croxdale Road - it would take an immense chase to assail this lead.

Elliott Mayer and Michael Blasebalk scored steadily early on in the BECC reply. Blackbalk retired, and Elliott was joined at the crease by his father, Phil. But after nurdling a single, Elliott was bowled by an unplayable delivery. This brought Gerard to the middle and he looked to maintain his good form by dispatching the Bharat first change bowler to the boundary several times and eventually out of the attack.

Unfortunately for Gerard, the next bowler bowled a tighter line which lead to Gerard's demise as he played all around a straight one. This heralded a much-improved batting display from Reynolds, who played a number of lovely defensive shots, interspersed among expansive straight drives and pull shots. Tilley joined him in the middle after the returning Blaseybalk was caught for 11, just 11 short of some milestone that he told me about but I have subsequently forgotten.

Tilley and Reynolds got Belmont to drinks at halfway with 98 runs on the board which was encouraging, though we had lost a few too many wickets by that point. This wasn't helped by Tilley, who attempted to challenge the fielders arm on the boundary by sneaking a second run, only to see the stumps knocked down.

Reynolds and Nick McLeod continued to score well before they fell victim to a good catch on the boundary, and a worldie by the same fielder (skipper Rohan) at backwards square leg. This was the second worldie taken at Croxdale Road in as many weeks after Tilley's effort at short extra cover last time out.

Attar, Eintracht and Mendel all impressed late on in the innings before they eventually succumbed to leave Belmont 54 runs short in the end.

Reflecting on the game, a BECC spokesman said: "This was a challenging match against a nice bunch of lads who played well and deserved their victory.

"Unfortunately, in league cricket the margins can be incredibly small. Our bowlers will have to tighten their lines up for the next match, as we shipped over 30 wides in the field, 50 extras in total."

He went on to say: "Given we were 54 runs short, our profligate extras count made a huge difference. In our batting line up, we need to prize our wickets. The combination of these improvements should see us right in future league matches."


BHARAT OLYMPICS 212 (37.1 overs)


Jonny Eintracht 8-1-36-4

Scott Gerard 8-0-33-2

Noam Attar 8-1-43-1

Josh Reynolds 5-0-34-1

Jack Mendel 4-0-24-1

Bension Tilley 2-0-13-1

Adam Jacobs 3-1-12-0


BELMONT & EDGWARE BATTING 158 (29.4 overs)

Elliott Mayer 9 (bowled)

Michael Blasebalk 11 (caught)

Philip Mayer 7 (caught)

Adam Jacobs 1 (bowled)

Scott Gerard 16 (bowled)

Josh Reynolds 35 (caught)

Bension Tilley 6 (run out)

Nick McLeod 18 (caught)

Jonny Eintracht 12 not out

Noam Attar 3 (caught)

Jack Mendel 9 (caught)



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