CLEETHORPES - 15 August, 2004
The Cleethorpes public were granted a rare glimpse of two of the CW XI's Test stars as they took part in a double batsman tournament at the town's King George VI playing fields yesterday.
Wicket-keeper/batsman Peter Young and leg-spinner Neil Pickup joined locals Julian Rowett, Lee Smallwood, Matthew Ellis, Richard Paine, Imran Yusuf and Matthew Stagg. The tournament rules involved batting in pairs, with each pair facing six overs, one from each of the other players.
Young and Smallwood were the first men in, and they lost a wicket (and hence five runs) early after a horrible misjudgment from Smallwood between the wickets. Seemingly affected by this and feeling the urge to score quickly, Young swung at a straight full toss from medium pacer Rowett and watched his middle stump cartwheel out the ground. Both players rebuilt for a couple of overs until Young, feeling the need to up the scoring rate against International team-mate Pickup, advanced to drive and was beaten n the flight and skied a high chance to Imran at mid off. The pair never recovered from the disaster, and ended on a net score of 12.
Paine and Stagg were the next pair, and built their score of 21 upon intelligent running between the wickets and some glorious pulls, near-Vaughanesque in their elegance, behind square for four. Paine, however, struggled against the flight and turn of Pickup and, two balls after being dropped by the bowler diving forwards, danced down the wicket to the leg-spinner's googly, misread it and saw his stumps disturbed.
Pickup and Rowett were the third pair at the crease and almost immediately were reduced back to par when Rowett retreated too far in his crease and stood on his own stumps. Nevertheless, with a succession of pulls from Rowett and flicks and deflections from the leg-spinner, who remained not out throughout the six overs, the two took their total to 26, with Pickup content to leave the last ball outside off stump.
Ellis and Imran were the last pair, chasing 27 to win, and were progressing on par with the rate before Pickup's over, the leg spinner setting an incredibly defensive field to counter Imran's slogging before producing a delivery that pitched on the right hander's leg stump and turned across his attempted club towards the leg side, before hitting the top of off stump.
However, the drama wasn't over yet, and despite Smallwood effecting a runout, the combination of Imran's leg-side smears and some surprisingly textbook drives from Ellis meant three runs were needed from the final two balls from Young. Ellis drove to Rowett at mid-off.. who inexplicably misfielded and allowed the ball to run for three.
Gutted... but at least PY finished last, and 3-0-23-3 was a nice result considering no-one else got more than one wicket.