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From Ashes to erm... Fleckney..

Much of the talk in the build up to Saturday’s game was around two players on the Barkby 3rd XI team sheet. One of them was a player that needed no introduction, a proven match winner at a much higher level than the Leicestershire and Rutland Cricket League Covid Cup Group 18, and the other was Ashes winner Matthew Hoggard.

So the “Tim Brown derby” got underway with the home captain calling correctly and opting to bat first. The innings got off to a steady start with the two left armers keeping things quiet early on, until new signing Sam Payne decided it was time to get things moving. So with 100 on the board for no loss in the 13th over, a huge score was on the cards. One particular straight six into the artificial pitch was an early highlight.

Barkby then realised that pace off the ball was the right way to go but by now Sam Payne had decided that everything was going and he took 3 consecutive sixes of Fleckney old boy Tim Brown, including two mammoth slog sweeps into the field - which NONE of the FVCC boys enjoyed...

By the time the score passed 200, the FVCC skipper had departed almost without noticing as Sam Payne passed 100 with more ferocious stroke play, so it was time for the introduction of the aforementioned Ashes winner Hoggard, bowling a particularly cunning brand of off spin.

The brakes where then applied as Sam Payne departed for a spectacular 140 that set Barkby a stiff but not ungetable target of 259 to win.

Fleckney knew that early pressure on an increasingly tricky track was the way to go and so it proved as two early wickets from Daz Hutchings-Webber put Barkby on the back foot. So in stepped the aforementioned match winner, no not him, Matthew Hoggard. He mixed good early defence with some good leg side stroke play to get the Barkby innings moving, however, wickets fell regularly at the other end and the rate soon went above 10 an over. Hoggard was out, bowled by Jimmy Loomes (pictured below) trying to up the rate and the Barkby innings fizzled out.

The appearance of Tim Brown was delayed until the final 3 balls of the innings due to three strategic dropped catches by debutant Mike Hextall and Dave Brown and FVCC ran out deserved winners by 53 runs. Brown the older, somehow survived an over from his younger and much more talented brother Archie to finish on 1*

All "bantz" aside it was lovely to see Tim again - a cracking lad who always enjoys a laugh and a joke alongside his cricket.. He is always welcome back... so to is Mr Hoggard and all from Barkby.

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