In a string of good fortune Riding Mill skipper Andy Watson again won the toss and opted to send the hosts in their highly anticipated clash with Parkdale Cricket Club at the magnificent virtual Gerry Green Reserve.
The Dukes dice made an immediate impact with Iain Longstaff snaring a catch behind the stumps off a ball that Ben Smith got to just nip away enough, finding the edge of Geoff Crosby’s bat to have the hosts reeling at 1-0.
Things got worse for Parkdale CC who are celebrating their 100th anniversary when Lance Mallinson cleaned house removing captain Mia Perrin for 15 out to a neat catch by Ali Raza. This was followed up by the dismissals of Reid who was caught behind for 2 and Murray who was stumped the following ball by Iain Longstaff leaving Parkdale reeling at 4-23.
Meanwhile Ashish Harsolia was chipping away building a handy partnership with Chris Wilkie. Cam Longstaff then brought about a double breakthrough with Wilkie stumped for 24 off 7 and next ball removing Ryan O’Connor out to a sharp chance taken by Riding Mill skipper Andy Watson for 0. At 6-59 it appeared as though Riding Mill would rip through the remaining batters.
Harsolia had other ideas mounting some strong resistance with Antony McNeil blasting 27 off 7 before being bowled by a peach from Steve Kent. Liam James had Harsolia trapped in front for 48 off just 15 deliveries but at 8-130, Parkdale were certainly on track to post a formidable total.
Jade Johnson & Hunter Woodruff continued to build the total before Iain Longstaff collected his 3rd stumping of the innings when Woodruff departed off the bowling of Dave Cox for 20 off 7. In the quest for a big finish in the final over James Seeary was the last to go, LBW for 8 off 3 leaving Jade Johnson stranded on 15 not out.
159 was a very competitive total considering the hosts were on the rack early at 4-24.
What looked like a competitive total looked even better when James Seeary made some early inroads knocking over Dickson LBW for 8 followed by an almost identical delivery first up to Liam James that nipped back and had him trapped in front for 0. The carnage continued when Steve Kent was sent packing after hitting a boundary first ball only to get a thick edge on the next ball to be caught in the gully by Darcy Murray. At 3-12 there were some worrying signs early for the visitors.
Things got worse before they got better when Dave Cox was bowled by Jade Johnson for 4 putting Parkdale well on top with the score at 4-16. Iain Longstaff and Ali Raza commenced a rescue mission putting together a solid partnership before Raza was out to a good catch by Chris Wilkie off the bowling of Ryan O’Connor for 29 off 10. Chris Wilkie then chimed in with the ball claiming two wickets with his first two deliveries knocking over Iain Longstaff for 28 off 10 and bowling Cam Longstaff first ball for 0. Riding Mill were now 7-85 and in serious danger of getting bowled out.
Late inclusion to the touring party Joel Marks had other ideas constructing a crucial innings with a mix of power and precision. Skipper Andy Watson made a little cameo with 18 off 6 before Reid knocked him over with a magnificent delivery. At 8-119 you had the feeling that Parkdale would soon finish things off.
However, Joel Marks stuck to the task bringing up a memorable half century at a crucial time and with 6 runs required off the final over, Lance Mallinson wasted no time in bringing up the victory hitting a four and a six to send the Riding Mill camp into fits of jubilation.
Riding Mill now have the long virtual flight to Perth where they will be preparing for their contest with Bayswater-Morley who should provide some strong opposition for the tourists.
The tour will then stop over in virtual Hong Kong on return to the UK with Riding Mill taking on the Cricket Library Podcast Invitational XI. The Riding Mill XI has been bolstered by the announcement that team manager Brian Watson has been declared fit and will take his place in the side alongside Mark Butcher and Adam Hollioake. Joining them will be Steve Kent, Iain Longstaff, Scott Dickson and Kev Frazer who were nominated by St Kelvin’s Old Boys to take their place in the XI.
In news post match today, we can reveal it has been announced that Joel Marks and Dave Cox have been nominated by Parkdale CC to take a highly sought after place in the line up as well. We are hearing whispers that there will be some strong inclusions in the Cricket Library Podcast XI who will join captain Nina Stevens and Marty Rhone who have already been announced in the side.