The weather gods were kind to The Blades this week as the frankly stupid and unnecessary 30+ temperatures earlier in the week mellowed down nearer to 20, and it was a slightly cloudy Wednesday night at Riverside. The Blades side saw the return of Adamson S and the debut of Adamson F, meaning there were two parent/child combos in the side. Khan was also a debutant.
Blades won the toss and elected to bat. Hamer K and Adamson S, the two parents of the side, opened and the Brookfield front line gave little away. It wasn’t until the 4th that we saw a boundary, with the score at 11-0. Brookfield changed their attack after four but the second string proved just as hard to get away. The dry, yellowing pitch had fours in it but there was little on offer from the bowlers. The opening stand made 33 from the first eight overs before Adamson was bowled after a fine four to Deep fine leg.
It’s around here that this correspondent lost track of the over count for a bit. Although the runs started to come from Brookfield’s bowling rotation, wickets were falling too. Hamer was unlucky to see a huge shot fall five yards short of the rope and directly into the hands of Deep Midwicket. Fay was hitting big but was caught for 15. Khan looked good value but a slower one did for him on 8. The fifth fell in the 14th (over count back on course) with Blades on 64 as Kumar was caught, and Brookfield brought their frontline bowlers back on. Lowe survived a huge LBW call in the 15th before a lengthy delay in the 16th when Rhodes pulled a hamstring and had to be carried from the pitch. Lowe was bowled next over, Blades were now on 78-6, effectively 7 with Rhodes’ retirement. Meering contributed 5, and the two Academy players Hamer B and Adamson F offered cameos as Blades stuttered to a total of 87-8.
On a night of debutants and returnees, we also had the pleasure of Patel joining us to watch, and given the injury to Rhodes, act as substitute fielder for the Brookfield innings. Afzal and Adamson S opened the bowling and, unexpectedly, Brookfield set about the chase early. A four every over combined with sharp running that kept singles coming saw them canter to 26-0 off 4. The no2 went for 20 next over when Afzal caught him LBW, then Kumar bowled a maiden. But the charge started again afresh and at the halfway point 64 of the required 88 had been scored. The no1 retired for 25 in the 11th, then Adamson S took a catch off Fay H but the runs kept coming and it was 79-2 after 13. Nine needed from seven overs. Meering and Adamson turned the screw, Adamson with a maiden and Meering with a wicket – a catch by Adamson. Three overs had gone gained 4 runs for 1 wicket. 83-3 after 16 then; was an impossible victory on the cards?
Well, no. Brookfield took the runs they needed in the 17th and despite a late rally by The Blades, ended on 88-3.
RESULT: BROOKFIELD WIN BY 7 WICKETS
Champagne moment contenders:
Two parent/child pairings in the Blades side
Patel returning to Blades action
Adamson F taking a catch on his debut