Cutthorpe gain valuable points in bid to beat drop
Cutthorpe gained another useful 11 points towards safety after a torrential shower put paid to a potentially exciting second innings run chase against Lullington on Saturday.
With heavy rain on Friday and a brief shower on Saturday morning, conditions seemed to favour the bowlers, so having won the toss Lullington skipper Andrew Goodwin decided to bowl first.
Matt Cluer and Kevin Leatherday opened the innings for the hosts and made an excellent start, dispatching anything loose from the Lullington opening attack.
In fact, it was such a god start that Lullington turned to the spin of Paul Dawson in just the tenth over of the innings. Initially this didn’t stop the home sides momentum and both Cluer (34) and Leatherday continued to score freely in the opening exchanges.
The score had reached 65 with no real alarms when Cluer was dismissed, Dawson just getting one to turn and a feather of an edge was well taken by the Lullington keeper Steve Rothwell.
Leatherday was joined by Paul Burdett and the pair continued the healthy scoring rate. Burdett (26) looked to take the attack to Dawson and hit three boundaries in an over.
However, Dawson had the last laugh as he tempted Burdett into lobbing a cut shot straight to point soon after, leaving Cutthorpe 111-2 just past the halfway stage of the innings.
Sunny Munir was the next man in, with the situation made for his aggressive batting style, and he made his intentions known immediately, hitting three boundaries in no time, however it was that man Dawson (3-41) again who brought an end to Munir for 14, turning one past the edge and castling the off stump.
Cutthorpe, now 131-3, needed another partnership to ensure the hard work from earlier in the innings wasn’t lost. It was to come through Leatherday and Ed Barlow who put Cutthorpe in a commanding position with a stand of 68 in which Leatherday in particular started to accelerate the innings, Barlow playing sensibly, rotating the strike well and punishing the bad balls.
Barlow was eventually out for a well-made 24, caught on the boundary by Luke Jenkinson off the bowling of Nick Richards (1-62). Now 199-4, Cutthorpe really needed to accelerate in the last five overs, and although a number of wickets fell, Leatherday remained till the end of the innings making a fantastic 102*.
Not only had he anchored the innings through the first 30 overs, he had led the late order hitting to leave Cutthorpe on 237-7 from their 50 overs.
Unfortunately, that was to be the end of proceedings. The rain set in during the tea interval and despite the best efforts of both teams to resume play the umpires deemed the ground unfit and the players shook hands on a draw.
The result leaves Cutthorpe on 219 points in seventh place, 48 points clear of the relegation places with four games to play. Next week sees them travel to Quarndon, 12.30pm start.