Itchington travelled to Exhall and both clubs were looking for their first win of the season. Itchington saw 5 people drop out in the week but hard work from Nick Brooks and James Clarke ensured Itchington still put out two sides.
Clarke won the toss and chose to bowl first. Clarke was looking for a good start and it came with Wood and Aulakh proving they are one of the most dangerous opening partnerships in the league by taking 5 wickets between them in the first 20 overs. Firstly opener Smith drove one straight into Rawbone’s hands off the bowling of Aulakh. Kerby then went trying the same shot off Wood’s bowling and he was well caught by white van man driver Perks. 18-2 and Itchington wanting more. Aulakh and Wood delivered and Exhall found themselves in trouble at 79-5 after 20 overs. This was despite the best efforts of the home captain Weston, whose main intention during his innings of 14 seemed to be to wake the sheep from their slumber in the neighbouring field.
Opener Atherton remained at the crease and looked good but change bowlers, Smith, Rawbone and Jack enabled Itchington to keep the runs down and wickets kept tumbling. Perry (15) supported Atherton well but he then fell off the bowling of Smith for a fine 75.
Exhall bowled out in the 44th over for 179 with all bowlers bowling tidy spells and picking up wickets.
A nice buffet style tea was taken and a great first half for Itchington. Jack and Lidster set about getting the runs, Itchington 49 off 9 overs and cruising but then as both openers went, Lidster 24 and Jack 29 meant Goatley and Burnell found themselves at the crease. With drizzle in the air and the light dimming both batsman were back in the hutch. Richardson doing the main damage with the ball taking 3-40 off his ten overs.
Itchington 82-4 at drinks and falling behind the rate. With the rain getting heavier Itchington knew they had to have a good couple of overs in order to get back into a winning position if the game was to be postponed due to the weather. Goldstraw and Green were bowling tight and it was hard to score. Then the turning point, Lewis Dodds got hit clean in the box and went down, his face matching the colour of his hair and a tear in his eye. Would he be able to continue? Dodds rose and had grit between his teeth. What was to follow was absolutely fantastic as he took apart the Exhall attack with 5 sixes and 3 fours. He was well supported by Perks at the other end and these two smashed 90 runs in 12 overs to see Itchington home in the 36th over. Perks finishing on 48 not out and Dodds finishing on 49 not out off just 36 balls.
A good performance by Itchington with bat and ball. A good day all round and Lewis has confirmed he is swollen but still male.
Itchington won by 6 wickets.
Lidster – 24
Jack – 29
Perks – 48 not out
Dodds – 49 not out
Wood – 10-2-39-2
Aulakh – 10-3-40-3
Rawbone – 6.3-0-35-2
Jack – 10-1-23-1
Smith – 7-0-35-1
The full score sheet can be found on https://longitchington.play-cricket.com/
Next week (19th) sees newly promoted Overbury travel to Stonebridge Lane.