Clevedon suffer another calamitous batting collapse

PUBLISHED: 08:30 23 August 2017 | UPDATED: 08:30 23 August 2017

Marc Jenkins.

Marc Jenkins.

Archant

Clevedon suffered another batting collapse, this time the last seven batsmen making just nine runs between them.

Clevedon 137

Lechlade 139-8

Piers McBride miles from home

Well what did we learn today? Well for starters we had it drummed into us that the gulf between 1st X1 cricket and second team cricket is vast, deep and wide.

We were also taught that a selection of Clevedon’s much vaunted squad of ‘all’ rounders should now be referred to as ‘half’ rounders because several of them are performing effectively in only one instead of the two disciplines of the game.

I have been more guilty than most in applauding Clevedon’s brilliant bowling attack which has, for much of the season, been papering over the cracks left by a series of abysmal batting performances.

As far as I am concerned, Clevedon’s full-strength bowling line-up is the best in the league and it has been utilised fully with imaginative ruthlessness by skipper Jacob Lintott. He has a simple approach, take wickets and you stay on but if you don’t he has got someone else right here, right now, who will.

Now here is the problem. I’ve have been wittering on recently about how the batsmen have let us down and how fortunate we are to have such high quality bowlers to extricate us from the mire but hang on a minute, those taking all the wickets are the same players who’s batting has got us into this mess in the first place.

This match was a case in point. It wasn’t very pretty and it won’t take long to describe.

Remember last week when Clevedon lost their first seven wickets for just 19 runs? Well that was just a rehearsal for this game in which the last seven could muster just nine runs between them.

Following the Potterne massacre it was decided to address the problem by shaking up the top order. To that end captain Jacob Lintott, fresh from his impressive debut for Hampshire the night before, took to opening the innings himself along with Masoor Khan.

Fair enough, and although Mas fell for just nine the skipper appeared well set. Marc Jenkins, recalled to the colours after batting well throughout the season in the two’s, settled in swiftly at number three and at 55-1 there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

Lintott duly fell for 25, but Marc Lezar (56) and the reconditioned Jenkins (29), batted with total serenity in a partnership of 70 and at 120-2 and 20 overs remaining, relegation-threatened Lechlade were fearing the worst.

At this point though Clevedon imploded in gruesomely spectacular fashion once again and no sooner had a batsman said ‘two please ump’ then he was back on his way to the pavilion to seek anonymity in a darkened corner of the dressing room.

The last seven batsmen shared just nine runs, yes that’s right, nine, and the curtain fell with the score on 136 with nine overs remaining unused.

The four faithful supporters who had made the long journey from Clevedon perked up as Andy Solomons and Masoor Khan combined to send the hosts plummeting to 28-5, but a sixth wicket stand of 44 stopped the rot before Lintott and Adeel Khan struck with crucial wickets.

At 84-8 the visitors were now hot favourites, but a defiant unbroken partnership of 55 between Ellis (56 not out) and Smith (31 not out), smothered Clevedon’s spinners and resulted in Lechlade fighting off the spectre of relegation at least for the time being.

No fewer than 22 wides marred Clevedon’s efforts in the field, while the home team’s attack conceded just seven so that didn’t help much.

This was another embarrassing performance from Clevedon’s batsmen who currently seem quite incapable of even utilising their 50 overs. The match-winning partnership at the end of this game was built on patience with the ball being kept on the ground while all the time the target was being reduced inexorably by well-taken singles and twos.

This type of disciplined application should serve as a lesson for Clevedon who play host to Bridgwater in their final home game of the season on Saturday. The visitors are currently involved in a titanic battle as they fight to avoid relegation so they will certainly be up for this vital encounter.

Let’s hope for a sunny afternoon and an entertaining game to illuminate Dial Hill for the last time this term. Play gets underway at 12.30 pm.

League standings, all played 16: Bath 291 pts; Clevedon 226; Bristol 197; Lechlade 193; 5 Bedminster 191; Bridgwater 189; Frocester 188; Downend 180; Potterne 175; 10 Corsham 130.

Jacob Lintott made his debut for Hampshire in the T20 Blast game under the lights against Somerset last Friday, alongside another former Clevedon professional Kyle Abbott.

Playing for Somerset was Pete Trego, yet another former pro, who made a match-winning 84 not out.

With both teams qualifying for the quarter-finals of the competition it will be interesting if Hampshire turn again to Jake, there’s no doubt that Kyle will play in every game though, as will Pete for Somerset.

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