1's back on track with a great team performance
Not since the opening weekend of the season had the 1st XI tasted victory in the league, so a win was high on the agenda. That victory came against Lansdown at the Ship, who were the hosts for Thornbury on Saturday. Baking hot conditions and a very green track made it a tough call for Marc Lezar at the toss, but the Thornbury skipper elected to bowl first.
Seamers Tom Bradley, Tom Vermaak, Ahmed Syed and Dan Lezar all bowled with excellent accuracy, limiting the Lansdown batters to 3 runs per over for the first 20 overs. Bradders & Ahmed were the only two to make a breakthrough, but credit to all the quicks for bowling with great energy in the heat.
From the 21st over onwards, every over was bowled by spin, with Praneel picking up the big wickets of Gloucestershire CCC's George Scott and former TCC player Max Trotman in consecutive deliveries, which restricted the hosts to 93-4 in the 29th over. The Thornbury spinners proceeded to rip through the rest of the Lansdown line-up, with Jack Taylor (10-0-30-1) and Chris Dent (8-0-36-2) keeping the run-rate under control throughout. Praneel was the stand-out bowler and ended with 5-41 from 8.5 overs, his maiden 5-fer in 1st team cricket! Lansdown were all-out for 171 from 48.5 overs which was undoubtedly a sub-par total and secured maximum bowling points for Thornbury.
Any hopes of a comfortable run chase were ended when Josh Riggs departed LBW first ball of the innings and in the next over, Dent was run out for 0 after a mix-up with Ed Webb. A misjudged leave from Jack Taylor provided a 3rd duck of the innings for Thornbury, who were firmly on the ropes at 13-3 in the 6th over. Ed Webb and Marc Lezar had to contend with heaps of pressure and numerous LBW appeals, but held firm in the face of adversity to get Thornbury out of a hole. The pair put on 83 for the 4th wicket, which also saw Webby reach his first half-century of the league season. This was thoroughly deserved after being out in the 30's on many occasions this season and was a very important knock in the circumstances. He departed the very next ball after passing 50 and at 96-4, there was still work to be done. Chris Matthews joined Marc who wanted the game to be over in a hurry and started to find the boundary with relative ease. He passed 50 for the 4th time this season and all of a sudden, the target was in reach. Marc fell for 72, but 23* from Chris Matthews and 15* from Praneel saw Thornbury to a 5-wicket win, which was critical given the league position of both sides. Next up, the 1st XI look to get revenge on Taunton Deane who soundly beat Thornbury back in May. 2's succumb to narrow home defeat The 2's were in dire need of victory at home to Aston Ingham and got off to a good start by winning the toss and electing to bat first on a hot day in Alveston. Unfortunately, Simon Weeks, Zain Syed, Vishal Mamgai and Luke Davis were all dismissed early in the Thornbury innings. Josh Slade and James Tunnicliffe were tasked with rebuilding the innings which is exactly what they did. From 43-4, the pair took the total to 207-5, with Sladey unfortunately departing for an excellent 95. Tunni was out for 68 and some late cameos saw Thornbury post a very competitive 249-8 from 45 overs. Jordan Hicks took an early wicket to remove Aston Ingham's Josh Loade, but that introduced overseas player Anthony James who proved to be a classy operator. The visitors started to build partnerships and looked well on their way to producing an impressive run chase. Two wickets each for Josh Slade and Ani Sanat, along with a wicket for Tunni, had the game truly in the balance on 173-6. The visitors needed 76 from 9 overs, but with Anthony James still there it was too close to call. Unfortunately for Thornbury, James motored towards a century and a handy cameo from the #8 batter resulted in a 4-wicket defeat for TCC. Ultimately, James' 118* proved to be the deciding factor in a very tight game. Next up the 2's travel to Poulton in strong need of a victory. Kenche the star of the show as the 3's produce comprehensive result Thornbury 3's travelled to Coalpit Heath CC to play their 2nd XI in their latest league fixture. Batting first, openers Nikash Choughule and Sai Kenche put on 75 for the first wicket, before Nikash departed for 19. Mike Mosses and Josh Parcell both produced quick-fire scores, but Sai was batting in a league of his own as he went on to score an unbeaten 144* (101 balls, 16 x 4, 3 x 6) as TCC racked up 258-6 from 40 overs. For an U17 player, it was a sublime performance and one that outlined his bright future at Thornbury Cricket Club. With the ball, Thornbury set about business in a professional manner with opening bowlers Rhys Surman and Dan Harrod taking 2 wickets each, which set the tone for a one-sided innings. Stand-in captain Kapil Agarwal took 2 wickets, with 1 each for spinners Om Reddy and Ben Harbridge. Nikash came on at the end to take 2 wickets in his first 3 balls to wrap up the game for the visitors. Coalpit Heath were all out for 80, which resulted in a 178-run victory for Thornbury. Next up for the 3's is the visit of unbeaten league leaders Golden Hill 3rd XI at Tockington Manor. 4's knocking on the promotion door after a 6th win of the season Thornbury batted first against Bradley Stoke 4ths and got off to a solid start, with Chris Simmons scoring a timely half century in a first wicket partnership of 70 with U13 Hugo Slade. U15 Eddie Slade hit 32 from 24 deliveries, including 3 x 4's and 1 x 6, whilst there were important knocks from Oli Nash and Olly Rigby (28* from 20 balls, 4 x 4's). 196-7 was the target posted at Tockington Manor, which was a competitive first innings total. Toby Littlejohn and Rob January took early wickets to leave Bradley Stoke on 57-4, but a couple of resolute partnerships left the game firmly in the balance. Nathan Jones entered the attack and took 2 wickets to leave Bradley Stoke on 152-6, with the game still finely poised. Chris Simmons and Eddie Slade, both buoyant after their batting displays, came on to bowl and took two wickets each in relatively quick succession to bowl Bradley Stoke out for 174. The 22-run victory puts Thornbury in 3rd place, who travel to top of the league Golden Hill 5th XI in a very important game. 3 wins out of 4 is an excellent start to the 2nd half of the season, let's hope that continues!