Finalists edge through
Last year's Cockspur Cup finalists moved a step closer to Lord's after they both won their second round ties on Sunday.
Holders Bromley took a trip over the Dartford Crossing to take on Brentwood with six of last year’s team playing. Bromley captain James Butterfill, after losing the toss, promoted himself to opener and led the way with 53 while Nicholas Bluett scored an unbeaten 40 to help his side to 185 for seven in their 45 overs.
In reply Brentwood struggled against the champion’s attack with only opener Ben Cocklin (37) reaching double figures out of the first seven batsmen as the hosts succumbed to 92 all out. Robert Dummer, replacing Leo Taylor behind the stumps, took four catches and Grant Sheen took 3-19.
Kibworth, last year’s losing finalists, started their new campaign at home to Kenilworth Wardens in a repeat of their 2005 clash. Kenilworth Wardens batted first and their openers put together a partnership of 147 (S Byng 106 not out and M Patel 46) as they scored 216 for three in their 45 overs.
In reply the Kibworth top order matched their opponents as Greg Smith (89), Sunny Patel (45) and John Hanger (35) all chipped in. When three quick wickets fell, taking the score from 155 for one to 180 for four, some nerves were jangling but the home side eventually won by five wickets with five balls to spare.
Probably the most destructive innings in the round was at Ashtead where Sutton were the visitors.
Ashtead won the toss and invited their visitors to bat and a fairly weak Sutton side were bowled out for 157 with Josh Pickering (4-14) and Devon Weekes (3-15) doing most of the damage.
The Ashtead openers set off as if they had a pressing appointment elsewhere - Brendan O’Connell scored 109 not out in 48 balls with 16 fours and five sixes while Gary Martin contributed a more sedate 34 not out in 53 balls as Ashtead won by ten wickets in just 16.5 overs.
The biggest partnership of the day was in another all ECB Premier League clash as Barnsley, top of the Yorkshire Premier League, travelled to Spondon, top of the Derbyshire Premier League.
Barnsley won the toss and asked Spondon to bat first and they racked up 204 for nine in their allotted overs. The chase proved little trouble as Barnsley openers Mark Lawson (103 not out from 82 balls) and Simon Widdup (79 not out from 69 balls) charged to a ten-wicket win with 20 overs to spare.
In the North East, Sunderland’s line-up at Benwell Hill was a mixture of youth and experience as it included ex-Pakistan, Surrey and Sussex paceman Mohammad Akram and 14-year-old Michael Robson, both of whom were destined for starring roles.
Sunderland won the toss and batted first and were struggling at 39 for three. There was a recovery to 157 for six but then a clatter of wickets as the score quickly became 158 for nine.
This was the time for Robson to enter the fray and the young number 11 scored a match-changing 40 not out in 48 balls as the last pair took the score to 221.
A devastating opening spell by Akram (3-24) reduced Benwell Hill to 20 for four and although they recovered at one stage to 70 for five, Northumberland’s Imran Shah (4-31) mopped up the tail as Benwell Hill were dismissed for 89.
Papplewick & Linby travelled to Wollaton and after being invited to bat first totalled 264 for seven, Phil DeFreitas cracking 87 from just 75 balls.
Wollaton, their Notts Premier League hosts, were undaunted by this even though they were quickly 23 for three, but even with Scott Elstone scoring 101 off 112 balls they were 17 runs short at the close.
There was an extremely close finish at Brondesbury where the home side were chasing Waltham’s 197 for seven and needed six runs off the final over with three wickets remaining.
Two wickets fell and two runs were scored off the first five balls leaving four needed off the last ball. The last man was stumped off the final ball giving Waltham victory by three runs.