Belhus win first game of the season

Belhus 1st 261-6
Abridge 262-9

Belhus were unable to defend their large total in a thoroughly entertaining afternoon’s cricket at Abridge on Sunday. Martin Guilbert made the early running for Belhus with a fine 113 and he was supported well by Richard Day with 67 as these two put on 120 for the third wicket. Guilbert struck no fewer than 20 boundaries, while Day hit three sixes and seven fours. Extraordinarily, it was discovered that Abridge had fielded twelve players throughout the Belhus innings – and no-one had noticed! When Belhus took the field, their opening attack was savaged as the home side plundered 82 runs off the first nine overs. Padfield hit 57 from just 30 balls which included three sixes and eight fours, Johnson struck 76 and Elliott finished unbeaten on 74. Connor Elliot took two catches at square-leg, one of which was a diving one-handed capture worthy of the first class game. At a different level was the way in which Belhus conceded defeat. No input from the home batsmen was required as five wides were gifted. Chris Didd finished with 3-39 from five overs and Danny Norris returned 2-41.

Rayleigh 136 all out
Belhus 2nd 138-4

Belhus wicketkeeper executed five stumpings at Rayleigh and in so doing equalled the Belhus club record for the most number of stumpings by a Belhus wicketkeeper in an innings. The only previous stumper known to have achieved the feat at the club was Paul Huckstepp in August 2001. Rayleigh opener Impey scored 54 and his fellow opener Dree scored 10 runs, but the remaining nine home batsmen failed to make double figures. Connor Day, Rob Joyce and Michael Cansdale picked up two wickets each, followed by a match-winning innings of 55 from Joe Joyce and 46 not out from Danny Norris.

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