Dominant Beds throw victory chances away

A SEVENTH-WICKET partnership of 158 between Cumberland’s Chris Thompson and Chris Williams ended Bedfordshire’s hopes of a first Minor Counties Championship victory of the season at Sedbergh School on Tuesday.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 14th July 2011, 10:59 am

Bedfordshire seemed to be heading for a comfortable win when, having set Cumberland a target of 220, they reduced the home side to 64-6.

But once Thompson (79) and Williams (68) came together Beds never looked like claiming another wicket, let alone four, and Cumberland coasted home.

Andy McGarry had bowled magnificently to take 5-73 as Beds established a first innings lead of 52 the previous day, but the 34 overs he sent down to achieve that feat took their toll second time round. A front-line spinner was also badly missed.

The game was probably lost though on the second evening. At 111-2 with 90 minutes still left for play, Beds were on the verge of batting Cumberland out of sight, but Andy Reynoldson’s dismissal for 35 triggered a remarkable reversal in fortunes.

Tinkering with the batting order did not help as Martin Weightman became becalmed and James Kettleborough, who had batted beautifully when in partnership with Reynoldson, found himself under pressure to push the score along.

He was caught at slip for 70, the first of five wickets to go down for three runs, four of them with the score on 131, leaving the visitors at 136-8 overnight.

McGarry and Colin Griggs added 31 more the following morning and it looked as though Beds had got enough until Thompson and Williams came together.

Steve Stubbings had top-scored for Beds in their first innings with 60 while Kettleborough and Oliver Clayson both made 48 as Beds claimed three batting points before being bowled out for 288.

Thanks to McGarry’s Herculean efforts, four bowling points were also obtained as Cumberland were dismissed for 236, Reynoldson chipping in with 3-61 and Weightman also bowling well to claim 2-35.

Scores: Bedfordshire 288 and 167. Cumberland 236 and 222-6.