FULL REPORT: Bedfordshire frustrated by Staffordshire’s lack of adventure in draw

Once again more than 1,000 runs were scored in Bedfordshire’s Minor Counties Championship match at Luton, but Staffordshire’s reluctance to make a game of it on the final day led to an inevitable and turgid draw.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 26th June 2013, 2:41 pm
L13-734 Beds cc v Staffordshire cc at Wardown Park Luton
Mike Simmonds
JR 27
L13-734 Beds cc v Staffordshire cc at Wardown Park Luton Mike Simmonds JR 27 24.6.13

Having been bowled out for 101 after winning the toss on Sunday, Staffordshire’s only intention was not to lose the game as they batted on and on in their second innings.

As in the first game against Buckinghamshire, batting records kept tumbling, but the difference was that whereas at Ampthill the runs came at six or seven an over, Staffordshire’s total of 571-4 saw them at the crease for 159 overs, many of them sent down by part-time bowlers.

Even Bedfordshire wicketkeeper Alex Martin turned his arm over and it was he who took one of the wickets to fall, getting Peter Wilshaw caught by George Thurstance who had taken over behind the stumps.

Wilshaw made 138 and shared in a partnership of 289 with Tim Maxfield who scored 221 before being run out.

In between the records though, there wasn’t much entertainment for spectators.

The biggest mystery of the game was how Staffordshire managed to get themselves bowled out in 37.5 overs for 101 in the first innings.

Kadeer Ali was trapped by a superb delivery from Martin Weightman, but the other batsmen virtually gave themselves up.

Ziggy Arshad bowled a good line and got a few to nip back, but figures of 6-51 were almost unbelievable on such a good pitch.

Jamie Hewitt went quickly when Bedfordshire replied, but James Kettleborough, in his first game back since breaking a finger, was never in trouble until being unluckily run out at the non-striker’s end by a deflection when he had made 65.

Luke Thomas, who just missed out on a century at Ampthill, got his first ton this time with his innings of 125 including 12 fours.

Thurstance again batted beautifully to make 68 and there were useful knocks from Alex Martin and Alex Walker before Weightman hit 21 off eight balls at the death as Bedfordshire finished on 354-7 from their allotted 90 overs.

Staffordshire could hardly bat as badly again and, with Ali making 62 and Maxfield and Wilshaw beginning their long partnership, the Bedfordshire lead had all but been wiped out by the close of the second day.

But Staffordshire soon made it clear that they had no intention of pressing on and setting a target on the Tuesday and the declaration did not come until tea.

Bedfordshire then sent in normal number 11 Tom Brett to open the batting with number eight Weightman and the home county soon found themselves 10-3 with Walker joining them back in the pavilion.

But Arshad enjoyed the chance of a bat up the order and he was unbeaten on 68 when the game drifted to a close leaving Bedfordshire with 12 points and Staffordshire seven.

Scores: Staffordshire 101 and 571-4dec. Bedfordshire 354-7 and 116-4.