Codnor CC 2nds travelled to Wirksworth in good spirits as they looked to continue their good start to the season.
On the warmest day of the year so far, skipper Mills called correctly again and, after much discussion with the Codnor brains trust, decided to stick to the bowl first policy that had been successful so far.
Arnold and Leo opened up and it didn’t take long before Arnold made the breakthrough by bowling Harwood for four.
Leo was bowling well at the other end and proving difficult to get away, despite the short offside boundary.
Leo finished his opening spell for just 13 runs and skipper Mills replaced him in the attack.
Experienced batsman Julian and Williams were steadily building the Wirksworth total in the face of some excellent bowling. Williams had reached 35 before he became Arnold’s second victim well caught by Soar on the drive. Young Mellor then got a beauty from Arnold and Wirksworth were three down.
This seemed to bring about a change in tactics by the batting side as they tried to push the total on and upset the bowlers’ line and length. The short boundary was aimed at and taken advantage of a few times before Mills bowled Julian for 29 and then had Kinder trapped LBW for 17.
When David Bradley ran out Daldorph for six, Codnor were well on top.
Then a strange moment straight from Irwin Allen’s 1978 classic The Swarm as a host of bees descended on the ground. Shaun Mills quickly took on the Michael Caine role and made sure everyone was lying on the ground aware of the scientific protocol of such an attack.
Once the bees moved on, so did the Wirksworth total.
Again some lower order hitting took the score on but Buxton and Soar were now operating and bowling well with, but with little luck. Buxton, taking on the workhorse role of the senior bowler, ended Bradbury’s dangerous innings by bowling him for 22 and then had Turner caught by Arnold for 16.
Soar then took the final two wickets in two balls, firstly bowling the impressive youngster Whitfield for a well made 16 and then Wheeldon for 0.
All in all, it was a good bowling and fielding performance on a hot day to limit the home side to 160. The pitch wasn’t the easiest but the short boundary meant scoring was possible.
After tea, the Codnor openers Woolley and Lavender took to the crease.
They started steadily against some tight bowling from Heap and Whitfield, the latter bowling some excellent left arm spin. Woolley had eased to 15 with some trademark cuts and sweeps before he was bowled by Whitfield. Lavender had just hit Turner for a massive six but then followed, being caught behind for 10.
This brought together two of Codnor’s form batsman in Bradley and Lanyon. They had a lot to do but set about it with great relish and confidence. Bradley for once was left in the shade as Lanyon played some great shots all around the wicket, hitting numerous fours and sixes to push the score along.
Bradley was also getting into his stride. Peppering the short boundary but also playing some massive straight hits that would have been maximums on most grounds. Both batsman were keeping the scorers busy with Bradley hitting three sixes off one over and in this form can be almost impossible to bowl to.
Lanyon was first to his 50 but was out for 56 soon after just failing to find the boundary. He was well caught by Whitfield off Bradbury.
Skipper Mills, relishing his role at number six, came to the crease and saw Bradley to his half century. Mills then opened his shoulders with a couple of massive hits to take Codnor home. Bradley ended on 56 not out and Mills on 15 not out.
It was another excellent all round display by Codnor. Bowlers and batsmen may take the headlines but also it was a superb effort in the field on a very hot day. Next up is a home match against Quarndon.