Reed entertained Flitwick in their season opener at The Green. In a new league, with a new format and stronger opposition, Reed knew that this was not going to be easy.
Having won the toss, Reed Skipper James Heslam decided to ask Flitwick to bat on a good early season wicket. Toby Fynn, returning to league cricket after a broken ankle ended his season last year, opened the bowling down the hill. Fynn bowled with good line and length, moving the ball and beating the bat frequently. Fynn (10-3-28-1) got his reward when he bowled S.Davies for a very painful 1.
Jack Tidey (9-0-28-1) fresh from getting the cast off of his broken wrist on Monday took the new ball up the hill and was troubling the batsmen with the movement off the pitch. This showed as he picked up the wicket of T.Russell for 20 after a leading edge to cover.
Flitwick didn’t make great use of their batting power play and needed to add some acceleration into their innings. They looked to target the spin of Tom Greaves, which did not go to plan. Greaves picked up the wicket of G.Thurstance (19) and H. Thurstance (16) in the same over leaving the visitors at 64-4.
This soon became 67-5 as Mitchell Cooper (10-2-31-2) picked up the wicket of D.Moxon for a duck. Greaves (10-2-30-3) struck again soon after removing Flitwick’s overseas player Ricky Joseph for the 3rd time in 3 meetings for the pair, 77-6.
H. Mushtaq offered some resistance in the number 7 role. He hit 44 from 54 balls and took his side over the 140 mark. However, his innings was ended after some great bowling from Mitchell Cooper who removed Mushtaq LBW in the 39th over.
Kallum Ward (3.5-0-11-2) and Sam Fairbrother (1-30) shared the remaining wickets to fall as Reed was set 169 to win from their 50 overs.
In reply, Reed made a poor start. Skipper James Heslam was caught behind brilliantly by the wicket keeper for 5. Tom Greaves was soon back in the pavilion after being controversially adjudged LBW from the bowling of E.Sharpe.
At 25-2, Reed needed a level head. That was provided by Chris Jackson who has played so many important knocks over the years for his team. Jackson was patient and held the innings together whilst Will Heslam (10), Stuart Smith (15) and Sam Fairbrother (9) all fell around him.
This brought Kallum Ward to the wicket. Ward and Jackson put on 22 before Jackson was caught by Jason Twist for 33 from 74 balls, providing the back bone to the Reed innings.
At 110-6 the game was in the balance. Sean Tidey strode to the crease to join the attacking Ward and immediately Reed took their 5 over batting powerplay. This decision paid off as the pair mixed good running with big, clean hitting to take advantage of the fielding restrictions. Ward had made 35 from 46 balls (3x4s, 2x6s) when he was brilliantly caught and bowled by the tiring efforts of Joseph.
140-7 became 140-8 and suddenly Reed needed 29 to win with only 2 wickets left. Jack Tidey came to the crease and struggled to get bat on ball before he departed after a stand of 18 with his brother. So it came down to 11 to win with 1 wicket left. Sean Tidey farmed the strike and bludgeoned the bowler straight back over his head twice in 2 balls to seal an epic victory for Reed.
Tidey ended up on 40 not out from 35 balls (3x4s, 2x6s). This proved to be a match winning knock from a player who seems to be finding his dazzling best early on this season.