Reed 1st XI secured an excellent win versus high-flying Botany Bay on Saturday at the Green.
After the significant rainfall the day before the game Reed captain Heslam chose to put in the visitors despite the threat of some prolific batsman in the Botany Bay ranks. This strength soon became apparent as ex-Northants Ben Howgego started in ominous form on a wicket which seemed to have responded well to being covered throughout the previous days bad weather. Although Kasey Harris (19) and Dan Kastelik (7) went relatively cheaply to Tom Greaves (1-46) and Reece Fitzgerald (1-22) well caught by Chris Jackson and Will Heslam, the classy Howgego had put the visitors in control of the game by lunch at 154-2 off 34 overs. Reed knew they needed to get through the visitors quickly after lunch and that they did in fantastic style. Jack Tidey (3-51) opened the door by removing Howgego for a superb 101 and then he and Phil Lill (3-39) ripped through the Botany Bay middle order reducing them to 175-7 off 41 overs, an incredible turnaround. Reed eventually took the last 3 wickets to leave the bay all out for 203 in the 53rd over, with Fynn (2-30) returning to finish things off nicely.
Despite the turnaround of the game situation Reed knew they would need to bat well to win the game against a testing Bay attack. They got off to a slow but steady start before 3 quick wickets left the home side in trouble at 31-3 with Will Heslam (19) the only batsman to reach double figures at this stage. However, the 4th wicket partnership proved crucial as the ever reliable Chris Jackson and Mitchell Cooper steadied the ship and began to put Reed back into the game. When Cooper went for a well-made 31 the game was in the balance at 90-4 off 38 overs. Reed needed to keep the momentum going and Tom Greaves (27) and Sean Tidey (27) crucially did exactly that adding impetus with some fine stroke making allowed by the security of Jackson holding matters together at the other end. Just when a Reed win seemed almost certain Tidey went swiftly followed by Lill a little unlucky to be well caught by Howgego. However, Jack Tidey (15*) had the bit between his teeth and he and Reed’s rock Jackson (68*) guided Reed home with 2 overs to spare. A superb effort by Jackson for Reed.
The win pushes Reed up to 5th in the Championship, one point off 4th.
Report by James Heslam.