Reed 4s traveled to Datchworth on Saturday after a week’s break in Regional Division C East. Despite Friday’s deluge, the pitch and outfield were in remarkably good condition.
Skipper Lloyd Bowman lost the toss and Reed were put in to bat. Both openers Matthew Naeem and Martin Johnson fell early to the accurate bowling of Clark. Mas Naeem (21) and Zac Conley (10) then steadied things but were dismissed by Clark and the other opening bowler Carmichael and at 42 for 4 Reed were wobbling. Matters got even worse when skipper Bowman (2) and debutant Michael Hubbard fell in successive balls to Carmichael and at 49 for 6 in just the 12th over an early finish was on the cards.

However, Ian Roberts and Chris West hadn’t read the script and dug in for a well-crafted 71 partnership for the seventh wicket on a pitch with variable bounce. West was bowled by a yorker from Murphy for 23 but by this time the Reed recovery was underway at 110 for 7. Roberts carried on in the same vein playing each ball on its merits and dispatching the bad ball to the boundary. He was ably supported by Matt Yates (13) and they took Reed to 155 before Roberts fell to the returning Clark for 59, the last two wickets could only muster 6 more runs, however at 161 all out, Reed had given them a target to bowl at.

Reed opened the bowling with Matt Giblin and Matt Yates; both bowled well and beat the bat with regularity. Giblin struck first in seventh over as Zac Conley took a catch to dismiss Bennett for 10 (20 for 1), Giblin took the second wicket too (35 for 2) as Reed began to sense the game turning in their direction. The score soon became 37 for 3 when Yates trapped Atkinson LBW going nowhere on the crease. Carmichael then joined J. Marteeze and set about rebuilding the Datchworth innings. Giblin (10-0-34-2) and Yates (7-1-22-1) gave way to Ian Roberts and Neil Haslam. Carmichael fought his way to 29 before Roberts had him LBW. Marteeze then fell in the next over to Haslam for a stonewalling 8 caught by Johnson. Roberts then bowled Murphy for a duck and the hosts were tottering at 78 for 6. Roberts (7-4-19-4) with his away swing and Haslam (8-4-21-2) with his inswing and away cut began to take the game to Datchworth Clark fell for 10 to Roberts off a high Chris West catch and Haslam bowled A Marteeze, before Roberts bowled Murphy for 0 and Datchworth were now 95 for 9. A cameo 18 from number 11 Blackwood only delayed the inevitable as Datchworth were all out for 114 with Zac Conley (1.4-0-12-1) claiming the last wicket. A Reed victory by 47 runs, which keeps them top of the League.

Skipper Lloyd Bowman said after the game ” At 49 for 6, it looked as if we wouldn’t make tea, but Ian Roberts, Chris West and Matt Yates all dug deep to give us a creditable total in the end. All our bowlers were great, and well supported by total commitment in the field. A complete team performance. ”

Reed entertain Hatfield Hyde 3s at The Freman Oval next Saturday, with promotion well in their sights.

Match Report by Neill Haslam.