Outstanding performances but only one win for Richmondshire Cricket Club

Richmondshire Cricket Club.

The sunny weekend weather got the 2021 season off to a fantastic start with the recent dry weather producing unusually good batting wickets for April.

A career best 125 not out for captain Rob Carr got the first team off to an excellent start in their NYSD Premier League game at Great Ayton.

A first wicket partnership of 99 with Gary Pratt (42) was followed by a third wicket partnership of 119 with new Indian professional Ajay Mandal.

Having only arrived in the country last weekend and having had a chance for one net session after a negative Covid test allowed him to come out of isolation.

He might have been excused if he had taken a bit of time to acclimatise to English conditions. On the contrary he hit the ground running scoring seventy seven of 63 balls with five sixes and seven fours.

Richmond declared after 48 overs on 261 for and faced with such a large score Great Ayton understandably showed little ambition to chase the runs.

Particularly after Shaun Charlton marked his return to Richmond colours with a wicket in his second over. With Ajay’s first over in English cricket being a double wicket maiden, Great Ayton were reduced to 27 for 3.

Ayton opener Jon Grainge (63 not out) dug in to frustrate Richmond but two wickets for Craig Marshall and two more for Ajay made the score 157 for 9 with five overs remaining to get the final wicket.

Try as they might, Richmond couldn’t make the breakthrough and Ayton held out for a draw. Richmond taking 17 points to Ayton’s four.

Back at Hurgill Road Richmond 2nds had a tough game against Bishop Auckland 1sts for Brad Elsworths first game as captain.

Sam Winter topped the scoring for Richmond with seventy four who made 178 all out. The IPL and Big Bash pedigree of Nathan Rimmington showed as he took 4 for 45 for Bishop. Bishop were never troubled in completing the win with 179 for 3 after thirty eight overs, Nathan Rimmington top scoring with 49.

The 4th team had an easier time at Yarm 2nds with a convincing win by one hundred and forty six runs. Batting first Richmond made 198 for 4, Richie Carruthers 63 not out, John Clark 45 and Clive Layfield 41 contributing the bulk of the runs.

With Michael Platt taking 5 for 8, Jayson Mason 2 for 9 and Alex Percival 2 for 8, Yarm could only manage fifty two in reply. Giving Richmond a maximum twenty five point start to their season.

The 3rd team travelled to Middlesbrough 3rds with their usual mixture of veterans and youngsters. Choosing to bat, it was the young opening partnership of Jonny Baines and Alex Percival who impressed.

Both falling narrowly short of a maiden century. Jonny being bowled on 96 and even more frustratingly Alex being 99 not out when the 40 overs ran out. With a final total of 227 for 2.

Middlesbrough opener Aleem Ditta also took advantage of the placid Acklam Park wicket to make 134 not out as the Richmond bowlers struggled to make an impression. It began to look as if Middlesbrough had timed their innings just right with fourteen needed to win off the last two overs.

The two batting heroes Alex Percival and Jonny Baines were trusted with the final overs and held their nerve to restrict Middlesbrough to 224 for 4.

This gave Richmond 11 points to Middlesbrough’s ten.