Cricket: Sri Lankan propels Tonbridge's Cowdrey to victory over Leeds
6th June 2019
Cowdrey 254 beat Leeds & Broomfield 243-9 by 11 runs
AFTER the heartbreak of losing by one run in their last match, Cowdrey bounced back with a victory but a long last-wicket stand by the visitors kept them fearing the worst again.
Visitors Leeds & Broomfield had themselves suffered a narrow defeat by one wicket in Kent League Division Three the previous weekend.
Cowdrey’s captain Ryan Addison won the toss and chose to bat first, and openers Xavier Yeats-Brown (38) and Stuart Clarke (26) got the hosts off to a good start.
But the introduction of spinners Max Aitken (3 for 32) and Edward Scrivens (3 for 48) put the brakes on as Cowdrey were reduced to 79 for 3.
Then a partnership of 129 for the fourth wicket between overseas star Minhaj Jalill and elder statesman Glen Warner tilted the balance decisively in Cowdrey’s favour.
Warner eventually departed for a well-made 51 off 59 balls with eight fours and a six, caught in the deep, leading Jalill to increase the tempo.
But with a maiden Kent League century in sight the Sri Lankan was run out by a direct hit from the boundary by Clarry McCague.
Jalill scored 92 off 94 balls with six sixes and nine, and with his dismissal Cowdrey lost their last six wickets for 18 to be all out for 254 with one over left, Monty McCague picking up 3 for 49.
Thom Brown took a wicket with the first ball of Leeds’ reply, hurrying up Fred Roberts.
Scrivens then took on both Brown and fellow paceman Harry Johnson and found an able ally in talented skipper Aitken.
Cowdrey needed a breakthrough and Addison turned to the spin of Jalill, who produced an excellent caught-and-bowled to remove Aitken.
Scrivens continued to attack and it took the reintroduction of Johnson to remove him for 74 off 85 balls with 13 boundaries.
Indeed Johnson swung the game back in Cowdrey’s favour with another wicket in the same over to finish with 3 for 53.
Jalill returned and, bowling in tandem with 17 year old off-spinner Gautam Juneja, the runs dried up and wickets fell, Jalill returning 3 for 32.
With the game seemingly in the bag, frustration grew as Cowdrey could not remove the last pair of Clarry McCague (27 not out) and Philip Morrison (35 not out).
The tenth-wicket pair put on an unbroken stand of 65 but were still unable to get their side over the line and ended up 11 runs short on 243 for 9.
Cowdrey move up to fourth place and now visit to Gore Court on Saturday (June 8).