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England stunned by NUSC at Billingham

Posted by web on 26/06/2018 12:51

The 2018 Hilton Newcastle Gateshead International Challenge Series, started with NUSC securing two shock victories over England PD on Sunday at Billingham Synthonia CC. 

Match 1

England PD 136-8 (Flynn 30, E Smith 2-12, B Smith 2-28)

NUSC 140-6 (Gill 49, Dixon 31*, Williams 2-17)

NUSC won by 4 wickets


In near perfect cricketing conditions, England won the toss and elected to bat first.  It could hardly have started better with Laidlaw (10) and Thomas (9) taking 15 from the first 5 balls before Thomas powerful on drive picked out the tallest man Chris Robb, and only man who could have pulled it in to give NUSC a vital first wicket, and a maiden one for Elliott Wing (1-15).


NUSC continued to attack unleashing the pacey Harper (4-0-21-1) whose bouncer accounted for the in-form Laidlaw, and the debutant Ben Smith (2-28), then removed key targets Nairn and Flynn (30) to leave England 94-5.


Elliott Smith (4-0-13-2) alongside Gill (1-22) and Robb (0-27) restricted England to just 36 from the final 6 overs.  That attention to detail on field placing produced an over-rate penalty taking England up to 136 but still regarded as 20 short.

20 short, soon looked to be 20 too many as NUSC slumped to 25-3 in the 5th over as Williams (2-17) took out the attacking NUSC top order.  However, Gill (49) was joined by Shaw (19), to turn the game upside down in the next 4 overs with Gill powering 49 runs alone in his 20 balls, with 6 fours, and 3 sixes to bring the chase back to a run a ball. 


Gill’s dismissal superbly caught by Laidlaw on the deep boundary, brought England the opening they needed, but no change in momentum as Shaw (19) supported the aggressive Dixon 31*(22) before the game iced was by the impressive Robb 16*(10) with a straight driven six off the 1st ball of the 18th over.


Match 2

NUSC 178-7 (Boyle 41, Shaw 40, Dixon 28, Brown 28, Williams 2-28)

England PD 158-7 (Askin 33, O’Brien 32*, Harper 2-33)

NUSC won by 20 runs


Seamer Jordan Williams (2-28) once again took key wickets to leave NUSC 0-1 and 22-2, with the early drop of Boyle off Hamm’s bowling the ball England look back wanting again.  Had that been taken, and with Gill, the match 1 game change soon dismissed for just 12, England would have likely cruised to victory.


But, instead, Boyle made the most of his second chance scoring an impressive 41(27) including 5 fours and a six, batting alongside Shaw 40(30) who used all of his experience to take the team up to 135-6 with 3 overs left. 

As NUSC players quickly noted, it was exactly where the team had been in the 1st game with exactly the same bowler on, and the next 3 overs would change the game.  The NUSC batting order said number 8 Ben, but in a last minute switch it was Brown, not Smith sent out, and it proved to be a ‘Hiltonball’ masterstroke.  The man destined to be DJ before Tom Wing’s lung injury meant a late role switch, much to Tom clear frustration, smashed a superb 28 off 12 balls, just as Tom would have hoped to do to help NUSC up to 178-7 from their 20 overs. 

20 above par, soon looked to be 50 light, as England tore into the opening bowling taking 16, 12 and 14 from the opening 3 overs, before Elliott Smith (1-22) dismissed Thomas 12(7) thanks to a smart diving catch, and with Robb (1-32) dismissing Laidlaw the next over it brought NUSC some breathing space.


Askin 33(34) and the highly impressive Flynn 25(16) took the score up to 89 before Flynn, and then key man Nairn were dismissed by the NUSC spinners inside 8 balls, as they combined for a crucial 8 overs producing 8-0-48-2 taking the rate up past 12 an over. 


A fine counter attacking innings from O’Brien 32*(19) brought the final score up to 158-7, but England would look back on that drop, and Brown’s 28 in the last 3 overs, or, O’Brien would have secured them an easy victory.


Our thanks are extended to the ECB for placing their trust in NUSC to not just be competitive, but to host them prior to Vitality T20 International Tri Series.  We know you saw the work put in by the NUSC squad, one of the youngest it has ever fielded, most of who do not bowl or bat, as staggering as it is, for their adult club sides, to maintain the legend and goal of being the most competitive team you face in 2018.  Good luck, take your chances, and you will be lifting the Vitality trophy in July.

For the day to be called by the ECB a ‘slick operation’ pays much credit to hosts Billingham Synthonia CC, and all of the volunteers involved in staging the day to who we extend a huge thank you.  The day also pays credit to the work done in the month before with square practices arranged by Dennis Wing and fantastic dinners from Lynn Stockton helping to build up the team under its new coach.


Next stop July.