Dukes ECB NEPL Premier Division
HETTON Lyons maintained their interest in the title race with a mauling of hapless Sunderland, who turned in one of their worst ever performances in being totally outclassed by 231 runs.
The Wearsiders went down with a whimper after watching Hetton pile on 294-4 in just 50 overs, the reply short, although anything but sweet, as the home team crumbled to a disastrous 63 all out.
Gary Scott was the man making hay in the early August sunshine, cracking 16 fours and 5 sixes on his way to a 133-ball innings of 143 which took the game completely away from the shell-shocked home team.
Sean Tindale provided the perfect support to Scott as the pair shared a third wicket partnership of 210, Tindale’s contribution being 76.
Sunderland’s response just never got going, the innings lurching from one crisis point to another – 18-3, to 36-7, to 63 all out – as Scott, Tindale, Lal Kumar and Martin Pollard bagged two cheap wickets each.
At least Sunderland were able able to gain a small measure of comfort when news came through that Gateshead Fell had lost a game at Maiden Castle they really should have won, that result meaning a decent gap of 31 points remains between the bottom two.
The Fell appeared to have done all the hard work when they bowled the Academy out for 176, Cameron Oliver and Andrew Porter sharing six wickets as only Luke Henderson (51) put up much resistance.
But then having moved to the brink of victory, with only 39 more needed on 138-5, the last six batters made just 25 between them, and when the brilliant Aussie, Adam Whatley, went for a cracking 92 which included 8 fours and 5 sixes and came from just 62 balls, the game was more or less up, Fell falling for 168 to lose by a mere 8 runs. Barry McCarthy (5-52) and Ben Whitehead (3-43) sealed their fate, and probably in more ways than one.
The winning of the toss at Denton Bank gave Whitburn the chance to bowl first in damp conditions, and they went on to record one of their best wins since promotion to the top flight when they hammered Benwell Hill by ten wickets.
The Hill had only lost one league game all season at the start of play, but their batsmen had no answer to the twin threats of Michael Turns and Mark Elliott who picked up eight of the wickets to fall. Turns sent down 18.1 overs, which included five maidens, to collect the impressive figures of 5-25, while Elliott picked up 3-36 from his 17 overs as the Hill slumped to 125 all out in 42.1 overs. Only Sameet Brar, with 46 from 29 balls, provided any real resistance.
Stuart Walker then cracked 8 fours and 3 sixes in a 61-ball innings of 79 not out, while his partner Neil Ayre was a little more sedate as he finished unbeaten with 47 to his name, Whitburn having the game won in just 20.4 overs.
Chester-le-Street have no chance of affecting the title race, but a comfortable 88-run win at Tynemouth lifted them to their highest placing this season – third.
Batting was never easy in bowler friendly conditions, and the Cestrians used up almost 60 overs in reaching 190-9, skipper John Coxon top scoring with 54 from 115 balls. Tynemouth’s reply inched to the relative tranquility of 63-3, but then Max Morley (4-35) and Andrew Bell (4-18) brought about a collapse which saw the last seven wickets go down for just 39 runs.
In the day’s other games there were runs galore at Jesmond where Stockton’s Richard Waite (140) ended up on the losing side as the Teessiders failed to defend 273-9, Graham Clark (111no) and Jacques du Toit (113no) making a mockery of the formidable target, and South North (229-8) took another step towards their ninth title as the overcame Blaydon (168) with nine overs to spare.