Haxey’s second XI returned to action this weekend with a must-win game against fellow promoted side Cherry Willingham.
A cold wind and hail swept scene greeted the two sides with dark clouds in the middle distance threatening to disrupt proceedings, a stark contrast to the opening game of the season a week earlier.
Haxey, fielding an unchanged side from their opening day narrow defeat at Hartsholme, lost the toss and were invited to bat first.
Captain Jeremy Evans and Mark Metcalfe got the side off to a fairly solid start before Metcalfe timed a clip through the leg side a little too well and fell to a good diving catch at mid-wicket for 14.
The middle order of Fleet (0), Stanser (15), Skelton (3), and Barlow (6) did little to add to the Haxey total and at 50-5 the wheels were threatening to fall off.
Youngster Tom Smith alongside Evans steadied the ship before Smith fell to a well-disguised slower ball.
This brought all-rounder Wasim Ahmed to the crease and despite being in obvious discomfort from a wrist injury, he took the attack to the Lincoln side’s bowlers - dispatching them to all parts with ease.
The wicket of the dependable Evans for a solid 33 brought Andrew Steeper to the crease who, alongside Ahmed, batted with skill and flair to push Haxey to a slightly below par 142 from their 45 overs.
Haxey took to the field knowing that early wickets were going to be the key to success.
Ahmed got an early breakthrough, however, it was the unorthodox use of off-spinner Jonathan Stanser as an opening bowler that caused the away side the most problems.
Stanser created wicket-taking chances regularly and combined with some excellent catching and a sharp stumping from keeper, Barlow went on to tear the heart out of the visitors batting line-up.
Stanser (5-27) was backed up by the mercurial Ahmed (2-11), Cameron Farr also 2-11 and Gary Mann (1-17).
The bowlers were backed up by an excellent fielding performance from all concerned and can be proud of their efforts on a difficult day weather-wise.
Haxey will be glad to be without a fixture this weekend as several of their players require treatment for injuries and Stanser (back), Ahmed (wrist and groin) and Fleet (thigh) are all extremely doubtful for the coming week’s fixtures.
As always, thanks to Groundsman Ken Layton and sponsors Steve King (SK Tax Service) and The Duke William for their continued support.
Report submitted by Anthony Fleet of Haxey CC.
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