With the 1st team struggling for form recently Barrow faced a tough test away to Hampset, who are rightly placed near the top of the table. Barrow won the toss and elected to field.
James Riley and Matt Owen opened up for Barrow and bowled tightly keeping the scoring under 4 an over for the first 10. A very good return for a dry wicket, small boundaries and lightning fast outfield. Matt was unlucky not to pick up the first wicket due to a dropped catch, however Riley promptly reaped the reward of bowling a tight line and length and had their opener LBW. (It’s worth noting Riley’s figures from his opening spell: 5-2-4-1. Very well bowled.)
Kieran Owen and Premil Torrington replaced the opening bowlers and bowled well, but were unfortunately bowling against arguably the best batsman in the league, Dan Williams, so were finding it hard to break the second wicket partnership. Both batsmen moved past the 50 landmark and were looking in good form until Sami was introduced and managed to bowl the key man (after getting hit for 3 very large 6’s in his first over). The score at the midway stage was 124-1 and a wicket or two could have swung it in Barrow’s favour.
Some positive batting from the Hampset men saw them race through the gears in the second half of their innings and they started to pile on the runs. Hampset’s opener, Solly, got a very well deserved century, after seeing off our opening bowlers and capitalising on some mixed bowling later on in the innings. Sami picked up another wicket (2/53 in 9 overs) and Premil got his only of the game late on, leaving Hampset on 276-4 at the end of their innings. On a small ground and a nice pitch to bat on, it could have been a much bigger total Barrow were to chase.
With a few different options to open, the opportunity arose for Ben Skuse and Bernie Forge to see what they could do. They looked solid in the middle and the Hampset openers never really looked like getting them out. However, the bowlers did manage to keep the runs from flowing and Barrow were falling behind the required rate. Skuse fell to a good catch at gully and Roger Finnimore was introduced to the middle. Having made the step up from the 2’s, he seemed to forget there was a difference in standard of fielding and called a suicidal single and was duly run out for a duck. This left Barrow 29-2 off 13 overs.
Mark Brown joined Bernie in the middle and they saw off the opening bowler’s spells. This allowed the Barrow batsment to start hitting out against some slightly sloppier deliveries and the runs began to flow. With the score at 83 before Bernie got cleaned up two balls before drinks for 32. Ali Hood came in at number 5 and put on about 50-odd in 8 or so overs with Brown keeping up with the run rate. Unfortunately, Ali was bowled for 18 leaving Barrow needing about 130 off the last 15 overs. Alwis came to the crease very pumped up and in the mood for some big hitting.
It was a case of do or die for Barrow and they started to hit out. Brown was caught on the boundary a few overs later for 79 (after hitting 6 sixes), meaning another big hitting Sri Lankan (Sami) was introduced. Again, some tight fielding saw Sami run out early on, but Premil was next in. Some big hits from the both of them got Barrow to the 200 mark, needing around 10 an over for the last 7. Unfortunately Alwis went for 50 (off 31 balls with 3 sixes) and Premil for 15, both going for the big shot. The innings faded out despite the best efforts of Barrow’s lower order, finishing 237 all out, just 40 runs short against a good side.