City United bat gives umpires something to chew over

EVEN at the halfway stage of Bective’s clash with City United in the Tamworth first grade the umpires are going to have a difficult task in choosing best and fairest points – just in case they don’t have enough problems to deal with.

In a controversial first day at Scully Park, City was bowled out for 160 before Bective finished the day on 0-100.

That puts the Bulls well in command of the game but so far the three best and fairest points might have to go to City bat Ben Chew for his well-made 92.

He and captain Dan Whale put on 90 for the sixth wicket, with Whale staying for 115 balls for his 27 not out.

“I thought we bowled really well,” Bective captain Nick Pearson said.

“But Chewy was excellent, didn’t give any chances.

“He and Dan Whale batted well and we didn’t look like getting them out.

“Once Chewy was out the other wickets came.”

With Chew removed, Adam Jones came into the attack and cleaned up the tail.

Earlier, Jarrard Abra also put his hand up for best and fairest honours with 3-28 from 13 overs, but Jones pipped him in the wicket stakes with 4-15, prompting Pearson to label him the “tail-end terminator”.

“He loves bowling to the tail- enders,” Pearson said.

“Jarrard bowled a great spell too.

“He bowled his overs straight and he’s fit and firing.”

Pearson then found himself at the centre of the day’s major controversy when he went out to open the batting for the Bulls.

He was bowled for a second -ball duck, only to be recalled when the umpires were alerted to the fact that City had 12 fielders.

With that reprieve, the Bulls skipper went on to be 43 not out at stumps, while his opening partner James Haling was 48 not out after he survived a caught behind appeal.

If the openers can go on with the job and steer Bective to first innings points they will also come into best and fairest calculations and give Bective the chance to play for more than just first innings points.

Not that best and fairest points will be on the minds of the umpires after such a tense first day.

Whale said it was a “frustrating” day for his side and the decision to call a no ball and recall Pearson to the wicket changed the momentum of the game.

West Tamworth allrounder Tim Kensell sits in third spot on the B&F table but will find it hard to improve after being struck with a neck injury in Saturday’s clash with South Tamworth at No 1 Oval.

While he took 1-31 with the ball, a neck problem that had arrived midweek flared so badly he didn’t bat.

He’s hoping it will ease off so he can bat when West resume at 8-59 chasing South’s 178 this Saturday.

One bright note for West in its batting disappointment is the bowling of young off-spinner Adam Penman.

He claimed 4-36 off his 14 overs.

“Adam’s been improving every game,” Kensell said.

“He’s been growing in confidence. 

“The more games he has the better he will become.

“He’s been a great find for us this season.”

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