Pacesetting Barkby Seconds extend perfect start

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Barkby United Seconds moved 33 points clear at the top of Division Four East as they extended their perfect start to the season at Countesthorpe.

Barkby were put into bat, and Adam Stapleford-Jones gave them a good platform with 64 when he was caught in the deep as the visitors reached 95-3 at drinks.

Matt Harby and Ben Hollis battled hard against a rejuvenated attack before Harby was trapped lbw for 32, and Hollis grafted for 11 from 36 balls.

Another quick wicket fell as Ryan Waplington was caught and bowled as Barkby struggled on 142-6 as the slow bowlers proved difficult.

Max Carmichael provided useful middle order runs with an aggressive 27, but none of the lower order could muster double figures as Barkby were bowled out for 181.

Callum Smith and Ryan Waplington (9-1-16-2) set the tone with the new ball, backed up well in the field. The early pressure paid off when Jack Wood found the opener short of his ground (2-1).

In a matter of minutes, Countesthorpe collapsed to 5-5 as immaculate line and lengths from the two openers who took two wickets apiece.

Smith (8-3-11-3) picked up his third when bowling another, before finishing his spell with the hosts 13-6.

It could have been even worse if Ben Hollis and Adam Stapleford-Jones had held on to chances in the slips.

The Bottings then joined the party and struck in their second overs as Dave (6-3-11-1) found the edge for a sharp caught behind by keeper Lloyd Phillips, and Louis did likewise, this time caught by Hollis.

Louis (4.4-0-22-3) picked up the two final wickets as the hosts were all out for just 65, leaving Barkby with a resounding 116-run victory and 120 points from a possible 120 in their immaculate start.

Kibworth Thirds are the visitors to Beeby Road on Saturday.

* Barkby fielded a strong Third XI for their first County League home game of the season against SPA.

The visitors were put into bat and lost their first wicket with just two on the board. Whitaker then sneaked one through the gate of the new batsman (7-2).

The remaining opener battled against a strong bowling partnership and somehow saw off the 15 overs until first change Jack Fox had him caught at mid-wicket by Smithard.

Man-of-the-match Amit Barchha then claimed a wicket in each of his first four overs as Lilley took two catches at mid-off.

In between Fox had managed to take his second wicket as SPA were finally cleaned up for 63.

In reply, openers Bartram (27) and Bourke (36) were watchful to begin with, but flicked the new ball into gaps at will as they knocked off the 64 without losing a wicket.

The Thirds visit Lutterworth on Saturday.