Gillingham manage to see out victory with only eight players
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
Gillingham overcame the odds to record a remarkable 46-run win over Halvergate, despite fielding with only eight players for over 40 overs.
With Gillingham able to only field nine players batting first was the obvious choice but the task soon became all the harder as opener Cant pulled up with a calf injury in the first over, Le Versha then running himself out attempting a single with Cant unable to leave his crease.
Cant (14) then recorded a huge straight six before being bowled by Cook, who then produced a perfect yorker from the following delivery to account for Roberts. Liam Smith (17) saw off the hat-trick ball and added 24 with Barber including two more sixes before missing a straight one.
Barber progressed to 27 with a brace of boundaries before being bowled by the pacey Burns and when Patrick fell for a duck later in the over Gillingham were in real trouble at 61-6 after just 12 overs. Davey and Stevens then dug in to steadily accumulate and added 53 for the seventh wicket before Davey (34) was adjudged lbw in the 27th over with the score on 114. Last man Matt Smith joined Stevens with 18 overs remaining and committed to batting for as long as possible to frustrate their hosts.
Halvergate rotated their bowlers to no avail as the Gillingham secured the third and fourth batting points as the total passed 160. A late blitz saw 23 runs added in the final three overs as Gillingham closed on 190-7, Stevens (39 not out) and Smith (45 not out) having added 76 runs in a superb unbroken partnership.
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Stevens, opening the innings with spin, made a breakthrough in the second over as Liam Smith took a good catch in the deep. Stevens then had to depart, leaving Gillingham with just eight players but still well in the game as Barber made an immediate impact in trapping home skipper Kelf lbw. Two further wickets for Barber and Le Versha (1-36) reduced Halvergate to 41-4 with young batsman Utting the only top-order player looking comfortable before Barber (3-31) made the crucial breakthrough in dismissing him for a classy 31. Willimott and Howley then added 32 for the sixth wicket before Patrick accounted for Willimott (11). Two further wickets for Patrick (3-22) left Halvergate reeling at 131-8 and Matt Smith then took the crucial wicket of Howley (43) as the innings ended on 146.
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