Kiwi star JB had quite the weekend. Unbeaten centuries on Friday night and Saturday spearheaded fantastic batting performances, while on Sunday the firsts continued their relentless march to glory with a comprehensive cup win against Friarmere.

After a trio of defeats, the Totts side finally tasted T20 success in the most unlikely of circumstances. Visitors Brooksbottom posted a frankly mammoth 222-7 in their allotted overs, only for the Kiwi duo of Niko and JB to make it seem like child's play. The visitors effort was headlined by a towering 84 from 34 balls from Kyle Ogden; with fourteen maximums spread across the innings, this looked to be an unassailable target. Amidst the carnage, Niko, Awais and Nicky T picked up a pair of wickets apiece. Enter the Kiwi pair who helped themselves to an opening stand of 136 in just 11 overs, with Niko again passing the half century as he recorded 54 from 38 balls. JB was in a whole other gear, and brought up his century in 60 balls, finally ending on 108 not out with seven sixes. Matty Hall added 26 at better than a run a ball as the game went down to the final delivery, fittingly despatched to the boundary by our Kiwi batting sensation.

Saturday arrived and little changed! Having suffered the early loss of Bret, Niko and JB carried on from Friday's heroics, turning in another pair of sublime performances against a struggling Astley and Tyldesley bowling attack. Niko posted an impressive 88, while JB moved serenely to his second century in as many days, racking up 137 not out from just 110 balls as the firsts declared their innings at 303-5 from 42 overs. With rain in the air it was important to leave plenty of time to complete the job - and complete it they did in some style, destroying the visitors batting in short order. Astley's innings closed on 94 all out, with the early damage done by Lenny and Deardo (subbing for the absent Burnsy) and wrapped up by Niko and Ruffers (4-7).

Over at Egerton, some late scrambling for players meant that we could field a competitive 2nd XI in a tricky looking encounter. The returning KC anchored the innings with 43, while positive contributions from Mooro, Nick Marsh, Donny and Kev took the team to a steady 151-7 from 41 rain-affected overs. Early wickets proved elusive, but a brief flurry gave us hope at 92-4. Sam appeared to bring his bucket this week, pouching a pair of catches, but the entrance of Safi changed the game markedly. The number six smashed four sixes on his way to 46 from 29 balls to take the game away from a gallant 2nds with plenty of overs to spare.

Sunday's 1st XI cup encounter with Friarmere once again saw TSJ go in as underdogs, but this is a formidable side hitting peak form at the right time. Despite once again losing an early wicket, Phil Hayes and Matty Hall carried the score to 91 before the latter departed for a useful 41. Opener Hayes, making his official Totty debut, reached the same score before he fell amidst a mini slump that also saw Niko come and go quickly (apologies from your report writer as this coincided neatly with my brief stop in at the ground). Two very good partnerships restored the TSJ dominance, with JB continuing his good form and taking the score past 150 before losing his wicket for 35. We'll forgive this blip, given that his weekend average is a scarcely believable 280! Ruffers chipped in with 27, but it was Matt Smalley who guided the score past 200 with a really impressive 46 from just 37 balls. A team total of 231 looked pretty handy given the higher division opposition.

Let's not understate just how good the Totts bowling attack has been this year; even without Burnsy, serving his final game and cheering on from the sidelines, the bowling unit is skilled and highly effective. Inside twenty minutes the Friarmere top order was in utter disarray at 15-5, with Lenny (3-10 from his first 3 overs) and Smalley sharing the wickets and putting the firsts firmly in the driving seat. Niko came on and immediately picked up McEvoy LBW, leaving the visitors at 32-6. The impressive Kiwi also picked up another wicket in his next over. Du Toit became the first player to reach double figures, ending a run of 22 dot balls from Niko, but it seemed to be far too little too late.

However the battling Du Toit began to wage a lone rearguard action, and with Hussain blocking gamely at one end, he advanced the score significantly, bringing up his half century in 55 balls with a trio of sixes including back to back efforts off Callum. The re-introduction of Lenny and Ruffers didn't stem the tide, with Friarmere scoring 42 from 5 overs and reaching 128-7 after 30 overs, seemingly still in with a shout, even at 7 RPO. The 108 run partnership was finally broken with Ruffers claiming the obdurate Hussain who had contributed just 9 from 58 balls, and then a few runs later he picked up Du Toit for a terrific 88. At 152-9 it once again appeared all over, but the 10th wicket pairing thwarted the Totts bowlers, and with the addition of a 12 run penalty to leave the visitors at 207-9 there was a real shock on the cards. Thankfully Matty and then Callum were able to keep the runs in check and the innings closed at 221-9!!


The usual thanks to everyone who helped out before, during and after the matches through the week. It was a monumental effort to host games on three straight days with the usual efficiency - next week sees more home games through the latter part of the week and of course Sunday sees the return of Totty's Big Day Out. We hope the weather holds off for what should be yet another superb weekend for the club.

To view scorecards from all our games, view the TSJ fixtures and results on CricHQ or check out our fixtures page.

I Will if You Will Biffaward

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Twitter: @TottyStJohnsCC