Remarkably, the Hill finally had a decision to make after Sunderland lost the toss – I am reminded that my poor record is still intact until I correctly call the result at an away fixture. We decided to bat despite a gloomy late afternoon forecast.
Callum Harding returned from injury as part of three changes, which included a debut for Durham University student Hector Chambers and recall for the ever-reliable Adam Heather. Doneathy (Durham CCC), McCreath (injury) and Nicholson (injury) those to miss out.
Sunderland returned to the Premier Division this year and have a talented squad of players at their disposal. They won last week following a narrow defeat on the opening day.
Coetzer and Mukthar were patient in the early stages, but the latter fell with the score at just 5. Adam Heather (18) supported Kyle excellently in a partnership of 81 which included a number of extras, which Adam was keen to claim towards his score. Phill Bell (26) continued his great form in another 81-run partnership with Coezter, but it was Kyle who really dominated the innings, finishing on 108 from 130 balls, to ensure a competitive 220 all out.
The Hill bowlers were magnificent in the early stages of the Sunderland response, reducing the visitors to 19-5 – Williamson (4-26 from 10 overs) and Harding (1-5 from 5). Wickets continued to fall, though at 78-7, the focus shifted to ensuring 25 overs were bowled to constitute a game, as the dark clouds approached. Thankfully, despite some strong shots from Kyle Hutchinson (33), we managed to dismiss Sunderland for 97, debutant Hector contributing with 3-17.
Our live stream camera is now active, and highlights can be found on our YouTube channel. Next week we travel to Eppleton who have had a difficult start to the season, but they are a team always willing to battle, so we will need to be well prepared to get a result.
The match scorecard is available here https://benwellhill.play-cricket.com/website/results/5024246