Bichard makes big impact on his Griffins comeback

GRIFFINS maintained their unbeaten record in Odey Wealth Evening League One on Tuesday night with a five-wicket victory over Irregulars.

Luke Bichard marked his return to Tom Kirk’s side with three wickets for just 11 runs in his four overs, taking the scalps of Stuart Le Prevost, Ben Wentzel and Martin-Dale Bradley.

The win for Griffins means they climb back to the top of Division One, although the also-unbeaten Indies can leapfrog them in the table tonight with a win over Wanderers-Rovers.

Bichard opened the bowling on his comeback to the side after missing a chunk of the season due to a broken thumb and the young seamer did not waste time in making his mark on proceedings as he bowled opener Le Prevost with his third ball.

Bradley looked to continue his impressive T20 form following his recent 88 against Indies, but after finding the boundary rope twice he also fell to Bichard to leave Irregulars two down in the third over.

Charles Vorster looked to get the innings going after a slow start and began to find his rhythm, hitting three fours in the space of four balls.

Charles Vorster plays the ball out to deep square leg. (Picture by Luke Le Prevost, 30955157)

Griffins were not about to allow Irrregulars to start teeing off, though, as Bichard continued to steal the show with a third wicket, this time clean-bowling Wentzel for just eight.

Vorster joined his partner in being dismissed in the eighth over, this time thanks to some quick fielding from Adam Wakeford to run out the number three.

Charlie Simmonds was the pick of the batsmen for Bradley’s men as he formed an important partnership with Angus Hunter, steadying the ship following the flurry of early wickets and moving Irregulars towards a decent total.

The batting side took until the 17th over to pass the 100 mark, although after Griffins’ early performance with the ball it seemed like a score they may not have reached at all if not for Hunter and Simmonds.

Dane Mullen cleaned up for Griffins at the death, claiming the wickets of both of the set batsman in the 18th over – Hunter for 24 and Simmonds for 36, top scoring for his side.

Phil Smith also chipped in with the bat, striking 18 runs from only eight deliveries and finishing not out to take Irregulars’ total to a respectful 130.

Griffins’ run chase nearly got off to the worst possible start as Le Tissier was dropped in his very first ball from the bowling of Max Ellis, and the opener capitalised on his lifeline with two fours and a six later in the over.

Damian Wallen was quick to join in on the run scoring as he smashed 17 from seven before being dismissed by Guernsey U15 captain Charlie Forshaw.

Le Tissier continued to punish Irregulars after being dropped on nought, as he combined with skipper Kirk to quickly bring down the required run-rate.

The pair took Griffins to 78 for 1 from the first six overs and it did not take much longer for Le Tissier to get to yet another 50, bringing it up from just 20 balls.

It was not quite over for Irregulars yet, though, as Forshaw and Wentzel gave their side an outside chance with the wickets of Le Tissier and Kirk respectively, the former falling for 58 and the captain going for 18.

Matt Philp and Marcus Thomas were the next two in, but neither were able to make their mark in the middle as Griffins fell to 100 for 5 shortly after looking so comfortable.

Wentzel was the man responsible for both of their dismissals, trapping younger Thomas leg before for one while Philp, who was batting one lower in the order than normal, was caught for two.

The Martel brothers ensured there was no complete capitulation with the bat for their side, as they combined to score the remaining runs and chase down the 131 target within 15 overs.

Adam Martel finished not out on 17, while his brother Jordon was not out on 15.

‘Any win is a good win for us at the end of the day, we want to win every game and it is nice to knock another one off,’ said Kirk following the victory.

‘Winning the toss and bowling first, we would have probably taken 130 as a score to chase, although I think we probably let them get away with an extra 10 or 15 runs from our fielding.

‘The boys bowled well today I thought. Luke Bichard was brilliant and Adam Martel also looked really good.

‘Luke Le Tissier was great again with the bat, he is on a different level at the moment.’

Griffins will play Wanderers-Rovers next Tuesday evening at the KGV as they aim to continue their unbeaten streak.

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