10 Point Saturday for the 1XI
By mark wilkie
Sessay’s 1st XI had their third consecutive Yorkshire Premier League North fixture on the road
when they made the trip over to St George’s Road, Harrogate.
Mark Wilkie won the toss and elected to bat first, but the rain arrived right on cue at 12 noon and delayed the start of the Sessay
innings, which finally got underway at 1.20, with the contest reduced to 48 overs per side. Sessay
suffered an immediate setback when Wilkie was comprehensively bowled by Tom Geeson-Brown’s
second delivery, leaving Matthew Till and Mark Jackson to battle hard in the next few overs to
prevent further inroads in the difficult conditions.
A few play and misses were inevitable with the seam movement and swing, but the pair hung in commendably and saw off the opening attack as the score reached 37 by the 12th over. The partnership began to prosper as Till took the attack to the spinner Ben Stokes, whilst Jackson profited especially from dabs to the third man area, and the mid innings 24 over mark arrived with Sessay having advanced to a promising 91. The partnership was broken when Jackson, runless over the Bank Holiday weekend but having shown great
resolve here to return to form in difficult conditions, was bowled by Ishan Abeysekara for 66 with
the score on 118 in the 32nd over. Will Hunt was bowled in Abeysekara ’s next over by a ball which
kept low, and the Sri Lankan struck again in the 38th over when he had Matthew Till lbw for a
battling and crucial 61 with the score on 154. Joe Watson was caught at mid off trying to hit
Abeysekara over the infield, and Tim Hall was another victim for the Sri Lankan when he was
bowled for 8 as Sessay sought quick runs as the overs went by. Nick Harrison, who had worked
the ball around commendably to reach 24, became another Abeysekara victim, and the same
bowler dismissed fellow countryman Kavikara before the hosts opening attack returned to claim
the final two wickets. Despite the late flurry of dismissals, Sessay would have been satisfied at
posting a score of 203, an above par effort in the challenging conditions.
The Harrogate reply began well enough with 25 from the first 6 overs, but Stuart Peirse made the
breakthrough in the 7th over when Alexis Twigg drove to backward point where Navin Kavikara
took the catch. Peirse, now settled into a familiar rhythm, then turned the game Sessay’s way with
three wickets in two overs. Opener Corrie Keable drove low to cover where Mark Jackson took a
smart catch, and in his next over Peirse struck twice, trapping Cooper Smith lbw, then 2 balls later
finding the edge of Ishan Abeysekara’s bat to give Nick Harrison a catch as Harrogate slipped to
39 for 4 in the 13th over. Skipper Josh Atkinson and Will Topham rallied the innings without ever
looking completely comfortable before Topham edged Liam Carver to slip where Joe Watson took
a good chest high catch, with Harrogate now on 86 for 5 in the 26th over.
Navin Kavikara took the crucial wicket of Josh Atkinson, bowling the home skipper for 42 as Sessay made further progress,
and although Tom Geeson-Brown threatened briefly, Stephen Langstaff held onto a return catch
with the score on 115. Navin Kavikara had further reward, having Ashley Griffin caught at short mid
wicket for 8 and Jonathan MacGregor caught at mid on for 1, and Sessay sealed a fine win when
Matthew Till trapped last man Stokes lbw with more than 8 overs remaining.
A second successive win, based on a crucial second wicket partnership, then set up by Stuart
Peirse’s fine opening burst, lifts Sessay towards mid table and with a crucial month ahead the
confidence from these two wins will hopefully see this progress continue.