Club Cricket Conference

Friday, 20th September 2019

Cumbrian Miles makes double century impact down south

By Charles Randall

3 July 2017

The Cumberland opener Jonathan Miles made a major impact in his first season south by scoring a double-hundred in the Hertfordshire League.

The left-hander hit 202 not out as Totteridge Millhillians racked up 405-3 off 60 overs against Radlett, the reigning league champions, though the match ended as a draw with the visitors hanging on at 231-9.

The match started sensationally when Miles's opening colleague Justin Le Fort was hit on the head ducking into a short ball from the former Surrey Academy paceman Randeep Sanghera , breaking his helmet and causing a nasty bruise,  but the prolific Miles, formerly at Barrow and Kendal, exploited the fast conditions to produce a magnificent cultured innings, facing only 178 balls.

This was the second double century, after Eddie Ballard for Bishop's Stortord at Welwyn Garden City in 2016 - and the first 400 in the top division - since the Herts League started in 1974. Miles and Simon Webster, with 92 off 60 balls, put on 188 rapidly for the third wicket, though a delayed declaration probably denied Totteridge a victory as indeed had been the case with Ballard.

Radlett's Durham University captain Joe Cooke replied with a fine 76 before a late batting collapse. Conceding such a huge total was the third in a string of setbacks for Radlett, who lost their previous league game at Bishop's Stortford by one run, and suffered a home defeat in The Conference Cup to Chingford, newly promoted to the Essex League.

The relaunched Conference Cup for the Bertie Joel Trophy had a patchy start with a number of walkovers, but West Indies United made an emphatic statement of intent. Winners of the Bertie Joel competition before its merger with The Conference Cup, they take on Chingford at Catford in the third round on Sunday July 9 after their dominant victory over Colchester & East Essex.

Howard Powell led by example at Colchester with 50 off 41 balls in a United score 298-9 off a reduced allocation of 40 overs. Adekunle Adegbola made 44 off 36 balls, with Javon Abraham adding 45 off only 28 balls to leave the home side with a nigh-impossible job.

Colchester were bowled out for 221,  Jack Hebron top scoring with a quick 59 before Osmond Clunes settled the issue with four wickets.

Reigate Priory, The Conference Cup holders, are doing well in the Surrey Championship, but the draw requires a visit to Bexley, a club enjoying a revival in the Kent League under their Guyanese captain Jason Benn. Priory received a walkover in the second round, one of six donated successes at this stage after four concessions, half the matches, in the preliminary first round.

The 10 walkovers so far came as a disappointment for the organisers, though the ECB's Royal London Club Championship has suffered too this year. The belated merger of The Conference Cup, played on Sundays, and the Bertie  Joel Trophy, previously nearly always midweek, might have caused confusion. It seems that a high standard of cup cricket outside normal league boundaries suits some clubs, but by no means all.

Interestingly the Sovereign Trophy, the knockout competition run by the Club Cricket Conference for league representative sides, including lower tiers of ECB premier leagues, has probably never been better supported.

The third round draw of The Conference Cup has produced some intriguing fixtures. In addition to Reigate Priory and West Indies United, the strongly fancied Wanstead, top of the Essex League, take on Bromley, while Finchley, after their 2016 promotion to the Middlesex top tier, host those consistent cup-fighters Blackheath.

In the second round, eye-catching performances came from Tom Morton with 150 not out for Ealing off only 119 balls at Hoddesdon, and from James McDougall with a match-winning 101 for Aston Rowant at home to Harold Wood. Anthony Alleyne hit 112 for Brentwood in a losing cause at Stanmore, whose 287 proved only 15 runs good enough. Sunbury squeezed home by only seven runs against Hornchurch after making 221 without their former Middlesex batsman Adam London, the new director of coaching at Richmond CC down the road.

The Conference Cup for the Bertie Joel Trophy

Third Round draw (scheduled to be played on or before Sunday July 9)

West Indies United v Chingford
Finchley v Blackheath
Old Rutlishians v Ealing
Wanstead v Bromley
Cambridge Granta v Stanmore - played on Sunday July 2 - won by Cambridge Granta
Aston Rowant v Waltham - now to be played Sunday July 16
Old Wimbledonians v Sunbury
Bexley v Reigate Priory

The Quarter Finals draw will be made on Monday July 10, during the first day lunch session of the CCC Rep XI 3-day match v Essex CCC 2nd XI, at Billericay CC.