Spent the day playing cricket. Wine Trade vs. Hampshire Hogs, down at their beautiful ground in Warnford. Last year we beat them narrowly (report here). So would we repeat the result this year?
They won the toss and batted first. The openers looked solid, one of them a young guy fresh from Harrow. They’d put up 60, despite decent spells from our opening bowlers when I was handed the ball. First two were rank full tosses which went unpunished. But then the ball started swinging, and in my second over I bowled one of them with a full length ball that started outside off and clipped the top of leg stump.
This was to be the first wicket for some time. Harrow boy scored a century, despite taking one in the box from James our young Aussie: it hit with a crack that resounded round the ground. He was down for some time. Batsman 3 scored a half-century of bludgeoning blows, and in the course of it became the Hogs’ all time leading run scorer.
Both fell to spinner Mark Leveson-Gower, before they declared at 274-3, from 54 overs, leaving us 45 overs or so to reply. [I finished with figures of 7-1-34-1.] Given the strength of their batting, this seemed an appropriate decision. But their bowling was appalling. It was astonishing: how could a team that batted so well be so short of decent bowlers? We had a couple of guys who didn’t bowl for our team, but who would have been their best bowlers.
So on a beautifully warm Friday afternoon, our top-order batsmen knocked off the runs with hardly a care in the world. Aussie James got 131, Martin Allen and our keeper Rob Harrison both got 50s before we overhauled their total with 7 wickets and a tidy number of overs to spare.
A great day’s entertainment.