After our very good convoy travelling at a good pace, we only went wrong once down a very small country lane, and so we found ourselves at a wonderful little cricket ground, similar to Detling.
I won the toss for the third time in a row (tails never fails). We took to the field only to contend with some short boundaries and tried to protect the run flow in order to keep Brasted to as low a total as possible. This Plan A did not quite materialise as Brasted posted a hefty total of 244 for 2, which meant a very long and hard day in the field for us, but to be fair we all stuck to our task. Apart from a few misfields and a tough chance to the keeper, that was about as good as it got – anything short or not straight was pretty much despatched to the boundary on a very slow bouncy pitch. Their skipper finished on 121*, and another guy got 56.
With the small boundaries, some of our bowling took a bit of battering. Slates’ eight overs went for 0 for 50, although a few good balls did beat the bat. Tom bowled really well in his first spell of six overs 1 for 12, bowling the best he has done for a long time, but his final two overs (the last two of the innings) went for 18, leaving him with 1 for 30 of his eight. Jack and I suffered with the slow bounce to such an extent that Jack ended up bowling medium pace. We both bowled five overs – Jack 0 for 44 and me 0 for 41, with both of us going for big 6s (not a big as Dino’s though). Richard on debut took his first Stone wicket and ended up 1 for about 40ish – he did beat the bat on many occasions, as with their skipper (who would of been a contender for the nickname Sooty as he did love the sweep), but he missed most of them. Not in Mr Turner’s league, I am afraid. Dino bowled six overs for about 30 odd including a big 6.
After a nice tea in the sunshine, with lots of home-made stuff, we went out for the long run chase. They had a left armer, a big lump who generated a lot of bounce. Kelvin was bowled for a duck off one that did not bounce. Ross dollied one to point for about 10. Matt Adair seemed to like the bowling including a big straight 6, until he was out going for one big shot too many – 25 off 26 balls.
Both Dan & Tom were out cheaply – Tom had a Mike Gatting moment when their very slow bowler (in his 60s) dollied the ball about 2 feet outside off stump and Tom watched it turn to hit the stumps not offering a shot. Oh how we all laughed! They realised with 20 overs left with us 55 for 5 that we were not going to get their total so they let everyone bowl, including a girl and another non bowler from the bottom end, who both resembled Murali in his [alleged, but cleared by ICC] chucking days.
Jack and I decided not to bat as we both felt unwell – it was either our curry from Friday or something we had at tea, but we both felt the only runs coming from us today were not going to come from the bat. Bateley was out next for 33 edging one behind. Richard and Slates in particular set about the not-that-good bowling. Richard was out for about 8 – he blocked well and saw out a few overs before trying to hit the wrong ball and was caught. Dino hit a few shots to the boundary and then did not run which must have upset the hosts, although they did not show it. But sticking up for Dino, he was injured. Slates and Dino saw out the final overs with Slates finishing on 51* with some hefty blows to the short boundaries. We finished on 179 for 7 so a good effort and a good draw. I think Brasted do this a lot, as they have drawn 8 of there 10 matches this year. Still a great chase and a great team effort from everyone well stuck at it.
All that was left was to go to a good pub in Brasted, with chips supplied and a jug from their skipper for his hundred.