After our very good convoy at a good pace, although delayed somewhat by bad traffic on the A21, we found ourselves at a wonderful little cricket ground on a village green and parked our cars by the side of the road in easy hitting distance. Their skipper (who was 69) tried to convince me that his mixture of youth and old stagers were not very good – for us to to have a decent game, we should bat first. It almost worked but after discussions with the team, we decided to toss anyway. I lost and we were asked to bat (tails does fail, by the way).
Myself and Bateley took to the field with short boundaries. It was not as easy at it looked, as their skipper was a wiley old character and bowled a good line and length. Along with the long grass in the outfield and the slight bowl around the ground, this made it hard work running in the heat for these not-too-youthful gentlemen. Lots of singles and 2s were run. I was first out for a hard-fought 37 after about 27 overs with the score at 112 – I did not really time anything all day. After such a good start, it was time to press on – Matt decided to hit out and went 4, 6 and out from three balls. we then lost Dan for 1 and Slates for 4 before Bateley went for another good 79. We found ourselves about 140 for 5 with about six overs left. Jack and Scrappy (this is the best I have ever seen him bat – we can talk about his bowling later) took us to 177 for 5 of 39 overs with some good running and fine shots – Jack finished 15* and Scrappy 17*.
After a nice tea in the sunshine, we took to the field hoping to get them out quick with (on paper) a very good bowling attack
We opened with the two Marios, both full of youth and aggression. Tom bowled five wayward overs with quite a few wides and no balls, although he was unlucky hitting a few edges, finishing with 0 for 37. Mario was very unlucky to remain wicketless from his eight overs – 0 for 27. Horsmonden were about 50 for 0 from ten overs so we needed some good line and length, containing bowling. Dino and Geoff did not let the skipper down and effectively meant that we would not lose the game. All we had to do now was get them all out. Geoff bowled superbly finishing with eight overs five maidens 3 for 7, including a fine high catch in the slips from Tom. Dino finished with seven overs 0 for 21. With Horsmonden needing about 8 an over from the last ten overs, the skipper turned to his secret weapon(s), Scrappy and Slates, to get the wickets to win us the game. Alas it did not turn out like that and Scrappy lived up to his name, bowling two very Scrappy overs for 37 runs and bringing the opposition back in the game. Slates bowled well to claw things back including three wickets in four balls, but unfortunately bowling a no ball with his hat-trick ball to finish with four overs 3 for 17. Dino bowled the last few overs to help spare Scrappy’s blushes to leave Horsmonden high and dry on 155 for 6 from about 34 overs. A good winning draw with a decent bowling and fielding display and a few solid batting performances.
All that was left was to give our apologies for not going to the pub, as we had to get to Kelvin and Michelle’s engagement party.