On a warm humid day, we got the all clear from the oppo after Friday night rain and the game is on, and we make our way down to Borden for our regular fixture with our old foes. Vice loses the toss and we are put into bat, both captains clearly know what both sides are like and whoever bats second is more than likely going to batten down the hatches when the inevitable collapse happens. We get first use of a very green wicket, which seems to be the norm these days. Bill & Vice stride out with purpose to set about the Borden attack, unfortunately after one crunching four, Vice is walking back again after being caught for 4, after this follows the usual procession of wickets as Mike (1) pops an attempted cut shot tamely to cover and Gracie (5) follows shortly after in almost identical fashion, both being done by the slow sticky pitch. Bill seems to be the only one who is at ease as he merrily ticks along at the other end, he is joined by the club stalwart Stumpy who then comes and goes after missing a straight ball for a duck, Nick Slater is next in and he too perishes for single figures as we find ourselves 37-5 and Vice having terrible flashbacks of a defeat against the same opponents a few years ago. Ryan Garratt comes out next and helps steady the slowly sinking ship by keeping Bill company, who now looks a bit more nervy against the slow bowling of the young lady for Borden, he manages to negotiate this phase and plonks a beautiful six into the door frame of the pavilion, leaving his mark, of which he is suitably proud of and will later take a picture and send to family and friends as proof. The score is on 102 before Ryan is bowled by an off cutter for a fine 11 given the circumstances, 102-6 becomes 102-7 as two balls later I join him back in the pavilion, bowled by an off-cutting grubber that goes all along the ground, one day I will score a run at Borden!!! Walkie joins Bill at the crease and puts on 20 before Bill is finally out caught for a fine 86. The tail wags a little as we claw our way up to 152 all out, with Walkie on 14* and Paul & Dino contributing 4 & 10 respectively.
Tea beckons and out come the Meal Deals/Packed Lunches/etc. Stumpy’s cool box is a beast while the rest of us open carrier bags and lunch boxes & inadequate cool bags and chow down… We eventually leave the family enclosure/supporters group to take the field and set about trying to bowl Borden out. Walkie and Dino open the bowling, Dino looking a little rusty struggles to get anything from the pitch as the openers look steadfast and solid without being spectacular, eventually Walkie makes the break through with a fine delivery catching the edge which the umpire doesn’t hear but the batsmen walks anyway. Dino is replaced by Nick who bowls with great pace and accuracy and gets a wicket with another edge which flies through to Stumpy who takes a fine catch behind, before he then quickly removes the other opener and Borden are 35-3. Nick finishes with 2-7 off 6, whilst Chungy bowls well without success at the other end and finishes wicketless off 5 overs. Myself and Ryan are then brought on, and it looks like Borden are dropping anchor as firstly I get a wicket with a straight ball that the youngster as a swipe at and is bowled, finishing with 1-9 off 4. Ryan at the other end chips away and is taking wickets at regular intervals and also leaves a small crater in the very soft pitch as he topples over in his follow through, disappointingly it is a bit too full of a good length to be of any use to Dino though. Ryan finishes with 4-28 off 7 and Borden eventually settles for the draw on 110-8.
We head back to the pub for a few shandy’s afterwards. Bill wins player of the day obviously for his 8 – as for SBoTD, I can’t remember as I am writing this report three weeks after the event [I can confirm that the golden poo went to Stumpy for his 7-ball duck – ed.]. Anyway, on to next week where we head on our travels again to literally the next village down the road from Borden in order to take on Bredgar.