St Cross v Racqueteers Sunday 22 August 2021 (at St Cross)
The Racqueteers beat St Cross by 81 runs
Racqueteers: 264 for 6 off 40 overs
St Cross: 183 all out off 30.2 overs
We played our first ever match against St Cross on a fabulous sunny afternoon, at a great ground surrounded by trees and meadows, with St Catherine’s Hill in the background. St Cross run six league teams, with their firsts currently standing second in the Premier division of the Southern Premier Cricket League. To be honest, I don’t think the first team would dare play us – too much to lose! As it was, we played their Sunday team, who were an enthusiastic and quality mix of experience and youth. The format was a a potentially gruelling 40 overs a side. Mike F won the toss and we batted. Mike F and Jack took the crease. Jack surprisingly fell lbw for 0 in the second over, a decision he wasn’t entirely happy with. Kendall came in at this point and – stayed in. The main story of our innings was Kendall hitting an unbeaten 148, including 27 fours and one six, and reaching the highest ever Racqueteers’ score. Mike F hit 29 (seven fours and one single) before being caught hitting high at mid wicket; Gaurav was bowled by an excellent ball for 11; Richard S scored an excellent 40 in a partnership of 93 with Kendall; Guy scored 1 in a partnership of 44; and Angus scored 14 before hitting out and being caught in the last over. But mainly the innings was about Kendall, only occasionally needing to wipe the sweat from his brow as he bludgeoned his way through 39 overs, facing 121 balls and accelerating in the second half but scoring fairly consistently throughout. Even running Guy out wasn’t enough to blot his copybook. The Racqueteers ended at 264 for six, a strong total, but still reachable in 40 overs.
Rishi and Angus opened the bowling for us, with a good exhibition of fast bowling. The first four overs were cat and mouse and then Rishi exploded into action, taking two wickets in four balls, both bowled. We looked good at this stage, but St Cross’ number two played some good cricket including an enormous six off Rishi. After 10 overs, they were close to the run rate and looking strong. However, Rishi doesn’t take kindly to sixes and he produced a great ball to bowl the number two for 48 in his sixth over. Meanwhile, Angus had been bowling accurately and economically, but without getting any luck on the wicket front. Luke and Jack took over the bowling. Luke bowled well and Jack took an excellent 2 for 12 off three overs – one of them an extravagant dive from Luke, the other an lbw. At this point, St Cross had just reached their 100, with 5 wickets down. Tom took over the bowling and after an erratic first five balls, produced an excellent ball for an lbw. St Cross kept the score ticking over as Tom continued to bowl, with Angus coming back for a second spell. The sixth and seventh wickets fell within an over of each other. First, Angus got the wicket he deserved, with a good catch behind to Gaurav – the umpire didn’t give it, but to his credit the St Cross youngster walked. Angus ended with 1 for 20 off eight. Then Tom took his second wicket, with a very good catch in the slips by Luke. St Cross dug in for the next few overs, scoring some good boundaries. They were 172 for 8 after 29 overs. We were favourites but we did need need to get them out. Guy came on and bowled an erratic over, but did take the ninth wicket with Gaurav being alert to stump the batsman off a wide – of course it was planned that way! Rishi bowled next and needed just two balls to wrap the innings up, bowling their final player and leaving them 81 nuns short at 183 all out. Rishi’s figures were an impressive 4 for 41, all his victims straight bowled.
The Racqueteers celebrated a welcome victory at The Queen Inn and we look forward to our next match against The Hospital on 12 September. Karl took some excellent photographs throughout the match, which you’ll be able to see on the website.