After a morning that threatened patchy showers, the weather cleared perfectly into a warm and largely sunny afternoon for our last match of the season – a trip to the uniquely sloping, arboreally-dressed Droxford ground.
Winning the toss, skipper Mike F chose to bat on the challenging track; definitely a wicket of two halves – the downward end sporadically popping off a length – making fluent scoring a tricky business.
Openers Stoppers & Mike C made a watchful start against a tight bowling attack before the in-form Stoppers fell for 11.
Joined by the skipper, who drove two crisp fours straight into the in-play trees, the President batted well with a combination of solid defence and some lusty boundaries before falling for an excellent 31.
Mike F was caught in the deep for 13 and Rishi soon after for a lively 11 to bring Harry T to the crease.
In his true positive form, Harry took the attack to the Droxford bowlers with four well-struck boundaries in an entertaining 33.
Ably supported, in the last few overs, by Jules (10) and Stu B with the same score, and a commendable 141 was posted in our 40 overs.
In reply the Droxford batsmen showed the advantage of local knowledge selecting the right lengths to play and leave; a display of good running between the wicket meant they accumulated runs well despite probing attacking bowling from Rishi and a trio of Talks who made light of bowling up the considerable slope.
Even with our best efforts with the ball, and two good wickets from Tom T, the home team were never really in trouble chasing down our total. A third wicket for the ever-spinning Yox gave a glimmer of hope… but Droxford got home with overs to spare.
A mention must go to the ever-chipper Sepia who ably deputised for G behind the stumps. He only conceded 2 byes – on a really awkward wicket – and despite some ‘personal box issues’ and his ubiquitous commentary upon every delivery, it was a truly impressive performance from a man who’d not kept since 1990!
Whilst we were disappointed to end the season with a loss, our spirits were soon lifted by an delicious and memorable curry at the excellent White Horse in the village, attended by the whole team.
Well played The Racqueteers and here’s to another season full of good cricket, great camaraderie and lots of fun in 2022.