Cricketing amitiés – old and new
What a splendid thing friendship is and even more so if cricket is its consequence. Our opponents, the Barely Bluies (BB), are a team constituted of the cricketing gentlemen school chums of our very own Stoppers.
Although the Beeb forecast rain, the day at North Walls was largely fine and the BB started their innings on time. Opening up for The Racqueteers, the impressive Prav (7-0-26) and Charlie T (5-0-23) kept things neat and tidy – the former being particularly unlucky not to open his Racqueteers’ account – with our oppo reaching just 42 from 12 overs. Our first change pairing of brothers Louis (7-3-43) and George (6-0-30) continued their impressive form from The Vagabonds fixture at Bentworth a few weeks earlier. However, the BB batsmen, looking increasingly to express themselves, reached 99 off 22 overs when Stoppers – having completed a robust half century – chipped one to Nathan at orthodox mid-on. We had a foot in the door. This meant that while their impressive number three moved quickly through his gears, we were able to chip away at the other end. Tom Talks (5-0-25) and his old man (5-4-31) finished off the innings with complementary bounce and wobble respectively – keeping the BB down to 181 for 7. Special mention should be made of the excellent keeping by the elegant G: two catches and a (particularly poised) stumping, despite constant distraction from the slip cordon.
Although fortified by another lovely tea, The Racqueteers suffered the worst possible start in the form of a canard doré for Sepia. Recovering stoutly Nathan (rapier) and Skip (foil) then moved without incident on to 83 off 16 overs – before Nathan (43) edged their loopy spinner behind. The farmer-armed Shep (34) continued to take the game to the opposition, and with Skip (77) increasingly fluent, The Racqueteers moved well ahead of Duckworth Lewis. A flurry of wickets then followed, which kept things interesting right up to the last – until Tom T struck the final runs with 4 balls to spare.
A very enjoyable day with new friends made, a sporting and entertaining encounter effected – and two wins on the trot!
We look forward with optimism to our first win against Droxford in two weeks’ time.