9th August 2020
North Walls, Winchester
91.5 degrees; 85% humidity
On an unusually hot and humid day at North Walls, The Racqueteers produced one of their most complete and compelling performances of recent years to defeat a strong RHC Hospital eleven by a record-breaking 129 runs.
To the great relief of all Racqueteers, our skipper won the toss and elected to bat. Steady Hospital bowling, encouraged by a pitch of uncertain bounce and pace and supported by the effective combination of perfectly synchronised, yet totally arbitrary and indiscriminate appealing from our opponents, saw Kendall (10 runs) and Mike F (10 runs) fall early. Edmund, batting with suprisingly fluency, moved quickly to 30 before falling to a ball that popped outside his off stump. Mike C (19 runs) kept up the momentum with some well-judged and powerful hitting until he fell to a catch in the deep. With 7 overs to go, the ever impressive, Jack (61 not out), the glue that held the innings together, was joined by Paddy, who played a typically elegant and cultured, yet brutally effective, rapid fire knock (50 not out) to take the overall score to 207 for 4 off 35 overs. An encouraging effort in extremis.
When the Hospital batted, the combination of youth and pace proved too-hot-to-handle as Angus (3 for 13) and Harry T (2 for 13) blew away the top order – Angus taking the vital wicket of the ever classy Davies, first ball. Five down after just seven overs, the Hospital tried to steady the ship but Chris (1 for 7) Jules (1 for 27) and Charlie (3 for 12), employing varying styles and approaches, chipped away to leave their innings in tatters – 78 all out.
A memorable day’s cricket by The Racqueteers – played with great enthusiasm and commendable team spirit. This was no better illustrated than by Gaurav who, standing up to Julien, bravely put his body on the line to charge down a full blooded pull behind the stumps by the big-hitting beefy Wiles from no more than two meters away – only just failing to cling on to a catch as the ball ricocheted temptingly into the air off his box.
Although, truncated, so far this has been a great season for the Racqueteers – winning four games of very competitive and enjoyable cricket played in some lovely settings with the sun on our backs.