Chairman's Blog

With the bat Stragglers have piled on the runs in a few games (283 for 9 in the first innings against SAC; 275 for 5 at Hollingbourne; 276 for 5 a week later at Tenterden; and 255 for for 5 at Wellesley House), and we enjoyed a pair of century opening stands by Jack and Jasper in the two day SAC game; but these have been interspersed with some dramatic collapses.  Notable were at St. Tropez (18 for 3)  Milstead (28 for 4), the BaBes (32 for 4), Otterden (16 for 3 and 40 for 5), at points in both innings of the Inter-Straggler game, and when the middle order evaporated at Egerton.  In each of these, there has been at least one batsman who has stood up to be counted, of rescuing the Stragglers from complete ignominy – Charlie (45) in St. Tropez; Ben Simpson (81) and Toby (62) at Milstead; Fergus Berger (32) against the BaBes (in the end not enough, but made a game of it); Jonathan (50) and Hugo (51) for the FS XI (where it made all the difference); and, most exceptionally, Toby at Otterden, where his undefeated 98* from a total of 159, was in a class of its own, and gave just enough lee-room to squeeze out a victory.

And that innings has placed Toby firmly at the top of the batting averages for 2016, on 62.40 from his seven visits to the crease.  In a last gasp attempt to overtake Toby, the Master Brewer hit an undefeated half-century at Street End to leave himself needing 107 (and out) in the final fixture at Stowting.  Some way back in the averages are George BW (43.00), Hugo (39.25), Charlie (36.00), and Jasper (34.90).  The Chairman is open to offers to move Jonathan well down the order on Saturday!!

Centuries seemed hard to come by, until Archie (119*) hit the first of the season at Egerton, followed by George (116) at Hollingbourne and Ben Methven (114) at Tenterden.  Occasional glimpses of former glories were also on show, notably Blair bludgeoning 48* against SAC, and Matt’s elegant timing to score 20 at Egerton.

The batting in 2016 must have been pretty reasonable, as, with one match to go, the aggregate at 3,614, is the second highest on record, and only 167 short of the 3,781 scored in 1996.