Exiles at Bishopsbourne

164/all out - 166/1
Full Time
Won by 9 wickets

Match Report

On a glorious mid-September afternoon, the Straggler season drew to a close at Bishopsbourne, a ground that holds many happy cricketing memories for Stragglers down the ages, and with the Cox family in particular.  We were back at Bishopsbourne to play the Exiles, who now use the ground, and losing the toss, the Stragglers were invited to field.  Ed Prest found some interesting bounce from the far end, while Nick Wright took a couple of overs to get into his rhythm.  The batters were unperturbed and ambled along to 52 before Nick made the breakthrough, an edge to the keeper (Jasper) and, next ball, to have number three bowled off his pads.  A change saw Harry Pattinson bowl a miserly spell – 7 runs conceded from 5 overs – and Alex Reece being hit into the park.  Alex did, as leg spinners often do, have the last laugh, when the set batsman on 42, hit him to a waiting Hugo at deep square leg immediately after the drinks break.  Hugo replacing Harry, induced a runout, bowled the next man in and then reverted to left arm spin.  It was at Bishopsbourne in 2011 that Hugo revealed his ambidextrous bowling to the world, and 2019 has seen him use it to great effect.  George was picked out at deep long on, but when Hugo was hit for one six to many, the right arm came back on; he ended with 3 for 23, the bowling award for 2019 tucked neatly under both arms.  At the other end the Chairman replaced Alex, bowled a wide and then was hit hard and high towards the pavilion.  Waiting underneath was the ever reliable Nick W (who will be offering remedial fielding classes through the winter).  The Chairman’s next over induced a flurry of research activity in a number of leading medical institutions to establish possible means of transmission of the “yips”.  Two balls were released far too early and landed at the feet of the umpire.  As the Chairman had been invited to manage the game by the Master Brewer, a well-known “yipper”, the contention proposed was that the yips could be caught from a WhatsApp message.  Wickets continued to fall regularly enough and the coup de grace was applied by Toby who knocked over the final wicket to leave the Stragglers chasing 164.

And today it was all about the chase for the 2.5 contenders for the 2019 batting award (0.5 was Will Hilton, theoretically in with a chance if both Jasper and George got out for nothing and he scored most of the runs required and then got out himself).  The other two were neck and neck at the top heading out to open the batting; Jasper started marginally in front, but it went to the final 17 balls of the season to have the award decided.  Jasper edged his first ball through a gap in the slip cordon, but then crunched three boundaries to make his intentions clear.  At the other end, George was a bag of nerves, offering catching practice to the Exiles (he was dropped at least 5 times), and miscuing almost everything else.  He did unfurl a handful of glorious cover drives, but was always running behind Jasper. However, George had made the prescient comment before going out to bat – it was all about red ink.  Jasper cruised past 50, and looked set to sneak a end of season ton, when a catch was held in the deep – out for 85.  And with that dismissal, George, who had only just passed 50, was left in pole position.  All he had to do was avoid being run out by Will Hilton.  George avoided a late twist, and the final few runs came at a canter, the winning 6 hit by Will into the park.  George on 67* had succeeded in topping the averages with 75.43 against Jasper’s 71.00.  The victory by nine wickets is the third largest total chased for the loss of one wicket.


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