157/7 - 61/All out
Full Time
Won by 96 runs

Match Report

The Straggler season finally got into gear with the evening T20 at the Hurlingham Club, with some cracking of terracotta in the field, a second successive half-century in the fixture, the remarkable feat of having two bowlers on a hat-trick simultaneously, and one of them making the third ball count to produce the first Straggler hat-trick for 9 years (Graeme Tyndall in the Inter-Straggs of 2013 the most recent).  With a full side on show, Hurlingham opted to field in overcast and gloomy conditions.  Charlie selected his openers on the basis that they were there, and they got the innings off to a rollicking start, although both were undone by straight balls – George for 8 after a couple of sweetly struck boundaries, and Ben (27) trying to reprise a huge 6 over long-off.  This brought Toby to the crease, with a half-century under his belt in the 2021 fixture, along with the Master Brewer.  To the amazement of the crowd Jonathan lifted consecutive balls into the boundary netting for 6, but thereafter managed to avoid the strike and, when he drove gloriously at the fielders in the covers, he found them with unerring skill.  Toby arrived at the middle with only one shot in the locker, which worked well, albeit with the odd scare (batsman number 5 was still not at the ground).  With Jonathan holding up one end, and Toby intermittently launching rockets, the score rather lurched along in fits and starts until Toby miscued slightly to be caught in the deep for 52.  Jasper arrived in time to get padded up and march to the middle (his second match of the day), where he struggled with his timing before launching a huge six into the undergrowth.  Another miscue and he was gone for 18, Jonathan (21) following shortly thereafter.  147 for 5 with three overs left did not seem enough, and the bowlers kept it very tight, conceding the odd single and one firmly struck four by Harry Churchill coming in at the death (7).  157 for 5 was the lowest score we had seen on this small ground, and it didn’t seem enough of a target.

Hugo, in his first game of the season, ran in with great purpose and was quickly rewarded, when the batter recoiled from a shortish ball to lob it off the glove in the general direction of Jonathan at gully.  With sounds of cracking terracotta, Jonathan fell forward (dive would be a bit of an exaggeration), to find the ball lodging in his hands – a great comeback from his catching in 2021.  However, this brought a serious batter to the crease, George Brooksbank, for whom the short Hurlingham boundaries were bread and butter.  The score moved sharply on to 18 for 1.  There then followed a remarkable period of play, beginning with a very sharp chance to slip off Nick Wright (fortunately Jasper was in post to take receipt).  The next ball, the final ball of the over, was gently lifted towards the Chairman at mid-on, with enough time for some frantic laying off odds, and, importantly, for the batsmen to cross; two in two.  The first ball of Hugo’s next over was a regulation dot; the next removed the off stump of the newly arrived batter; another batter, another set of rearranged stumps.  We now had both bowlers on a hat-trick ball.  Hugo duly delivered with the best ball of the set, his first hat-trick since prep school, and the 22nd Straggler hat-trick, the first for the Straggs in nine years.  18 for 1 had become 18 for 6 in five balls, although George remained at the crease.  Nick W removed another batter, and Hugo ended with 4 for 7 before Charlie decided it was time for some ‘pace off’, the phrase of the 2022 IPL.  The Chairman takes the whole concept of ‘pace off’ to another level; indeed, the Master Brewer commented that climate change was happening more swiftly.  It was suggested that investment should be made in a club speed gun to confirm how slow it really was, but Charlie suggested that a speed gun would be unnecessary expense, as a stopwatch would be more than sufficient.  ‘Pace off’ proved hard to despatch, with Hurlingham batters bemused by the apparent discontinuity in the space time continuum, and the chase failed to regain momentum.  The final wickets fell rather meekly, although not before Charlie found himself significantly distracted by some of the younger, attractive members of the crowd.  Hugo had hurled himself in front of the boundary boards to save four, propelling the ball towards an otherwise engaged skipper, who had to be reminded of his responsibilities.  The coup de grace was a slick run out, and Hurlingham had subsided to a modest 61 all out, the Stragglers victorious by 96 runs.


Hurlingham CC
Hurlingham Club, Fulham, London SW6 3PR, UK