I Zingari

243/5 dec. - 208/8
Full Time
Match drawn

Match Report

Senior Stragglers might imagine founder Wyndham Fletcher watching his Club from the celestial pavilion with a fond smile, as the Stragglers took the field at Torry Hill for a first fixture against I Zingari.  Founded in 1845 by a group of Old Harrovians after a very good dinner (isn’t that where most great ideas originate?) and now one of the most venerable wandering cricket clubs, more history of IZ can be found on their web site (  And it seemed appropriate that the match should bear witness to one JB Neame (Master Brewer of these parts), in his 183rd innings, driving through the covers to notch up his 5,000thcareer run for the Club as the ball bobbled over the boundary rope.

The wet summer, while infuriating in many ways, allowed groundsman, Howard Waters, to present the ground at its most sublime.  The outfield was a racing green, and the ball certainly raced across it, no sign of the normal August straw colour to be seen, and with bales of hay being collected from beyond the boundary edge.  Winning the toss, skipper Toby Snape elected to bat, and while two Straggler ducks early doors gave the innings a fragile start, George BW (32) and Tom Tribe (43) relished pace on the ball, and cranked up the run rate.  George fell to an exceptional grab in the slips by IZ captain (and Straggler), Harry Thomson, and Tom was undone by the drinks break, but this just brough in the Kiwi connection, Harry Wright and Tom McCarty (on debut).  The run rate slowed following a brief break for rain, and then, just as they were getting settled, Harry (18) was triggered.  At 114 for 5 in the 19th over, the scene was set for the Master Brewer to make his entrance, the game beautifully poised.  Jonathan and Tom saw the Stragglers carefully through to lunch at 132 for 5.  Another rain break late in the innings did nothing to disturb their steady accumulation thereafter, and when Toby finally called them in at 243 for 5, Jonathan (30*, having passed 5,000 runs at 16) and Tom (91*) had put on an undefeated 129 for the 6th wicket.

IZ came out to chase and chase hard, with plenty of time available.  One opener was returned to the pavilion, deceived by the slowest of Jamie Adams’ slow balls (much discussion about whether it was a knuckle ball or not, and no video replay to check).  Alex Ross (2 for 54) replaced Toby from the pavilion end to send back two more batters (and could have had another had George hung on to a remarkable leap in the cordon), but this brought Harry T to the crease, and Harry was in a hurry.  Of the 41 runs scored while he was at the crease, he scored 40.  Bowling at the other end, however, was Harry Wright, sowing confusion with every ball.  He had the other opener leg before for a very hard hit 62, and then just as Harry T was clearing the boundary for fun, Harry W lured him out of his ground for Tom Mc to whip of the bails to leave Harry T stranded.  142 for 5 with 13 overs left, the chase was still alive.  Pace off the ball saw a wide ball from the Chairman chased and edged to Tom, while Benny’s spontaneous move to slip paid immediate dividends as he pouched a very good low catch off Will Fenwick.  153 for 7, and the chase was faltering, while the Stragglers needed 3 wickets from the final 9 overs.  Jamie (2 for 40) and Toby returned to increase the pressure, but could only lure one more false shot, as Toby clung on to a sharp catch in the covers.  A final over proved to be one of frustration, as Toby’s good length balls were lifted in succession just over the Chairman’s outstretched hands (noted by the Master Brewer as three dropped catches!).  The IZ innings closed on 208 for 8, a game played in fantastic spirit, with thanks to Hugo and Harry T for bringing the Clubs together for the fixture.


Torry Hill
Milstead, Sittingbourne ME9 0SR, UK