I Zingari

275/All out - 248/7
Full Time
Match drawn

Match Report

Stragglers secured a first draw of the season, having lost the toss to spend a long spell in the field, and then flirting with the possibility of an exceptional chase.  The Straggler bowling unit worked to great effect to keep the IZ batsmen honest, and was well supported in the field, even if the first two catches (Jasper Williams the juggler and Hugo the acrobat) made it look as if the circus was in town.  Hugo removed an opener, and James Felton, coming on at first change, picked up two more, but advantage lay with IZ at lunch on 151 for 3 from 27 overs.  It was in the post-lunch period that bowler rotation really began to take effect.  Hugo came back from the far end to remove two in two balls (his 98th and 99th Straggler wickets) – 3 for 37.  And then Nick W, who had been mistreated in his opening spell, reinvented himself as a change bowler and picked away at the middle order to end up with 3 for 72.  However, it was the returning James F, who produced the best figures of the day – 4 for 33, and brought the innings to a close on 275, with the final wicket in the 50th over (the 9th highest score conceded by the Stragglers in 75 years).  The bowler, who seemed to pass the outside edge at will, and who was very unfortunate to remain wicketless, was Jasper; he did take two fine catches.

Straggler openers, Benny and Freddie Horlick, seemed untroubled for the first few overs, but then suffered a mini collapse, which also did for Tom McCarty, leaving the Stragglers staring down the barrel at 34 for 3.  However, the two form batsmen were now at the crease, James Felton fresh from his solid innings in the Inter-Straggs, and Tom still buzzing from his century at Stowting.  Tom begam as he had finished the previous weekend, with three boundaries in his first over, and he continued to hit hard all round the wicket.  Bowlers came and went, James played second fiddle, scoring at a more normal tempo, with the chase very much on. Tom’s century was comparatively pedestrian at 63 balls, but then he took on a single which was not there, and just failed to beat the direct hit, run out for 108, the score now on 168, and a partnership of 134 in just 17 overs.  Straggler batsman do not usually score centuries in consecutive matches, and as far as I can tell, it has only been done once before, by Jasper (who else) in 2017, when Standard Athletic Club (102*) and the Stoats (105) took some pain.  James fell a couple of overs later for a well-crafted 40, to bring the finishers to the crease.  Sadly Toby (14) missed a straight one, leg before to Harry Thomson, IZ skipper and occasional Straggler, and then Patch M, having kept the required rate at under 6 an over, ran himself out for 19.  Two key run outs were always going to make it hard to chase such a big total – the score now 204 for 7.  Hugo and Jasper W settled in to see out the final 11 overs, unwilling to take chances and expose the real tail, but Hugo still managed 41* when an over of spin was offered as a late throw of the dice.  The innings closed on 248 for 7, to bring a great game of cricket to an end.  The RAF must have been alerted to the fact that Tom was once again on fire, as the Red Arrows made two passes over Torry Hill during his innings.


Torry Hill
Milstead, Sittingbourne ME9 0SR, UK