On the final Saturday of the season, one that will be remembered fondly by supporters of Kent, the Stragglers enjoyed a comfortable win against Kenfield. Slightly later in the day at Edgbaston two former Straggler adversaries were on display to bring home the T20 trophy. Jordan Cox (117* for the BOFs in 2017) defied gravity on the boundary to secure the win for Kent, while Martin Saggers (occasional appearance for Provender to be hit back over his head by Jasper) was officiating.
A tricky week of recruiting saw the Stragglers turn up with 9 good men and true, and, unusually, we were far more prompt than the opposition. This led to a long inspection of the pitch, which we all agreed looked as if it would misbehave. After an uncontested toss, due to a lack of Kenfield players, we elected to bowl. Nick Wright opened, and, after the customary Stragg beamer, found his line and length beautifully, seemingly beating the bat on every front foot “shot” – much to the delight of the cordon, but without actually drawing an edge. Ed Mayall opened from the other end, and, after a few deliveries to get his reconstructed shoulder loose, was extracting significant bounce from the pitch – one batsman even calling for a helmet – surely the highest compliment. Ed managed to get one to jag away at the end of his first over, taking the edge, and safely taken by keeper Tom McCarty. There was deja vu two overs later, for Ed to finish with 2 for16. In the 7th over of Nick’s spell (1 for 24), Ed Solly took a fantastic low catch at second slip to dismiss their other opening batsmen. Rufus Cottrell (1-31) and Rory Boyd (2-23) provided great control, picking up wickets in the middle to late overs, the latter having the rare sight (in a village game) of ‘caught Sub’ (Kenfield very kindly offered a fielder). The Kenfield innings closed on 170 – 7 from 35 overs, surely the Straggs in the driving seat.
After a fantastic tea, where there was more choice of cake than at the bake off; Ed and Tom opened the batting. After giving a couple of early chances, Ed Solly was into his stride, timing the ball beautifully. Tom was bowled by a beauty that nipped in, and when Freddie Horlick was triggered two balls later without scoring, the Stragglers were (briefly) teetering on 36-2, especially with only 5 men left to bat. Arthur Collins arrived at the crease, playing everything along the floor with immaculate timing; and keeping the now very in form Ed on strike. Whilst Arthur made it seem that the ball was glued to the grass; Ed took the aerial route dispatching balls into every hedge in the ground with regular call of “new balls please”, as if the Umpire was at Wimbledon. Ed reached his 100 with yet another huge blow over midwicket. We were then treated to an exhibition of reverse and switch hits, before Ed finished the game off in style with debatably his best shot of the game – a six over extra cover. Ed (124*) and Arthur (35*) saw the game home for a Straggler win by 8 wickets with 11 overs to spare. Thank you to Kenfield for an excellent game, and perhaps even better, the reintroduction of a sumptuous cricket tea.
|Kenfield Cricket Club|