King’s School XI

216/7 dec - 155/7
Full Time
Match drawn

Match Report

For the first time in 2024, the Stragglers found themselves batting first (lost the toss and invited to bat, so the King’s School strike bowler could have a go at the Stragglers before heading off to perform in Dido and Aeneas – one of the more unusual reasons for substitution).  The top order seemed unsettled by the invitation to bat, and in the third over the Stragglers found themselves under a particularly severe cosh at 2 for 3.  However, skipper George BW was still at the crease, and George is one of that very modest group of Stragglers batsmen, who can bat the situation, and build an innings.  When George declared forty-one overs later, the Straggler innings looked very different.  For now, George had to defend his wicket and build partnerships with the middle order, with a wicket on which it was hard to score freely, a large, slow outfield and fielders patrolling the deep.  With Christian Hollingsworth (10), the score moved on to 39 for the fourth wicket, and to 90 for the fifth with Felix Turl (17).  Lunch was taken at 92 for 5 after 25 overs, still plenty to do.  Gradually George and Sef Rahman took control after lunch, with a partnership of 76, as rotating King’s bowlers found a long hot day in the field harder work.  George reached his century from 110 balls, and then Sef, sadly, ran himself out for 19, the score now 183 for 7.  This was George’s second century in a week, a very different proposition to the cavalier ton from the week before from a mere 67 balls.  George was now joined by his fellow match manager, Stan Weir, who clearly couldn’t understand why scoring runs had been such a challenge and smacked 22 from eleven balls.  Thirty-four runs in two overs (43rd and 44th) took the Stragglers to 216 for 7 and the declaration, George 106*. The only concern was that the wicket seemed to have become substantially more accommodating for batsmen.  It should be noted that extras (37) were second top contributor to the total.

With Stan steaming in at one end, and Sef bowling with good shape at the other, the King’s openers seemed determined to run themselves out in the opening salvoes.  Straggler ground fielding, enthusiastic and energetic, lacked the killer instinct, and too many chances went begging.  It took a miscue from Sef to make the breakthrough – aided by quite a lot of banter around the bat.  Christian (2 for 14) then struck twice to leave King’s on 49 for 3 as we went in for tea; with twenty overs remaining, the target now out of sight. Bowling changes after tea saw the Chairman (2 for 12) and Jake Densham induce a King’s wobble to 54 for 5, but Archie Brealy proved harder to remove, albeit eventually falling into a well telegraphed trap when he found blocking for the draw got a little boring.  Bennie Sharp removed another, but the final bowling rotation between Kieran, Christian, Harry Heming and Bennie was unable to find a way past a pair blocking with diligence, the final score 155 for 7, and the first drawn game of the season.  Jasper continued his successful season behind the stumps with two more catches.


Birley's Pavilion & Playing Fields, Canterbury. CT2 7QP