223/all out - 195/9
Full Time
40 overs
Lost by 28 runs

Match Report

On a fine sunny summer’s day (something of a rarity in 2023), the difference between the sides hung on the Overseas Pro – Nonington had the services of wicket-keeper batsman, Jason van Wyk, on a two year contract from South Africa, the Stragglers had to make do with the Chairman, who had flown in from Frankfurt on the morning of the game. Invited to field, the Stragglers opened with Jasper W and Sef, who kept the early overs nice a tight, and Sef did his usual job of picking up an early wicket. So far so good, but a bowling change brought on Benny Sharp, who had bowled leg-spin with no little success for Kings earlier in the summer. However, today he had plugged in his golfing algorithm and found it hard to land the ball. Jason was very happy to be able to ignore both a slightly slow track and the long grass in the outfield and launch half a dozen sixes over the fence and into the field. The score moved briskly along from 28 for 1 from the first 8 overs to reach 100 in the 16th. Having conceded 47 in two overs, Benny was replaced by Archie, bowling faster with every outing, and exerting a little pressure as was Henry O’Connor coming up the hill. Skipper Louis GW (2 for 13), bowling on a dodgy ankle, removed an obdurate Tom Stewart, and Jason retired on 102, which gave the Straggler bowlers a little respite, and allowed the Chairman to pick off the lower order, finishing with 4 for 28 and heading to Belmont on a hat-trick ball (sadly, not to be joined by Harry Churchill, who is also sitting on a possible Straggler hat-trick). What might have been a huge score was held to a more modest 223 all out with one ball remaining.

Straggler batsmen clearly need some guidance on running between the wickets, and this was no exception, as Felix Turl set off on a totally suicidal run in the second over. Benny was going well at the other end but was undone by a perfect yorker for 16. This brought together Rupert Plumptre and Harrison Wells, who built a partnership, rotated the strike with some comfort and kept the board ticking along nicely. 92 for 2 at the drinks break was fine, and the century partnership came up in the 26th over. Harrison (39) fell to an excellent catch in the covers, and the innings began to lose direction. James Grant (his first outing for seven years) and Sef came and went, placing too much pressure on Rupert, who now needed to find two boundaries an over, with plenty of deep fielders well-paced to cut off almost every option. Finally, Rupert came down the track to a young spinner, was beaten and sharply stumped by Jason. Louis (21) tried to keep the game alive, but the rate was getting ever higher, and wickets fell to leave the Stragglers on 195 for 9, some 29 runs short. In the end the difference was Jason’s ability to go aerial and he certainly knew how to tuck into pies.


1 The Drove, Holt Street, Nonington, Dover CT15 4HU, UK