320/5 (dec) - 210/8
Full Time
Match Drawn

Match Report

The Stragglers seem to be finding ways to make life hard in 2017, and it won’t come much harder than an afternoon at Egerton, when one record was broken, and many others seemed to be on the cards, until a remarkable recovery resulted in a surprising draw. Egerton, electing to bat, set off steadily and without undue excitement under a cloudy sky. After 20 overs, a score of 114 without loss was within the bounds of normality (the Straggler slip cordon having chosen to wave a couple of sharp chances through to the boundary). However, the tempo suddenly increased, as Steve Wellard took a fancy to the Chairman, and lofted him into the trees rather too many times for politeness, and Egerton were on the charge. In spite of one stratospheric shot being held in the deep, the momentum was undiminished; 200 for 1 came up in the 29th over; 300 for 2 in the 37th. When Steve was finally caught on the boundary by Justin, he had reached 159 (which, with his undefeated 75 from last year, leaves him averaging well over two hundred against the Stragglers). The Straggler fielding had become a little ragged, which happens when the outfielders spend too much time on the distant football pitches recovering the ball, and three more catches went to ground. Louis Glyn Williams (2 for 52) returned at the end to try to stem the flow, and with two late wickets, was the only bowler not to have his reputation and average for the season significantly undermined. When the declaration finally arrived, at 320 for 5, the Stragglers had managed to concede the highest total in 70 years, and only the second one over 300. It should be noted that, when the Stock Exchange posted 304 for 6 in 1980, the Stragglers chased it down with one wicket to spare!

A possible repeat of the glories of 1980 was given a very serious dent in the first few overs, as the Straggler innings started badly, and got worse. At 27 for 5 in the tenth over, the top order had evaporated, culminating with the run out of Jasper. However, Egerton now removed the opening bowlers’ feet from the Straggler throat a little early. Assuming a substantial victory was there for the taking, the change bowlers were introduced, and skipper Justin Hubbard and Louis dug in for a most in-Straggler like display of dogged resistance, interspersed with flashing boundaries. Eleven overs and a century partnership later, Louis (47) fell to a spectacular catch, but there were still 21 overs left. With the 7th wicket falling shortly thereafter, the odds were, again, heavily in favour of Egerton closing out the game. They had not, however, reckoned on the Straggler secret weapon batting at number nine. Nick Healy (23) had bowled well and been hit for plenty; now he batted out of his skin, and, with Justin minding the other end, he kept the score ticking over, and his wicket intact for 15 overs. The partnership was worth 68, when Nick finally fell to a very sharp catch (Steve Wellard, who else), the score now 208 for 8 and the final overs in sight. Benny strode to the middle, hooked a very surprised bowler to the square leg boundary and survived. Justin saw out the final over to finish undefeated on 86, and with a very unlikely draw in the book.


Rock Hill Rd, Egerton, Ashford TN27 9DW, UK