A wet Saturday had deposited two inches of rain on the wicket at Tenterden, of which much had seeped under the covers, creating an old fashioned ‘sticky dog’, requiring a combination of cautious application and some luck with the bat. Jasper, however, still managed to make it seem pretty straightforward, crunching three boundaries in the first over, and reaching 44 from 66, when he picked out a fielder at long on. His departure triggered a mini collapse to 68 for 4, and a defendable target looking unlikely. Al (21) and Theo (39) took up the challenge and pushed on with circumspection; four runs an over was never on the cards. The end came with a bit of a rush, as Nigel was denied the opportunity to repeat his master class of 2012, abandoned by more fragile partners, 154 for 6 becoming 162 all out. Even the collapse was in slow motion, as it took 7 overs!
The Tenterden chase was disrupted with the first ball of the second over, Jasper snatching a very sharp chance at short extra. Batting remained a challenge, and runs barely trickled, as the Straggler attack of Ed Prest and Theo, limited the score to 30 for 3 off the first 15 overs. The strangle hold was further tightened by Jasper removing Timir Chanda, and then taking three in four balls (and came close to four in four, the Chairman grounding the all important catch). 71 for 7 and closing in. Another catch went down; two batsmen growing in confidence, hitting boundaries with increasing confidence; could the Stragglers let it slip away? Theo came back, and, in spite of a back twinge, made the breakthrough – 140 for 8. At the other end Ed made the long run up work, removing number 10 with a perfect yorker – 151 for 9, and then found the edge, acrobatically caught in mid-air by Theo at slip – 153 all out. Excellent contest taken to the wire.