St Lawrence & Highland Court

202/7 dec - 202/6
Full Time
Match drawn

Match Report

Following a miserably wet end to July and start of August, the Stragglers arrived at a brilliant green Highland Court – unlike the usual parched desert of most years. Buzzards were circling the ground throughout in search of fallen fielders in the long grass. Highland Court were just finishing a Kent T20 quarterly final (sadly on the losing side) and immediately turned round to set a target for the Stragglers to chase. Straggler opening bowlers, Hugo Snape and Ruaridh MacLeod, were so tight that a target seemed to be slightly wishful thinking on behalf of HC skipper, Will Hilton. A perfect yorker in the first over, and another wicket in the 6th, the score had rather limped to 41 for 2, when the first change was introduced after 14 overs.  For a moment, it looked as if the rate might pick up, but Fred Sharp got in on the act, a miscue held at short mid-wicket, and then the Chairman (3 for 42) held one up, bowling into the wind, so that the batsmen had almost died of boredom when the ball reached his pad. Two more followed with attempts to drop big sixes over the pavilion falling into the leg side traps of Charlie Kingsman and Hugo, Charlie’s grab being worthy of mention as champagne moment contender. With 22 overs bowled, there was only 81 for 6 on the board. It needed to change, and the Aussie pro brought a long handle. However, even as the rate picked up, Archie Brown (a mere 52 years younger than his bowling partner) kept a tight line and picked up a very nice stumping – a joy to see skipper, Patch M, back behind the stumps, all silky glove work and only one bye in the innings. With some mistreatment of Jonno Ross, the 8th wicket pair managed to pick up the pace to a declaration at 202 for 7.

With a little more than 30 overs for the chase, the Straggler top order decided to treat it as a T20 target. Every ball was heading to the boundary. Unfortunately, Kieran picked out point with precision, Hugo launched a monster into the orchard, and then offered a return catch, while Fred (23) took one risk too many to hole out at mid-on. 29 for 3 risked turning into another Straggler collapse, and there was a lot of emergency padding up and umpire rotation. How wrong we were. Charlie and Ruaridh calmed things down, blocked a few straight ones, and built a partnership of 82 in 11 overs, only to be undone by a casual call, which saw Ruaridh back in the pavilion run out for 32. Charlie, joined by Patch, can hit a long ball, and today he was not just launching them over the boundary but trying to get them over the orchard and half-way to Sussex. A half-century arrived in fine style, and then, just as he was switching to cruise control, he was caught in two minds and dropped one down the throat of long-on for 54. Still 68 runs short of the target, Patch was joined by Xandy Long, and together, with great care and a very dead bat played well, they moved the score along at just the right pace. Patch managed the strike, hitting a boundary in most overs, occasionally two, and with nerves jangling in the pavilion, the target crept closer. An eleven over partnership of 65 was brought to an end when Xandy (3) was adjudged leg before from the last ball of the penultimate over. Three to win and Patch on strike, but the bowler offered nothing to hit; sharp fielding turned a safe two into a single; now down to George Long, facing his first ball. The final ball of the innings was nudged into a gap to level the scores. Games at Highland Court have been nail-biters before, with a tie in 2021. There was much learned(?) discussion on the boundary about the result. Was it a tie or a draw?  In the end, a careful reading of the laws of the game determined that the match had been a draw.


St Lawrence & Highland Court
Highland Court Farm, Canterbury CT4 5HN, United Kingdom