St Lawrence & Highland Court

192/5 dec. - 192/All out
Full Time
Match Tied

Match Report

It is particularly satisfying when a plan comes together, and so it proved at St. Lawrence and Highland Court, where, 9 down needing one run for victory, HC fell into a well telegraphed trap.  Theo bowled the gentlest of full tosses, and, instead of knocking it into some space for the required single, the batter took an almighty heave to cow corner to pick out Jasper with unerring accuracy, the only Straggler not in the ring.  And the game ended in a second tie in 2021, the 10th in Straggler history and the first time that there have been two ties in a season. Earlier in the day, any cricket at all had seemed unlikely, with torrential showers across much of the county, but neither captain would give up hope of a game, and, as we had seen at Belmont the week before, the central ridge of the Downs seems to brush off the showers.  Two rain breaks interrupted the Straggler innings (when the sky filled with swifts for a second week in a row), but, with a strong wind keeping the outfield dry, the game ended in glorious evening sunshine.  The Stragglers were invited to bat, on the basis that the only way to prise the HC XI away from the bar was to oblige them into the middle.  A carefully solid start from James Felton and George BW saw off the new ball, but James was undone by the first rain delay and George (26) followed shortly thereafter. Runs were hard to find, and when the Sharp brothers fell in quick succession in the 23rd over with only 74 on the board, Patch was worrying about being able to set a meaningful target.  However, a Smallwood partnership of 111 steadied the innings, Jasper eventually out for 78 and Benny unbeaten on 41.  For a second week, Jasper rode his luck, with fielders shelling regular opportunities to remove him.  On the boundary, Patch was being offered so much sage advice on when to declare, and how many overs to allow HC to bat (made more complicated by the absence of tea and a shorter break between innings), that he took himself off to the middle to umpire in comparative peace.  He decided to bring the batters in at 192 for 5.

HC innings tend to start in an explosive manner, and this was no different, with 71 on the board in the 8th over.  At this rate it would be all over before the final 20.  However, Harry Pattinson (2 for 40) and James Meddings had other plans, aided significantly by two fine slip catches from Patch.  Indeed, Straggler catching was of the highest order, with only a couple of the hardest half-chances not taken.  Now on 76 for 3, and with tight bowling from either end, the game fell into balance.  Another flurry of wickets (117 for 6) saw the back of Zac Rahman and Will Hilton, the latter enticed by James into attempting a second big hit, to be well caught by Theo at deep long-on.  The run rate had fallen away, and what had looked like a walk in the park for HC was getting harder by the over.  James M ended his long spell with 4 for 48, which brought secret weapon, James Felton (1 for 17), into the attack to inject some pace late in the innings. A further flurry of wickets and the unlikeliest of Straggler victories now seemed on the cards, with HC needing 33 from the final pair.  It took them nearly nine overs to inch level, every shot played with great care, only for Patch, Theo and Jasper to spring the bear trap and leave HC one short of victory, all out for 192.


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