170/9 - 171/5
Full Time
40 overs
Lost by 5 wickets

Match Report

Stragglers were startlingly prompt for the planned noon start for their visit to the West Country and Tarbarrow, the ground concealed in the woods. It is not often that the outfield is described as ‘rolling’, requiring just a little more to reach the rope in some directions. Hugo had taken a lead from his cousin in 2022, packing the side with Kiwis, but this time with not quite the same effect. Straggler batting, so dominant early season in 2023, never really fired in the extreme heat and humidity (there were also some comments about the soft ball among mitigating factors). Jamie Letten and Tom McCarty carefully saw off the opening bowlers, but the score was only inching forward, and the change to spin saw them both gone (Jamie top scoring with 34), with the score at 51 for 2 in the 14th over. The innings then rather limped along, as batsmen seemed to get settled and then get out, often in pairs. Harry Wright (19), Theo (18) and Jamie Lavers all got starts, and Jonno Ross, having received his 2022 Champagne moment award before the start of play, channelled his inner Joe Root down to third man for 10. Hugo (31*) arrived at the crease with a defendable target looking unlikely and injected some urgency even as his partners fell away. An undefeated final wicket stand of 25 with the Chairman (4*) took the total to 170 for 9 from 40 overs. The tea interval served to convince everyone that it would be a hard target to chase down.

And, in the opening over of the Tarbarrow innings, Hugo removed Max Delamain, tormentor of Straggler bowlers in 2018, for duck. All looking good at this stage. However, even with a reasonably tight start, runs seemed just a little easier to find for Tarbarrow, including the occasional six, an option which had been studiously ignored by Straggler batsmen. Harry Wright extracted some lovely flight and ferocious turn to induce a hart hit but misdirected shot straight to Hugo at mid-off, 81 for 2. “Champagne Jonno” nipped out another shortly after the drinks break (109 for 3), but the required rate kept moving in favour of the chase (George Carnegie must be mentioned in despatches for his boundary running in the heat). Jamie Letten and Hugo removed another two set batsmen to set a few nerves a-flutter and put the brakes on briefly as the Red Arrows flew low over the ground, but it was too little too late. Tarbarrow hit the winning runs in the 32nd over to win by 5 wickets.


Cirencester GL7 5DS, UK