Match Drawn – Rain
Cricketers gathered at Wellesley House with an air of cautious surprise, as the forecast had been relentlessly grim for a week or more, and yet the day looked promising in this miserable summer. The Stragglers were inserted by TDMB’s XI, and immediately lost in form Theo Allport to a return catch. Careful batting was required, and Simon Allport was joined by Harry Pattinson to keep the bowlers at bay. Another couple of wickets, and at 64 for 4 in the 24th over, it did not look good, but the pair at the wicket now were father and son, Ian and Olly Robinson, and together they saw the Stragglers through to lunch and on to a reasonable score. Ian reached 50 and fell to a diving Matt Smallwood; Olly was joined by Hugo Snape, injecting a sense of urgency. Archie Hammond, bowling unchanged for 20 overs, was beginning to wilt, when what turned out to be a generous declaration was made at 213 for 6, on the dismissal of Olly for 66.
The wicket had dried and improved during the day (or was the Straggler attack less suited to the conditions?). Al Smallwood and Matthew Roberts seemed untroubled as they set about reeling in the target, and were doing so at a rate well ahead of that achieved in the Straggler innings. The single Straggler success to dismiss Al did nothing to hold up the relentless advance, and Matthew duly passed 50. However, the weather had not completely relented, intermittent drizzle became steady and miserable, and the target was just too far away in the gloom. Matthew was left undefeated on 63, looking good for plenty more.