|Sun 21st August 2016|
The Straggler run machine rolled into Tenterden, and, with the benefit of a couple of dropped catches, posted another big score, with a second centurion in a week (with a third falling agonisingly short). Ben Methven (114) and Nick Manser (38), both on Straggler debut, opened the innings to address the craft of Tommy Richards, a bowler who has picked up plenty of Straggler wickets in previous games. This time Tommy was as tight as ever, but the edges did not come (or were put down). A first wicket partnership of 96, was followed with a huge partnership of 136 between Ben and Jasper (97). Ben was finally well caught on the boundary, and Jasper, racing the forthcoming declaration to reach his hundred, misjudged his final swing by a fraction. Another couple of cheap wickets at the end saw a declaration at 276 for 5.
The Tenterden openers began carefully enough, and with plenty of time, they could afford to take care. However, Nick Wright extracted enough fierce bounce from the wicket to bring the first breakthrough at 41. Wickets then fell at regular intervals through to the drinks break at 86 for 5. Immediately after the break, Benny pouched a skier, and Tenterden began a long rearguard action (much along the lines of Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow – grim and getting cold). Tommy Richards marshaled the tail with care, dispatching the bad balls for four, and reached a well-deserved half century; victory seemed to be slipping from the Straggler grasp. 125 for 6 at thirty overs; 175 for 8 at forty; it was now a hard grind. Nick Wright returned to find that little extra bounce, and Tommy was held in the gully by Theo. But is still took another 10 overs to remove the final couple of wickets, the 10th falling to the first ball of the penultimate (and 48th) over; Theo finished with 5 for 38 from 12.1 overs, and a Straggler victory by 80 runs.