The BOFs

303/5 (dec) - 183/all out
Full Time
Lost by 120 runs

Match Report

2017 seems to be turning into a record year for all the wrong reasons. Having conceded over 300 runs on one occasion in the first 70 years of Straggler cricket, we have managed to do so twice in 8 days. And the defiance of gravity, which saw unexpected outcomes in the first two fixtures, has also come to an end. Tim Burleigh fielded an exceptionally strong BOFs side at Wellesley House, and chose to bat. The Stragglers won the first two balls of the morning (0 for 1 after a gloved catch to second slip), and then lost the remainder of the session in style – weary fielders trooped off with the score on 211 for 1, Jordan Cox on 117, a distant greenhouse freshly perforated, a ball lost and trick shots being tried to relieve batter boredom. What a difference a break can make, however. Jordan was retired at lunch, Justin (81) fell in the first over to Toby, and Kieran Dennis, on exchange from northern New South Wales, took off and flew yards to take an extraordinary catch with both hands. While not quite back in the game, the run fest had subsided back to normal cricket. Another 19 overs in the field, and only 92 added to the score, but this was enough to take the BOFs to 303 for 5 declared. Late innings highlights included the dismissal of Jasper by Benny, caught in the deep by Theo, Benny giving clear instruction as to where his brother should go; and a catch in the crowd by Matt – not too often that a champagne moment contender is a spectator.

Chasing more than 300 for the second week in succession was always going to be a tall order, particularly when Tim plucked a firmly hit clip from above his head to remove Kieran, and then Will Falcon weighed in with two more quick wickets. At 27 for 3 it was Egerton all over again. Joe Gordon was just getting into his stride, with a series of sumptuous drives, when he was smartly stumped by Al (who had a great day behind the stumps for the opposition!), and then Billy Selmon ran himself out. Building resistance around an assured innings by James Francis (79), Benny held out for 9 overs before giving a sharp chance to Justin. John Portal then lasted for another 11; surely another successful rear-guard action was not possible? Sadly not, as the last four wickets fell in something of a procession, three good catches behind by Al, and then a sharp slip catch by Jordan Cox off brother Ashley, and the Stragglers subsided from 173 for 6 to 183 all out, defeated by 120 runs, with only 9 balls left.