The Stoats

253/4 (dec) - 154/all out
Full Time
Won by 99 runs

Match Report

The inaugural fixture against The Stoats, played on a lovely day at Torry Hill, was dominated by a second century from Jasper in 8 days (and in doing so, he joins the elite of Straggler centurions with 5 – nobody has scored more), and a surprisingly explosive first over by the Chairman, who, unusually, had been invited to open the bowling. With Straggler batting firing on full throttle for the second week in succession, the Stoats’ bowling came under early pressure. Jasper (105), Toby (46), Ben (41*) and Theo (36) took advantage of a good track, fast outfield and generous bowling to rattle along to an early declaration at 253 for 4 from 32 overs. Plenty of time for tea.

Toby kept the opening over tight, conceding a single. An over later and the score was 5 for 3; the first ball (there was mention of hand grenades) landing perfectly for a half volley drive through the covers – unfortunately for the bat, Theo was one of the brace at short extra, and took a screamer. An inside edge did for number 3, and, number 4 nicked through to Al behind the stumps. A maiden followed from Toby, and, then a smart leg-side stumping had the Stoats’ skipper back in the pavilion; total disarray. Two overs later and a sharp throw from square leg from Benny was enough to see off the other opener, who, until that moment, had been content to fend off Toby and watch the carnage from the non-striker’s end – 21 for 5. Ben now brought on some timber-framed bowlers (Benny and Tom Wood) and the Stoats began the long haul back to some semblance of respectability. Indeed, they were sufficiently diligent in doing so for another drawn out draw to be on the cards. Sam Rajaratnam for the Stoats batted with great care to get to 56, punishing the bad balls, and defending anything straight. However, the returning Chairman dangled one that was just too tempting, and Sam picked out Toby on the long-on boundary with unerring skill. Number 10 came and went retired hurt with a hamstring gone, and the final pair batted with some elan, before Theo induced some more big shots, one caught well by Tom, but well behind the boundary; the second was less well middled, and Toby was there to take the catch. A total of 154 from nearly 40 overs had seemed unlikely after the opening salvoes.