The Turks

186/all out - 190/5
Full Time
Won by 5 wickets

Match Report

Towards the end of the 19th century, the politically moribund Ottoman empire was challenged a number of times by the ‘Young Turks’ to face up to the modern world. So the cricketing Turks arrived at Belmont, with young Turks challenging the Straggler hegemony of the past few years. But, as was the case in C19th Istanbul, it will take more than one attempt to challenge the status quo. Winning the toss, Caliph Tony Brown elected to bat; Tom Spurling unfurled a series of exquisite cover drives to establish early dominance of the bowling in slightly damp conditions, but was undone by Jasper, caught miscuing to mid-off. And then Jonathan Neame leapt to his left at a well positioned fly slip to remove the other opener. The Turks were now managing a prolonged rearguard action, with runs drying up, and wickets falling. Al Smallwood saw his first 2 balls smacked to fine leg, and responded well with such loop and lack of pace to encourage misguided adventure (he finished with 4 for 44). Grand Vizier, Richard Warlow (50), as he has done in the past, held up the forlorn parade with significant flourish, falling last man out to a fine edge with 186 posted.

Straggler openers, George BW and Jack Taylor, flattered to deceive, timing some sumptuous boundaries, but failing to go on. The Master Brewer, now limping from a blow to the ankle in the field, looked good, but gave way to the final youthful Straggler charge, as Jasper (83*) and Toby Snape (37) took complete control of the field, despatching all comers to the longest of long boundaries. The Turkish rout was almost complete, when Toby fell, another satellite endangering blow hit vertically; and then another wicket with the scores level, to leave Charlie Munton to complete the coup de grace, for the second year in succession.