Jasper had been elected captain for the day, despite a very bleary appearance at breakfast, following a night of unconventional topiary with his head in the hotel garden. Losing the toss and inserted, he sent Theo and George in to manage the opening overs. Sadly for George he has form on tour after late nights, and was bowled first ball. Jasper and Theo dug in, the bowlers, Jules Hagger in particular, were tight and runs hard to find. Getting the rate up to three an over proved hard, and Jasper was finding the edges of his bat much more readily than the middle. The cheer from the boundary which met Theo’s dismissal (24) with the score on 66 in the 16th was a touch premature, as Patch then managed to smack a ball straight to a fielder and depart for a single. Ben takes his late night touring responsibilities very seriously, and was not at his sharpest when he arrived at the crease, happy to allow Jasper to keep the score ticking over, while recovering some semblance of consciousness. After thirty one careful overs, Jasper (87) was finally undone, playing across a straight one, and, at that point the Stragglers would have settled for 200, and still more so when Paddy came and went in a few balls. This brought Al to the crease, determined to score just one run on tour after a couple of failures. His bustling determination seemed to liven up Ben, who proceeded to take the attack apart. Al departed for 17, Toby came and went for 4, leaving Hugo to manage the strike at the close, running ferociously hard to turn singles into twos to keep Ben on strike. With the penultimate ball, Ben reached a century from 64 balls (103). However, the effort proved too much for him, and he was then well caught on the boundary to end the innings with 248 for 8.
Limited overs games can be decided in a few short overs, and so it proved here, as Nick Wright stormed in to take two wickets in the first over (one a very smart catch by Hugo at short extra), followed by a wicket in the next over after the number 4 bat had taken a fancy to the Chairman, only to perish chipping a wide one to George at point. 15 for 3 made the task too hard. The Nicks were unable to make further inroads, so Al was introduced to the attack. Al has decided that, having observed Alex R on tour, leg spinners have more fun, and is considering hanging up his gloves of steel and retiring from wicket keeping duties. On his showing today, he has a long and fruitful career ahead of him. He finished with 3 for 23 from 8, and could easily have had a ‘five for’. Straggler catching, which had been so sharp on Friday fell off a cliff, with multiple contenders for the ‘Lark Catching Cup’ putting themselves forward. Nick Wright, winner of the 2018 champagne moment for an exceptional catch, let one pass between hands and body, Ben scrambled towards one only to fall into the newly named fielding position ‘the Snape’ which creates a particularly long barrier but makes catching quite hard, the Chairman switched off momentarily to find the ball heading low to his feet, and there were others. Ben and George came and went, brief bowling cameos, to be replaced by Paddy, who was again getting big looping balls to turn. Theo supported well behind the stumps, taking two well juggled catches, and the end came with a touch of magic as George plucked a hard hit heave one handed after the ball seemed to have passed him by. Menorca were all out for 152, victory by 96 runs.
|Menorca Cricket Club|