Tour to Oporto

169/8 - 171/5
Full Time
30 overs
Won by 5 wickets

Match Report

After a third late night, albeit one lacking a few of the normal ancillaries (cages and dancing girls not available on the Club terrace), Straggler early morning fielding lacked some of the sharpness of the day before, and some catches were even put down (or ignored).   Indeed, catching with one hand, so much a feature of the previous days, had taken the day off.  The Oporto keeper, undone by chin music from Toby on day one, fell to much the same ball in the first over, this time from Angus, not a great start. Straggler bowlers needed regular rotation to keep them upright, even with a 12th man available to allow fielders to puff and blow on the boundary. The first change brought immediate results, with both Patch C (1 for 29) and Al (3 for 35) picking up wickets and keeping Oporto on the back foot. However, at number 4, a second Portuguese international of the weekend was tying up an end and scoring freely whenever he got hold of the strike.  Jonno, Tom and George, the latter turning his arm over for the first time for many years, were unable to make further inroads, Jonno trying for his second international scalp of the weekend.  It took Ben (2 for 9) and, finally Toby in the penultimate over, supported by some good catching from George< Nick W and Tom, to send a few more batsmen back to the pavilion.  After thirty overs, the innings closed on 169 for 8, a few runs shy of the target, with Anthony Chambers undefeated on 75 (and Oporto man of the match).

With lunch still on its way (or possibly being concealed from Toby), the Straggler openers were straight out, but Al also fell foul of a lifting ball, and was straight back into the shade.  Patch M (13) struck a couple of delightful boundaries, before failing to connect fully with an attempted flick over the square leg boundary (à la Rohit Sharma at the Oval recently). The top edge flew vertically, and keeper Sacha took the second of four catches. Toby took a less thirsty approach when lunch arrived and was seeing the ball pretty well before he found a fielder at a long, long-off. George was back in accumulation mode, aided by Patch Clews, happy to take singles and give the strike back to George (who managed to avoid the problem that had been developing with ‘38’, a score made in each of his previous three innings).  In the third of these, George moved into the top ten Straggler batsmen, now with 2,647 runs to his name, overtaking a raft of Straggler greats in the mid-2,000s. George went on to anchor the innings for an unbeaten 71. Patch C (8) was followed by Ben (23), and then Jasper arrived to deliver the coup de grace, a huge six over cow corner to complete the festivities.

Oporto proved to be the most wonderful venue to play cricket, with an enthusiastic and welcoming opposition, who kept the Stragglers honest, if not sober. Many thanks are due to Neil, Oporto skipper on both days, for making the 2022 tour, the first post-covid, such an enormous success.


Oporto Cricket & Lawn Tennis Club
Rua do Campo Alegre 532, 4150-170 Porto, Portugal