Chairman's Blog

Cricket is a wonderful game, in which unlikely things can happen, magic balls bowled, wonderful shots conjured, and the Straggler innings at Stowting saw one such event.  Patch Clews (aka “Patch from the pub”) burst on to the Straggler scene in 2014, turning out at Tenterden (where he took a fabulous one-handed catch) before coming on tour to Paris.  His previous high score with the bat was 32* in the Inter-Straggler game in 2016, when he held the innings together with Hugo after an early collapse.  Asked to open the batting at Stowting, Patch sauntered out to the middle, eying up the relatively short boundary down the hill towards the horses.  A gentle nudge or two saw him off the mark and into double figures.  Losing a partner early brought Jasper to the crease, and Jasper enjoys going large at Stowting.  Perhaps it was the confidence from batting with Jasper, who was soon crunching boundaries to anything short or off-line, which encouraged Patch to take on the bowling.  A chipped six over square leg was followed by a sumptuous drive through extra cover, and then a cheeky late cut down to the vacant third man. Patch beat Jasper to the half century, a gentle single to long-off, and as Patch continued, Jasper spent more time at the non-striker’s end, so effectively did Patch steal the strike.  He brought up his hundred with the most audacious switch-hit for 6, before ramping the bowler over the keeper for another.  When skipper Seb called time on the innings, Patch had marched to a remarkable 127*, an innings that none who had the privilege to witness it will forget, and which will echo down the annals of Straggler history.