Convincing win, amiable opposition and glorious setting.
Opening partnership of 159. Brook 2nd XI highest opening partnership and fifth highest of all!
A convincing win against amiable opposition in glorious surroundings (and weather) makes for the perfect day's cricket and so it was at Lurgashall last Saturday. But it so nearly didn't happen! On Wednesday evening with four confirmed the outlook appeared grim and without the herculean efforts of Alan we may have been twelve points down and not twelve to the good. As is so often the case, (following an availability nightmare), Brook turned up with twelve willing to play. Your "on the spot" correspondent immediately stood down and entered the Noah's Ark leaving the much younger!! John Pheasant
to don his whites.
Very few grounds match up to Brook but, on Saturday, with clear blue skies, quiet except for the ever hopeful (and hopeless) appeals and birdsong, Lurgashall gave it a damn good try. The delightful and somewhat bucolic air infected the cricket where bending became optional and quick singles were regarded as an unnecessary waste of energy.
Winning the toss Jim opted to bat and with his opening partner Nick Randall
soon had the measure of the varied Grayswood attack (all but the captain and keeper bowled). Knowing what normally happens Adnan, at 3, padded up with them. With the score passing 50 one could see Adnan's desire to have a go himself, but he had to wait a long time as our openers set a first wicket partnership record of 159 for the second XI going back nearly a hundred years. (I'm pretty sure my reading of the archives is accurate!). Both Jim and Nick punished the ball mercilessly and were the cause of a few pub customers moving their cars. With Jim dismissed through tiredness on 87 (at this rate of improvement he will score a ton in 2031!) and Nick being bowled for 61 it was Adnan's turn. His team mate's anticipation was obvious but the wicket was slow and after a bout of aggression he popped one to short cover for 16.
Some aspects of the game then became slightly blurred following another draught of "Old Arnie's Righteous Thumper" but it was clear you needed your wits about you as Ed Taylor-Gooby (short term loan from Lychmere CC) and Amir Ullah
turned the gardens of the house at long off into a very dangerous place to sunbathe. With 40 overs gone and 263 on the board a very convivial tea was taken.
The Grayswood innings could hardly have started worse with Adnan and Pat Seranga bowling a line and length that would have challenged batsmen from many divisions above. The first was a boot lace level return catch to Adnan which he followed up by taking a stormer at second slip off Pat. Soon followed the ball of the day from Pat which removed Grayswood's best batsman's off stump. After ten overs Grayswood were 17-4 and soon to slip to 21-5. At this point some normality returned with Evangelos Gikas and Simon Berry deciding to hang around and then slowly pick off the runs on offer. Their partnership of 68 provided the bulk of Grayswood's runs and with the exception of Sam Berry the innings then subsided to 114 all out. Pat's 5-19 was the stand out bowling performance with Adnan's 3-15 close behind.
A final word of thanks to Ed, Mike Charman and Martin Brown for making themselves available at such late notice.