Stelfox and Jabber opened for HCC and made steady progress against Long Marston pair of Roberts and Head, both bowlers were putting the balls in good area and used their experience to get some help from the conditions and the slope.
Fahad Jabber was looking organized at the top of the order, but when the wily Head got one to cut back it found a gap and clean bowled Fahad for 9, Will Clifton inexplicably came in at 3 and quickly and predictably took the attack to the bowlers. A sudden downpour saw the players scarper to the hutch and an early session on the famous Long Marston teas took place.
On the resumption Clifton and Stelfox tried to accelerate things, Clifton giving it some biff before being bowled by Hassan for 28, the same bowler snared Jim Hinks
for 3 as Long Marston fought back, Stelfox was attempting to be aggressive, walking down the track to the bowlers and clattering some towering 2s before being bowled by Hassan for 49.
Chris St Clair Whicker chipped in with 15, Tom Poulter
knocked a well worked 22 that upped the tempo , Steve Manton
nudged, nurdled and scampered his way to a cracking 33 not out, Venks chipped in with 6, Gilbank was unlucky to fall to Ian Robets’s ball of the century for a duck and looked exactly like Fat Gatt as he stood there trying to work out what had happened.
There was a fairly long delay before the start of the Long Marston innings as Steve Binman carefully maneuvered his field into position. Manav Shah
opened from the other end and immediately found his line and length and beat the Long Marston batsmen on regular basis, Steve was giving the ball plenty of flight and putting the batsmen under pressure with some good balls, and putting Will Clifton under a fair amount of pressure too with the odd ball that drifted down leg and invited the batsmen to clatter it in Will’s direction.
Manav picked up 3 wickets for 14 off 7 overs, Steve 2-23 off 8 (abetted by some poor catching, yes that’s me) and being deprived by the pedantic umpiring of Colonel Saunders,. The Long Marston players to the their credit were keen to keep the game on as the conditions worsened and took the attack to HCC when they could. Venkatesh Iyer
replaced Manav Shah
, Dave Gilbank replace Steve Binman and the pair bowled well to keep the pressure on Long Marston and when the rain started coming down even harder, the players of both sides decided enough was enough and called it a day.
Thanks to Long Marston for their hospitality and an enjoyable, well humoured game