After their final night in the excellent White Hart Hotel in Salisbury, the men in flowery shirts made their way back towards Devizes for their final tour fixture away to Urchfont.
After Bobs century the day before he found himself on scoring duties, Keeno again to Umpire and Raggy Singh to lead the side. Urchfont won the toss and with their ranks bolstered by some big army lads, they decided to set a total. JP. VDM (an abbreviation of a very long South African name) opened the batting with veteran Smith, Willis and Greenwood the men given the new ball for the tourists. JP blocked the first ball, before hitting the second one whistling over point to the boundary. He hit an aggressive 13, being dropped by Albi Birchmore from a very high skyer, before holing out to deep mid-off off the bowling of Willis. With Greenwood bowling Smith and Willis bowling R.Wild for 0, Bromley and Cotterill began a counter-attack. Bromley has played for Wiltshire in Minor Counties this year and showed his class in a very technically correct 37, pouncing on anything vaguely loose.
James Simpson managed to nip one through his defences and then dismissed Urchfont Skipper Tony Fox, bowled for 5. James really bowled exceptionally well on tour, showing what a great addition to the side he is. However, Cotterill began opening his shoulders and started to hit some very firmly struck boundaries, firstly in partnership with Pillock-Smith (17) and then with Long (8). Both were dismissed by Gwyllim Jones as Cotterill went past 50, aided by some mis-fields from the tiring Nutters fielders on a large and quick outfield. M. Reid came out and finished 12 not out, mainly giving the strike back to Cotterill, who finished 84 not out as Urchfont posted 204-7 from their 35 overs. Jonty must be commended for his 7-0-17-1, given the run rate of the rest of the innings.
At the interval, the Nutters were relieved to find their favourite restorative food (cake) awaiting them and everyone took the chance to get some sugar on board. Jonny Willis and Raggy Singh were soon padded up and ready to set about chasing the total down. Willis was caught (first time) at backward point for 10 off opening bowler Rob Wild, and Albi Birchmore was caught in front for 1. DT and Raggy Singh batted patiently trying to build the partnership and put some scoreboard pressure back on Urchfont. Long came on and bowled sharply but was erratic, DT playing the shot of tour by upper-cutting Long over for a one bounce four to third man. The pair put on 53 in a gutsy partnership but once Raggy fell for a brave 42 to Pillock-Smith DT followed shortly after for 23 and suddenly the Nutters had two new batters in. JP. VDM won the South African duel and bowled Gwyllim for 11 for his second wicket, before Charlie South was sold down the river by Olly Prior and was run out. James Simpson became the second run out of the innings by trying to pinch a single and DB (Doug) made a brief appearance at the crease. Keith Greenwood came out at 11 to join Alex Hurst for the final few overs. Hurst swung anything erring in line away to finish 17 not out and Jonty played his shots for 8 not out. Nuthurst closing the innings short on 153-9, but having giving it a really good go. The total was always just out of reach, but for the third game in three days and with some tired bodies out there the touring party can be really proud of what they achieved.
We look forward to commencing battle with Urchfont again next year, hopefully we will make it a clean sweep on tour next year!
With the final round of fines and post-match laughs, the Tour got back on the bus for the journey home to Mannings Heath. What a wonderful tour gentlemen, let’s do it all again next year!
Tour Correspondent and 2019 Umpire, R. Keen