Match report – Bentworth vs Aldershot IV

11 Aug 2018

After an excellent win with a scratch side the previous weekend, the team had a more familiar look with the skipper returning from his holidays and several of his trusty lieutenants doing the same.

The opposition today came into the game with the exact reverse record of the home team, having lost 8 of their 12 games. However, with India, the number 1 ranked Test nation,on the same day getting a spanking at Lords, Bentworth knew better than to be complacent.

Following the thrilling and successful run chase the week before, having won the toss the skipper inserted the opposition to see if we could do the same.

The openers showed their intent from the outset however, with the runs flowing freely at both ends. Ali brought his excellent net form to the middle, but had no luck as the faster he bowled, the quicker the edges went to the boundary. With 48 put on in the first 8 overs the batting side had got off to a flyer. Finally Ken broke the partnership pouching a return catch for the first time in living memory.

Sadly, the breakthrough did not precipitate a top order collapse, as the batsmen kept up the run rate, reaching 125-1 at drinks. In the meantime, JP, chasing down another ball heading for the boundary, pulled up sharply clutching a hamstring. Requiring a good lie down, a call went out for painkillers, deep heat and a masseur – only two of which were forthcoming. About 10 over later, JP returned to the fray, and in time honoured fashion for the aged or infirm, took up his place at first slip.

Predictably, shortly thereafter the Chairman bowled a wide full toss that miraculously found an edge which JP duly snaffled without a second thought for his injury.

Now from 136-2, runs and wickets continued to come at regular intervals. The bowlers toiled without ever getting on top of the batsmen, so it was left to the fielders to chip in with crucial wickets. First the skipper paused temptingly while fielding at long on and the batsman took the bait and ended up being run out at the keepers end. Never to be outdone, next Ali racked up another run out to his personal tally with a pin point return from in front of the pavilion.

The innings ended with the opposition setting a formidable looking 239-9. Trev and Yorkie opening up for Bentworth, put on 50 in the first 9 overs to provide an excellent start. From here however a collapse worthy of India (or England – depending on when you are reading this) ensued. At 98-6 after 26 overs an early departure for the Sun looked on the cards, but Bentworth bat deep, and few can boast a number 8 of the quality of our skipper. Joining Robbie, the pair went about rebuilding the innings with Robbie giving Nick as much as the strike as possible, and Nick endangering the horses in the neighbouring field. Indeed one blow had one of the many boundary fielders uneasily but accurately exclaim ‘My god, that’s gone miles’.

All was not plain sailing however, as Nick called Robbie through for a quick single, Robbie hesitated, tripped, fell, completed a full somersault, and still managed to get to the other end as Nick relaxed safely at the non-strikers end. Sadly the entertainment had to end, but the partnership put on 71 in 7 overs with the skipper eventually holing out to long off for 50.

Ken kept Robbie company while he completed his first Bentworth fifty, and this partnership put on another 43, but when Ken was dismissed in the 39th over with 27 still needed it seemed a valiant run chase might fall just short. A one legged JP batting with Ali as a runner could not produce the heroics that were needed and the innings ended on a commendable 221-9 and Robbie not out on 64.