Bentworth Vs Sparsholt 3s – 26th May 2018

April, according to T S Eliot, is the cruellest month. May on the other hand for the merry men of Bentworth turns out to be the kindest. The cricket gods, not content with delivering 3 sunny saturdays out of 4 and three tosses won also offered up three victories the latest of which will be retold here.

The visitors were invited to bat first on a greenish and apparently seamer friendly deck. Ken ‘miserly’ Thomas dropped straight into rhythm with a teasing length that though garnering no wickets presented figures of 8 overs 3 maidens and 9 runs conceded. Harry B (4 overs 0 maidens 1wicket for 10) tore into his spell and was rewarded second ball when Sparsholts number 2 drove uppishly into the waiting hands of JP turning out for the first time this season. We were underway.

There followed a spell where the batters barely got the ball off the square and by drinks runs and overs were perilously close in number. Ben Mackrel then got into the action removing numbers 3 and 4 as part of his 3 wickets for 26. All the while Sparsholts opener stayed firm but barely troubled the scorers unless they were popping dots into his record. We had the now traditional comedy run out as both bats headed to the same end alas the book doesn’t record the proponent’s name but you know who you were. Skipper Gay brought himself on and turned in a remarkable spell taking 3 for 9 off 5 overs. Precision field placing saw a catch from your author and two clean bowled. Meanwhile the opener still plodded on.

Cometh the hour cometh the man or well boy in this case. Young Max Hill making his debut took his bow and promptly removed the stubborn Ryan ably assisted by a glorious catch at slip by Skipper. Max’s line, length and sheer chutzpah stand us in good stead we hope for years to come. Stephen Blake not content with showing us how to bat them came on and took a wicket with his very first ball as the Sparsholt batter chipped to the fish boy at short mid on.

Skipper removed the last man and the Bs were left to chase down 95 to win. In a break with tradition El Trev and the author were invited to open. Suffering severe vertigo from appearing so high the author promptly swung hard at the 5th ball and was clean bowled. Richard ‘hitman’ Hill suffered a similar fate shortly afterwards though we fear a days ‘fishing’ may have been to blame. New Ben fresh from his exertions behind the stumps whacked a quick fire 15 as he and Trev ticked the score along before he was too bowled.

Stephen ‘I’m definitely an all rounder now’ Blake joined the obdurate Trev and they almost faultlessly knocked off the runs to end on 36 apiece.

This was an assured performance with bat and ball by the Bs played out in excellent spirits that led to a table tipping position. On we go. Let’s hope we win the next game too