Liphook & Ripsley II vs Bentworth
After an astonishing 2 week (one match) winning streak to start the season, the boys from Bentworth were out to continue this unbeaten run at the expense of Liphook & Ripsley III, at their beautiful ground just outside of Midhurst.
In the absence of skipper Nick, Ken had the honour of winning a much needed toss – an important one to win as the Chairman was running late from his stint of admiring the cars in the Edgeborough School car park.
After losing the wickets of Trev (2) and debutant Harsh (7) early on (Harsh-ly falling to a criminal LBW decision), opener New Ben looked in great nick, rushing along to 30, and looking well set for a big score, before offering up catching practice to point.
Despite a run rate of between 6 & 7 an over being recorded, The B’s found themselves in a spot of bother due to the regular fall of wickets – Jezza (18) Steve (14 – who looked very comfortable & looks like a great find for the club) and Chairman Hill (6) falling before really getting going.
At around 110-5 at drinks, consolidation was needed. This was provided with Old Ben (29), Dave (36) and Ali (12) combining to nurse the score up to a respectable 180-odd for 7, before the final 3 wickets fell cheaply.
L&R III therefore required 186 to win – potentially achievable, but the visitors had at least given themselves something to defend, provided they bowled well.
Enter Ken “The Miser/Metronome/McGrath” Thomas, a man whose quantity of nicknames is only outweighed by his control of a cricket ball. A lovely spell of 8-4-7-2, ably complemented by some lively pace courtesy of Ali and Harsh, restricted the opposition to c. 53-3 at drinks, leaving a target of 133 from 20 overs.
With Cap’n Ken getting regular advise from seemingly 10 vice-captains (sorry Ken), the oppo continued to fall further behind the required rate. Despite able resistance from the home teams WK/Batsman, Bentworth kept it tight enough (I won’t mention the dropped catches) to see it home and win by 30 runs.
A real team effort this one, with wickets shared between nearly all bowlers (Ali, Harsh, Ken and Old Ben all taking wickets), with Harry also being unlucky not to get on the board due (with 2 drops off of his bowling). The good ship Bentworth sails on to hopefully calm waters at home to Sparsholt III next weekend, where the aim is to go one better than the entire 2017 season by winning 3 matches during May.
N.B. There was no mention of the days other major event, as that would constitute a fine.