A home game, a fine summer’s day, a full XI what more could one ask. Well, there is one thing and that was duly delivered around 430pm by the good lady Silvia. As fine and fluffy a carrot cake (carrots peeled and shredded by Mr Blake or so he claims!) which would grace any cricket tea in the land. 10++/10 Mrs Blake!
And so to the cricket. Doc raised his hand to captain the team this week, looking to break an unwinning streak, and led a team heavy of batting and lighter than said carrot cake on bowling, bar our two stalwarts Doc and Ken. Toss won or lost BCC donned the pads and the other 9 of us where treated to a wonderful opening stand as Doc and Benny dominated the oppo bowlers. As is customary Ben played himself in before opening those big shoulders of his and reached a masterful 72. Having contributed a Root-esque 48 to the opening stand of 125 Doc kindly passed the mantle to other batters. It is worth noting O&G were generous in their catching but as any school boy knows, those are the things which win matches….
All the other batters contributed nicely, a solid 28 from Trev being the pillar around which the rest of us gave it a bit of a thrash. However a key final few overs from Robbie and JP, smighter of mighty sixes, gave us a credible 218/7 to defend.
Now defending anything other than a comfortable deck chair after a Bentworth tea is always a challenge but with only two regular bowlers it was always going to be tight. But could a team who only oh-so-recently suffered the pain of a one run defeat off the last ball banish negativity and focus on the job in hand?
Their openers mirrored our own (with far less style of course) but indeed aided by a couple of dropped catches (apologies again Mr Mitten) put on a steady 124 in spite of the usual metronomic spell from Kenny (8-3-15-0) and a nice opening burst from Dave M. As is typical of Bentworth nowadays everyone put their hands up for a bowl and, in need of heroes, up stepped Mssrs Edwards and Hartley. Some lovely mixed stuff aided by absolutely committed keeping from Robbie who wore plenty without a complaint saw the run rate climbing and wickets falling. It is a thing of great wonder to watch our Trev bowl, up she goes, then higher, then higher and somehow, several hours later the ball pitches there and thereabouts. Mezzanine claimed his first Bentworth wicket with a fantastic hand/ belly/ stumps combo from keeper which saw off the large and irascible no 3 whose bat seems to have seen more use in the changing room than on the field of play….
Doc bowled a great spell as usual, albeit on 1 1/2 legs (8-2-19-3) and so with 4 overs left skip looked around to see what was left in the cupboard. “Rich, remember you used to bowl seam, fancy giving it a go again?” For which read “Rich, if you try to bowl off spin this could be over in 3 deliveries”. Somehow the old body held together leaving O&G needing c 18 off the last over with Mr Mitten to bowl and a set batsmen facing. It got a bit expensive for the first three balls, but ever the showman Dave then whipped down 3 pearlers and game, set and match Bentworth by 4 runs.
A grand team effort, exquisite carrot cake, top work from skip across all fronts and a lovely ale or two to follow afterwards. How better could a summer Saturday be spent in England’s fair and pleasant land.