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Venturers vs Hampset, Sunday July 13th

Hampset 113 Venturers 114-1

Catches, we are told by people who catch them, win matches. This was a case in point; but for once we caught them, and we won.

Hampset send their development XI to play us: a mixture of senior players and youngsters, and quite capable. They started with a left-hander and a right-hander, which didn't confuse our opening bowlers (Simon T and Chintan) as much as they might have hoped. The right-hander cut repeatedly at Simon and never made contact. The left-hander seemed more comfortable but Chintan bowled him with one that kept a little low, but which he had played completely across anyway. He was replaced by one of the seniors, who looked alarmingly good, playing very late though mostly on the on side. The right-handed opener finally connected with a cut: it flew head-high to the left of Simon S, who caught it nonchalantly with one hand. Soon after, Matt removed the new batsman with an excellent low catch off Simon S. The main thing now was to keep things tight. Ian did, and in particular gave the threatening batsmen - the number 5 seemed competent but altogether less of a menace - nothing on his legs. Eventually his patience gave out and he tried an off-drive, with just too much bottom hand. Simon S, again, dropped swiftly down to his right and caught a second catch, even better than the first. Matt removed the next two batsmen, one giving Simon S his third catch, a bit simpler than the other two, and the other LBW. This last caused some ructions among the Hampset side, and the offending (junior) umpire was quickly removed as the (senior) batsman insisted that the ball had pitched well outside leg. This, of course, explains why he missed it, because it actually pitched around middle and off. If anything could have saved him, it would have had to be enough turn to miss off. The seventh-wicket pair resisted for a while, and another forty runs might have made a more challenging total; but Gregory broke the stand and demolished the tail in a few balls, with more than a little help from Paul A, who took two good catches and picked up one wicket himself.

Our innings was simplicity itself. Emmad miscued to mid-off early on. Thereafter Chintan and Ahmad quietly and unhurriedly collected the runs. There were no incidents at all until the very end, when Ahmad, having reached his fifty, suddenly refused to do any more running or make any further attempt to score. He claimed that he was doing so in order to avoid being run out for once; but his real reason was to make sure that Chintan got his fifty before we won the match. Chintan obliged, and finished he Venturers career with a six that both won the match and brought his fifty up.

Fixtures & Results 2008

Cricket bat and ball