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Hinton Charterhouse vs Venturers , Wednesday June 18th

Hinton Charterhouse 151-2, though 154 and 161 both appeared on the board at various times: Venturers 121-5

Hinton Charterhouse have an impressive ground with a hedge round it. Usually the hedge is protected by a fence, but the fence was being
repaired: so every time a four was hit on the side of the ground away from the pavilion, the ball went straight through the hedge and into the long wet grass beyond. The over rate, ours especially, was therefore pretty slow; and even on a mid-June evening it was getting quite dark under the heavy cloud by the time we finished.

Hinton Charterhouse also had a left/right-handed opening pair, which meant changing the field a lot and slowed us more. Not that it made a great deal of difference where we put the fieldsmen. Steve and Rob bowled quite well but didn't really look as if they were going to get a wicket, except when the right-hander miscued a pull at Steve. It ballooned up on the on side, but neither Matt nor Gregory could get very near it. There were a few slip-ups in the field, sometimes literally as rain began to fall and the outfield became slick. Even so, things never got completely out of control. Simon and Matt were less economical than usual but not really expensive. The scoring was brisk but not explosive: Chris and Chintan kept the brakes on. The left-hander was the more fluent of the two and had passed his fifty some time before he, quite unexpectedly, got out with the score on 99 in the thirteenth over. He tried to force a short ball from Chintan through the covers and skied it: Gregory, jogging in, caught it at knee height and toppled over. This was his fifth catch of the season, equalling his runs.

The new batsman had time to slog his way to forty-odd - he played some cultured shots as well, but the slogs got him the runs - before Gregory bowled him in the last over. Before that the right-handed opener had attempted the KP switch-hit against Chris's first ball, and nearly played on. Now we got a variant of the shot. The new batsman, with two balls to face, took guard left-handed and played his first ball in an orthodox manner, though rather badly, and was nearly stumped. When the last ball came he switched hands after the ball had been delivered (plenty of time for that at Gregory's pace), shoved it down to what was now long-on for a couple, and then as we walked off explained that he was really a right-hander anyway.

To get the runs we needed contributions from three or four batsmen. Ahmad, however, was out first ball, bowled by one that didn't seem to do much. Perhaps he didn't pick it up in the dark. The rain had stopped. Andy confused everybody by taking an off stump guard and then batting off middle and leg, and hit a few dramatic blows before one went straight up in the air. Matt, who has struggled to score quickly this year, seemed to be finding his touch and he and Chintan gave us some hope. But Matt got a thin edge to a widish ball he would probably rather have left alone. Max stayed with Chintan for a while, but it was only after he was out, deceived by a possibly accidental slower ball, that Chintan really got going. He and Alex did enough to worry Hinton Charterhouse, but we felt that we were always losing and so it proved: by the time they were both out in quick succession the asking rate had risen too far. We lost in the end by thirty runs. Probably we had rather the worse of the conditions, which were damp and dismal. With a little more or less luck it could have been fifteen runs or forty-five, but Hinton Charterhouse always seemed to have a bit in reserve.

Fixtures & Results 2008

Cricket bat and ball