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Venturers vs Hampset Wednesday August 12th

Hampset 120-? Venturers 121-5

The Australians have been sent instructions from their board to keep sledging to a minimum in this year's Ashes. The Venturers were left considering giving a similar message to Alistair after he tried to run out one of Hampset's openers and then loudly suggested that the man in question was not exactly calorifically challenged and that there might be more chances to come.

Unfortunately for us that wasn't the only similarity between the Hampset batter and the great Inzamam-ul-Haq, as he regularly flicked the ball with an easy grace over midwicket for several boundaries. His partner at the other end also looked a good player and we were under the cosh when he hit a ball from Kevin straight back down the wicket. Kevin reached down and got a touch on the ball before it crashed into the non-striker's wicket, brilliantly running out the first opener (although perhaps not in the way Alistair had imagined).

The rest of Hampset's batting line-up were not quite as talented as the first pair, and we came back into the game thanks to some good spin bowling from Saurabh. The opening bat was still going well though, and proved too good for Matt's bowling, before Tom Robinson came on and kept everyone guessing by interspersing great line and length with some very short balls that were difficult to get away. There was also a stumping carried out by Alex C off the bowling of Alex W (after some discussion over whether it was a run out or a stumping we realized that Gregory wasn't playing, so we could put it down as a stumping anyway and no-one would mind). Finally the opener reached fifty and sportingly retired, but the innings was almost over by then - save for yet another run-out, by Alistair, off the last ball. We had kept Hampset to 120 thanks in large part to their lack of enthusiasm for running between the wickets.

Tom Rosoman and Matt opened the batting and immediately put the Hampset running to shame, which when combined with a few well-chosen hits to the short boundary on one side (and some interesting shoulder-high leg-side beamers past the keeper) meant that we got well ahead of the rate, reaching 63 from just 8 overs. Then Hampset's second opening bat (who we were told opened the bowling and batted at 8 for the Hampset first team) came on and despite bowling off a short run accounted for Tom and ended up bowling four overs for just four runs. Matt soon followed, bowled by a good ball from a spinner who got plenty of turn and bounce but tended to bowl too short. But the quick start meant the middle order weren't overly stressed for time and they all chipped in, the highlights being two straight fours for Kevin off the spinner and Alistair's first ever six (Alistair thus becoming one of several Venturers to achieve that honour this year) over long on.

Hampset then brought on two of their younger members, who bowled well and accounted for the wickets of Alex W, Kevin and Alistair, leaving some of our team slightly nervous on the sidelines. Alex C and Simon D, though, had other ideas, and calmly dragged us closer to the line. Alex hit two fours to calm the nerves somewhat, although it took until halfway through the final over before the deciding single finally came. Another satisfying win extended a good run for the Venturers; although Hampset probably had slightly more in their locker than they showed us, they played the game in a good spirit, giving their youngsters a chance and taking our sledging in (we hope) good humour!

Fixtures & Results 2009

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