Sunday 15 June Stragglers of Asia vs Butterflies
Result: Won by 110 runs
Team Batting First: Stragglers of Asia
|1||Phil McDuell (capt)||Caught Richardson||Maxwell||56|
|4||R Garratt (g)||RUN||OUT||15|
|7||H Banks (g)||RUN||OUT||0|
|Extras: 13||TOTAL: 239 for 6 dec|
Team Batting Second: Butterflies
|1||Richardson||Caught J McDuell||H Banks||43|
|3||W Weaving||Caught & bowled||H Banks||12|
|4||J Weaving||LBW||H Banks||11|
|5||F Payne||Caught R Pollock-Hill||A Duff||11|
|7||D Ross||LBW||A Duff||0|
|8||F Chalk||Bowled||R Pollock-Hill||0|
|Extras: 7||TOTAL: 116 all out|
To the untrained eye, the 2014 game against the Butterflies appeared beset by challenges from the start, falling on the day after a potentially hangover-inducing triple whammy of England rugby, cricket, and late night football.
Recognising this pitfall – and the further challenge of a match-day clash with Fathers’ Day – Stragglers skipper Phil McDuell craftily recruited not only both of his sons plus but also his daughter’s boyfriend for good measure. Sadly the Chief Butterfly was not blessed with such foresight and failed to rouse three of his players from their chrysalids.
Eleven Stragglers, then, versus eight Butterflies. The solution: the Stragglers would bat first and lend the Butterflies players in the field – but not batsmen.
Under such conditions P McDuell (Senior) and P McDuell (Junior) strode out to open the innings. Father and son navigated some early movement under a leaden sky, but the youngster was soon back in the pavilion: 18-1.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man-mountain. Matt Shales, showing an admirable disregard for decorum, promptly smacked his first ball back over the bowler’s head for four. It was a sign of things to come. With excellent judgement and timing on a slow pitch, Shales made his way to a chanceless half century by lunch, with the skipper also unbeaten on 49.
When McDuell fell for 56 with the score on 143-2, Shales cut loose scoring 70 of the next 96, reaching a very fine 137 not out with some support from Rob Garratt and Matt Cavanagh. Shales gave only one chance, just short of his century, but he had the good sense to pick out one of the substitute fielders. Stragglers declared on a very healthy 239-6.
Despite the Butterflies limited numbers, the Stragglers knew, given a wicket that was now fairly placid, a good performance in the field was required. Tony Alderton and Jonny McDuell promptly obliged with some tight opening overs. After four overs the Butterflies were already under pressure on 2 for 1.
There were some brief flutters of the wings from the Butterflies’ elegant middle order, but tight fielding and bowling – in particular excellent leg spin from Henry Banks – kept the wickets flowing. Banks ended with 3-27 and could have had more Butterflies trapped with his flight and guile were it not for wickets for both Robert Pollock-Hill showing all the signs of a full recovery after a nasty pre-season ankle injury, as well as Andy Duff twirling his crafty left arm spin with much success. With very welcome support from President Billy King-Harman on the boundary, the Stragglers finished off the Butterflies for 129.
Matt Shales was undisputed man-of-the-match, while Margaret’s lunch and tea brought her 145th woman-of-the-match award.
A thoroughly enjoyable game and a good win for the Stragglers.