Result: Lost by 5 wickets
After the biblical storms across England on the night of 18/19 July, it was only with sterling efforts of the ground staff and support from the umpires that a game could be played.
Stragglers fielded a strong team but with conditions as they were – leaks from the covers having left two wet swathes across the track – it was not surprising that MCC adjusted the normal ‘MCC always bat first’ protocol to “Stragglers to bat first”…and so ensued a disappointing morning.
Hooper was away quicker, with two firmly struck boundaries, but then dragged on; Cavanagh scratched around a bit before succumbing to a skidder from Hooey (also a Straggler of course). Salter’s bat looked typically wide until he went, leg before; of the Stragglers top order Bradshaw looked the most comfortable and promising before he was caught behind off Hooey for 15. With Chakrabarti, Savage, Asher and guest/candidate Khan all falling to the MCC spinners, the teams took lunch with Stragglers at 88-8….despite the usual excellent Ascott Park spread, not great for the appetite. After lunch Melhorn and guest/candidate Nelson-Jones, with a stand of 48, the second-highest the day, took Stragglers towards a more respectable score, Vila and Nelson-Jones then adding a few more to take the total to 132. Nelson-Jones top-scored with an impressive 37 from No 10.
132 was unlikely to be enough but the Stragglers made a go of it. Khan and Vila both impressed with the ball, each bowling three spells as Stragglers tried changes in search of wickets. Khan made the breakthrough, hustling one through to bowl the dangerous-looking Wigley; Khan came back later to bowl the MCC top scorer and finish with 2-41. Vila took 3-44, with two well caught behind by Asher, and one well caught by Hooper at slip. Nelson-Jones bowled a very promising eight overs of leg-spin, but without reward. While there was a miss and a close LBW shout in the gloom towards the end, MCC completed a 5-wicket win comfortably early. The famous defeat of MCC was thus postponed by two years.
After the match players from both sides repaired to The Cock Inn in Wing for a drink or two and the MCC players made a point of expressing their gratitude for the game being played at all; in their experience most clubs would have cancelled, given the conditions.
Team Batting First: Stragglers of Asia
|1||Joe Cavanagh||Bowled||D Hooey||5|
|9||S Khan (g)||Caught||Grace||5|
|10||L Nelson-Jones (g)||Bowled||Hooey||37|
|Extras: 19||TOTAL: 132 all out|
Team Batting Second: MCC
|1||S Waters||Ct Asher||T Vila||11|
|2||P Wigley||Bowled||S Khan||17|
|3||R James||Ct Hooper||T Vila||29|
|4||G Grace||Bowled||S Khan||41|
|5||J Bracey||Ct Asher||T Vila||0|
|Extras: 12||TOTAL: 130 for 5|