Played at Shepperton CC.
Result: I Zingari Australia won by 155 runs
Team batting first: I Zingari Australia
|1||Hodge S||Ct Razvi||Whyte||30|
|3||Isakka J||Ct Perry||Whyte||95|
|4||Lovell D +||Bowled||Surendran||94|
|5||Bryant M (c)||Not out||1|
|6||Van der Merwe B +||Ct Surendran||Whyte||0|
|7||Burgess M||Did not bat|
|8||Isakka R||Did not bat|
|9||Hodge M||Did not bat|
|10||Nuttall A||Did not bat|
|11||Pope E||Did not bat|
|For 5 wickets||Declared||278|
Team batting second: Stragglers of Asia
|1||Cavanagh J||Ct van der Merwe||Isakka R||0|
|3||Carmichael T (g)||Bowled||Burgess||59|
|4||Razvi S||Ct Lovell M||Hammond||4|
|5||Shales M (c)||Ct van der Merwe||Burgess||19|
|7||Surendran P||Ct Pope||Hambleton||4|
|9||Pegler T (g)||LBW||Pope||4|
|10||Whyte T||Not out||9|
|11||Perry I + (MM)||Ct Lovell M||Hodge M||14|
On yet another glorious sunny day, Stragglers faced I Zingari Australia in the last match of IZ Auatralia’s tour of England, kindly hosted by Shepperton CC. Having vanquished all bar one of their previous opponents around the country, the tourists were in fine mood and having won the toss were quick to grab first use of an uncharacteristically greenish (but distinctly batsman-friendly) pitch.
Local advice suggested taking the pace off the ball on this supreme batting track, and Stragglers went into the game with a battery of bowlers equipped to do that. IZ’s annoyingly youthful openers however had other ideas and settled in rapidly, lifting the score to an ominous 65 before losing teenager Seb Hodge in the 10th over. The 16-year-old Jackson Isakka joined Mark Lovell and the pair batted with composure for the next ten overs before Lovell fell to Whyte immediately after completing his half-century. This brought the free-scoring 18-year-old Davey Lovell to join Isakka and the pair started to accelerate the scoring, being particularly harsh on Pegler and Surendran.
At lunch, Nino Trapani, having kept wicket with his usual enthusiasm through the morning’s 36 overs, retired ill (thankfully recovered soon afterwards) and was replaced by Ian Perry behind the stumps. Both Isakka and Lovell fell quickly after lunch, agonisingly short of their centuries, prompting a declaration setting Stragglers a generous-looking 279 to win. Whyte and Carmichael were probably the pick of a rather savagely-mauled bowling attack, maintaining some measure of control while the others suffered the worst of the onslaught.
In reply Stragglers had to contend with scoreboard pressure, a confident opposition and the swings and arrows of outrageous fortune, several of the batsmen falling to unexpected LBWs or the thinnest of edges to an equally-surprised keeper. Carmichael and Shales added a counter-punching 45 with vigour and grace, before Shales fell. Carmichael continued, hitting Burgess for 6 and 4 in successive balls to reach his 50, followed by another 6, before falling to the medium-pacer’s nagging swing. This heralded another flurry of wickets before Perry and Whyte came together with a mere 187 needed for victory in the remaining 20 overs. A flurry of hoicks, pokes, swats and jabs from Perry helped lift the score to 123 before tour organiser Mark Hodge wrapped things up for IZ.
Notwithstanding the erratic nature of some of the Stragglers’ dismissals, the game was played in wonderful spirit. I Zingari Australia were delightful guests, the players well supported by many of the families and Gentleman- and Lady tourists who had travelled hither and yon around the country over the preceding fortnight. Thanks are due to Shepperton for providing an excellent venue and to the (anonymous) local restaurant whose curry offering for lunch was the talk of the tour.