Result: Lost by 7 Wickets
Will Russell lost the toss and unsurprisingly the IZ decided to bowl first on what appeared to be a green and rather interesting looking track under some cloudy skies. However Russell W and Hooper got the club off to a good start sharing a partnership of 84 just before lunch, with the pitch doing little to assist the opening bowlers by way of movement or variable bounce. The partnership was developing well as both players latched onto any short of a length having remained patient in the opening encounters. Russell was the first to fall minutes before the break for 46, when trying to steer the ball to the leg side off Curtis, catching a leading edge to square leg breaking the opening partnership. This brought the younger Russell to the crease at 3 and a Russell partnership wasn’t to be! Hooper raced to his fifty pulling the ball well and playing every ball on his merit, until a long hop bowled shortly after lunch by Wynne-Griffith became too tempting and an effort to pull it over the short long leg boundary resulted in a slow and loopy bounce ending up on Hoopers pads well after the shot had been played, LBW given. The pitch was showing signs of varying pace, but it was a watchful and well accumulated 72 for Hooper who batted well and certainly showed his experience and abilities with the bat.
Russell T kept the scoreboard ticking scoring a stylish 36 with wickets falling around him, but was eventually done by the fuller ball by Curtis outside the off stump and caught in the covers. The pick of the bowling for the IZ was Curtis who ended on 4-57 and he was well supported by Gubbins at the other end. We ended 202 all out (for 9 wickets with one player short), and rather disappointingly not the 250+ as was hoped having been 131-2, but the IZ must take credit for bowling with discipline and setting high standards in the field.
The IZ reply was initially well contained by some tight bowling by Hooper and Lerwill, however with only one wicket early on off the bowling of Hooper, and with Troughton accumulating stylishly one end, we were on the back foot for most of the afternoon and staring down the barrel of defeat as we went into tea. Horsten, playing in his first game for the Stragglers as a guest, bowled with good control and whilst trying to entice the batsman into attacking the short boundary, it was Troughton and Gibbs’s day and few chances were given and the middle of the bat being found on most occasions. Troughton ended his innings and carrying his bat for an impressive 100 not out with Gibbs striking a classy 54 off just 35 balls. The IZ chased the score down with just 3 wickets fallen and the Stragglers losing the game by 7 wickets. Despite the result, the game was once again played in excellent spirit and upholding the wandering ethos throughout.