Result: Sunbury Squires won by 1 run
Team batting first: Sunbury Squires
|1||A Khan||Ct M Suckling||Abol||22|
|3||M Nichols||Ct Abol||J James||7|
|4||M Serpent||Ct M James||Abol||0|
|5||S Singh||Ct Cavanagh||Abol||52|
|6||S Rajkumar||Ct and Bowled||Abol||8|
|9||N Clark *||DNB|
|For 6 wickets||(35 overs)||165|
|L Rishi Nelson-Jones||7||0||29||0|
Team batting second: Stragglers of Asia
|1||C Suckling||Ct Clarke||Stewart-Turner||4|
|3||T Russell||Ct Price||Khan||22|
|4||R Bell||Ct Brown||Nichols||15|
|6||M Suckling +||Bowled||Nichols||5|
|7||L Rishi Nelson-Jones||Ct Singh||Nichols||1|
|10||J Cavanagh *||Not||Out||3|
|11||M Abol (g)||DNB|
|For 8 wickets||(35 overs)||164|
Stragglers travelled from far and wide to gather at Sunbury for the last day of the Sunbury cricket week, the Stragglers of Asia versus Sunbury Squires Bill Kincaid memorial match, traditionally played as a 35 over game with a maximum of 7 overs per bowler.
Stragglers won the toss and elected to bowl. The Stragglers opening bowlers were the teenager Joel James, elected to membership at the 2019 AGM, bowling off-spin, and Milind Abol, in his second match as a guest for the Stragglers, with his fast-medium skidders. Sunbury started aggressively – Khan in particular smiting productively – and it was with some relief that Abol had Khan caught. With Khan gone Stragglers were able to control the scoring a little better, Abol, James, Rishi Nelson-Jones and Lerwill all completing very economical spells, and guest Abol doing particularly well to finish with 4 wickets. Sunbury closed on 165 – many short of their likely score had Stragglers not snared a couple of the Sunbury blades relatively cheaply and then choked the scoring in the middle of the innings.
Stragglers got off to a very positive start – Suckling clipping the first ball of the innings for 4…but alas next ball he holed out to midwicket. There followed a patient, composed partnership between Mike James and Russell, putting away the bad balls and keeping the scoreboard ticking. It turned out that the Sunbury skipper had kept some his better bowlers in reserve; in particular the introduction of Nichols to the attack had great impact. Nichols, left-arm round, fast-medium, looked part Mitchell Johnson, in the pumping arms and the gather, and part Wasim Akram, with his ‘spirited’ run-up emerging late from behind the umpire – this indeed proving something of a challenge to umpire Eyre Maunsell who had a job on merely deciding where to stand. Anyway suffice to say Nichols’ 6 overs, 2 maidens, 5 for 8 ripped through the Stragglers middle order.
Given Sunbury’s modest score however, and the good stand between James and Russell, and the Sunbury skipper’s aggressive choice of his leg-spinner to bowl the death overs, Stragglers were still in it. A superb lower order stand between Lerwill (19) and Joel James (who was to finish on 27*) managed the chase from 45 needed off the last 5 overs, to 29 required from the last 3 overs, down to 15 runs required off the last, to be bowled by the Sunbury leg-spinner Higgins – with which Bill Kincaid would have been delighted, of course. Lerwill took 2 off the first ball but then fell to the second; Cavanagh then scrambled a 2 and then a 1 from the next two; leaving James to score 10 off the last two balls for victory. He hit a four off the penultimate ball, and off the last ball of the match hit one high, high into the leg side… which landed agonisingly only inches inside the boundary to go for ‘only’ four…
“Lost By 1 Run” it will say the book – but what a thriller! A most enjoyable afternoon of cricket – Bill would have loved it.