BCCC 199-7 (35 overs) v Church Stretton 134-8 Won by 65 runs Pontesbury 232 v BCCC 233-3 Won by 7 wickets
Sunshine in Shropshire! Almost unknown. 2 wins. Maiden century for George. Phil back in the runs. 5 wickets for J-Lo, who also ran a 4 hour BBQ on Saturday night.
1. Sunday 30 May.
BCCC. 199/7 off 35. Church Stretton 134/8 off 35.
We were celebrating the centenary of the church stretton club. They have produced a book of their history in which we feature, as we have now played them for 40 years. One of their originals from 1981 kept wicket (possibly why we won). Wal, Al and I also survive from the first fixture.
Graeme won the toss, which was useful as we had stronger batting than bowling. But it was not an outstanding performance. We got to 199/7, but only because they conceded 72 wides, no-balls and byes. Keith and Justin jointly top-scored, with contributions from Johnny and George. Henry missed a straight one. No-one really got going, though some of the bowling was difficult to hit, and the bounce was very uneven. It has been very wet there.
Keith 29, Kesh 7, J-Lo 21, Justin 29, Henry 0 (did I mention that he missed a slow straight one?), George 19, Phil 10*, Leon 1, Graeme 11*.
Excellent tea. Henry did very well.
They started fairly well, and though they only reached 134/8 and were never up with the required rate, if you forget extras they scored only about 15 fewer runs. Apart from outstanding spells by Adi at the start and Johnny at the end our bowling was bit ho-hum. No-one was taken apart, however.
Kesh 1/23 off 3, Adi 2/14 off seven. Henry 0/15 (so ?? ?? ) off 5, Wal 0/20 off 7, so very tight at an important time, Leon 2/26 off 4, Johnny 3/11 off only 3 overs.
Friendly drinks afterwards and al fresco dinner at Walcot.
2. Monday 31 May
A new fixture at Pontesbury, near Shrewsbury. Pleasant ground, better quality pitch. They run 3 teams and a junior section. So quite a serious club. Couple of first teamers turned out. Very hospitable bunch. BBQ for tea.
Graeme lost the toss and they started very quickly. Leon had left his radar at Church Stretton, but everyone suffered at the hands of two very strong openers. One looked well-set for 100 when Wal tempted him to a lofted on-drive which George Parish took well. Out for 83. That slowed them down a bit, but they kept the score moving. Only tight (and in Johnny’s case aggressive) spells by Johnny and Henry (who got 0 and no wickets at Stretton, in case I haven’t mentioned that) kept the score down to 231.
Graeme 0/14 off 4. Leon (look away now) 0/49 off 4. Wal 1/51 off 7 (but the vital one). Ludlow 2/26 off 7. Henry 2/27 off 7. George 0/50 off 6.
It looked like a big ask and we started slowly against young and fairly quick openers. Both our openers fell quite cheaply. The mercury rose, and it was No Country for Old Men. Henry picked up the pace with a couple of sixes hit into mid Wales and when George came in at 47/2 the rate accelerated, but when Henry was caught in the deep for an excellent 59 we still needed over a hundred at 8 an over.
George took over the striker role quickly. Phil began by farming the bowling to give George the strike and the latter found his range, with 4x6 and 13 boundaries all round the wicket. Particularly strong off the back foot. Lots of quick singles too. As umpire I ascertained that they did have a defibrillator for Phil should it be needed, which seemed very likely. Phil also found the boundary and stroked a number of 2s as gaps opened up in the field. George passed his hundred, for the first time for Barnes after over 20 years of attempts, and looked in no trouble at any stage. (there’s a phrase about monkeys, typewriters and Shakespeare which comes to mind). He took us past their score with a lovely on drive for 4.
They clearly didn’t expect us to chase down 232, but were very nice about it.
Keith 14. Graeme 9. (stumped, unusually, trying to get the score moving). Henry 59 more than the previous day. George 111*. Phil 25* (so undefeated on tour).
MOM: George D, with an honourable mention to George P for the catch.
Next year is a very long holiday weekend, so there was idle talk of playing 3 games. I wonder....