Haxted CC (26/06/2022)

Result: DRAW

 

WEEKENDERS BOOK IN FOR LUNCH, TEA & FINE WINE BUT GAME ENDS IN BALL OF CONFUSION

 

Haxted CC 208-6 (41 overs) (or 190-6, or 194-6?)

 

Orwell 12–2-39-1, B.Husaini  7-3-11-2, d’Inverno 5-0-38-1, M. Husaini 8-1-43-1, 

J. Lyons 4-0-21-0, T. Lyons 5-0-26-1

Catches: 2 x Brockis, T. Lyons, J. Lyons, Orwell

Extras 18 (or 9?)

Oscar 78, Alex 51 not out (or 46 not out?)

 

WCC 118-6

(32 overs) 

T. Lyons 15, Hargroves 1, H. Husaini 6, Brockis 23, B. Husaini 26, Orwell 20, M. Husaini 2 Not out, Smee 0 not out

DNB: d'Inverno

Extras: 19

 

In our second year playing Haxted, we once again travelled to Starborough Manor on the Kent / Surrey border. Haxted used to play at the Hayley’s family farm with tea taken in the tumbledown barn which looked straight out of a staging of ‘La Fille Mal Gardeé’. The pitch at Starborough Manor was more ‘Rite of Spring’, as its corrugated, patchy surface produced surprising and violent bounce at times, at odds with the genteel splendour of the rest of the venue.

 

Haxted invoked a local playing condition where no batter can be given out LBW on the front foot and no batter is out if bowled by a ‘scuttler’. After some grumbling about the definition of ‘front foot’ and ‘scuttler’, the Enders took to the field with Haxted opting to bat. The opening bowlers found the pitch offered wild, unpredictable bounce but not much lateral movement, either off the seam or in the air. However, Blake Husaini arced a few in at the right handers to clean up the oppo skipper.

 

Orwell induced a glove behind to keeper Brockis, and Jules took a sharp catch at point from a Max Husaini leg-break to make Haxted 40-odd for 4. After some fireworks by Christy, Orwell accidentally caught a flat-batted screamer while taking evasive action at mid-on, hit from a d’Inverno full-toss, bringing to the crease the long-haired Oscar.

 

Oscar and Alex, filial emissaries of older Haxted players, attacked the change bowlers, riding their luck as Dave Hargroves unusually spilled two fairly routine chances at mid off. They put on nearly 100 together and the ‘Enders readied themselves to begin the batting response but inexplicably, with more than enough runs in the tank, Haxted continued. We had a glimpse of a riled Toby Lyons after he was tonked to the boundary as our usually mild-mannered team-mate fired a chest-high bouncing bomb through to Brockis who snaffled the catch expertly. 

 

The tea was again breathtaking - despite departing from the Malaysian banquet of last year; the Provence-inflected English spread, with delicious wine, was superb.

 

Back to the match, opening bat Dr Dave completed a match to forget as he was bowled after a series of wayward and eccentrically-bouncing deliveries evaded his swinging bat. Toby wisely tried to attack on the front foot, but runs were hard to come by with very few balls travelling in a hittable zone. After Brockis, Blake and Nas had all departed trying to attack the inconsistent bounce, the required run-rate was too steep on the large playing surface, making the draw inevitable. Ironically, the only beneficiary of the ’no-scuttler’ rule was grumbler-in-chief Orwell, after a short-of-a-length ball skimmed the surface to hit the base of middle stump only to be recalled by the sporting oppo.

 

After a forensic examination of the scorebook, the correct target total seemed a matter of some conjecture - eagle-eyed accountants might struggle to find accord between the various columns with a possible eighteen run discrepancy apparent. Ultimately, we never got close, and maybe the scores mattered less than a spirited game of cricket in beautiful surroundings with plenty of cake at the interval.