Bentworth v Odiham & Greywell IIs – 8th July 2017

A wonderful sunny day Bentworth ground looking in fine fettle, splendid new caps in a fetching pastel shade of blue (advert: courtesy of Ken’s sister) and a team of 11 good men and true – featuring a few returning heroes and some newer faces – what could be better? Time to play cricket for the mighty Bs !

Stand in skip Doc C won the toss and with the optimism of a school lad on his first date decided to take first use of the wicket. To back words with actions Doc C strode to the wicket with New Ben looking every inch like BCCs answer to Edrich and Compton or Greenwich and Haynes. Past batting misdemeanors forgotten, the BCC openers took to the O&G bowlers with a combination of caution and attack, slaying anything off line and putting on a fine opening stand of 50, maybe more, before New Ben having made a fine 30+ essayed one pull too far. Not unlike his last attempt at something ambitious on the dance floor it proved to be his downfall as the ball rattled his stumps. But a fine start.

Chairman Old Rich strode in at no 3 again revealing what has been a paucity of batting for the home team but denying his true status as a late middle order basher, resisted temptation and together with Doc C settled in and continued to accumulate runs. As the O&G II change bowlers came on the batters were faced with a rare conundrum. Is it gentlemanly to thump a lady out of the ground (in a cricketing sense that is)? Well chairman decided as there were no press around a cheeky swing here and there couldn’t hurt and advanced the score quite rapidly whilst Doc C was more measured but equally effective. The score advanced to the heady heights of 150-1 by the second drinks break and really not familiar with success, skip decided to get out for a well made 37. George came in and with his wonderful lazy swing dispatched a few balls to far parts of the ground before playing a shot too far and having his timbers rattled as well. Chair got himself to 80 odd before deciding it was time to play like a real batsman and see if he could achieve immortality with a home ton and promptly got out to the persevering lady offie and a good grab at slip. A word should be said about the oppo skipper who bowled an incredibly miserly spell of slow stuff and kept BCC from racing away too far. All other batters contributed but a special mention in disptaches to (a) Old Ben for batting without a box and (b) Jezza who flayed vital runs at the end of the innings to boost the BCC score to a credible 227/7.

And now to the main event and time for another sister to shine. This time Old Ben’s sister who pulled out the stops to produce some cakes out of the top draw edging her into top position in the patisserie league for 2017. A perfect compliment to the beef and coronation chicken sandwiches as The Sun also produced the goods.

BCC waddled out into the field suitably sustained to see if a team seemingly brimming with bowlers could defend our total. A steady start from the O&G openers against the metronomic Kenny McGrath and mercurial Amin was broken by that most rare of sights on a cricket field, a catch by the chairman. This was followed by a laser like yorker from Amin to skittle the other opener. Thereafter O&G batsmen all got starts but a combination of the persistent Hazza (who failed to perform the greatly anticipated slug when he got his just rewards), pacey Sam, Old Ben – who having got over a minor strop (ahem!) set about proving what a good little bowler he is – and Chairman with his mixed bag of slow stuff kept the wickets coming. A word here for New Ben behind the sticks who was frequently challenged by some leg theory from his bowlers and who pulled off a quick silver stumping. A great effort after his recent injury…… Also worthy of special mention for their services to fielding were Amin and Sam for keeping it very tight on the singles and Dom. Forget the couple of half chances he shelled (inspite of very helpful suggestions from the rest of BCC’s yoof policy as the balls climbed skywards towards him ), he did a great job chasing down and whistling throws in from the boundary to save vital runs.

However O&G wouldn’t lie down and BCC having glimpsed victory so many times started to fear another second place. Cometh the hour, cometh the man . With Kenny back on to tie up one end Doc C limbered up, measured his run and after minimal stretching set off to see what magic he could perform. Immediately hitting a good line and length like the true Senior Pro he is, he got their key batter out plumb in front of his sticks. Still BCC couldn’t close the game out and palms started to get sticky as the good lady player of O&G was joined by their no 11 and she hit some lovely boundaries. With 8 needed off the last over, Bothamesque Doc C grabbed the ball and set about the task in hand. A couple of top deliveries shifted the pressure and sure enough O&G blinked first. Trying a cheeky second to Jezza was never a good move and his bullet of a throw was caught by New Ben who whipped off the bails and at last a win for The Bs .  by a mere 7 runs.

Top team effort and maximum points for the boys!

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