Bentworth vs Donnington – 12th August 2017

Donnington 263 all out, BCC 217-8

It’s been 5 weeks since we last had a match, courtesy of one blank weekend and three wet ones. So what has happened since we were all last here? Significantly, Tom has had a baby, (well, technically his wife has) making the good Doctor a grandfather for a second time in as many weeks. We understand the little tyke already has the look of a decent number 7, and the ability to produce some dramatic late swing so we can all look forward to three generations of the same family turning out for Bentworth in about 15 years’ time. The football season has started again, which still seems wrong in August, the Dutch have contaminated the worlds omelettes, and Usain Bolt can’t run as fast as he used to.

Oh, and the world is on the verge of nuclear annihilation due to the inane rantings of two swiveled-eyed, narcissists with stupid hair – but that isn’t important right now because we have a cricket match to play!

Speaking of Dear Leaders, only without hair in this case, the toss was won by Bentworth with the skipper choosing to insert the opposition on a damp looking strip after biblical rains earlier in the week. The mathematicians of the side had determined that 2 wins from the remaining 3 fixtures should save us from the drop and there was no reason at all why this week should not be the start of the revival.

Ken and old Ben opened proceedings, and served up a veritable smorgasbord of half volleys and long hops which the Donnington batsmen feasted on with relish. The only glimmer of a chance falling to Ken who on reflection should probably have tried to get out of the way of a return catch rather than trying (and failing) to pouch it. At 62 for no wicket after 8 overs a long afternoon in the field seemed on the cards and decisive action was needed. The Dear Leader hastily dispatched Ben to long off for re-education, and thought leading by example was the best policy.

Now we all know Dear Leaders are capable of wonderful things. Kim Jong Il for instance did not need to use the toilet, could control the weather, and on his one outing on a golf course completed his round in 38 under par – so it should be no surprise that our Dear Leader of the day is similarly blessed.

A wicket with his fourth delivery was merely a teaser for what was to follow. In his second over he skittled Donnington’s no 3; uprooted the middle stump of the no 4 next ball; and as the field closed in for the hat-trick, clipped the top of leg as the batsman tried to leave one by walking across his stumps. Hat-trick completed he took his sweater and watched as Ken spilled another, slightly easier return catch in the following over, only to take the ball again and be denied four in a row after an lbw shout was harshly declined. Historians have since discovered this is the first time a Bentworth bowler has bowled 4 successive straight deliveries since May 1947, which coincidentally was the game in which Max made his debut.

So, from 62-0 to 67-4 in the blink of an eye and Bentworth were in with a sniff. Sadly, having already given one batsman 2 lives, and soon after dropping another difficult chance off the opposition skipper whilst on nought, the Donnington fifth wicket put on a 130 run partnership.  At 200-4 with 12 overs still to go, it again looked like we could be chasing 300, until eventually, the Chairman captured one wicket followed closely by Ben getting the second, both splendidly caught by Dave in the deep.

Ben’s sentence to hard labour on the boundary had clearly worked as he returned a new bowler in his second spell. Bowling with great variety and extracting surprising amounts of spin, he eventually polished off the tail in the final over.  An innings that had ebbed and flowed throughout, finished with Donnington 263 all out, with the good Doctor and Ben taking four apiece, and Rich and Ken sharing the balance.

After a tea, generous in the iced buns and cupcakes department, Bentworth set about chasing down their target, with the Dear Leader and James first up.

James fell cheaply having chipped one to mid-on, but this brought to the wicket our in-form Chairman, joining the Dear Leader in a partnership that had proved lucrative in the previous game. And so it was to prove again, with the pair putting on a season’s best partnership of 143 and giving us at least half a chance of an unlikely victory. Eventually, Andy fell for 46 in the 32nd over and Rich for 87 two overs later with the score now on 164.

All was not lost, Trev showed his intent by hitting his first ball for four, and a few overs of George’s swashbuckling could still see us home. George duly swashed, sending a ball near into orbit and seemingly destined for the waters of Guam, only for the missile to stall and come crashing down into the hands of a Donnington fielder.

Amin and Ben did their best to keep up the momentum but whilst the runs continued to flow, the run rate was too steep and eventually Bentworth finished at 217-8, at least securing maximum batting and bowling points in defeat.

So, after a 5 week hiatus, a highly enjoyable game against a good and friendly team, rounded off with a visit to their local to sample the delights of the local butcher, including the butchers daughter!

Ken

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