Buccaneers’ festival cricket in the sun

Mark Lawrence Memorial Trophy – Lindfield 121 all out, Buccs 122-7 Won by 3 wickets

In sunbaked conditions at Lindfield in rural West Sussex, a vibrant Buccs team outplayed a youthful Lindfield side to win by three wickets.

The hosts chose to bat first on a hard, dry pitch and the Buccs opening attack of Caspar Milne and Hamish Robertson had the home team four down inside the first 10 overs. Caspar was too quick through the air, knocking back off stump and middle stump in successive overs. Hamish relied on lateral movement and his brother and keeper Ollie took the catch of the day in front of first slip. Hamish then hit the top of off with a “Jimmy” away swinger starting on leg.

‘Leafy’ West Sussex took over with Georgie and Simon combining to tie the opposition down in overs 10-20. G, unlike her love island namesake, bowled an immaculate line and length and was unlucky not to get among the wickets. Simon flirted (again like Love Island) with the Lindfield batters with his “almost but not quite” half volleys on off stump and used gravity to extract turn down the slope. Hamish took a smart catch at extra to remove Geoffrey Lawrence on the drive, and there was a foolhardy attempt to sweep a straight one which attracted the attention of the umpire’s finger.

At 80 odd for 6, with half the overs used, the Aussie pro arrived at the wicket. It really could have gone either way, but Ludo Milne started to get a head of steam down the hill and bowled the quickest spell of the day. The pro drove on the up to Hamish at extra who took another sharp chance. Ollie gobbled two more behind the stumps and number 10 was trapped in front. The Milne boys had snaffled six wickets between them (L Milne 5.1 overs 4 for 13) and the Robertson boys had caught five catches. The youth of the team were leading the way as Lindfield reached 121 of 28 overs.

122 to win off 35 overs with a lightening fast outfield was never going to be problem for a Buccs team packed with stroke makers. Ollie opened-up with his dad and proceeded to bat by numbers with watchful defense on balls 1 to 3 and then a crunching drives balls 4 to 5 with judicious single on ball six. Neil clothed one his drives to mid-on and Ollie smashed a long hop into a cloudless sky. Buccs were favored by Lindfield with the gift of an 11th player in the name of Pete.

Pete with local knowledge played the anchor role around which Rob Rydon played minimalist batting. Pulls and drives only and no singles please. After the drinks break with Buccs sitting at 60 odd for 2, Rob pulled out the sand wedge from Carnoustie and chipped in from 35 yards. Alex Rydon met his father coming out and plundered a few quick runs before getting an adverse lbw decision. The local, Pete, caught the kamikaze bug chipping back at the bowler for a well-made 45 and Ludo tried to finish the match in a few lusty blows before slashing to backward point. Six down and a few to get.

Two new batters at the crease with less than 10 to win. Could the youth finish it? No – Caspar cleaned up first ball by Geoffrey Lawrence and a mad scramble in the pavilion for pads and bats. Luckily Simon avoided being timed out and steadied the ship. With the impetuosity of youth on his side, Hamish launched a massive drive over extra to win the match for Buccaneers.

Thank you all who played, and cricket was the winner. The Trophy stays with the Buccs for another year at least.

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