Buccaneers beat Hoddesdon by 7 wickets
Kim Ross battled through the perils of the North Circular and last ditch cry-offs to lead the Buccaneers to their most satisfying victory for many a moon on Sunday with the most impressive match-winning century by a debutant match manager within living memory.
Reinforcing the old adage that the Buccaneers are strong when South Africa are strong, this thrilling run chase was signed, sealed and delivered entirely by men from the land that gave us Trott, Pietersen, Prior & Strauss.
After Warwick Okines’ new career as an opening bat was rudely interrupted by a jaffer from Davis, Scott Power lived up to his Hollywood heritage with a muscular display of quality strokeplay in an exciting stand of 144 with his skipper. There seemed no reason why this pair shouldn’t win the game on their own on a decent pitch and a parched, bumpy outfield. But Power unaccountably missed an arm-ball from Curtis to be bowled for a fine 80. Paul Larkin helped add another 20 before being adjudged lbw.
Ross Smyth then kept Ross company in an increasingly urgent partnership. As the overs ticked by, the running became more frantic, the fielding more desperate and Ross more inventive with his trademark range of cuts. With the target just a boundary away and the great left-hander on 99, Smyth almost spoiled the party with clog to leg. Happily square leg grabbed it and gave Ross the chance to seal his 2nd century of the weekend and a great win with 9 balls to spare.
However, this victory had been set up by the bowling of in-form off-breaker Simon Woolfries (3-30) and high class left-arm spinner Power (2-46) who put a brake of Hoddesdon’s headlong charge and restricted the target to reachable proportions.
Hoddesdon’s openers had made a flying start on a hard pitch against two of their own youngsters who had been kindly lent to the Buccaneers. Having reached 61 in 10 overs, young Andrews was dazzlingly caught high in the gully by Woolfries off Maughan. Power then bowled the dangerous Purves at the same score.
But Curtis and Handy continued the onslaught until Larkin unexpectedly bowled Handy and had Walters caught off a high full toss first ball. Power then bowled Walters for a duck and the Buccaneers were back in business at 113-5. But, accompanied by the disconcertingly confident young Fryers, Curtis cracked on and looked like setting a tall total until he was crucially deceived by Woolfries’ non-turner.
This sparked another cluster of wickets, with the sturdy Fryers finally being caught and bowled for a valiant 16 by a Hack at least 50 years his senior and Davis being bowled by Woolfries for a duck. Sturdy strode in to provide a sting in the tail and set a target that didn’t prove quite testing enough.
B. Andrews c Woolfries b Maughan 18
C. Purves b Power 41
J. Curtis b Woolfries 81
C. Handy b Larkin 29
R. Walters c Woolfries b Larkin 0
H. Spicer b Power 0
T. Fryers c and b Gwynn 16
S.Davis b Woolfries 0
G.Duke c Smyth b Woolfries 6
A. Sturdy not out 28
Total (all out) 223
Fall of wickets: 1-61, 2-61, 108-3, 108-4, 5-113, 6-185, 7-185, 8-189, 9-223
Pells 5 -0-32-0
K. Ross not out 104
W.Okines b Davis 0
S. Power b Curtis 80
P. Larkin lbw b Curtis 14
R. Smyth not out 14
Total (3 wkts) 226
Fall of wickets: 1-2, 2-146, 3-166