A tale of jumpers, caps, boots and ties as season opens at Forest Row

Forest Row offered its usual early season setting; work-in-progress outfield, sticky dog wicket and 30 yard boundary on one side, as the Buccaneers gathered in good time to win the toss and chose to field first for their allotted 35 overs. Founder Geoffrey Moore would have been proud that the team looked smart as it took to the field, some resplendent in monogrammed caps.

The Forest Row openers faced Moules and Berry, a testing right/left combination. Moules – all furious pace, like a modern day Waqar Younis, while Berry played the part of Wasim Akram, hooping it around in helpful conditions. Berry picked up the wickets of Gardner and Carter to smart catches from Milne pater and minor.

The cold weather made fielding testing although much was made of original woollen and very warm Buccaneers jumpers, available from Castell & Sons in Oxford (www.varsityshop.co.uk, +44 1865 244000).

The Forest Row team lost wickets regularly at one end through strong ground fielding, while Holmes on his own, with 74, led the assault on young Ludo – aided by the shortest of short boundaries. However, Ludo showed true grit and determination to weather the storm and returned creditable figures of 1-56 off seven overs. The brake was then applied admirably by Hobbs with 5-19 off seven overs and this was combined with some dynamic catching, especially by Dave Close who snaffled a sharp one that would have disturbed the bread basket if he hadn’t pouched it.

The total of 160 off 30 overs looked competitive.

After a tea with excellent scones and clotted cream, the Buccaneers opened in confident style with Vollers and the rejuvenated Ludo Milne putting on 81 for the first wicket. The wicket started at this point to get a little sporty, with the older members remarking on what Derek Underwood would have managed on it.

After Chakravarti and Swinn perished cheaply, Moules showed that he is in fact Imran Khan rather than Waqar Younis with some clean hitting. At this point victory looked assured, until one smashed straight drive from Moules dropped agonisingly short and into the safe hands of a fielder. The skipper was still confident that with the combined might of Berry, Hobbs, Fletcher and Milne, the last defence of Close and Stringer would not be needed. It was.

With 12 runs needed and 7 overs left the last pair came together and nurdled their way (without much alarm, although a lot of questionable appealing) to 160 with 3 overs to go. Then the red mist descended and Dave saw a Brathwaite like-moment appearing. Alas the ball fell obligingly to a Forest Row fielder and a tie was the result.

The clothing theme for the afternoon was completed as Ludo’s cricket boots (previously left in the dressing room) were safely delivered to their grateful owner and his glowering father. Cold War tension (a subject of Ludo’s GCSE revision) seemed alive and well in the Milne household as they departed.

Innings of Forest Row

J Holmes b Hobbs 74
D Gardner ct L Milne b Berry 9
A Carter ct J Milne b Berry 0
B Ellis ct and b Swinn 36
C Rockingham ct and b L Milne 3
C Bruce ct D Close b Hobbs 0
C Franklin ct D Close b Hobbs 0
S Mason ct Fletcher b Hobbs 9
M Woodward b Hobbs 16
S Ellis run out 4
J Young not out 0

Extras 9
Total 160 all out

S Moules 6-1-27-0
A Berry 7-3-26-2
L Milne 7-1-56-1
R Hobbs 7-1-19-5
M Swinn 2.1-0-27-1
J Milne 1-1-0-0

Innings of Buccaneers

C Vollers b Ellis 29
L Milne ct wktkpr 46
S Chakravarti ct b Franklin 14
M Swinn ct wktkpr b Ellis 4
S Moules ct Franklin b Mason 20
A Berry ct b Mason 9
R Hobbs ct and b Mason 0
T Fletcher lbw Mason 9
J Milne ct b Franklin 2
D Close ct Mason b Franklin 2
J Stringer not out 5

Extras 11
Total 160 all out

J Young 4-0-51-0
S Ellis 7-0-18-3
A Carter 3-1-20-0
C Franklin 7-1-39-2
S Mason 7-0-21-4
J Holmes 2.3-0-5-1
M Woodward 2-1-1-1

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