For the second consecutive year, a warm sunny day greeted our 11 Buccaneers for the match at Brook. The toss was again won by skipper Simon Woolfries and we chose to bat on a reasonable deck.
Openers Doug Murphy (over from Oz for the Olympics) and Sujay Chakravarti bludgeoned Brook’s bowlers from the get-go, but Murphy was bowled for 14 by Wrenn.
Striding to the wicket came Pete Wilson, Stratford upon Avon CC’s Australian overseas, and in a breath-taking innings smashed the ball to all parts of the ground. He reached his century in a staggering 68 minutes.
With some well-crafted stroke play and some expansive shot making Sujay (56) and Wilson had taken us to 201 for 1 at lunch, a commanding position.
After lunch (and with his subs paid up to date) we welcomed back Paul Hobson (33 n.o) to the Buccaneers fold after a three year absence and with the assistance of Subir Chakravarti (14) and a solid knock from Will Metcalfe (43 n.o), we declared on an impressive 313 for 4 from only 40 overs.
Our opening bowling attack this year included the pace of Justin de Jager, another Stratford CC overseas, from Cape Town who also made his debut for the Buccs in the searing heat.
Things began shakily as he was hit for 10 from his first over but with able support from Metcalfe who trapped Ward LBW for 14, Brook succumbed to the pressure and were 47 for 1. De Jager found his rhythm and kept the Brook batsmen at bay, bowling 15 overs but only receiving 1 for 50 for his tireless efforts.
The introduction of John Bryant proved decisive, and by taking the pace of the ball, bamboozled Mann, the Kiwi opener who relinquished his wicket for 77. He also bowled Smithers cheekily, and had Straker fabulously caught by De Jager diving forward two handed at point. His spell finished with figures of 12 overs, 3 for 51.
Archie Marsh was then brought into the attack to add some guile to the proceedings and ended with an excellent bowling spell of 10 overs, 2 for 57, removing Allen for 42 and catching Davenport LBW for 0.
With Woolfries stealing an LBW, 1 for 21 from his 5 overs, and Wilson being introduced into the attack to remove the tail-enders (6 overs, 2 for 7), our quartet of spinners proved too much for Brook’s batsmen. Coupled with top notch catches from the 3M’s (Metcalfe, Murphy and Marsh) and with some excellent ground fielding we dismissed them for 212 in 54 overs to seal a truly emphatic victory!