Buccaneers rue a lack of runs scored in defeat at Tilford

Buccaneers 124 all out. Tilford 127 for 1. Tilford win by 9 wickets

On what was a gloomy yet typical British spring day, the Buccaneers gathered at Tilford cricket club for the curtain-raiser of the 2024 season.

The match manager had been told ahead of the game that there were two fundamental requirements that he had to fulfil across the day: field a team of 11 and supply an adequate match ball – both of which were soundly missed.

Having settled for a pub lunch beforehand at the quaint local, we were somewhat relieved to be put into bat on a chilly, cloudy day at Tilford. Valentine and Berry started the tone playing some conservative shots, (as if six months of cobweb’s hadn’t just been removed from their pads) – before Gus timed a half volley almost too well into square leg’s hands much to the shock of the spectators as well as the batsmen himself.

Mr Milne, who would have opened with Berry had it not been for an unfortunate delay in his lunch order, succumbed to an unlikely very good first ball of the season which jagged up the slope. Debutant Watson-Smyth entered the fray and demonstrated his class to get us to 64-3 before holing out to another impressive catch at mid on.

Neil Robertson had only been convinced to join the team after several servings of pinot noir the night before, but was quick to demonstrate that deteriorating eye-sight is temporary and that class is permanent, playing some eloquent shots to reach his 28. He was supported with valuable contributions with the bat from Moules and Rydon (and likely Hobbs had it not been for his partner anticipating an early tea).  

The newly appointed President of the club was eager to demonstrate his exuberant youth and volunteered to bowl uphill and into wind in order to aid the mediocre performance from the match manager so far. Both bowlers hit the right lines and lengths and had it not been for the ball deteriorating to something resembling a “mosaic” after six overs, the game could have ended in a different manner.

Having failed to make the breakthrough (despite a few encouraging appeals from stand-in glovesman Rich Hobbs), attention turned to Stephen Moules, who demonstrated his tidy lines to take the wicket of the opening batsman. Watson-Smyth provided us with a free tutorial of his action with a couple of jaffers and a few dropped catches but in the end, it was difficult to prevent the flow of runs and Tilford knocked off our total in 26 overs.

Innings of Buccaneers

A Berry ct Windsor b Stearn 5
A Valentine b Barran 9
J Milne lbw Stearn 0
F Watson-Smyth ct Laking b Windsor 19
N Robertson b Barran 28
P Burnell-Jones b Barran 1
S Moules b Windsor 22
R Rydon ct Bozier b Windsor 11
R Hobbs not out 1
H Robertson b Stearn 1
Extras 27
Total 124 all out
Overs 34.1

Bozier 4-1-5-0
Stearn 8.1-0-22-3
Barran 10-2-31-2
Windson 8-2-24-3
K Barran 4-0-19-0

Innings of Tilford

J Barran lbw 17
J Barran (jnr) not out 50
C Barrow not out 47

Extras 13
Total 127-1
Overs 25.2

H Robertson 5-1-9-0
R Rydon 6-2-23-0
S Moules 5-0-26-1
F Watson-Smyth 6-1-24-0
A Berry 3-0-33-0
A Valentine 0.2-0-4-0

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