JB keeps Pilgrims at bay on gardening leave

Reigate Pilgrims 206-8 dec drew with Buccaneers 155-9

John Bryant was the Buccaneers hero as the shadows reached across the pitch behind The Red Lion on Sunday evening . Having nobly opted to forego the prospect of a Sunday’s gardening to complete the Buccs XI only 24 hours earlier, the distinguished barrister joined the Hack in the middle when the 9th wicket fell with an improbable 57 needed from the last 7 overs.

JB was rock solid against 3 overs of thunderbolts from
Pilgrims skipper Guy Mitchell even nonchalantly driving him twice through extra cover while the Buccs captain blocked the off-spin of Sakia. The veteran Arnold was brought on for the last over but the lawyer negotiated this with ease to put the final seal on what seemed a triumphant draw.

This was probably a fair result after the Pilgrims had won an enviable toss on a sunny day, a decent pitch and a smooth verdant outfield.

Paul Hobson kept the Pilgrims openers guessing with clever variations of pace and swing while Will Goulstone gave a passable impersonation of Mitch Johnson and took the first wicket thanks to sharp gully catch by 14 year-old Charlie Leefe.

Charlie’s father Simon earned the next two wickets with his deceptive flight while Richard Gwynn maintained the stranglehold with his dobbers as Pilgrims rather limped to an early lunch at 59-3 off 22 overs.

Burnside and Jordan eventually upped the tempo after lunch before two more Simons, Woolfries and Varney, induced a middle order collapse. “Reg”, a Teddington Town and Buccaneers legend known as the “white Sobers” in his pomp, celebrated his break from running the ICC in Dubai, with a nice return catch before the President suddenly took 3 wickets with straight balls.

With Pilgrims wobbling at 126-6, the Buccaneers felt they had a chance of facing a modest target. However,
skipper Mitchell dashed such hopes by launching several soaring sixes into the neighbouring fields. Subir Chakravarti threw down the stumps for a spectacular run out but Mitchell drove on until setting a tough but fair target.

After a wretched start as both former Teddington Town openers departed tamely, Sujay Chakravarti launched the Buccaneers chase with some forthright driving in company with the watertight Hobson. Having been adjudged lbw to the Ajmal-like offspin of Sakia, Sujay was replaced by his brother Subir who repaired the early damage with a promising 4th wicket stand of 40.

But Subir and Charlie Leefe both fell to Sakia at 96 to plunge the Buccs into serious trouble. Simon Leefe briefly raised hopes again with a sprightly 20 but Mitchell then brought himself on to take the decisive wickets of Leefe and the adhesive Hobson to a diving slip catch by Burgess.

Will Goulstone showed glimpses of his class before becoming Safia’s 5th wicket and setting the scene for
John Bryant’s heroic last stand.

Reigate Pilgrims innings

Burgess c C Leefe b Goulstone 16
Janardanan c & b S Leefe 22
Peddenini c Goulstone b S Leefe 5
Burnside lbw b Woolfries 58
Jordan lbw b Woolfries 17
Sakia c & b Varney 4
Kanagarajah b Woolfries 0
Mitchell not out 56
Wood run out 0
Arnold not out 8
extras 18
TOTAL (8wts -dec) 206
Fall of wkts:
1-33; 2-54; 3-59; 4-108; 5-125; 126-6; 159-7; 176-8.

Buccaneers bowling:
Hobson 10-2-22-0
Goulstone 9-2-22-1
Gwynn 8-2-10-0
S Leefe 8-1-41-2
Woolfries 7-0-37-3
Varney 6-0-46-1
Bryant 1-0-10-0
C Leefe 1-0-10-0

Buccaneers innings

James Stringer c Mitchell b Wood 0
Simon Varney c Mitchell b Arnold 3
Sujay Chakravarti lbw b Sakia 34
Paul Hobson c Burgess b Mitchell 44
Subir Chakravarti c Wood b Sakia 17
Charlie Leefe c Jordan b Sakia 0
Simon Leefe c Janardana b Mitchell 20
Will Goulstone c Burnside b Sakia 13
Simon Woolfries st Jordan b Sakia 5
Richard Gwynn not out 0
John Bryant not out 4
extras 15
TOTAL (9 wkts) 155
Fall of wkts:
1-0; 2-10; 3-56; 4-96; 5-96; 6-127; 7-136; 8-141; 9-150.

Reigate Pilgrims bowling:
Wood 7-1-15-1
Arnold 7-1-16-1
Sakia 15-1-44-5
Janardanan 4-0-25-0
Burgess 4-0-16-0
Kanagarajah 1-0-10-0
Mitchell 6-0-21-2

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