Following heavy overnight rain, an experienced and battle-hardened Buccaneers team arrived in Betchworth to a green and uneven looking pitch. However, with an average age approaching 50 we were not terribly keen to take to the field first as we had done in recent years. We were therefore delighted when the Pilgrims skipper won the toss decided to bowl first. Simon Leefe and Sujay Chakravarti got us off to a steady start, negotiating the uneven bounce and putting away anything short. After an opening stand of 71, Sujay fell top edging an attempted sweep for 30. Muktesh Ghatak came and went but lunch was taken with the Buccaneers still looking good at 110 for 2 wickets. Simon and young Archie Marsh upped the tempo after lunch, attacking the off spinner before Simon was caught in the deep for an excellent 80. Archie soon followed for a composed 31 and Sadler did not bother the scorers much. Rob Rydon strode to the crease and, as expected, struck some lusty blows; his departure heralding the Buccs declaration on 210 for 6 wickets.
After being thoroughly entertained by the Hack for much of the day, an upbeat Buccaneers took to the field. Rob Rydon was immediately confronted with the sight of a young quivering Pilgrims opener barely into his teens. The Rydon Express however takes no prisoners and young George was castled first ball. The other opener, enraged by the “injustice”, attacked Daryl Bird (sharing the new ball at the other end) and four fierce boundaries followed in the second over. With the runs flowing the skipper quickly turned to the left arm spin of Leefe despite protests about having to spin the ball up the slope! The lack of spin was soon rewarded with a wicket on the stroke of tea, an excellent juggling catch at gully by Woolfries – 37 for 2.
Despite an excellent spell Rydon politely declined to continue after tea and was replaced by our young leg spinner Archie Marsh. What followed was carnage as Marsh and Leefe ran through the middle order to leave the Pilgrims teetering at 74 for 7. The bowling was shuffled and the Hack and President Woolfries took to the bowling crease. The Pilgrims mounted a brief comeback before Marsh returned to the crease to claim his 4th and 5th wickets in quick succession. The Pilgrims ended their innings with 9 wickets down for 130 runs as the number 11 was stuck in the toilet having commenced his pre-surgery laxatives a tad early!
Simon Leefe c HK b Salkia 80
Sujay Chakravarti c Miles b Salkia 30
Muktesh Ghatak st Miles b Salkia 3
Archie Marsh c Raj b Vipin 31
Richard Sadler b Salkia 4
Rob Rydon c Burgess b Wise 23
Daryl Bird not out 10
Did not bat – Subir Chakravarti, Andy Morgan, Simon Woolfries, Richard Gwynn
Total 210 for 6 wickets in 52 overs
Reigate Pilgrims: 130 for 9 wickets
Rob Rydon 5 – 2 – 8 – 1
Daryl Bird 6 – 0 – 43 – 0
Simon Leefe 7 – 3 – 14 – 3
Archie Marsh 7.1 – 0 – 40 – 5
Simon Woolfries 8 – 1 – 17 – 0
Richard Gwynn 3 – 0 – 8 – 0