Buccaneeers 260-9 dec drew with Hurlingham 182-8
The Buccaneers welcomed several new recruits and the reappearance of the legendary Paul Hobson, Mark Gibbons and the long lost sun at Hurlingham on Sunday.
After lengthy deliberation, the home captain decided to bowl first to the barely concealed joy of the Buccaneers stand-in skipper Will Noble, who then suspected that his side might be facing some real quicks.
As befits a true gentlemen’s XI, the Buccs had assembled a side of 11 solid batters and a rather gentle bowling attack.Opening with Johnno Gordon, Kim Ross was a man with the mission of making up for previous disappointments and misfortunes on this beautifully-manicured ground in his last knock before his wedding in St. Andrews.
Like all the best English South African batsmen in this country, Kim combined dogged defence with attacking flair against a strong attack during a one-man stag party. Kim completed his bachelor career with a stylish 102 from 143 balls before being 6th man out on 195.
Noble (36), Hobson (28) and 32 extras also made valuable contributions before the declaration at 260-9 after 56 overs. The other noteworthy innings was played by James Harcourt, who faced one ball before lunch and one ball after lunch which spanned 68 minutes and contained one disappointing child’s portion of pasta with mascapone sauce and one ginger beer.
The Hurlingham Club’s reply was also disappointing due to a combination of good bowling and a reluctance to chase a far from formidable target in 47 overs. Debutant Pratik Patel bowled a fine spell of off spin (12-3-24-2)
containing several doosras which were edged through the slips.
Despite Noble attacking field settings, including leg slips, short legs and upto 5 slips, the scoring rate never exceeded 4 runs and over. Only John Atkinson, who’d taken 4-47 with his off spin, kept the scoreboard up to speed until he was caught at long off by Noble off Hobson for 53.
Despite disciplined bowling from 8 different players, the Buccaneers were unable to take the last two wickets
being thwarted by the determined defence of 13 year old wicketkeeper Martyn Hemphill who looked a real find for Radley in surviving 23 deliveries including a surprise bouncer from Noble.
12 May: BUCCANEERS v RIPLEY rained off at tea
On a drizzly afternoon the Buccs arrived with only a magnificent seven (an administrative cock-up depriving them of an 8th gun). Undaunted, the Buccaneers skipper was confident he had sufficient talent on display – and displayed it was after the captains had opted for a 40-over contest with Ripley kindly topping up the somewhat, er, skeletal Buccs outfit.
With echoes of Agincourt….outnumbered though they were, Rob Rydon led the attack and devastated the opposition with three quick wickets. Indeed, it was Crispin’s day as Mr Vollers of that ilk took a spectacular catch in the covers while Paul McCann bowled tidily in support as Ripley limped to 23-3.
As Ripley threatened a recovery, John Bryant was brought on to bowl. His plan of lulling the batsmen into a false sense of security almost came off; the sense of security was achieved but, alas, it wasn’t false.
A partnership developed with both batsmen making over 70. Simon Woolfries nobly tried to stem the breakout and picked up a wicket or two as a just reward,
McCann was brought back to replace Bryant and bowled a second spell of beautiful swing. He and the returning Rydon took more wickets in the drizzle before Ripley finished their 40 overs with a decent total of 208.
(At least that was what the scoreboard showed while a comparison of the batting and bowling entries in the Ripley scorebook would have baffled even the boffins of Bletchley Park.)
However, the Buccs were confident that with batsmen of the calibre of Mel Ragnauth and Sujay Chakravarti, who had kept wicket superbly, they would reach their target.
While a splendid tea was taken the clouds assembled and the rain became more persistent. More tea was taken. The covers went on. The groundsman threatened to cut off the digits of anyone who suggested the pitch was fit for play. More tea was taken. Eventually, the captains agreed to abandon the field thus depriving what the Buccs felt would have been a certain victory.