We welcomed Hanney CC to the South Lawn for the first time, replacing the original fixture cancelled through juvenile behaviour.
For a while, it looked all too familiar. A succession of batsmen threw their wickets away; Boardman snr thumped a long-hop to midwicket, Lal ran himself out, and West (stop me if you’ve heard this before) holed out to mid-on. 44-3 after 12 overs did not look like a promising platform.
But then, the kids, the kids…
Boardman minimus, making his debut, joined Spearman minor, and the two seventeen-year-olds began to find gaps in the field with pleasing regularity. Boundaries were interspersed with quick and astute running, as the pair feasted on willing but inexperienced bowling. Eighty-nine runs had been added in fourteen overs when Ollie B departed for a well-struck 43, carefully marshalled by his umpire/father.
But that just left the stage to Jake. He brought up his maiden half-century off fifty-four balls, refused to let the applause go to his head, and soldiered on. With first Emily Cavender and then George Kerr for company, the mini-rhino began to bat more expansively. Four followed six followed four as he imperiously stroked his way to a glorious unbeaten century in the last of the allotted 35 overs.
That George, never usually out-bludgeoned, could only contribute 14 runs to their unbroken partnership of 61 gives some idea of his dominance (and also the thoughtfulness of Kerr in allowing his colleague much of the strike).
Hanney never looked likely chase down the total. Stan picked up three of the first four wickets, Phil and Raj throttled the middle-order effectively, and Kerr snr continued his purple patch behind the timbers. And when Hanney’s top-scorer chipped Phil into what he thought was some open space at midwicket, who was there to take a sprinting, tumbling catch? Only the centurion, that’s who. He’ll have worse games.
The innings subsided gently, and the match finished at an unfeasibly early hour. It would have been earlier still without the repeated, unnecessary laps of the ground by the aged stumper.
Blenheim Park CC (216-5) beat Hanney CC (74) by 142 runs