Scorecard – Hampshire Hogs v Marlborough Blues – 11.07.20
Sun was shining almost as if it was celebrating the long-waited return of recreational cricket in the country. You couldn’t ask for a better day! Both teams full, even having the luxury of selection issues (not most common for either sides!). The Blues won the toss electing to Bat first. Their opener William von Behr showing no signs of rustiness scored a century with ease, although could have been given his marching orders on 30 when he edged through a socially-distanced gap between slip and keeper. Sam Aldridge, the senior statesman aged 28, at slip, didn’t quite realise his drop would cost the Hogs another 118 runs… It must be noted that Will vB’s knock managed to receive nationwide acknowledgement on TMS as being one of the first recreational centuries of the season. The Hogs were set 285 to win around 3pm.
Brimming with 4 newly signed Hogs we were confident that we could give the chase a good go with 2 hours + 20 overs. However unfortunately an inspired Blues debutant ripped through the top order, exposing some rust among our batting line-up. All the top 6 were bowled, however given it was the first match of the season, I think an extra bit of grace should be given for not knowing where our Off-stump was… At one stage in the chase, the Hogs found themselves 17-5 and 80-9. Fortunately a 10th wicket partnership worth 90 (notably Tom Oliver 43 having bowled 11 overs earlier in the day) dragged back a little bit of respect to the day.
Of course the result is paramount to the day, however given the long wait we’ve endured for recreational cricket’s return, I think everyone can agree it was just fantastic to be back playing at Warnford. The boundary was affluent in support from both Hogs and Blues, making for a wonderful atmosphere. A big thanks must go to Emma, Rob, Peter and JG for all of their efforts both on the ground and leading up to the match. All ECB guidelines were adhered to and we were all able to enjoy a great days cricket!