On the hottest day of the year to date, the Hoggets, captained by La Fontaine Jackson (LFJ), won the toss and unsurprisingly elected to bat in this 35 over game. After Waktare fell early to a good Yorker, Lewis, fuelled by some pre-innings sustenance, began to get into his stride, and reached his 50 at better than a run a ball. Matthews meanwhile struggled for fluency somewhat and was bowled around his legs by the Band of Brothers (Babes) left arm spinner. LFJ came to the crease next, and after taking his time to get going began to hit his straps, reaching his 50 in the 25th over. This was after Lewis had fallen, caught at gully to a slower ball for a well-made 60. Burtt & Pratt came and went, with Pratt compiling a good 20. At this stage the Hoggets were going along at just shy of six an over, which on a good pitch with short boundaries and a fast outfield was not enough. Some acceleration was needed and was provided when the tiring Babes’ bowlers came back for their second spells. The result of this increased run rate was an eventual score of 243-6, with the skipper finishing on 95*.
The Babes’ reply began well, as despite a quite fantastic tea that deserves a special mention, the bowlers struggled to find their lines and lengths. A double wicket maiden from Kelly changed that though, and pegged the opposition back to 40-2. A partnership began to build between the Babes’ opener and their captain at number 4, and it left the Hoggets own captain rueing a fairly straightforward dropped chance behind the sticks. The breakthrough did eventually come though, with Harrap remov ing the opener once he had passed 50, in the middle of an excellent seven over spell. This left the Babes at three down for 120. Any hopes of sparking a collapse though were swiftly stunted by a 50 from their number 5, and when the Babes’ captain fell just short of his own 50, they only needed 12. Lewis stood up to bowl the last over, but unfortunately for the Hoggets, despite 2 run outs, with only 1 run to play with in the final over, the Babes ran out victors with 4 balls and 4 wickets to spare.
Some good cricket on show from both sides, and indeed some not so good, but in the end, it must be said, the better side won. A decent batting display set the game up nicely, and with fewer extras and some better fielding the Hoggets could have given themselves a better chance, and if they learn from their mistakes today, they will go a long way to winning more games in the future.