Match Report: 25th July, 2:00PM, The Holly Bush, Rothampstead Park

Crabtree 166 9 (35 overs), IotB won with 5 overs to go

Result: Lost by 4 wickets

For those of us who rarely play the longer version of the game, you forget the pleasures of an afternoon match, although most of us seemed to have carried our 20/20 practices over and managed to get out to aggressive shots. Our early flourish meant we were scoring at a reasonable rate but at about 100 for 6 after 22 overs it looked seriously like we were not going to see out the 35. Darren P played very well for a jug avoiding 49, receiving solid support from Jonty (whose strike rate we wont mention!), but all the other batsmen were quickly in and out for low scores. Neil D (14), Ashley W (11*) and Charley Y (18) got the total up to 166 off all 35 overs, which was a lot more than this correspondent thought wed get especially given the variable bounce of the pitch. Credit to IotBs bowling fast bowling (McKenzie & Gloak brothers) supported by some good spin (Croot at one stage bowled 4 overs for 3 runs, Hankin 3 - 28). 2 nd highest scorer was extras with 37. And mention also to the first time a foreign language was heard in a Crabtree fixture Afrikaans!

Spirits high after the batting recovery and a superb tea (who can forget the delicately arranged lettuce on the tray of sandwiches!). And this carried on to the field with a quite superb bowling display from Charlie Y (7.1.13.0) fast and swinging the ball prodigiously, and helping Neil D pick up wickets at the other end (3 28). IotB were 9 1 off 8 overs and we felt we were in with a chance. But McKenzie had other ideas. In a quite blistering innings of hard hitting in which he was brutal on the slow bowlers, ending up on 92*, he single-handedly took the game away from us. Darren P continued his golden day with his first wickets for Crabtree and creditable analyses of 2 23 from his 7 overs. Late wickets, including a consolation one for your correspondent, meant that we could dream what might have been if we had managed to get McKenzie early in his innings. Fantastic keeping by Graham R including 2 catches, and only 1 droppe d catch a real stinger to Paul A which he did well to get fingers to. All round good fielding and plenty of exercise for Andy B on the cow corner boundary.

A good match played in good spirit, ending up at the Engineer IotB fines were amusing, even if we got caught up in some of them - suggestion for us to consider fines in the future (or at the end of season bash)? Also to be minuted that we agreed with IotB that, as we only play each other once a year, the home team pays the full ground fees.

Match Reporter: Simon Jarvis

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