|Match Report: 10th July, 6:00PM, Stags, Rothampstead Park|
Result: Win by 5 wickets
On a gorgeous Harpenden summer evening, and a surprisingly Trent Bridge-like track prepared by the excellent Rothampstead Groundmen, the kind gentlemen of STAGS elected to get things started, leaving us fielding with 9 until our late arrivals turned up. A formidable Arnerich and Arnerich opening pair channeling the spirit of Courtney and Curtly got us off to a good start, with Paul enjoying particularly good figures of 3-0-12-0. However, after a number of bludgeoning knocks from their seemingly never-ending backlog of left-handers they were left with three in the hutch and we were left with 152 to chase, Gary Bowman also bowling excellently in the middle of the innings to finish on 3-0-12-1.
Despite the large total, Crabtree went out confident, and Tim Jenkin more than made up for his slightly misguided bowling spell with the most brutal T20 knock I've ever seen from a Crabtree bat. A bandanna short of Chris Gayle, he hit 43* before he even got in the hutch, including 20 off his last with some huge sixes into the bushes. With Paul Arnerich out for a quick 13, Ben Newton and Rich Bailey were brought to the crease, and both went like the clappers, carrying on the fine strike rate established by the openers. With Ben quickly back in the hutch, and Rich out, Amit carried on the party, making 17 with Ian, who also made it into double figures. Crabtree now looking at ease, Phil Waters came on and played aggressively for his 10*, with Matt Arnerich hitting the winning runs with a 6 to cow, to complete 15* off 7 balls.
All in all a stunning victory from Crabtree, with aggressive batting right the way down making what was a pretty formidable target look easy, with 5 wickets and an over and a half to spare. Long may the ground staff continue to work hard to prepare these low, slow, dusty tracks!
Match Reporter: Matt Arnerich
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