The Urn Field, Guildford, Sunday 28 May 2017. Sanford CC (190-2) beat St Anne’s Allstars CC (117) by 73 runs.
By Neale Adams
The annual match against Sanford CC took place under foreboding skies last weekend. We should have read the signs – and not merely those pointing us to the venue location. Bloody satnav.
With both teams fighting to recruit a full complement due to alternative activities on offer over the Bank Holiday weekend, ten men were duly selected for each side in a limited overs match – initially set at 35 overs.
Having won the toss, Sanford went into bat on a relatively dry square and set about their business. Wickets were hard to come by, and fielders stopping the ball even harder. Paul Bowman and Allstars new boy Chris Carey opened for the Allstars, and despite coming close on several occasions, the bails stayed firmly on the stumps.
Sanford batting was solid, even as the weather conditions deteriorated and the rain came.
A few half chances in the form of catches and a run out could have helped the Allstars cause but in general fielding was, as described by a senior Allstars all-rounder, ‘rusty’. That’s the polite way of describing it.
Comically knees took the place of hands as several Allstars bruises will show.
A change of bowlers saw another Allstars new boy Sandy Mehta try his luck, supported by Ed Heelas making his second outing for the team.
In the given conditions, and a wet ball, the bowling was good, but little reward came. The fielding remained ‘rusty’ and more knees got battered.
Mehta got the breakthrough, and his first Allstars wicket, by bowling Sanford’s number two Bailey for 29.
Vivek Seth and Neale Adams came on after the drinks break as we took pace off the ball to try and get another breakthrough. Sanford opener Field was eventually despatched by Seth lbw, but not before striking an impressive total of 62.
That was the end of the wickets for the Allstars but not the runs for Sanford who increased their tally, or the rain.
Sanford’s Cooke struck a competent 52 not out, assisted by Banks on five not out. Cooke has taken a real liking to our bowling and has proved the difference between the sides in recent years. He’s probably too good for this level of cricket, but we were to learn in the pub afterwards that it’s not even his main sport – his principal game being ice hockey, in which he turns out for Streatham having played for England Under-18s.
Sanford had reached a total of 190 for 2 after 27 overs (including 41 extras) before the rain forced both teams back into the pavilion. An early tea was most welcome.
New boys Carey and Mehta were sent out to lead the Allstars charge. Mehta knocked up 25 before being despatched by Smallpiece.
Sanford bowling was accurate and Allstars wickets fell like the rain. A rear guard action by skipper Adams, with 35, his second highest score for the Allstars, helped to boost the Allstars tally, assisted by Iain Wilson, more usually found captaining our regular opponents New Barbarian Weasels CC, who knocked up 12, and Ian Fisher, playing his first regular season Allstars game having guested for us on many a Northumberland tour, who left the field on eight not out.
The Allstars posted a total of 117 all out, that included 19 extras. But despite the loss, and the rain, the match was played in good spirits, that continued to flow in the Robin Hood pub immediately after match end. Thanks to all who played.