Valley End CC 251-8 dec (Silmon 2-39, Langridge 2-51, Halladay 1-13) beat St Anne’s Allstars 78 (Langridge 28*) by 173 runs.
By Pete Cresswell
A glorious May day greeted the Allstars’ season 18 opener at the picturesque Valley End ground in Chobham.
With some relief the depleted Allstars lineup learned that VECC’s first-class-capped South African professional was out injured, whereupon VECC opted to bat first. A brisk start by the home team was interrupted and briefly slowed as Martyn Langridge managed to disturb the stumps of Reedman and Ramage, but the next 2 wickets came from retirements as home batsmen reached 50.
Joe Silmon turned on some tidy leg spin later on, hitting the bails with a classic delivery to bowl the appropriately named Breakwell and deceiving Chapman enough to give me my first ever stumping as a wicket keeper. James Morgan and Dave Halladay both turned their arms over for the first time in a long while, Morgan getting copious swing and Halladay picking up a wicket to a superb Langridge catch.
After a slow start the departure of James Morgan and I prompted an Allstars collapse, before Martyn and Maxie lead a spirited rearguard counter attack to take the team past their dreaded lowest ever score, and on past 50 to avoid a few blushes.
Thanks to VECC for an excellent tea and dinner, at a stunning venue – look forward to playing you again next year.