HSMCC v Selsdon


Date: Sunday 14 July 2019

Venue: Holmbury St Mary

Report by: Tim Riggins

Result: Holmbury win by 4 runs

Holmbury St Mary 207-4, Selsdon 203.

Capping off a winning weekend, Holmbury’s Sunday side took a break from league cricket and snatched a friendly win against Selsdon. It was great to welcome back former skipper Ian Fielder, club legend Bob Andrews, and Rod Orell (in a Sunday cameo appearance). With Andrew and Will both away, JR stepped in as skipper and did a fantastic job, including successfully negotiating batting first and meticulously marshalling our eventual win.

Seb and JR formed an effective opening partnership, scoring steadily off Selsdon’s openers. Shortly after the first bowling change, Seb was caught at slip on 25, quickly followed by JR, who was caught at square leg on 70. James, in a long-overdue and emphatic return to form, scored a mighty, boundary-fuelled 58 before being caught at wide mid-on. Nick H, in a rare down-the-order cameo (25no) and Tim closed out the Holmbury innings on 207.

After JR’s fine, sumptuous DIY tea, Monu (8-2-31-3) and Charles (3-1-18-1) opened, and Charles achieved the breakthrough wicket in over four with a catch at fine leg by Monu. However, Selsdon’s batsmen achieved a healthy eight runs per over up to the seventh, before in successive overs Monu trapped Selsdon’s number three LBW and Ian (7-1-46-2), on his first ball for Holmbury this season, bowled their other opener in what ended up a wicket maiden. Selsdon’s run rate then hit the doldrums for a time before their next partnership established itself and once again started to ramp up the run rate. However, despite some loose fielding and a plethora of extras, our bowlers including Seb (8-0-39-1), Nick J (7.2-1-26-2) put the clamps on, with Charles’s fine catch at deep mid-off especially key.

As England’s chase of New Zealand’s total reached its denouement, we all took a break and gathered around the telly that Bob and JR had kindly arranged. Once the breath-taking regular overs resulted in a tie, our match resumed, and thanks to tight bowling and fielding, we continued to suffocate Selsdon, bringing their run rate down to just under three per over. We took another break to witness the truly-historic super overs and England’s eventual first-ever World Cup win, before once again returning to the field to finish our match. Monu took two consecutive wickets (one courtesy of a quick-reaction catch at slip by Nick J) before Nick J, changing up his spin, length and speed, took the last two wickets, leaving Selsdon four runs short of a win with 1.4 overs remaining.

Both teams gathered in great spirits, jugs were provided by the top batsmen, beer was drunk, and as the light faded over a warm evening, all was right with the world. Selsdon was an ideal friendly opponent; let’s hope they come back next year.

Next match is this Sunday 21 July, at home to league/local rivals Abinger.