18 June 2017 v Essex Gentlemen (report by Chris Wilkinson, Essex Gentlemen match manager)

Sunday June 18th was to be the hottest day of the year and so the roads from London to the Essex coastline were overloaded with beach seeking traffic….as a result the match did not start ‘til 11.55am; Richard Cripps the acting Ramblers Captain (in for the recuperating Alex Willan) won the toss and amazingly to my mind chose to field (in the heat of the midday sun); by lunchtime after a solid start the Gents had progressed to 100-3 after 18 overs; a long lunch in the shade of the pavilion and under nearby trees, the Gents then saw wickets fall but Scott Bradley ( a new Essex resident) batted on well to reach his 50 and was then joined by the young Theo Tritton (in his last term at Eton) who started smiting the ball all round the park; when Bradley was out, Theo was joined by Archie Wilkinson (the acting Captain, his father having reverted to umpire)…the pair put on an unbeaten 140 runs for the 8th wicket…with Theo scoring his maiden century (in front of his parents) and Archie reaching his 50; an immediate declaration at 319-7 after the 49th over left the Ramblers a large total to overcome. Had the Gents given themselves enough time to get all 10 Ramblers’ wickets ??

At 93-1 at tea off only 13 overs the Ramblers looked well set; however some unlucky caught behinds off the glove and then an inspired hat-trick (all bowled ) by Palash Joshi meant that with 16 overs to go the Ramblers were 137-7; a couple of dropped catches and a near run-out in the closing overs meant that the Ramblers survived the last 3 overs without losing their last wicket.

The result was an honourable draw. It had been a cracking match on a glorious sunny day – the gentle breeze throughout had made the heat bearable and the Gents flag had flown high all day.