26 June 2016 v The Rifles

After heavy overnight rain, Ramblers lost the toss and were stuck in on a decidedly damp St Cross pitch. After a steady start from Jamie Roy and Ollie Clayton, wickets started to tumble and when Ramblers’ secret weapon Ben Cowen (a match-winning 109* on his last outing in this game) was dubiously out LBW, alarm bells started to ring. Ed Williams remained calm amidst the chaos, though, and when he was joined by Jack Whitmore at 76-6, a semblance of order was restored, aided by a hearty lunch. Perhaps too hearty as Williams fell soon afterwards for a well-made 43 but he was replaced by self-confessed ‘bowler’ Freddie Russell-Pavier who made a swashbuckling 41 to take the score up towards 200. Whitmore ended with a fine 55 and Ramblers had the luxury of declaring on 232-9.

As the sun had started to dry the pitch and the outfield had become quicker, there were fears that batting might have become a bit easier. These were quickly dispelled by Rupert Stanning who produced a devastating spell of bowling to take the game away from the opposition. Bowling unchanged throughout the Rifles’ innings, he finished with a magnificent 7-32, using the conditions to a tee. He bowled a beautiful line throughout, moving the ball away from the right-hander, and was ably supported by some fine Rambler fielding with no fewer than three good slip catches, Williams taking a particularly sharp one. It was a great performance from all. Man of the match to Stanning with Whitmore mentioned in dispatches.