3 June 2017 v The Gemini

On a glorious day eleven Ramblers arrived at Sunningdale; unfortunately two of them were our hosts and two were playing for the opposition. Three young New Zealanders who are over here teaching kindly reinforced the Ramblers, which at least took us up to 10, including two Cricketer Cup batsmen/wicketkeepers. Play started only fifteen minutes late, well within par for this fixture.

Dom Strober took a fancy to all the Rambler attack, and although caught and bowled by Forbes when in sight of a hundred, was the principal contributor to a lunch score of 172 for 3; Will Brooks retired hurt after edging a long hop into his left eye, but came back later to watch the Joe Lewis assault.

After lunch Archie Leon, an inexplicable number 11 last year, struck 65; Ed Maidment made a breezy 46 before becoming a rare Rambler wicket for Ed Farley, and Chris Horne, having been hit for what TIm Dawson considered the biggest six ever seen on the ground, (many regarding that as the way Horne ought to be played) collected two wickets; This induced a declaration at 285 for 7; Lewis had made 26 off the 8 balls he received.

Messrs Neal and Zagoritis, took the Ramblers to 65 for 0 at tea. So far so good. After tea, however all fell apart; Neal fished outside the off stump; Zagoritis departed; the home umpire was unaware that hitting the ball is a reasonable defence to an lbw appeal (the Gemini voting on whether or not to call back Zag was, apparently, a split decision), Farley played what he described as “an unwise shot” and the innings gently subsided; the captain being on his way back to Helsinki when his turn to bat came.

As always the Gemini hospitality was superb and very much appreciated; the traditional lunch in Prue Dawson’s garden, the usual magnificent collection of thoroughly unhealthy (and equally appreciated) cakes at tea, and the consoling beers in the Gemini Arms afterwards slightly distracted from the Ramblers on field performance.

Still there is always next year – the new Match Manager will no doubt arrive with much enthusiasm and perhaps a performance more akin to last year than this.