5 June 2016 v Gentlemen of Essex

We were lucky to play this match on one of the warmest days of the summer and, thanks to some late guest signings, the 10 man Ramblers team played a full strength Gents XI.

The Gents won the toss and, with a slightly damp wicket and outfield, put the Ramblers in. At lunch, the Gents had the edge with the Ramblers 55-3 following some loose shots from the top order. After an agreeable 75 minute lunch outside at the neighbouring Cherry Tree pub, the Gents retained their grip on the match. However, some strong rearguard batting from Marcq, Benson and Stewart must be mentioned. Eight bowlers turned their arm and with the 9th wicket falling at 153 on what was now a glorious hot sunny day, the Gents generously allowed our 10th batsman to carry on batting until he was out, as such the Ramblers totalled 180.

The Gents reply was rather inauspicious with Wagstaffe and Hill back in the pavilion cheaply and at 23 for 3, the Gents looked vulnerable. But with a faster outfield the Gents shared two stands of 60 runs. At 162-4, some rash batting against some superb bowling saw 5 wickets fall for 17 runs. The Gents’ number 11 came out at 2 runs short of securing the win with plenty of time to spare. After an unfortunate wide, with both sides level on 180 – Willan took the ball to see the game out one way or another. With all the Ramblers close round the bat, the tension was all too much for the Gents’ number 11 and with the 4th ball of the over, he was clean bowled! The Ramblers came away feeling as though it was more of a victory than a tie, having taken 6 wickets for 18 runs. The spirit of cricket lives on…