5 June 2016 v Old Wykehamists

The Ramblers assembled at Lords (Winchester’s 1st XI ground) on a glorious summer’s day, hoping to make amends for last year’s defeat at the hands of a strong Winchester side. The OWs won the toss and elected to bat first. Despite what looked like an ideal surface for batting, a talented OW line up made an innocuous start to proceedings. The new ball pairing of Gus Kennedy and Gyles Scott-Hayward made early inroads, with Scott-Hayward’s variations in length proving difficult to contend with. Gus, a wicketkeeper by trade, and friend of the Ramblers, tore into the OW’s top order, leaving Winchester reeling at 45-5. Felix Hartley-Russell was adamant that the Ramblers grind their opposition into the dirt and this would have been possible had it not been for Adams, the OW opener, who began to cut loose on his way to a quick-fire half-century.A

After Adams fell, a steady partnership between Bath and Cubitt steadied the ship for the OW side and they negotiated their way to the lunch-time interval without losing any further wickets at 125 – 7. Following lunch, the OW side enjoyed another period of rearguard action with Wilkins driving expansively before he was finally undone by Fox’s return to the attack. The OW had been bowled out for 148 and, given the quality of conditions and the wicket, this appeared to be below par.

Felix Hartley Russell and guest Tom Cassady opened up for the Ramblers, hoping to make light work of the chase. They got off to the perfect start, aided but some wayward OW bowling. The OW seam attack rarely threatened in the opening exchanges which brought about the introduction of Bath, the OW left-arm spinner. At first, the Ramblers played Bath with authority. Hartley-Russell, in particular, stamped his mark onto the game with a succession of lofted drives, using his feet well to the spinner and taking the Ramblers into a commanding position at 66-0. Bath struck twice in quick succession, though, leaving the Ramblers 70-2 at the tea interval. After tea, Bath-time continued for the Rambler ducks as the left-armer wreaked havoc, taking seven wickets in total.

Gus Kennedy came in at number ten and, for a brief while, it looked as if the Ramblers might stage a thrilling comeback. Kennedy’s 12 runs off just 6 deliveries added a much-needed impetus to the Rambler chase. Shortly after he was dismissed though and the Rambler innings came to a close as Henry Fox attempted to hoist Pugh into the river Itchen. He was clean bowled, leaving his partner, Witherow stranded. After such a promising start, the Ramblers were all out for 110 and had lost by 38 runs.