9 August 2019 v Old Amplefordians
Eton Ramblers v Old Amplefordians
Played on Upper Club, Eton College on 9 August 2019
The Old Amplefordians won the toss and elected to bat; they only had ten players as a result of one Basil FitzHerbert having been at a party the night before and had apparently had only a brief amount of sleep in his car. Rather more predictably a number of Ramblers were even later and the match started 15 minutes late on a stickier surface than it appeared at the toss. Dom Spencer got an unfortunate lbw decision which bought to the crease the said, disgustingly smelling, Basil FitzHerbert. He did not even see his first half dozen or so balls, but then started to find his rhythm; on a blazing hot late summer’s day he wore a jumper throughout his innings, which seemed odd.
Anyhow he accumulated steadily before lunch, ably supported by Ollie Greaves, Hugo Barnard and Cranley Macfarlane. After lunch the Amplefordians needed to up the run rate to set the Ramblers a target, but as the runs started to flow more freely so did the wickets. However Basil remained firm, his stride as he accelerated towards a century. On 99 he was hit on the pads; up went the bowler, the keeper and all the fielders. For all the world it looked out, plumb, but not given. (No reviews left because there were none to start with). The next ball was hammered to the fence for a brilliant, if totally unexpected hundred. Some lusty blows later the Amplefordians declared; the Ramblers required 238 to win.
Having not beaten the Ramblers for well over a decade was this the moment the 11 Old Amplefordians made history? Beautiful afternoon sunshine, a large crowd creating a buzz in the background and jumbo jets flying low overhead meant conditions were perfect for both sides. Hawkesworth and Reid opened the bowling against Arnand Treon and Will Whipple, both bowling with pace and accuracy. Treon went on beautifully, but Hawkesworth removed Whipple and Butler, Reid Mills and Indaimo. The third bowler to take two was Hugh Ainsworth, who removed Treon for 59 and Williams for good measure.
At 93 for 6 the Amplefordians were in control, so Johnny “The Mop” Armour was unleashed at the Rambler tail. He generated such pace that the keeper and slips feared for themselves so heaven knows what it was like to have been a batsman. The Mop ruthlessly cleaned up the tail, including for good measure, one Amplefordian guesting for the Ramblers, who had arrived one short, hit wicket after being felled by a rapid bouncer. The Ramblers did no know what hit them. All out for 116, a thumping 121 run victory for the Amplefordians; a fitting way to end their most successful season in history.
(Grateful thanks to an anonymous Old Amplefordian for this splendid report!)