By Nick Hawkins, 7th June 2021
In good weather, we arrived at the lovely St George’s ground, to find that our opponents, with only about one exception, looked young and fit, which was concerning…(Later on, the skipper initiated a discussion about which of our many veterans was the oldest, and the consensus is H.Elgot has that honour…)
It was agreed between the skippers that it would be 35 overs a side, and Romany would field first. Marcus Robinson opened the bowling with our new player Adnan Taj (congratulations to Howard for recruiting him!). Marcus was steady and Adnan bowled very well – some very quick deliveries and some canny spinners, and St George’s could not take any liberties against him.
St.George’s openers made a steady start, and then made the mistake of underestimating Steve Hardy’s lightning speed racing from behind the stumps – a deadly-accurate throw as they tried to go for a quick single, and a direct hit ran out the striker at the bowler’s end.
Young Harry Abel bowled very well too (action reminiscent to your scribe of a young J.K.Lever, left arm round) and deserved wickets – near catches not quite going to hand. Later on, Steve Dobson tried his luck and got one of their established batsmen bowled.
Adnan got their other opener, but their middle-order was strong, and their number 4 went on to 50 and was retired by them. Matt Knight, as always, bowled steadily. Matt later dropped one chance, but caught a more difficult one, from Steve Hardy’s (as always) excellent bowling, once John Surtees had taken over the gloves. We got a second run-out (by Adnan). At the end, with overs running out, Howard bowled two very straight overs, but felt a recurrence of his previous calf injury and had to retire from the rest of the match. There was a final unusual incident, from your scribe’s bowling – batsman gave it a charge, missed, and the ball was going to hit middle – and did indeed do so, but unfortunately John S was keen for the stumping and his finger just caught a bail before the ball hit the stumps so the batsman, who was walking, had to be called back. St George’s finished on 203-6.
For Romany, Matt and Steve Dobson opened up, but Matt got a very good ball from their quite quick opening bowler and was bowled for 4.
Steve Dobson hit some meaty blows and went on to 16 before he too was bowled by the same quick. The next 3 in the order made most of our runs – an excellent partnership between Steve Hardy, who made 26 before he was caught-and-bowled and Harry Abel, who made an excellent 34 before he was caught. Adnan went on the offensive, with Marcus briefly, and then he had a partnership of 31 with your scribe, of which Adnan made 30 and there was one leg-bye…Trying to go for it, your scribe wasn’t quick enough going for the second successive 2, and was narrowly run out by a good throw.
Adam Bowen was also run out, Adnan was finally caught for 68, and our final player Richard Abel (who’d been pressed into service by Matt Knight as a last minute replacement for an injured youngster) made 1 before being bowled, leaving John Surtees not out- Howard being “absent hurt”
We actually finished on 165-9 from 33.4 overs, (from the copy of their scorebook).
An enjoyable game at a pleasant venue against good-natured opponents and we all hope this will be a regular fixture in future years for Romany.