Winning Draw :: Played on Sunday 26th June 2016
Two things tend to happen in a Hurst Green fixture; Knockers turn up late and they don't win. We didn't disappoint on this front once again as a draw fairly represented a balanced match where ball dominated bat in a timed format. Knockers had nine men, they had ten.
Batting first, Snellers and Sachin got us off to a good start with a partnership worth 69 runs. Some going on a track that seamed sharply, provided shooters and occasional bounce. It was guesswork what the ball would do next and combined with a very slow outfield the scoreboard ticked over slowly with both getting dropped. We managed to not run Snellers out this week, he fell after an almighty six was pulled over the pavilion, losing his off stump.
Sachin and Horner brought some good running between the wicket before Seb was bowled. Lynden stepped in and he and Sachin put on twenty for the third wicket until Sachin fell bowled. Mitchell got off the mark but was bowled by a ball that didn't bounce, Lando hit a boundary and then got bowled by a ball that didn't bounce and then Lynden snicked to the keeper.
JT and Kuts put on a very handy thirty for the sixth wicket with JT pushing hard for singles. Kuts hit possibly his first boundary for Knockers and looked in good shape before he lost JT to a catch and the declaration came on 176-6.
We started to field at 5pm, approximately three hours after we were informed that Rory had a flat tyre and would be delayed. We never saw him and writing this at 10pm one can only imagine him still sitting at the roadside questioning why there were not enough Eastern European mechanics ready to spring to his aid following the referendum.
The sight of Simon and Sachin Rawson opening the bowling for us more than made up for Rory's no show. Simon's bowling was so miserly that were Knockers to do a panto of the Christmas Carol, he is a shoe-in for Scrooge. Hurst Green weren't getting the runs but we weren't getting the wickets.
Sachin gave way to Kuts. Kuts' wicket taking over went thus: beamer, four, dot, two, dot, beamer, dot, LBW. JT took over from Simon and continued to pin down that end with some smart slow bowling. Mitchell joined in at the other end but neither could get that breakthrough and Hurst Green were beginning to sniff out a chance at victory.
Seb took over from JT and was unlucky that the one skied chance that the HG skipper, Savage sent out went to Lando and there could only be outcome there. Savage would go on to carry his bat on 76. Still, Sachin returned, took three wickets, two bowled and one into JT's safe hands. Mitchell effected a run out with a sharp return to glovesman Snellers who only let two byes go on a tough track to read. The Horner-Sachin partnership went on to tie the batsmen down with three of the last four overs going for only two runs.
With nine men, it was a great effort. Maybe next year we'll get that win in Sussex that has eluded us for so long.
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