Fresh, or not so fresh, from MGCC’s West Sussex and Kent Tour (Penshurst and Brighton!) the boys took to the field at Combe on Saturday 15th August. The last visit to this ground was in 2007 when it was overcast and rained – Noah must have moved there as it was still raining! The weather was not the only similarity, as on that day back in 2007 Marsh batted first scoring 210-5…..this time going one better and scoring 211-5.
The result was reversed however, as this time Combe were not bowled out for 106, instead they reached the required total in only 33 of the available 40 overs.
To begin with, Marsh were inserted in the mizzling rain, just good enough to play, and Will Honour was back in the pavilion to keep himself dry by the 3rd over. Borsky and Beardy (making his first appearance in Covid Year) settled in and then set about a score. With a short car park side boundary and damp conditions seemingly skidding the ball on, the two batters scored predominantly in boundaries, rattling to 98-2 in 24 overs before Beardie was caught on the boundary by an excellent catch with only inches to spare. An excellent 55 in 63 balls with 1×6 and 6×4’s.
Skipper Stuart Leonard, standing in for absent cousin Joe, joined Borsky and Marsh were becalmed as left armer, Chaundry, proved hard for Borsky to get away and Leonard was having similar difficulty with Nicholson. Skipper (9) got an unlucky under edge to the keeper when looking to cut opener Eley and Marsh were 109-3 from 29.
Dr Fox (TBD Jnr) joined Borsky and wasted no time diagnosing the problem…. His unbeaten innings of 58 came from just 33 balls, with only 12 dots in that, plus 1×6 and 8×4’s. Partnering first with Borsky (34 from 80 deliveries) who was run out in that most cruel of ways as the ball hit back at the bowler cannoned off him into the stumps and ran out the hapless backing up batter. Then supported by Tom-Hair Leonard, who rattled a run a ball 13 before missing the slowest highest delivery on record. Finally, Archie Spittles on debut, simply thumped it about the place scoring 18* in the last 10 balls.
Merlot, Just Jimmy, Cello and Wing Commander did not bat.
Marsh closed, as mentioned previously, on 211. It was difficult to judge if this was a par, or strong, score as the mizzle had continued throughout and everywhere was now thoroughly wet, though firm (I’m resisting the obvious here).
Things started badly as Kyle quickly succumbed to his tour injury and could bowl only 2 overs. Crouch was coming up the hill and struggling after using all his strength to put up the family tent the previous night in a Force 9 Gale. Enter The Spittles-Fire, fresh from his 150 mile trip for the game…and thank goodness he made it through the Flak. After 5 leg side wides from his first ball, he got the Radar working and was easily the pick of the Marsh bowlers eventually returning 8 overs for just 31 runs and 2 wickets.
The Combe batters all played with intent attacking anything loose – and as there was a generous supply of that they quickly raced ahead of the rate, until the 14th over when Hugo Campbell-Bomber-Harris followed Spittles into the dogfight getting Dingwall in his sights before trapping him in-front. Two balls later and Eley found himself in bomb alley as he slapped a high full toss at Borsky in Point. His reactions saved his facial features and ended Eley’s innings as he clutched the exocet. Next over and Archie struck again to bowl Moore, top of off. At 81-4 from 15 the game was now balanced: Combe requiring 130 from 25 overs….and still it rained….
The game was then swung by Thompson and Nicholson who batted sensibly and almost chancelessly, continuing to punish anything offered up by the Marsh bowlers that was offline. As the ball became soaked beneath its lacquer the bowlers found it increasingly problematic to grip and the batters found boundaries too easily to come by. Skipper rotated the bowlers in short spurts with Costa, Guns and Mitchell probing for the breakthrough which did not come.
Combe reached 213 in 33 overs with Thompson and Nicholson sharing an unbeaten stand of 132 to win the game.
We should be back at Combe next year in traditional league format, let’s hope Noah has moved by then….
Next Game: Home to Cairns Fudge on 22nd August, 1pm start. The Covers are on already!