It was a game of two halves – well either side of a game of football. Sherston Magna will have been reasonably satisfied with their performance before the football break but rather disappointed with what happened after.
Ben Dickenson captaining in JKs absence invited Burbage and Easton Royal to bat on a gloriously hot day (like many others this year). This seemed a pretty sensible decision as there were a couple of unusual things about the wicket which was worth seeing how the home team dealt with. The first was an artificial wicket. Burbage seemed quite content to play on the back foot and with pace on the ball from Pegg and Archie, all the batsmen seemed relatively comfortable. The second unusual thing was a tree. Now there are a number of grounds with overhanging trees and even some on the outfield, but this was different. This was an ancient oak about 200 feet tall within 15 yards of the strip. It was amazingly only hit once (one run/dead ball) – the batsmen seemed to ignore (or just miss) it.
The Burbage batting line-up seemed reasonably long and even with the slower bowlers (particularly A & B Dickenson) taking useful wickets there seemed to be more batsman to come in. Burbage were 206-9 after 45 overs – which on another day could have petered out nearer 150. There were some dropped catches and first bowling Sherston bowling spells for Steve Bulger (0-32) and an encouraging spell from George Bruce (0-16).
We turned around innings without a break. DFP was well caught and bowled and then Archie came in and played with a nice balance of freedom and control with captain Ben looking comfortable rotating the strike. The football intervened after 14 overs and Sherston looked well placed at around 70-1 at the break.
After a delicious tea and an unusual England football victory in a tournament knock-out game, Sherston were back batting. Archie took his score to a well deserved 50 but then was well bowled by Milne who was getting a bit of movement in the air and off the pitch. The captain followed in similar fashion. The middle order found a new way to get out – caught – leading edges as the ball held up and bounced a little more on the artificial surface. The tail-enders struggled to keep up the rate and stay in. Sherston were all out for 156 after 37.2 overs losing by 50.
Player of the Season Votes
Archie – 3 points
George Bruce – 2 points
Ben D – 1 points