Continuing the season’s go to formula of opting to chase, on winning the toss the Brethren took to the field despite the heat of what was a scorching late August day. The temperature, combined with the lightning nature of the brown outfield was always going to present difficulties for the fielding side, however the pitch was offering plenty of encouragement for the bowlers. With some enforced changes to the XI in the hours before play, there was the unusual sight of Brother Regan sharing the new ball with his acclaimed off spin alongside the pace of Brother Finn Hulbert. The Martlets progressed steadily, well checked by consistent lines and lengths from the opening pair but somewhat aided along the way by lapses of concentration in the field. Regan made the first breakthrough and then proceeded to bowl no fewer than 23 consecutive dot balls to their number three, showing that maybe his future BB career will be as an opening bowler… Only one wicket was taken by lunch but the run rate was under control at around 80/1.
Following the break, Junior Brother Tom Pollington removed the other opener, who had dominated the scoring, for his first senior BB wicket – a reward for a very tidy spell either side of the interval. By this stage, the end of season wicket was beginning to present a few challenges and the Martlets started swinging from the hip, perhaps aware that there would be a ball with their name on it sooner than later. The luxury of hindsight would later show that this was perhaps a tactic that the BB should have employed in their reply. Nevertheless, Brother Hill was thrown the ball and proving that there is no substitute for experience, snaffled a couple of quick wickets to stem the runs and see the Martlets declare at 237/6.
Perhaps perturbed by what they had seen in the first innings, the BB approached the new ball with caution and negotiated an excellent Martlets opening burst to see it through to tea for the loss of no wicket. After tea Brother Boucher playing notably fluently for an elegant 42, but wickets fell at the other end. By this stage, batting was no longer allowed without a helmet, and with the run rate escalating, the BB altered course and targeted an honourable draw. Unfortunately for the BB, Lady Luck’s attention was elsewhere which, coupled with some excellent bowling from the returning Martlets’ opening seamer, saw the BB’s resistance end just a few balls from the close. The dream was dead. Long live the dream.
Brother Boris Streatfeild