Once again we were blessed with sunny skies and good jazz for the annual inter club fixture. Cornwallis, captaining that BB-side, won the toss and elected to bowl first. A tactical choice oft deployed by the Brethren.
The Chief’s XI got off to a shaky start, an early clatter of wickets leaving the scoreboard at 26-3. However, young Tom Pollington and the veteran Matt Schilder steadied the ship, the former placing a high price on his wicket, the latter rolling back the years to flay the ball around a picture perfect Tory Hill oval. When Schilder (57) was out, tactically surrendering his wicket the last over before lunch, balance had been restored with the feast taken at 140-4. The afternoon session proved a fast paced affair; with regular wickets and a good run rate as Piers Richardson wagged the tail. Pollington fell on 90, just shy of a well deserved century but having ensured the Chief’s men had posted a par 250, with all batters back in the hutch. Captain Cornwallis was pick of the bowlers with the 5-26.
BB’s started watchfully, keen to navigate the tricky pre-tea session, Which they did for two down. Buoyed by cake and cucumber sandwiches the Chief’s men came out hard after the break picking up three quick wickets to leave the brethren on 100-5. Enter the classicist Shales (111*) to steady the ship with a mixture of doughty defence, swashbuckling counter attack and the occasional amo, amos, amat. Ably supported by Reynolds (77) , the B.B. side dragged themselves back into the hunt and with 3 overs to go faced the straight forward prospect of needing 8 runs with 3 wickets remaining. Time for some heroics from new ball pair Richardson and the baby faced assassin Pollington, who dealt a mixture of Yorkers and two wicket taking balls to leave the BB side needing 2 runs to win from the final over with one wicket standing. Cornwallis at the crease. The field set tight, Pollington roaring in, ice coursing through his veins. Ball by ball:
Ball 1- Shales on 110, squirts a single, bringing the scores level.
Ball 2 - Corny facing - dot
Ball 3 - Corny- dot; but still in control!
Ball 4 - Corny - dot; pressure building
Ball 5 - Corny - dot; crikey. The tie is on! Is Corny going to bottle it??!
Ball 6 - Polly delivers a sharp yorker. Corny nudges to mid on. Boucher swoops, collects and like a Phoenix hurls himself horizontal at the stumps, beating Corny by 12 inches, leaving BB 250-9 and securing a famous and unlikely scores level draw in the club match.
A match of ebb and flow, played in the finest spirit of B.B.