Breakfast at Bang! in Wells was delightful, though the walk down the sea front was somewhat chastening, the wind coming directly off the sea. We all pilez into the minibus and took the coast road via Hunstanton to go to Cambridge via the A10. The sun is out and it’s still a bit nippy but much warmer than yesterday. I believe this may be the first time the opposition skipper has been a lady and Sybil called incorrectly, captain Higginbottom electing to bat. Mainly because he went in late the day before in an unsuccessful run chase. Solid start by the skipper and Stuart Bruce – then Stuart turned it into a good start as he plundered some boundaries off the probing bowling of Milhan and Assherton. Spinners on now … Higginbottom attempts to sweep and gets out lbw to Jarrett. Jason Amesbury thumps a drive straight at someone the locals called JCB … does he look like a mechanical digger? … turns out it’s ‘JBL’. Stuart plays well until he reaches 41 and gets out in exactly the same way as Richard. Shuffs also caught by JVC who has now become a camcorder off Gallagher – who sadly wasn’t wearing a fishtail parka and threatening to fight everyone, especially if they were his brother. 77 for 4 and the captain’s obviously got it wrong again. A-ha but no! The imperious Whitley Bay Champion (David Stead) had driven up for the day and was joined by Graham Bruce as all bowlers were given some harsh treatment, Graham smashing a six into the square and reaching the car park beyond the hedge with another maximum, though the 4 all along the ground off David Wilson – who bowled a tight spell – to the longest boundary may have been the pick. Steadley played a number of beautiful drives through Extra Cover but was also exacting on anything short. A stand of 102 broken by the returning Jarrett who bowled Graham for an exhilarating 42. Dave got 55 but the opening bowler Assherton had come back bowling a brilliant line and length and had the WBC caught at the wicket. Collapse! After Rahul belted a quick 15, we then lost wickets 6, 7 and 8 on 199 – though if this is now becoming our bogey number, the captain is not complaining! Dave H and Joe got us past the 200 and we posted a very decent 206.
Tea was excellent and fortified by some very good beer (thanks to Cai and Sybil, great thinking).
Into the field and we got an early breakthrough, Noel Rutter shuffled across his stumps and Gopala had him pinned lbw. David Wilson looked good with the bat but then lofted one up to David Hollingsworth at mid-off who judged a swirling catch very well off Joe. Aspden was defeated by a faster ball from Gopala who was immensely impressive; Perrera was playing some good shots, particularly through the off side with the occasional well planned pull-drive so the home side were only marginally behind. Stuart replaced Gopala and got early success as he took a return catch to defeat Jarrett for 8; when Gallagher was caught by Dave Stead making the score 91 for 5 we were very definitely in the box seat. However, Assherton demonstrated his excellent all-round ability with an innings of consummate power and precision, almost catching up with Perrera in an unbroken stand of 107 despite some very good bowling from Rahul and Dave in particular.
Dave Stead hurried off to his brother’s for dinner, leaving his shoes and two Gardeners he was going to give a lift to behind. The man with the minibus managed to fit in all four deserted parties. In the minibus Jason said “Who was that fella with the moustache?” apropos nothing, so which he got from various folk: “Adolf Hitler”, “Charlie Chaplin”, “Tom Selleck”, “Clark Gable” and perhaps my favourite “Fu Manchu” (thanks Mr Jordan). Turns out he’d been talking about Geoff Parks, who arranges the matches for our second annual visit to Cambridge versus the Long Vacation. Hopefully we’ll take those key wickets next time … thanks again to Sybil and the rest of the Jesus College team for a very enjoyable day.