The East Anglian tour entered its second day with more sunshine; we pointed the minibus South East and got to Cambridge in good time. Tim (under his own steam with Louise) was already there and Adam arrived just as we were getting the kit together to take to the pavilion. Richard’s wretched coin prediction continued and the home side elected to bat.
Mahender had been pawing the ground looking to bowl and his first over was top class, trimming Sybil’s bails before a run had been scored. Soon afterwards, Luke slightly miscued a square drive and Debasis took a tricky chance at Point to make the score 2-2. John A and Jack knuckled down, but Joe was always looking dangerous, enabling us to draw the field in tighter – though the Northants Nugget eschewed our assistance, rearranging John A’s timbers for 3. Shubham was trying to tee off when a little more patience was called for, resulting in Mahender bowling him for 2. More probing until it was time for our openers to take a break in the warm sun, Shahed and Graham taking up the attack. Jack started to show his class at this point and Rich’s confidence grew after some early scares, and they rebuilt the home side’s innings superbly, adding more than 100 until Rich was bowled by Tim as our clarinet-playing twirlyman applied the brakes with 7 economical overs. Ben played a cavalier innings in support of Jack, who completed and excellent century and Jesus declared at 234-5.
A great tea as always and we headed out to commence our bid for a second victory of the weekend. Richard was looking OK until he got a bit scratchy to a probing line from Milind, leading him to be bowled for 7. Stuart and Debasis looked extremely comfortable until Stuart, on 20, hit a very pleasant shot straight at a fielder, called for a run that wasn’t there, resulting in him being run out. Paul and Joe got one each as the home bowlers, buoyed by their wickets, bowled with some considerable application, aided by top quality ground fielding. Graham hit a four then got out lbw. At last Debasis found some good support from Jeff and passed his half century – more terrific strokeplay – until he managed to locate the tallest man on the opposition side at full stretch on the boundary – out for 79; hit six inches higher and it was a six – great catch. Jeff and Tim battled on until Jeff holed out for 19 and Tim was bowled for 8. There’s 12 overs to go when Mahender joined Shahed – two wickets left and the run rate is probably beyond us. Both batsmen played very sensible cricket, not just trying to hang in for the draw, but belting anything loose for runs, resulting in a stand of 50 only broken on the last ball of the match as Mahender edged to slip for a fine 29, Shahed unbeaten with a rock solid 16. A splendid rearguard action and a first ever unbeaten East Anglia tour. Salmagundi!