On a dull, gloomy and overcast day with the constant threat of rain, Kemsing lost the toss and were put in to bat, which was their intention before the game.
Grahame Wood and son Jake got Kemsing off to a brisk start, putting on 74 before Wood Senior was bowled by the persistent Chris Millen in the 14th over, having what could politely be described as a yahoo! James Walkling and Wood Junior kept the rate going, scoring 70 off 13 overs, until Jake was out in the 27th over. He played some lovely shots, none better than a crisp cover drive which rocketed for four, in an innings of endeavour and intent.
Speaking of intent, Damien Saville and Walkling aren’t shy with bat in hand and so it was that after a short period of reconnaissance, the ball was dispatched to distant parts by both batsmen. Walkling scored 120 in boundaries, spanking 147 in 81 balls, including some glorious driving. Saville was slightly more restrained, as he was happy to give the strike to Walkling, but between singles there were a lot of wristy shots to the leg side boundary. 161 in 13 overs says it all.
And then the rain came which meant that Tea lasted for 45 minutes. When the sides returned to play, the Senior Pro, Roger Shaddock had to leave the field after the first over for his shin pads, returning after four balls of the 2nd over, to field on the third man boundary to Will Rippon’s bowling. A bit of luck too, when he plucked the ball from the air as it was heading for six off the edge of potential match-winner Tom Batchelor’s bat, for an unlikely catch.
After some wayward bowling, Messrs Wood and Shaddock were introduced into the attack, settling into reasonable rhythm, well as much as you can with a wet ball. Apart from a few loose deliveries, all went well, with Shaddock celebrating a good catch by keeper Paul Bean to a thick edge from the aggressive Charles Wash and Wood inducing an involuntary, vertical pull from Gaurav Jain.
James Sandry played nicely, hitting the ball hard, but was undone by a good ball by Wood. Tony Baldwin was caught by Bean off a snorter from Wood and Chris Sargeant was well caught at mid off by a sprawling and, ultimately, muddy Rippon from the Senior Pro’s slower ball. Shaddock and Wood took 5-61 in their 18 overs, thus giving the other bowlers some room for manoeuvre!
Kemsing however, nearly paid the price for relaxing at this point, at 104-6. Ron Banerjee and Millen played out of their skins to get so close to winning the game. Only some better bowling at the death by Rippon, Nizam, Saville and Ian Wise prevented what would have been an unacceptable defeat.
A great game for the solitary spectator at the ground, but a real nail-biter for the players. A game played in good spirits in difficult second half conditions.