On a perfect summer’s day, which saw England’s footballers put six past Panama, the ODI team whitewashed Australia, and Lewis Hamilton won the French GP, all that remained was for Petworth Park to win away at Ebernoe. Well…
Having won the toss and assessed the hard Ebernoe wicket under the heat of the day, PPCC batted first is a 25 over game.
Nick Poston and A Rees opened up and, after a reasonable start, Nick lost his middle stump going back to a full one from H. Gibbs. Chris Baldwin, a man who only last year decided to try the game for the fist time, batted three and prodded nicely at a few, sometimes surprising the fielding team by his selected destination for the ball.
Chris nicked off, and then entered a man who couldn’t have tried harder to look like he wasn’t trying. D Hodd, black shorts donned and talking himself down on his way out, proceeded to play a mixture of cultured stroke play and agricultural bludgeons.
The bowling throughout was generally tight, and PPCC struggled to find boundaries and, after a laboured 26, A Rees holed out in the deep trying to emulate Hodd’s antics. With the lower middle order of T Hughes, C Thorpe and M Hasan doing what they could, and M Nicholson hitting the last ball to the ropes (hedges), the visitors managed to get to a score of 135 from 25 overs.
A superb tea followed, then PPCC set about defending the modest total.
Ebernoe openers A Carter and Leon got off to a comfortable looking start, despite some good stuff from Emerson Ford (great name) and D Hodd.
A Rees, bowling in partnership with D Hodd, then M Hasan calmed things down and some useful wickets fell, resulting in the required run rate reaching around 9 with 6 to go.
Ill discipline cost PPCC dearly, with 35 extras joint top scoring with Ebernoe skipper R Stemp, who punished loose balls, picking out hedges with expert local knowledge.
With two overs to go, Ebernoe needed only seven to win, with plenty in hand. C Baldwin, in his first ever spell of 5 overs, took 1-1 in the penultimate over to take the game into the final six - well done sir.
But it wasn’t to be as with three needed from two balls, J Whittington, with D Whittington watching from the other end, slapped Ford for a straight boundary. Down to the wire, but Ebernoe were worthy victors, leaving PPCC with plenty to reflect on for Tuesday night training this week.
PPCC man of the match: A Rees (26 and 5-2-2-11)
Champagne moment: D Hodd clearing the fine leg boundary from the back of the bat
Comedy moment: D Hodd under a skier in the deep. As he set himself to take the catch, three young female Ebernoe fans, perambulating the boundary, shouted 'drop it’. Hodd obliged.