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May 22, 2010 Friendly vs The Gents Lost by 7 wickets

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Knights of the sward: Ben Taylor and Rafe Smallman march to open vs The Gents       Photo: Tim Castle
More pictures from the game here... (opens in new window)
Timeless test sets tea-time trauma

Played at Toddington Manor

The Fallopians entered this fixture on the back of a fine start to the season with only the weather preventing a 100% record to date. However, the team arrived at the idyllic setting for the match with only 9 men in the team and the feeling that we were a couple of batsmen short.

To add further confusion to the situation, the opposition proposed we play a timed game with a half hour tea to be taken at 4.45 - with a suggestion that the team batting first were expected to declare if still batting at the break - and then 20 overs from 6 o'clock and no limit on overs per bowler.

The weather couldn't have been better with not a cloud in the sky, and after winning the toss and choosing to bat on a green looking pitch the Fallopians slipped to 30-odd for 2 with some accurate, nagging bowling from the Gents' opening attack. However, Rafe Smallman once again held an O.F. innings together, playing his accustomed anchor role, and with able support from both Mark V and Matt was able to push the total on past 100.

Sadly, after he fell for a well played 50, the lack of boundary hitters in the outfit was sorely felt. Some excellent late hitting from Matt and a cameo from Kit Wright bolstered the total to 139, but with only 9 men we were all out at ten past 5 with the Gents' opening bowler returning for a second lengthy spell to finish off the innings (it was later found that he had bowled 15 overs, which was no surprise as he held the opposition's bowling together!).

By this stage the home side had long been complaining of empty stomachs to try and hurry along a declaration, but if this had been made at the implied expected time of 4.45 then the Gents would have had around 35 overs to chase 100-odd!

With 139 to defend and the Gents still having around 30 overs to chase it in --  the Fallopians knew they'd have to bowl our of their skins and that wickets were very much the requirement. Ben Taylor - who bowled a particularly good, hostile opening spell - and Peter Frisby began well, forcing plenty of false strokes and creating chances.

Many of these were close run out misses or difficult catches, which sadly didn't stick, but sustained pressure was put on the opening pair. The opening 2 wickets both came from run outs, testament to the fact that the Gents came out to bat with all guns blazing and regularly ran extra runs on the fielder's throws. However, the number 3 batsman was playing a superbly sensible, well-paced innings and the Fallopians' skipper (Will Hopson-Hill) was forced to change the bowling with regularity in the search for further wickets to try and keep the pressure on.

Unfortunately, it wasn't until the score had ticked past 100 that a couple more late wickets - including one for Tim Castle, who bowled a spell with great vigour and pace - brought more pressure on the batsmen, but unsurprisingly it was the number 3 who ended the match by spanking a full toss from the skipper straight down the ground for four, and the Gents had reached their target with around 5 overs to spare.

It must be said though that all the Fallopians' bowlers contributed to making the match far closer than it had any right to be. With only 9 players, a fairly short batting line up and crucially only 10 men fielding - having borrowed one of the Gents players - this was a fantastic effort and continues what has been a great start to the season. It was a committed, never-say-die performance in a match where the odds were stacked against the Fallopians. If a full side had been put out I'm convinced that the game would have gone the OF's way!

-- Will Hopson-Hill

Nine true men: (standing L-R) Kit Wright, Will Hopson-Hill, Ben Taylor, John Shaw, Mark Venables; (sitting L-R) Rafe Smallman, Peter Frisby, Matt Meads, Tim Castle

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Old Fallopians 139 (43.4 overs)
The Gents 142-4 (27.1 overs)
The Gents won by 6 wickets
Old Fallopians
  How out Bowler Runs Sixes Fours
Rafe Smallman ct Linklater Skidelsky 50 0 4
Ben Taylor ct Skideksky Holland 7 0 1
Will Hopson-Hill lbw Holland 8 0 2
Mark Venables ct Douglas Araboon 10 0 0
Matt Meads ct Ian Holland 25 0 1
Kit Wright bowled Holland 2 0 0
Peter Frisby bowled Douglas 2 0 0
John Shaw ct Ian Douglas 3 0 0
Tim Castle not out   1 0 0
Mark Venables (2) bowled Holland 0 0 0
Extras (nb 3, w 19, b 4, lb 5) 31    


FoW: 1-18, 2-29, 3-75, 4-105, 5-118, 6-120, 7-128, 8-139, 9-139
  Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
Douglas 15 5 25 2
Holland 11.4 1 33 5
Araboon 6 0 28 1
Wilson 4 0 19 0
Linklater 4 0 9 0
Skidelsky 3 0 13 1
The Gents
  How out Bowler Runs Sixes Fours
A Linklater run out   15 0 0
J-S Bosanquet run out   23 0 3
W Skildelsky not out   55 0 8
M Dawnay ct Wright Castle 20 0 2
A Jones ct Hopson-Hill Taylor 7 0 0
M McCallum not out   0 0 0
Extras (w 7, b 10, lb 5) 22    


S Wilson, J Araboon, I Hepenstall, C Douglas and T Holland did not bat
  Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
Taylor 10 1 30 1
Frisby 4 0 27 0
Shaw 4 0 27 0
Castle 4 0 13 1
Wright 3 0 24 0
Hopson-Hill 2.1 0 13 0

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