The Brunswick Wins in a Very Tight Finish against
Horsham Cricket Club

(Thursday 8 September 2016)

Brighton Brunswick Cricket Club 205-8 beat Horsham Cricket Club 199 all out

At the best of times the ground at Horsham Cricket Club provides one of the most scenic environments to play this wonderful game. But in September, against a cloudless sky, with the ground bathed in the warm autumnal sun and the surrounding leaves on the trees showing the first tinges of brown it is even more spectacular.

Against this background Jonny Phelps, the Brunswick Captain, won the toss and elected to bat in a timed game with the last 20 overs being called at 5.30pm.

At 1.13pm the battle began with Fergus Guppy and David Sear opening the batting for the Brunswick against the brisk, right-arm-over of Ian Sturmer and very medium-slow swing bowling of Barry Bulpitts. With only 7 runs on the board Sear played all around an in-swinging yorker from Bulpitts and was comprehensively bowled for only 2 runs. This brought Ollie Blandford to the crease.

Guppy was in particularly aggressive form. But after scoring a quick-fire 16 which included three 4's to third-man he mistimed an even slower ball from Bulpitts and spooned a return catch which he took diving forwards inches from the ground. 38-2.

Matt Blandford joined his brother Ollie at the crease and these two took control of the Horsham bowlers. Ollie led the way with a series of beautifully struck off-drives which scorched to the boundary. He soon reached a well-deserved 50 with another 4 driven on the up through the covers.

With the score on 113 Matt Blandford crashed a short ball from Russell into the safe hands of Overton who took a very good catch to send him back to the pavilion for 24.

Phelps came and went, bowled second ball for 0 by John Russell from a ball which kept low and just snicked the off stump removing the bail. 113-4.

One run later, Ollie Blandford, who looked well set to score a ton, was bowled by Russell for a good innings of 65.

This brought together Safi Waheedullah and Dave Buck, making his debut for the Brunswick. It took Buck 9 balls to get off the mark but afterwards he flayed the Horsham bowlers to all parts of the ground with a quick-fire 50 which included four 6's and six fours. These two took the score to 188 when Buck was dismissed by Russell when he was well caught on the boundary for 57. 188-6

Russell continued to make inroads into the Brunswick's batting and when he bowled Ollie Brown for a duck he took his 5th wicket for 46 off 11 overs of medium pace bowling.

With Becca Silk scoring a quick 13 runs and Safi an unusually subdued 21 before being bowled by Chris Shambrook, the Brunswick captain declared the innings on 205-8 off 39 overs at 3.35pm. After tea, this left Horsham nearly 90 minutes of batting before the last 20 overs were called. A very generous declaration.

Ollie Brown, medium paced right-arm over and Becca Silk, right arm spin opened the bowling for the Brunswick against Horsham's opening batsmen David Smith and Steve Overton. These two batted quite comfortably taking the score to 41 when Overton mistimed attempting to hit Silk over the on-side ring of fielders and was well caught by Safi. One run later Overton went for a similar big hit off Silk and was well caught by Buck at mid-off. This brought Ian Sturmer and Jim Russell together. Sturmer was in particularly aggressive form and reached his 50 with a powerful 4 over long-on off Silk. However, with Sturmer on 69 and going for a second quick run, he misread the speed of Safi running in from the boundary. Safi collected the ball and pin-pointed an accurate 50-yard throw to the wicket-keeper to run Sturmer out by two yards. Scott joined Russell and with these two together and both batting comfortably the last 20 overs was called at 5.30pm.With the score on 125 and only 81 runs required the odds were on a Horsham win.

But captain Phelps rang his bowling changes well. Introducing Stan Speigal into the bowling attack with his high looping spin when only 70 runs were required was always going to be a bit of a gamble. And with 26 runs off Speigal's 4 overs, and without any success, Horsham were well set to reach their target. But with the introduction of the spin of Sear and Phelps 3 wickets fell in the space of only 28 runs being scored. Russell was first to go being well caught by Guppy off Sear's bowling for 28. Overton went next LBW to Phelps for only 1 and Bryne bowled by Phelps for a quick 16.

With the score on 178 and with 6 wickets down Horsham required only 28 runs to win off 4 overs. Another change of bowling saw Safi's medium pace introduced into the attack. He met with immediate success getting Scott caught in the covers for 22. 181-7 with 3 overs to go.

This brought Colin Cheeseman and Chris Shambrook together. Cheesman immediately hit Phelps for two successive 4's over long-on. At the other end Shambrook hit his first ball from Safi for 2 and next ball receiving a half-volley smacked the ball safely into the hands of Buck at deep mid-on. 194-8 with 2 overs to go.

Another change of bowling saw Becca Silk's spin re-introduced back into the attack to replace Phelps from the tennis court end. With Cheesman scoring a 4 and a single off Silk's over Horsham moved on to 199.

While Horsham were a man short they only required 7 runs to win off the last over with one wicket to spare. Cheesman blocked Safi's first ball but next ball was deceived by a much slower delivery and was bowled for 9 to give the Brunswick a fine win with only 4 balls to go.

Another great match played in good spirit by both teams and to end the 2016 season for the Brunswick on a high note.

Man of the match goes to Safi for his 21 runs, 3 wickets for 4 runs, and the wonderful run-out of Sturmer at a time when it looked like he would take the Brunswick bowling attack apart.

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