Runs aplenty brings Brunswick's season to an end

Thursday 30 August 2018

Brigthon Brunswick 292-3, Horsham 251-9

The Brunswick arrived to play its last match of the season against Horsham Cricket Club in the very pleasant surroundings of the Horsham cricket ground.

Winning the toss Captain Jonny Phelps elected to bat on hard fast wicket which had been protected by covers from the torrential rain of the previous day. Apparently, the ground had been under water at one time!

This was a timed game and in the warm overcast conditions, one would have expected the new ball to have swung prodigiously. But Brunswick's opening bats Walid Ghuari and James Russell were untroubled by the Horsham opening attack of Cross and Maskell.

Ghuari, treated the Horsham opening attack with disdain hitting Maskell for five fours in his first two opening overs. With the score racing to 54 off only 7 overs Ghuari on 43 thrashed a short ball from Maskell over mid-off for what looked like a certain 6 only to find the safe hands of Maskell on the long-off boundary.

This brought Luke Chafer, a young batsman/wicket-keeper from Brighton & Hove CC, playing his first game for the Brunswick, to the crease. He and Russell continued the onslaught of the Horsham bowlers. These two both reached fine 50s and took the score to 194 off only 23 overs before Horsham took their next wicket. Chafer, attempting to hit the off-spin of Hucklestone over mid-wicket, played across a good length ball and was comprehensively bowled for a fine 75. His innings contained 12-4s and 2-6s.

This brought Tashaffi Shams to the crease. James Russell continued to score prolifically to all areas of the ground and reached a fine and chanceless 100. His innings, taking only 95 minutes, contained 13-4s and 3-6s. He retired bringing Dilshan DeSilva in to bat at number five. When Shams went for 14, mishitting a ball from Hucklestone high to square leg, this brought Captain Jonny Phelps into bat. He certainly did not intend to delay the declaration and in only 14 balls he reached 53 runs scoring 5-6s in one over! After only 35 overs the Brunswick innings was declared on 292-3.

After a fine tea, Horsham's opening bats Donal and Ekstron found the medium fast bowling of Brunswick's Arun Brown far too good for them. With the 4th ball of his first over Brown removed Donald's off stump and he was back in the pavilion for 0. Next over Ekstron on 8 played at a swinging ball from Brown which cut back viciously to take an inside edge straight into the safe gloves of wicket-keeper Luke Chafer. Willis batting at three lasted only 3 balls. In attempting to hook a short ball from Brown he mistimed his shot and spooned a catch to square leg where Shams took a simple catch. Horsham were 13-3 off only 6 overs.

Cooper batting at 4 and Osborne at 5 set about recovering the situation. Osborne was particularly aggressive hitting the Brunswick bowlers for a series of 4's. These two took the score comfortably to 63 whereupon a change of bowling and the introduction of the leg-spin of Kelan Karkin saw Osborne totally misread his googly and he was bowled for a fine 39.

Cross joined Cooper at the crease. Cooper provided the anchor to a partnership which, if Horsham was to reach the Brunswick's formidable score, was never up with the clock. A change of bowling and the introduction of the wily spin of Stan Spiegal provided Horsham with the opportunity to accelerate the score rate. Instead Cooper scored a series of singles and Horsham fell further behind the clock.

With the last 20 overs called at 6pm the Horsham score stood at 116-4 leaving them requiring 177 runs to win or 9 an over.

Cross, did attempt to lift Horsham's score rate and with a series of hefty blows he reached a fine 50 with a 6 over long-on. In going for another big hit off the medium pace of DeSilva, he was well caught on the boundary by Phelps for a fine swash-buckling 57.

Horsham 148-5 with 17 overs to go required 145 runs to win or 8.5 runs per over.

With the score on 167 and only 11 overs remaining Cooper seemed to wake up to the fact that Horsham was fast running out of overs. Cooper, after hitting the medium pace of Phelps for three successive 4's and in attempting a big hit to bring up his 50 was comprehensively bowled by Phelps for 48. His innings had taken 80 minutes but was far too slow in the run-race situation.

Horsham 178-6 with 11 overs to go now required 115 to win or 10.5 an over.

Despite a spirited attempt by Horsham's tail-order batsmen, Captain Graham Cheesman bowled Phelps for 11 runs, Bown 37 N.O. Huddleston caught behind for 23 off Phelps and Alexander bowled by Russell for 12, all sacrificing their wickets to achieve the target, Horsham was never up with the run-rate.

With 9 wickets down, it was left to Maskell, in fading light, to face the last two balls from Russell and to complete the 20 overs. This he did bringing Horsham's innings to a close on 251-9, 41 runs short of the target and a draw to end the season for the Brunswick.

Although one might criticise Horsham's middle order batsman for not scoring at a quicker rate, considering the disastrous start to their innings, the team did well to reach 251 runs.

At the end of the day, 543 runs were scored in a most enjoyable afternoon match, in fine weather at one of the most picturesque grounds in Sussex. What more can one ask of cricket at the end of a long hot season?


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