The Brunswick triumphs in an exciting match against St James Montefiore

(21 July 2016)

Brunswick 230-7 St. James 221-7

With summer finally now in full flow a Brunswick XI travelled to play St. James Montefiore CC's at their ground set in the beautiful Sussex downs between Keymer and Ditchling.

Winning the toss, the Brunswick's Captain Victor Davies elected to bat in a 40-overs match on a dry wicket which offered help to the bowlers and a fast outfield.

The Brunswick opening batsmen Hugo Cowan and James Wilkes-Green were soon in trouble when Cowan playing across a full length ball from Hopgood was comprehensively bowled off the third ball of the first over. 1-0!

Victor Davies joined Wilkes-Green at the wicket and these two batted comfortably against the bowling attack of Hopgood and Davies, which saw the odd ball rise quite awkwardly off a length. Wilkes-Green on 20 and seeing the ball well, attempted the rash "scoop shot", off a short ball from Hopgood, over the wicket-keepers keepers head. Mistiming the shot, he scooped the ball high in the air to Murrey who took a simple catch. Brunswick 50-2 off 7 overs.

This brought Aran Brown to the crease. With Davies batting beautifully and striking the ball to all parts of the ground and Brown also batting comfortably, these two took the score to the dreaded "Nelson" 111. Not unexpectedly, utter confusion reigned on this mystic number! Brown in attempting to take a quick single was sent back by Davies and was run-out for a fine 39. 111-3 off 20 overs.

Mike Rose, who has the capability to bat well, was elevated in the Brunswick batting order. Davies brought up his 50 with a fine cover drive off Loughton who was bowling an erratic length! Davies playing back to a ball from David Horsham's right arm spin, which beat the bat and wrapped him on the pads in front, was adjudged LBW for a fine 59. 169-4 off 33 overs.

Mark Prickett, returning to play for the Brunswick after a gap of nearly 5 years, joined Rose at the crease. These two were particularly harsh on the St. James bowlers. Rose, having played and missed several times in his early overs now seeing the ball well, he raced to a fine 50 with a lofted off-drive over mid-on's head.

Rose brought up the 200 for the Brunswick in the 36th over with another lofted on-drive. But in advancing down the wicket to hit Murray for another "big 4" Rose was deceived by his arm ball and was well stumped for a fine 63. 212-4 off 37 overs.

With only 3 overs to go Prickett took advantage of a tiring St. James bowling attack. While wickets fell the other end he cleverly manipulated the bowling to score a fine 24 and to take Brunswick's final score to 230-7 off 40 overs.

After tea James Cruickshank and Max Ettinger opened the batting for St. James. With only 4 runs on the board Ettinger, attempting to play a well-pitched ball from Brown off his toes through mid-wicket, lofted a simple catch to Prickett at square leg.

Shams joined Cruickshank but having only played 4 balls he wandered out of his crease to find himself brilliantly run-out by Victor Davies who picking the ball up in the covers off a well struck drive from Cruickshank, threw the stumps down at the other end. 11-2 off 3 overs.

Cruickshank was joined by Tayyrab and these put their heads down and set about the task of recovering the poor start for St. James. Tayyrab provided an ideal supporting role to Cruickshank who, having played himself in, was now starting to take control of the Brunswick bowlers. He raced to a fine 50 with a well struck 6 out of the ground over long-on.

Despite Davies ringing the bowling changes; with Stan Speigal's enticing high flighted spin and Mike Rose's left arm spin, the Brunswick had to wait until the 28th over to win its next success. Tayyrab, on 41 and starting to open his shoulders and accelerate the scoring rate, lofted a well flighted ball from Rose into the safe hands of Wilkes-Green who took a very good, chest high catch just inside the boundary. 131-3 off 28 overs.

St. James, requiring 100 runs off 12 overs, was well in the game while Cruickshank was at the crease and scoring freely. However, he did require support from the other end. But with Becca Silk claiming the next wicket of Hopgood, who chipped her well flighted off-spin into the safe hands of Rose at mid-wicket for only 2 and Aron Brown clean bowling Loughton for only 6, St James suddenly found their backs against the wall at 148-5 with only 10 overs to go and 83 runs to win.

With Cruickshank still at the crease and scoring freely the match was still there for a St. James to win. Having hit a sequence of three 4's from his last six deliveries, the introduction of Mark Prickett's left-arm leg-breaks saw the demise of Cruickshank. Attempting, to hit a single through mid-wicket off the penultimate ball of Prickett's over to pinch the bowling, he stubbed a return catch to be well caught and bowled by Prickett for a fine 85. 150-6 with 9 overs to go.

Colin Davies and Mike Murrey took the score through 200 with a sequence of bold shots and with the score on 215, when Davies on 24 was well caught by Aron Brown off the bowling of Victor Davies, only 16 runs were required for the win off only 8 balls. Despite Murrey; having scored a quick-fire 36 not out, and carving another boundary and 2 runs off the last over St James on 221 fell short of their target by only 10 runs.

A good win for the Brunswick in a very exciting match played in the great spirit of the game.

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