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The Australian Women’s XI, preparing for their Women’s Ashes campaign, had asked us to give up our usual venue for this fixture, namely the Marlborough College first XI pitch, so we took the 2nd XI pitch instead. It has the same lovely views and hard true track so there was little to object to. And with a slightly overcast but completely dry day the stage was set for some good cricket. We lost the toss and the Arcadian Casuals chose to bat. We had lost the pace of Dan Burton to some kitchen redecoration earlier in the week (a new candidate for excuse of the year) but Saunders and Burrett opened the bowling very well, Saunders in particular impressing with his control and banana shaped in-swingers. The Casuals nevertheless put on 91 for the first wicket (both openers reaching half centuries, as did Tom Voodoo-Stevens) before some fabulous fielding (Burrett and Tatton-Brown), fine catching (Saunders) and challenging off spin (Jory and Davenport QQC) impeded their progress for a while. In the end the Casuals finished on 246 off the allotted 45 overs – a respectable score but well within the capabilities of a batting line up that included Burrett, Willatt, Jory, Law and Saunders.  But just when Burrett and Jory looked set to bring us home on their own, the first of a series of LBW decisions accounted for Burrett and we proceeded to lose regular wickets thereafter. Jory scored 33, Willatt 29 and Harry Spurr an elegant 52 but at the death there was too much for Davenport and Cayford to do, the former ending it all by knocking over his own stumps while chasing a wide (don’t ask!).

Another wonderful day’s cricket, played in great spirit, with much spectator / WAG support and old-fashioned banquets for lunch and tea.  A near perfect Saturday and ideal preparation for the extraordinary following day on which England won the Cricket World Cup at Lords.


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