Refreshers v V&A CC, Stonor Park – 31 August 2019

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Tuesday, 5pm: a telephone call between Club Captain and Fixtures Sec:

CC: Joe, I am not going to be able to make it on Saturday, but we’ve got 14 without me, all confirmed, so I hope that’s ok

FS: Yes, – a shame not to have you but hopefully we’ll be fine.

Wednesday, 11am, same:

FS: I’ve just seen an e-mail from x.He seems to have been forgotten and would like to play. Can we fit him in?

CC: I’ll give him a call. There is bound to be a drop out at some stage but he would make 15!

Friday, 6pm, same:

CC: All good for tomorrow? Shall I stand down my cousin?

FS: Yes – we’ve got a good solid 11 and all have confirmed. Could you stand down your extras?

CC: Lord Faulks also offered his son’s services – shall I stand him down too?

FS: Yes, I think so – its 12 hours away and we have a strong 11.

Friday, 10pm: Whatsapp message to Fixtures Sec:

Player y: my wife has gone into early labour, we are in hospital, probably overnight – I’ve got my whites and will be there if I possibly can.

Saturday, 10.45am, Stonor Parkten Refreshers, player y still at the hospital, promising to come for the second innings!

FS: TAILS!

Coin: HEADS.

The ten Refreshers, minus their gun opening bowler, take the field. A solid opening spell from Saunders and Pip Shepherd, a ringer, but the runs come relatively freely and V&A go at five an over without too many risks. Burrett and Milo Skelton take over, slow the rate. A catch goes up off Burrett… Milo calls, loud and clear and early. Burrett steams towards the ball, Skelton steams towards the ball, four eyes heavenward. They collide, one’s cheek to the other’s jaw, and fall, poleaxed. Remarkably, Burrett clings on, the ball nestled in his fist even as he lies, smarting, on the turf.

Wickets continued to fall to spin, Skelton with two and Cannon with three, and but for a late flurry at the end the total would have been below-par. However, V&A scored heavily off their last few overs and ended with 215 off their 35 overs.

Burrett – insisting no ill-effects from his collision with Milo, opened the batting and cut loose, scoring all round the wicket and running fast and often, well-supported by Skelton Sr at the other end. The scorebook records that Burrett played 14 scoring shots for his 57, all but the first two boundaries. Skelton departed, to be replaced by Joe Rich, who settled quickly and began quietly to accumulate. Sadly wickets fell often at the other end, the Refreshers middle order departing for not many. The rate was at nine an over by the time Shepherd came to the crease, but he batted powerfully and for a brief moment, things looked possible – until he fell to a smart catch. Cannon was last out, denying Lord Faulks the opportunity to play the Stokes role, and the Refreshers were all out for 175 with a few overs left to bowl.

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