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Grantchester v The Philanderers, Wednesday 27th July at the Meadows, Grantchester

On yet another hot and dry summer's evening, the Philanderers 2nd XI, sorry Midweek XI, made our way to the delightful Grantchester Meadows to play our third and final match of the season in the knowledge (well hindsight) that an unbeaten summer was on the line. The Sunday XI's ridiculously long unbeaten run will surely never be challenged, but as far as 2022 goes it includes the odd draw, hence the Midweek XI could surpass the Sunday XI's 2022 with a 100% season.

A solid mixture of ages, experience and form took to the field first, surely the greenest ground in Cambs, not just near the river but also the square which was decidedly soft and given the ball swung prodigiously to start with, it was a challenging time for Grantchester batsmen and the Philanderer's wicket keeper.... The accuracy of the bowling and placement of the fielders on this very small ground became key. Pete Richer, while swinging (the ball) both ways, bowled the first two wickets on his way to 3-15. However, home batter Alex Stafford was regularly smashing boundaries (eight 4s & one 6) in his 44 and had useful support from the middle order (whose names I cannot decipher!) although the main boost to the total was the 36 extras, including 20 wides in what seemed a challenging total of 156-7 in the 20 overs. Other wickets shared by Cox, Pearson, Dean and Dole.

The Philanderers reply was headed by solid opening pair of Alex Carew and George Dole in his only innings of the year (rugby now appears to have an 11+ month season) and boundaries were being clubbed at least twice an over. With a quick 50 begging George fell four short, who would take up the mantle? Skipper Rob Gill would with support from Will Hammond and Charlie Pearson. As you would expect there were some expansive strokes but there was also a surprising amount of care and application but not a lot of running! Eleven 4s and a 6 later in Rob's 65*, the Phillies were home and dry with 5 wickets and 17 balls to spare and just 5 extras...

Then the Blue Ball Public House beckoned.

David Pimblett


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