This pleasant match was preceded by a barbecue kindly provided by the opposition which enabled the elder team members to acquaint or reacquaint themselves with those they had either forgotten or didn’t know from Adam. If nothing else our Fuhrer’s selection did not want for experience the three most senior players (Coteman, Hegarty and Harrison) having to date seen the sun set on a collective 205 summers.
Taking first knock the Philanderers struggled to 109-8 from their 20 overs which looked about 20 below par on a benign wicket. Only Mel Ragnauth, captain for the evening, came to grips with the bowling. His pugnacious 48 being the glue holding the innings together. The only other contribution worthy of mention being Cox’s 20.
The Perse staff lost an early wicket, bowled by a Campbell snorter, before settling down to some only slightly sub-Bazball batting which threatened to take the game away from the Philanderers. But just as the game seemed to be spinning out of his control Ragnauth brought his senior bowlers into the attack. Coteman (72), Hegarty (70) and Redmayne (65) rolled back the years and checked the hitherto rampant Perse batters. The retirement of opener Kerr-Dineen on reaching his 50 came as additional respite. With subtle field placements and deft bowling changes the captain quietly but assuredly turned his ship around until the harbour lights could be spotted through the early evening gloom.
Coteman and young Redmayne (one functional knee) each took a wicket and the evergreen Hegarty a further two to slow the teachers’ progress. Picton -Turbervill’s stunning, sprinting, diving, sprawling (enough adjectives thanks-Ed) catch in the deep off Coteman would have graced a Test match. From looking like wrapping the game up inside 15 overs the opposition eventually squeaked home by 4 wickets with just 3 balls to spare. But for a couple of missed run outs and a doubtful rejection of a visibly distressed Pimblett’s (no functional knees) stumping supplication the result could well have been different.
If nothing else this match proved that age and infirmity need be no barrier to fruitful enjoyment of our summer game. My own contribution was perhaps limited to occupying, somewhat statuesquely, various strategic positions in the field for principally deterrent purposes. Which I enjoyed enormously.