A magnificent summer afternoon spent by and in my pool was interrupted by the gathering of the Philanderers forces at Babraham. Not the simplest task despite being less than two miles away as an accident in the village had blocked the road causing a late start.
Our opponents, St Giles not only won the toss, sending us out to field in the heat but sent a highly accomplished young nipper 'James' to torment us alongside another youth 'Barry' who promptly smashed the first over for 16.
Possibly for the first time in Philanderers’ history, our record-breaking legend of an opening bowler, John Burnett was faced by an opponent young enough to be his great, great, great grandson, though not legally!
In any case runs flowed at an alarming rate and even when Graham Hegarty appeared to have made the breakthrough with his first Phillies wicket of the decade with a cunning full toss, he and we were denied by a no-ball call for height.
In time Dineth made the breakthrough at 97 (after an opening stand of 95 according to our esteemed scorer, PH*) when Rob Gill caught Barry for 60.
Alex Carew finished with figures of 2-49, seemingly not tempted to bowl the same line twice at any point but the stand out bowler was Sir George, who very nearly bowled a maiden while skilfully putting the brakes on the innings with just 18 runs in his 4 overs. Under 14 James batted through for 54 not out.
Our target of 167 was assisted by PH recording boundary wides as 4* but still seemed a tall if not impossible task. Gill was sent out and told to bat properly with Charlie Pearson (20) who soon had the score passed 40, using both the middle and the edges of his bat to find the boundary before strangely failing to run his bat in and choosing to jump, to avoid any chance of being struck by the ball which instead hit the stumps to run him out.
This brought Phil's newest prodigy, Ben Cross, to the crease and another 40 plus partnership followed before disaster, Gill out caught on the boundary for 48. Eddie Dodson soon followed and scoring got much harder as St Giles employed seven to patrol the ropes. Only Ben was up to the challenge as the rate climbed attempting all kinds of reverse shots to try and find an unguarded area. Two huge 6s raised hopes but 18 off the last over was always fanciful however a very respectful total of 155-6 ensured heads could be held high with Ben finishing 57 not out.
Pub attendance however was rather disappointing, leaving the Fuhrer to share ale with just the Pimblett family and an old timer, who was taking the chance to show off his Aston Martin DB9.
*That’s what happens when The Fuhrer is forced to do the scoring in the regrettable absence of a competent volunteer from the club membership.
Opening pair Rob Gill and Charlie Pearson looking remarkably carefree yet composed