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Brigands v Brighton & Hove Crescent

Updated: Sep 14, 2022

The last, sunny, game of the Brigands season followed a week of torrential rainfall that caused challenges in pitch preparation for Harry and Rod, a damp wicket, and a magnificent crop of button mushrooms on the outfield.

The game was preceded by an impeccably observed minute of silence in front of the pavilion, the singing of God Save the King (which revealed unknown choral qualities from Ed Hands), and the lowering of the flags to half-mast.

Brigands Captain, Dave Henderson, bravely decided to bat on a damp and drying wicket, opening the batting with Mo Ali. Setting aside his season-long woes with the bat he led from the front finally falling on 115 in the penultimate over of the innings which was his, and the Brigands, first century of the season.

Good support from Ali , 38, and Turner 30 took the Brigands to 213 for 5 declared in 40 overs. A cameo from Steve Blackburn included two examples of the falling hook famously used by Rohan Kanhai, the second was less successful than the first as he missed the ball and lost his middle stump.

Brigands had the disadvantage of having to field after a Mrs Bailey tea (a high cake-to-player ratio) but started with a flourish with Richie Hay striking in the second over inducing a simple catch to Ed Hands who had just been moved into position the ball before by skipper Henderson.

A straight ball from Hands accounted for the number 3 which bought Brighton's Matt Wood to the wicket and heralded an onslaught of hitting which looked as if it had the chance of taking the game away from the Brigands.

Hendersons' luck continued with his introduction of Mo into the attack, bowling spin, which led to the demise of Wood first ball of the over for a powerfully struck 49.

Brighton kept up with the run rate with attacking fields set and 9 bowlers rotated, and helped by keeper Bailey having an Ancient Mariner day and Lee Gray being no-balled for bowling right arm over. Brighton skipper, Joe Gatford, took the game deep into the last twenty overs despite a fine spell of bowling from Hari Walton, who even at his young age realises that bowling straight and hitting the top of middle is a better option than relying on cake dreaming Turner to catch the ball.

Hendersons' golden day reached its apogee when, with two overs to go and the last pair together, he brought back Ali for one last over which ended the Brighton skipper's resistance for a well-made 53, leaving the Brigands winners by 31 runs.

And so we beat on; the season ended, as it had begun, with a lovely sunset in the Hambledon valley and stories to tell in The Bat & Ball.

Brigands 213 for 5 declared, beat Brighton and Hove Crescent CC 182 all out, by 31 runs

Author Paul Bailey

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