Updated: Jan 3
By Clive Barnett
Under leaden skies but watched by a large crowd, the first New Years’ Day cricket match on the Down since the Millenium was heralded by intrepid Mike Beardall climbing to the top of the monument. Thus the teams were summoned to play a game which inaugurated a year of events celebrating the playing of the first-ever First-Class cricket match at the “Cradle of Cricket”.
After the obligatory team photos had been taken and fortified by copious quantities of hot coffee, tea and bacon rolls (thanks to Mesdames Beardall and Dingemans), the two teams of ten players took the field with the Huskies batting first having lost a toss using a George III Halfpenny dated 1772.
The Huskies included representatives from local clubs including Hursley Park, Havant, Hambledon and Portsmouth as well as cricketing journalists and the MCC.
Players batted in pairs for four overs a pair with wickets resulting in the deduction of five runs from the team’s score. Bowlers were restricted to a maximum of three overs each. Given the damp if unseasonably warm conditions, the standard of play was remarkably high although a slippery ball and overcast conditions meant that out-fielders often found difficulty in sighting the ball and a number of catches were dropped by both sides.
The Huskies amasses a total of 123 in their twenty overs with important contributions from C Pratt (27), P Hayward (18), H Turbevill (12) and a final flurry from Dave Henderson (32) whilst wickets were shared evenly amongst the Brigands bowlers.
Set a challenging target, Brigands started well with an excellent contribution by Ladenberg (28), well supported by Northwood (12), Bailey (13) and Jay (20) which set up the opportunity for the last pair of Wood and Dougie Henderson to win the match for the home side. However, tight bowling by Pete Hayward, Rory Tennant and Huw Turbevill supported by some excellent ground fielding and one stunning catch restricted the victory charge and, with a couple of wickets falling Brigands ended on 107, just 17 runs short.
All agreed that the venture had been a great success and an excellent start to a year of celebration. Over 40 players and spectators then retired for lunch at The Bat & Ball at which Huw Tubervill received the Man of the Match award from Hambledon Vineyard for his all-round contribution to his side’s victory.
Photo gallery below with thanks to photographers Russell Sach, Dave Vokes, Dave Bodymore and Millly Henderson (individual credits to follow).
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Match Day Team Sheet