Brigands v I Zingari
Only 8 individual cricketers have scored 1,000 first class runs by the end of May; the first was WG Grace in 1895 and the last was Graeme Hick in 1988.
It's taken all of the Brigands, a new pitch, and the addition of a game on New Year's Day to stumble over a thousand runs in 2022. Seven matches have produced 1,021 runs, not once passing 200, and in comparison, Brigands scored 1,268 runs from their first seven matches last year.
I Zingari made a rare appearance at Broadhalfpenny Down, wearing their "Out of darkness, through fire, into light" black, red, and gold blazers.
Brigands were asked to bat first against a seam attack that bowled in the corridor and to their field of slips and gulleys. What they lacked in diversity was they made up for in accuracy. Runs were accumulated in ones and twos, and wickets fell every 5 or 6 overs. Only Ladenburg and Bath got on top of the bowling and when Bath was given out LBW off a thick edge, he was recalled by the I Zingari captain who promptly caught him at slip the very next ball. Only a 7th wicket partnership of 64 by Jay and Mann got Brigands to a competitive score of 152 all out with only 8 boundaries scored in the innings.
More Brigands were runless than there were cakes; Brigands batters beating Mrs Bailey by 6 ducks to 5 flavours (the lovely tea won on every other measure).
A tight new ball bowling spell gave Brigands some early hope; just 16 runs off the first 9 overs and the watching journalist and photographer from the Sunday Times saw that the game was afoot.
I Zingari's number 3 survived a pivotal stumping appeal and went on to accelerate the run rate with only Sargant, bowling his best ever spell at Broadhalfpenny Down, keeping him in check.
It was a run-a-ball target for the last 20 overs; Wood grabbed three whist Peach and Hands protected the boundaries. Mann was superb behind the stumps and only one bye was conceded in the innings. Every run mattered as the afternoon sun was replaced by an ominous black cloud and spots of rain.
The I Zingari Promise includes the line "Keep your Temper – Keep your Wicket up" and their 7th wicket partnership of Loup and Hill did just that as they took the singles and hit the bad balls to take them into the last 2 overs with 13 to win. A last throw of the dice saw Ladenburg bowl the last over as I Zingari nudged over the line to claim the victory by 4 wickets.