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Brigands v London New Zealand, 19 May 2024

The kiwi fruit is a case study in rebranding. Originally known as the Chinese Gooseberry, the furry green fruit was renamed in 1959 after the flightless birds endemic to New Zealand and sales took off.


And so a Kiwi Pavlova was made especially for the visit of the unbeatable London New Zealand, baked by man-about-the-marquee Leon; a highlight at tea on a scorching hot day in the Hambledon valley.

Harry and Nina hard at work, Leon with his Kiwi Pavlova, Mo Ali in the field with the pavilion behind, Brigands toiling in the heat enjoy drinks

Earlier, the Kiwis had hit Brigands opening bowlers all over the Down. It was only when pace was taken off the ball that wickets fell, with the mercurial Mike Beardall bagging three and Neil Wood picking up two. Zeb fielded in headphones clinging onto a Manchester City meltdown in teh Permier League that never came. There were a couple of drops deflected for 6 and four catches in the deep that would have otherwise gone for 6. It was that sort of day.


A sporting declaration at 186-7 meant all results were possible and the pendulum swung towards the brigands when Guy Ladenburg (with a borrowed bat) and Mo Ali (with a broken thumb) put on 25 in 3 overs for the first wicket.


The pendulum swung back towards the Kiwis once Dave Henderson’s (36) dismissal triggered a mini collapse as Brigands fell from 103-3 to 115-8.


New Zealand legend Kane Williamson visited Broadhalfpenny Down in 2021; he has the fourth highest batting average across the final innings of test matches using a simple approach of picking the gaps. Adam Jay (42) and Neil Wood (23) emulated him by patiently working the ball between fielders taking quick singles and punishing the rare bad balls. Their mature 40 partnership meant there was a chance, just a chance of victory.

But when Jay missed a straight one it was the tenth wicket either bowled, LBW or caught behind; the rewards of bowling straight, and a win for the Kiwis by 29 runs.

A final note of thanks to Caroline Beardall for scoring with a smile, to Peter Tompkins and Clive Barnett for great Umpiring in the heat, and to Lee Gray fo military-grade match management.

Sam Martin on his way to a 6 wicket haul, one of which is Paul Whittle caught behind. Jay on the charge, Wood bowled, Handshakes with the Bat & Ball behind, and Kane Williamson on his visit to the ground in 2021

A happy Adam Jay, Player of the Match, receives his New Zealand wine

London New Zealand 186-7 declared best Brigands 157 all out by 29 runs

Photos by Dougie Henderson, Dave Henderson & Kris Newton



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