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Brigands v Oriental Club, 19 June 2024

On a beautifully sunny Wednesday afternoon on the downs, the Brigands hosted the Oriental Club who were keen to celebrate their 200th Anniversary at the cradle of cricket.


Batting first, the Oriental club got off to faltering start after Wood swooped to bag a well-taken caught & bowled on the third ball of the day.  It looked like another quick wicket would fall, but the Oriental Club fielder standing in for Turner conspired to juggle three-times and then drop his teammate to deny an early second wicket.  But the visitors soon settled in and set about building a big innings score.  Despite excellent bowling spells from Bath (4-78), Sargent (1-36) and Wood (1-37), the runs kept coming.  The Brigands’ fielding oscillated.  Three catches went down, the best of which saw Blackburn manage to initially catch, then tip forward, roll over and drop the ball, all in glorious slow motion.  And Wood continued to experiment with his innovative technique of trying to catch a cricket ball using any body part except his hands, inevitably dropping the ball and sustaining another deep tissue bruise.  But on the other side of the ledger, Jay took two catches, the best of which saw him leaping into the air like a salmon and catching the ball one-handed as it went over his head.  Despite these heroics, the Oriental Club kept scoring and concluded their innings at 238-6 with Runhdimd AR top-scoring on 80 not out, well supported by Cormack (40), Westwood (29) and Tredger (27).


After a sumptuous tea in the sunshine the Brigands set about chasing the Oriental Club’s score.  The visitors bowled extremely economically, backed up by some eager fielding and despite the best efforts of the top order batsman, the runs didn’t come as quickly as they needed to. That said there were some notable batting performances with Flewitt (40) and Jay (33) the pick of the bunch, supported by Turner (27) and Morris (24).  But in the end the game was drawn as the Brigands reached 167-5 at stumps.


The Oriental Club’s 200th Anniversary game was rounded off with another pithy 30-minute talk on the significance of Broadhalfpenny Down in the development of cricket from our very own skipper and Brigand historian Mike Beardall.  Luckily for our visitors, the Bat & Ball was still serving when he finished.  All-in-all a great day’s cricket on the Down, with the Oriental Club keen to return to play again next year.



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