250 years after the original first class match at Broadhalfpenny Down, an MCC side took on a a Broadhalfpenny Down XI (consisting mostly of Brigands) in the sweltering heat on a brown outfield.
Sam Sargant got a wicket in the first over and Mike Beardall the next two a few overs later and the MCC were under a bit of pressure.
Good catching, including Neil Wood in the slips, helped and MCC were 5 down at lunchtime when the teams were given a lovely salmon lunch and a history lesson that covered the greats of the game who played in the 18th Century to how cricket’s Laws were made in Hambledon and then transferred to Lord’s. Meanwhile, Harry Bates was being filmed out in the middle as one of the "characters of cricket" (more to follow).
MCC declared on 189 for 9 with Joe Kooner-Evans top scoring with 67 and Rhodri Williams hitting a rapid 35.
Broadhalfpenny Down XI opened up with Dave Turner and Adam Jay, both of whom looked to be dealing with the seam and spin opening attack of Sam Martin-Jenkins and Guy Bulpitt until the last over before tea when both fell.
Toby Marriott looked good until he edged a low one; Lee Gray then nicked a good one leaving the home side on 40-5. Ned Bowman rallied the middle order with 65, supported by Ed Hands, and it was run-a-ball needed in the last 20 overs.
The hobbling Andy Crofts came in at 10, ended the run chase so it was all-out defence to salvage a draw which, thanks to a few drops in the dying overs, was duly achieved before the players retired to the Bat and Ball to cool down.