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Hampshire All Stars v All England, 24 June

Cricketing legends took part in the original first class game in 1772; the master batter, John Small, the most accurate bowler of his day, Lumpy Stevens, and the formidable captain and gracious host, Richard Nyren.


The celebrations in 2022 featured great characters too as Hampshire All Stars took on a diverse All England team in a 30-over challenge match.


Mark Nicholas won the toss and chose to bat as Hampshire made a cautious start thanks to a fine opening spell from Dru Patel and Lee Gray who kept the run rate at just 3 runs per over.


Journalist Elgan Alderman, who had earlier published a fine article in The Times on how a brewer, a farmer and a builder had started first class cricket, dived around the square saving runs and was unlucky not to get the first wicket with a catch going down at point.


Charlotte Edwards, the All England Captain, rotated the bowlers well. Cricket writer Jim Wallace trapped Neil Johnson LBW, Rob Franks from the England Disability team clean bowled Nicholas with some clever flight and actor Rory Kinnear delivered an eloquent spell of line-and-length bowling as though it was a line from Othello.


Hampshire went big in the last five overs, as James Bruce and Georgia Adams plundered 50 runs to set a challenging target of 175.


By now Jack Russell had chosen his vantage point and combined his painting with crowd selfies, and telling tales of touring with his former Ashes roommate, Gladstone Small ("he was the only player that would put up with the smell of paint").


At tea-time there was a special showing of the Unity Bat to encourage diversity and inclusion in sport, Test Match Special joined in for a bit of live commentary and some history, and some of the younger spectators went to the nets to emulate their heroes.


In reply, the stealthy Hampshire seam attack of James Bruce and James Hamblin took the early wickets of Chris Pratt and Dru Patel, so All England needed to rebuild.


Yasin Patel drove through the covers to reach 16, Jamie Cox made a patient 19 and Charlotte Edwards cut and pulled the shorter balls to get the innings going, putting on 40 for the 6th wicket with Suman Shrestha.


Chris Tremlett arrived with just 7 overs to go and more than 10 an over required. He wasted no time, taking 24 off a Neil Johnson over and putting one over the trees with the biggest six in living memory at Broadhalfpenny Down.


Suman Shrestha played an inventive ramp shot down to fine leg for 4, but when he was out in the last over heroics were needed.


Jim Wallace went first ball and Rob Franks scrambled a bye. So it was 6 or nothing off the last ball, but Chris Tremlett could only drive the ball to Georgia Adams on the cover boundary and Hampshire All Stars won by 3 runs.


Ian Lovett, President of the ECB, had earlier given a welcome speech to players and guests that celebrated the contribution of volunteers across all cricket clubs, and Broadhalfpenny Down is no exception. The ground looked beautiful, both lunch and tea were delicious, and the Broadhalfpenny Brigands had, collectively, created something memorable.


Mark Nicholas thanked the crowd for their support, James Bruce was named the Hambledon Vineyard Player of the Match and the players retired to the Bat & Ball, much as John Small, Stevens and Richard Nyren would have done back in 1772.


Here's to the next 250 years of cricket at Broadhalfpenny Down, one of the jewels in the crown of cricket.


Photographs from Dave Vokes and Dave Henderson




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