Updated: Jul 16
Sunday 27th June turned out to be an historic day – the occasion of the first ever The Hundred game to be played at Broadhalfpenny Down. Yes, some of those old timers might be spinning in their graves. Others of them will have smiled down on us and will no doubt have applauded an exciting and fun game of cricket.
With the game between the Brigands and Rioteers due to start at 2pm, and a weather forecast of imminent heavy rainfall, a short format game seemed the most likely way in which a result could be achieved. Twenty 20 was considered, but what about trying out the Hundred? 10 x 10 ball overs (with bowlers being permitted to change after 5 balls), a 25 ball power play, and a locally imposed 30 and retire for the batsmen. Surely, something for everyone to get stuck into?
Rioteers batted first with the Brigands taking the field. By the end of the power play the Rioteers had lost one wicket, their skipper Simon Brazier, to a remarkably well juggled catch by Dave Turner in the gully, and were scoring at one a ball. After that they started to ratchet their way up the gears with some big six hitting. Numerous and frequent bowling changes by Brigands Skipper Gerry Northwood, made full use of the rule that allowed changing the bowler midway through the over, but to little avail. After 100 balls, the Rioteers were 3 wickets down, had 4 retirees and had set a decent target of 154.
The Brigands set off in pursuit as the rain started to become persistent. Perhaps Messrs Duckworth Lewis would have a part to play? Not that we would have the first clue how to apply the method. Actually, despite the drizzle the game continued uninterrupted. Brigands opening bat Douggie Henderson quickly knocked off his 30, and at first it looked like the home side might have what it takes to overhaul the total set. Yet it was not to be. The Brigands were to lose 5 wickets and the Rioteers were able to keep the scoring under control with some good bowling and sharp fielding.
After 100 balls, the Brigands were 33 short at 122 for 5. At close of play it was announced that the famous Brigands tea was back on the menu, with the added advantage that bowlers who might have been bowling, and batsmen who might have been batting post tea, did not need to hang back. And after that we went to the pub, grateful that we had snatched a fun game from a short window of, well, almost decent weather.