We thought the most surprising result of the tour would be that the weather was so nice we played all three of our scheduled matches, but in fact this was it – a draw against a very good Yorkley Star side. Yorkley were far and away the better side as they hit 12 sixes in an hour and a half of bruising batting, but the two top scorers were both Cavaliers and in avoiding being bowled out we emerged with at least some credit.
The setting is stunning, on top of an infilled quarry on a hillside in the village. The pavilion was small and classy and it was the perfect venue for the last game of the tour. We were early and headed for the Nag’s Head for a swift livener before the game.
Dutch courage was certainly the order of the day. We started well enough, Yogi getting a wicket in his first and third overs, but from that delivery onward the batsmen had the upper hand. Gibbs hit 31 in 16 deliveries before being lbw to Kev, and though Dave had James caught well by Yogi in the next over this was the start of some brutal batting. We didn’t realise at the time that the batting order had been reversed so that every time we ttook a wicket, a slightly better batsman came in. Elliot, Rudd, Gibbs and Moody gave our poor bowlers a real clouting and at one stage we even called on our scorer (perhaps somewhat unfairly) to bowl an over. It was one of those situations we get sometimes where the opposition are just far too good, and wherever you put the fielders it’s not going to make any difference whatsoever. From 26 overs Yorkley scored 247 runs – a whopping score.
We were never going to challenge that, and of course Chalky had played his big innings for the year already, eh? Not a bit of it. He and I carried on where we had left off – my first seven shots went for seven runs, his first seven for 24! Once again he was imperious and once again I was delighted to be at the other end as he passed 50 once again, this time by whacking a big straight six over the bowler’s head. He caught and passed my club record of 59 with a lovely four and rumours that I started kicking him in the shins while we celebrated are entirely unfounded. In all seriousness – what an innings, and it was a shame when it ended next ball as he mistimed a drive for once and was caught off a thick edge.
Dion, Dave and Si all came and went and I plodded on towards 50. There was an odd incident when I was in the 40s, I apparently nudged a bail off while defending my wicket from a rolling ball. I don’t think anyone actually saw what had happened, least of all the umpires, though the fielder who appealed seemed convinced that it must have been me not wind or fielders. ‘Probably out on a Saturday’ was the conclusion and I was allowed to bat on, though any thoughts that I might take the club record back dissipated in that moment – I genuinely didn’t (and still don’t) know what had actually happened, but I didn’t want anyone to think there was any gamesmanship involved. I nudged a ball down the hill to the midwicket boundary for my 50 and retired.
Jonny took up the mantle and saw us through to the close, with Graeme having the honour of scoring the last boundary of the tour. There was one final comedy run out on the last ball of the innings involving Jonny and Chris, and we finished on 158-8.
Great game, great opposition, and Myra’s tea back at the Nag’s Head was nothing short of sensational. It had been a great tour.