What an absolutely glorious summer this has been. Our entire season seems to have been played in never-ending gloriously clear blue skies, and in the last couple of games we’ve pretty much barbecued ourselves out in the field. The temperature today only reached a balmy mid-20s and there was a lovely breeze across Cricketfield Road – a superb day for cricket.

Perhaps it was a combination of warm weather sluggishness and low expectation against a well-drilled club who always prove tough opposition, but we seemed quiet in the field today. Barton rarely give their wickets away and Kev, Yogi and AB had all bowled decent spells without success before Si got two in successive overs, one a good catch in the deep by Yogi and the other caught and bowled. Chip also marked something of a comeback with a plumb lbw decision which he fully deserved and James Bates took a great catch at square leg off Dion:

James Bates takes a great catch

James Bates takes a great catch

Our bowling in general was pretty good but at times we were a little sluggish in the field and a few good catching chances went to ground. We were also a bit unlucky with bowlers beating the outside edge a few times, and we withdrew a stumping appeal against a batsman who hadn’t played cricket before and was there to make up the numbers. However well we played, credit must go to Barton’s youngsters – great technique, sharp running and so much potential for the future. Barton made 221-5 off their 30 overs and it would take one heck of a chase for us to get them.

Barton do a superb tea and today was no exception, so huge thanks to Jan for yet another brilliant spread!

Our innings went less well. Steve Lewis bowled AB in the very first over, but we were lucky it was a no ball. The next ball was exactly the same though, and worse was to come as Chalky followed in Steve’s next over to leave is 4-2. James Bates (10) and I took the score past 30 before a little overconfidence led to a loose shot across the line from James who saw the ball hit his off stump. The worst was yet to come though as Chip, who had hit a nice boundary and was starting to build a decent partnership with me, injured his knee again taking a single and limped off. It’s unlikely that we’ll see him on the pitch again this year, which is a real shame as he was just starting to look his old self again.

Mike Barlow and I then got together and put together another stoic partnership of 24, but I was caught behind off the toe of the bat and from there saving the game was always going to be tough. The tail batted well, especially Matt Priestley (17) but despite this rearguard action we were dismissed for 121, exactly 100 short of Barton’s score and sadly still seven behind Australia’s first innings total at Lord’s.

A good game and the right result, then, and thanks to Barton once again for being great hosts. I’m sure you’ll all join me in wishing Chip a speedy recovery from his latest injury setback.

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