Jesters 319-3 dec off 46 overs (Harris 144, Mohammed 66*, Butler 44*)
The Bedouin CC 232-8 off 53 overs
An insuppressible Louis Harris equalled his Jesters best of 144 at Ascott Park as we just ran out of time to force victory against the Bedouins, for whom Barker also scored a fine century. Match manager and first-time Jesters skipper Noah Hillyard describes the full glory of our 319-3 and the drama of the Bedouins' aborted chase...
Having been inserted, the innings was opened by Santosh Verma and Ollie Doward. Early indications suggested that it would be a very flat deck, though sadly not flat enough to prevent Ollie being castled early on for 7.
Santosh was joined at the crease by Louis Harris, and the two proceeded to put the Bedouins attack to the sword. Louis in particular produced a wonderful array of shots, his bat producing sounds no Jester has ever got out of a Spartan.
After Santosh departed for a well-crafted 41, Adnan Mohammed and Louis continued the good work both before and after the lunch break, forming a partnership made all the more impressive by the fact that both had elided their now-customary pre-match net.
Louis was eventually bowled for a wonderful 144, and Adnan was joined by Simon Butler, who had kindly stepped into the team at short notice having expressed a curiosity to see what top-level cricket looked like.
After a fierce late salvo, we declared on 317-3 from 46 overs, Adnan and Simon unbeaten on 66 and 44 respectively.
Our bowling effort was spearheaded by Jonny Bridcut and DJ Chak, who came up against a Bedouins opener relishing the docile pitch and fast outfield. However, a couple of excellent cutters saw DJ remove their numbers 2 and 3, and tea was taken with the Bedouins 60 for 3.
Their opener continued his good work and reached an excellent hundred as the Bedouins inched towards a draw, despite wickets from Andrew Short and Mohammed.
In desperation, Louis’ leg-breaks were brought on, and he surprised everyone by immediately proceeding to drop six balls on a length, when perhaps an Eversholt-like spell might have tempted the batsmen into a mistake. Realising this, Ollie Doward served up a wide half-tracker with his first ball, which their number 7 obligingly spooned to Louis at mid-off.
Doward then trapped their opener leg before for 124, setting up a final over in which we needed to take just one wicket to secure victory. Despite two further huge lbw shouts, the Bedouins clung on for a hugely entertaining draw.