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Bell tolls for Jesus College

Jesters 237-5 dec (Harris 77, Rutter 43*)

Jesus College 143 all out (Bell 4-40)

Won by 94 runs

We cruised to a comfortable win against the understrength students of Jesus College thanks mainly to excellent knocks from Louis Harris and Noel Rutter, backed up with the ball by Tom Bell and stand-in skipper DJ Chak. Andrew Short tells the story of the day below...


Recruitment for this game had been something of a struggle and it was an unusual Jesters side that rocked up to play on the beautiful college ground - not a single old boy of the college, several non-regular Jesters, and three guests, including two from Ashmanhaugh and Barton Wanderers CC in Norfolk.

Skipper for the day DJ Chak duly lost the toss and we were inserted on what looked a decent batting track. And so it proved as Andrew Short (22) and James Sheldrake (26), one of the Norfolk guests, posted a 55-run opening stand.

Louis Harris (77) and Noel Rutter (43 not out) continued the good work allowing us to declare on 237-5 after 48 overs. Noel was playing for us this year after turning out for Jesus in recent seasons. It was particularly good to see James Douse, back in Jesters colours after several years, hastening the declaration with some elegant shots.

It was a contrasting Jesters new ball attack. From the tennis court end, Tom Bell pitching it up and swinging at a deceptively gentle pace. From the Midsummer Common end, Jake Smyth short of a length and fizzing through at chest height (a considerable achievement on a surface that generally kept low). Many better batting line-ups would have struggled, but in truth the students' attempt to play a brand of T20 didn't help their cause.

Quite soon the college were five wickets down. Four to Bell and - unluckily - just one to Smyth. One lethal in-ducker from Tom that cleaned up the no.3, in contrast to the stock away swing, was the ball of the day.

At this point the college rallied. Their captain had kept himself and another good bat down the order, and together they launched a counter attack. A third batsman, clearly not a cricketer but with a good eye, continued the assault. He later revealed himself as a member of the college's all-conquering croquet team.

Perfectly respectable deliveries from our change bowlers, John Murphy and Andy Mortimer, disappeared over the short boundaries, as can happen so easily on the fast-scoring Jesus ground. Both did well to hold their nerve during seven and five over spells. Wickets continued to fall and with just two remaining skipper Chak sensed this was his moment. He duly took both without conceding a run! Jesus were 143 all out and we'd won by 94 runs.

All the bowlers were well supported behind the stumps by Lance Taylor, our second Norfolk guest. On a sometimes low bouncing surface keeping wasn't entirely straightforward so we were lucky to be able to call on his vast experience.

Many thanks to Jesus for their hospitality during the match and in the new college bar afterwards. The beautiful setting is one of the highlights of the Jesters season and we're already looking forward to returning next year.

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