Jesters 260-4 dec (Sachin Rawson 105*, Mohammed 72, Doward 42)
Bishop's Stortford 198 all out (Mohammed 4-17, Chak 3-36)
Jesters won by 62 runs
It is an absolute delight to report that Sachin Rawson has his first Jesters century. And what an innings it was - full of exquisite timing, with grace and power in equal measure. It helped the Jesters rack up a weighty 260 in 42 overs before Adnan Mohammed capped off a fine all round performance with four wickets in the final hour to go with his 72 runs with the bat...
With Bishop's Stortford's Cricketfield Lane ground resplendent in the late June sunshine and the locals already filling the bar and boundary edges, the Jesters won the toss and elected to bat. Ex Stortfordians Robbie Hudson and Ollie Doward resumed their recently rekindled opening partnership, but it wasn't long before Hudson was sent back to the pavilion in spectacular fashion. The home side's Estonian paceman Max ripped a delivery right through Robbie's defences, sending the middle stump cartwheeling to the keeper!
Doward (42) unleashed a series of driven fours in a fifty partnership with Sachin Rawson before Adnan Mohammed joined the party, sharing a century stand with Sachin. Initially watchful after a poor run of form, Adnan soon rediscovered his touch and timing and raced to 72 before holing out in the quest for late runs.
At the other end, Sachin batted with poise and maturity, pacing his 105* perfectly, mixing graceful drives and cuts with brute force (3 sixes in all). He brought up a wonderful maiden Jesters hundred shortly before the declaration with a late cut...
Sachin Rawson brings up three figures with a late cut
Adnan Mohammed acknowledges the applause after his 72
In response, Stortford struggled to score freely against the nagging intelligence of Dan Hayes (1-23 off nine overs) and Simon Rawson (1-19 off seven). It was Dan who made the breakthrough, teasing the left handed opener into a flashing drive which was parried by Doward at second slip and gathered at the third attempt. His partner soon followed, flicking Simon straight to Tom Lord at square leg.
On came the in-form Andrew Short. Down the pitch danced the Stortford batsman. The bails were speedily whipped off by Lance Taylor, who was sharing the gloves with Robbie Hudson. 56-3 with almost 20 overs gone.
Impetus was applied by Stortford's first teamers Joe Burslem and Tom Waring, although both had to contend with some lively pace and bounce from Eddie O'Donnell, who had the two shuffling uncomfortably in their crease once he found his rhythm. With both batsmen passing 50, Stortford required another 160 runs to win of the final 20 overs with seven wickets in hand.
It was time to introduce finishers DJ Chak (3-36) and Adnan Mohammed (4-17) and neither disappointed. DJ ended the partnership by bowling Waring and Adnan did the same to Burslem soon after. To their credit, Stortford continued to press for runs but the deadly Jesters duo turned the screw and wickets fell at regular intervals, with Adnan pinning their number seven in front of the stumps in a tense penultimate over to seal a third straight win at Stortford. 198 all out.
The drama did not end there as Lance's vintage Austin Healey refused to start up for the long journey home to Norfolk, resulting in players from both teams straining sinews to shove him down Cricketfield Lane!
Thanks to all at Bishop's Stortford CC who are always such wonderful hosts and play the game in the right spirit.
Jesters XI: Doward (c), Hudson (wk), Sachin Rawson, Chak, Mohammed, Lord, O'Donnell, Simon Rawson, Hayes, Taylor (wk), Short