A day to forget at Middleton Stoney
Jesters CC 77 all out
Middleton Stoney 81-2
Lost by 8 wickets
A player availability crisis saw us field three members of the opposition and a passer-by, who padded up and strolled out to the middle when our ninth wicket fell! Middleton Stoney wasted little time in cancelling out our 77 all out, which was at least more than England managed against Australia at Headingley in the 3rd Test of the Ashes summer. Captain John Murphy relives the painful experience below...
Getting a side together for a fixture in the middle of the summer holiday season which also clashed the Lord’s Ashes Test was always going to be a challenge, and so it proved. With a few injuries and drop-outs, just seven Jesters were able to turn out. Local Rob Barton kindly helped us raise our starting number to ten.
We lost the toss and were put into bat. This fixture had produced some low-scoring thrillers over the years, with some in the side remembering our 99 all-out victory from 2017.
From the first few balls it was clear that this would be another low scorer, and a slow track and tight bowling meant we never got on top. Wickets started to fall and none of our top order managed to settle. Dave Hancock dug in, but was dismissed for 14. John Murphy top-scored with just 16. When John Twigg – our number 10 – was dismissed, thoughts turned to tea – mainly on whether it would actually be ready given the early time. Middleton Stoney member Mike Simpson was visiting the ground when the wicket fell. To everyone’s welcome surprise, he returned to his car, found his pads, survived a close appeal for being timed out, and continued the innings at number eleven. We were finally bowled out for 77.
There was talk of 2017 at tea. Adnan Mohammad, who bowled 17 overs that day, opened the bowling and made an early breakthrough. At 4-1, we were starting to dream, but then the tide turned. Knowing the conditions were not conducive to quick scoring, Middleton Stoney consolidated sensibly, without taking unnecessary risk, and made it to 46 before the second wicket fell. We bowled well, but defending such a low score was always going to be a tough ask. We are grateful to Middleton Stoney’s patience, hospitality, catering, and agreeing to play us again next year.
Jesters XI: Murphy (c), Hancock (wk), Short, Mohammed, Chak, E Barton, R Barton, Mumby, Moran, J Twigg, Simpson