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Tight win at Middleton Stoney

Middleton Stoney 164-7 dec (42 overs) Chak 4-31

Jesters CC 165-7 (40.1 overs) Hancock 37, A Smith 34, Zaib 33

Jesters won by 3 wickets

Our annual August fixture at Middleton Park is a highlight of the Jesters’ calendar, yet in recent years raising a side had not been easy with summer holidays and international cricket watching limiting player availability. In so many ways this season has been different, and one of the positives has been our ability to raise sides for fixtures such as this has been vastly improved.

Keen to bat first, we lost the toss and were put in the field. Rob Dancey and DJ Chak opened the bowling and both initially bowled tightly, with the pitch proving more difficult to bat on than anticipated. DJ took wickets at a steady rate, and looked like a man prepared to bowl all innings. He took his fourth wicket in his thirteenth over, convincing the captain to give him another, finishing his spell with four for 31. Adnan Mohammed bowled well, and in his first seven overs he conceded just seven runs, with four these overs being maidens. Middleton Stoney were in trouble at 76 for 6, but their innings was revived by a partnership of 78 between Messrs Riley and Lumb. Riley was dismissed for 52 by captain John Murphy, with Middleton Stoney declaring on 164-7 at a fixed time for tea. Sadly, the Covid restrictions meant that Middleton Stoney’s usual spread could not be provided.

We started our innings confidently. Saj Zaib scored rapidly, but was holed out to deep square leg for 33. Most of our batsmen got a start, but we struggled to get the job done. Louis Harris made 19, Alex Smith chipped in with 34, and Robbie Hudson made 20. Dave Hancock, playing as a specialist batsman in a Jesters side with four recognised wicket keepers, top scored with a classy 37, but even he could not finish the task. We limped over the line seven wickets down, with DJ Chak hitting the winning runs. Although the post-match barbeque had succumbed to the restrictions, the sight of a keg of local beer being set up outside the pavilion doors was very welcome. As ever we are grateful to Middleton Stoney for their hospitality and we are delighted they are the first fixture on our list for 2021.

Jesters XI: Murphy (c), Hancock (wk), Nag, Zaib, Harris, A Smith, Hudson, Mohammed, Chak, Dancey, Short

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