Kher bashes T20 century against Hurlingham
Jesters CC 156-2 (Kher 101, Clapp 41*)
Won by 8 wickets
Due to Hurlingham hosting a wedding over our usual weekend fixture, we had the excitement of the Jesters' first official T20 match (an impromptu 20 over game was once played at Merrow) on a warm Tuesday evening, and one could think of no better venue for this occasion than the batting paradise of SW6.
The Jesters won the toss and, in true Bazball style, chose to chase. After a slow start, largely thanks to Ilija Krunic's parsimony with the new pink ball (eventually rewarded with 2/26), the hosts worked their way through the gears in the last couple of overs of the power play (we had all the standard T20 fielding restrictions to contend with!) and were eyeing up a total around 180, which would probably be par given the customary short boundary and croquet outfield.
However, Rob Dancey put on the brakes with a wonderfully economical spell of 4-0-24-1 in the middle overs, and then each of the returning bowlers (Adnan, Jake Smyth and skipper Jonny Bridcut) continued to apply the squeeze, supported by some good fielding and the usual wizardry from Shorbo Nag behind the stumps (including a stumping off a wide), as 52/1 after 6 overs became 152/6 after 20 overs, with the primary contribution coming from their no3 who finished 80* off 59 balls.
Chasing 7.6 an over become a tad tougher after James Whittock got his usual first baller at The Hurlingham, this time from the first ball of the innings! 0/1 became 11/2 late in the second over as Arran Aris failed to see the point. However, this initial wobble was merely the prelude to a fine partnership of 135 in about 14 overs between Sahil Kher and Rowan Clapp. Rowan (41* off 44) played with new-found maturity, batting out a maiden from George Brooksbank early in his innings before targeting the change bowlers with his elegant swipes through midwicket, while prioritising giving the strike to the on-song Sahil, who struck a majestic 101* off just 52 balls, with 12 fours and 5 sixes (one of which sailed well over the trees beyond the sightscreen – only the gardener will have found the pink ball amongst his pink roses).
Sahil retired allowing Jamie Pollard-Jones to hit the winning runs, as we reached our target with 2.5 overs to spare.
Many thanks as ever to the Hurlingham for hosting a wonderful evening.
Jesters XI: Bridcut (c), Aris, J Whittock, Kher, Clapp, Nag (wk), Pollard-Jones, Smyth, Dancey, Mohammed, Krunic