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Lord of the Barnes

Jesters CC 293-5 (Lord 124, Dancey 74)

Barnes Common 182 all out

Jesters won by 111 runs

Dance then, wherever you may be

Cos we’ve got Tom Lord and Rob Dancey

An extraordinary first-wicket partnership between Tom Lord and Rob Dancey saw the Jesters romp to a 105-run victory against Barnes Common, writes Noah Hillyard...

On a scorching day in south west London, Alex Smith (captain Hillyard stuck in traffic) won the toss and chose to bat. The next two hours belonged to Lord (124) and Dancey (74), who combined for a glorious 202-run opening partnership. Tom was the early aggressor, and reached his fifty by smiting two successive (bright orange) balls into the sylvan groves of SW13. Particularly strong through mid-off, he reached an imperious hundred before Rob had gone to 50, and the opening stand was only ended when Tom magnanimously opted to retire. Rob then kicked on, unfurling a series of beautiful off-drives which were warmly applauded by his onlooking parents. Though debutant Jamie Pollard-Jones and David Hancock were both dismissed for 3, and DJ Chak run out by a direct hit for 7, some lusty blows from Alex Smith (34*) and Shorbo Nag (30*) saw us post a very competitive 293 off 40 overs.

This score was looking on the light side as Barnes’ openers raced to 33 for 0, but two wickets in two balls from Phil Berman arrested their early progress. The Barnes captain and opener was just finding his range when, with the score 103-2, the champagne moment of the game came – a slog sweep to deep square, an orange ball hurtling towards Alex Smith, a solitary hand stuck out above his head, and a thud as the ball miraculously stuck (that's one-handed wonder catches for Alex in successive matches - Ed.) Comparisons were made to James Kirtley in 2002, and the match swung in the Jesters favour (much unlike the ball we were bowling with – by way of a brief aside, this ball looked like it had seen c. 150 overs of use, our shiny new one having lasted all of 4 balls before being lost forever in the bushes at deep midwicket).

Some metronomic bowling from Tom Bell and Dan Hayes (two wickets apiece) saw Barnes wickets falling at regular intervals, with two coming from superb leg-side stumpings from Shorbo, and the result was never in doubt, victory being wrapped up in the 33rd over. A hugely enjoyable day out, and some strong entrants for the Michael Meyer, Arnold Woods and Roger Greenslade trophies respectively.

Jesters XI: Lord, Dancey, Pollard-Jones, A Smith, Hancock, Chak, Nag (c), Hillyard (c), Bell, Hayes, Berman


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