Saturday started with Porter calling an urgent dressing room COBRA meeting to discuss the emerging situation in Rostov-on-Don, a city more commonly associated with David Bentley’s appearance in the 2012/13 Russian Premier League season. “We should be careful what we wish for. Putin could be replaced by someone far worse” shared one insightful and concerned teammate.
Alas, to the cricket and a balmy day at Bushy with a pavilion full of the great and good of HHCC.
Murts won the toss and elected to bat. Tom Hampton put on a run-a-ball 31, including several sumptuous drives, before unfortunately picking out the tallest fielder. Despite the loss of a few partners, Kash endeavoured to steady the ship with a commendable 36 before being joined by Porter. And whilst momentarily putting his geopolitical concerns aside, Porter compiled a well-constructed half century, ably supported with contributions from Jack and Murts. A late innings cameo from Ollie White saw the Hill reach 220 at the turn of play.
A competitive total in need of a strong display in the field in order to be defended. Credit must go to W&H’s young opening bowlers (24-4-69-7) who rarely bowled a bad ball.
Stand-in skipper Murts stuck with the ploy of opening with spin, and after a few lusty blows it was feared to have backfired. However both openers promptly departed. One to a cataclysmic brain fart off T Hampton’s bowling. Yet this merely bought W&H’s Will Hickman to the crease who immediately took to the task of ensuring he made his 8pm booking at Pizza Express Woking with Beatrice and Eugenie. Despite the best efforts of the Hill bowling attack, multiple torn groins, an increasingly raucous crowd and a customary Porter quarrel, Hickman and batting compatriot Tim Roberts compiled a near 150-run partnership, with the limited available chances falling agonisingly out of reach of Hill hands.
A flurry of late wickets shared between Jayley and Kash came too late with W&H easing home with a few overs to spare, and the day being neatly summed by yours truly dropping a catch off the game’s penultimate ball that his grandmother would have comfortably caught.
A day to ultimately forget but there shall be other days this season when the cricketing gods are instead on our side. We go again this weekend.