HHCC 1st XI vs Kempton

HHCC 1st XI vs Kempton

5 Jun 2024

WK3: Hampton Hill vs. Kempton
Form Guide
Hampton Hill: L W
Kempton: L L

Hampton Hill 1s    
Richard Bennett*    
Robbie Coates    
James Newton-Savage    
Samuel Fullicks    
Massimo Campanale (in for Pope)    
Jake Wood    
Paul Hennessy
Jack Baverstock +    
Robert Fullicks (in for Boulton)    
Harry Coates    
David Merchant (in for Mackinney)    

Keep it Classy!

Week 3 brings Hampton Hill’s bogey team, the loud and competitive Kempton Tigers. A different feeling pervades the HCG this week following two wins last week. Fans sense that the HCG could be a consistent fortress this year, with Groundsman Steve Fidler producing exciting cricket pitches conducive to great competitive cricket.

Pre-Match Team News, Weather, Pitch Analysis, and the Toss

The weather was perfect for cricket – clear skies, a gentle breeze, and bright sunshine. Following the 10-wicket win, Hampton Hill were forced into three changes, losing captain Marvel Boulton to his second love, live music, Slayer Mackinney to work commitments, and Archie Popeman to his commitment as the top run-scorer in the 2s this year. With squad depth being crucial in league performance, the Hill could call upon the veteran nice guy R. Fullicks, the talented and wonderful Massimo, and the unpredictable Merchant.

Massimo immediately made an impact by adding a new feature to Hampton's warm-up, demonstrating unbelievable control with a sidearm, offering up a challenging and intense warm-up. However, Merchant and R. Fullicks either seemed visibly behind the pace in the warm-up or experienced multiple communication challenges when catching in pairs.

Pitch analysis was conducted by Captain of the day Benoit and Harry Coates, who assumed the character of Alan Titchmarsh this week. The pitch appeared hard but felt soft on top, sparking much discussion and potentially influencing the crucial toss decision. Captain Benoit won the toss and boldly chose to bowl with a new-look ball pairing and plenty of spin to manage.

First Innings: What Was a Good Score?

Following a good warm-up, a toss win, and a team accustomed to new-ball bowlers like Boulton, Mackinney, and Rowbottom, the team may have anticipated a slightly different experience with a new-look attack. Despite this, Merchant exceeded expectations and surprised everyone with a beamer, leading to an excited umpire calling "No Ball, Free Hit, Last Warning," in addition to the free hit flying over Merchant’s head for a dismissive 4. The score was 5-0 off 0.1 balls.

Momentum soon shifted with Merchant and Hennessy settling into a nice rhythm, making use of favorable conditions and an electric energy from a very good fielding team on the day. Kempton soon found themselves at 48-4, following three wickets for Widget, two caught and one bowled, with Batsman Pipe not showing enough respect, attempting to smash the ball into orbit. Merchant added one more with a top-off delivery Jaffer showing what he can produce when not losing his suede.

Kempton's main threat and captain for the day, Gaikwad at 24*, kept Hampton on their toes, bringing the dangerous presence he always does. Following a string of deliveries from Merchant, finding good areas most of the time, a moment of brilliance from JNS in the slips took a great reaction catch following an edge off keeper Baverstock’s pads. Merchant proved to be worthy cover for Slayer Mackinney. Wickets kept falling with spin introduced, HC and JNS combining for the third time this season.

Kempton found themselves at 95-8, with the resilient former captain Joel Miah and Deen Yousaf at the crease. The pair frustrated Hampton with patience, good running, and punishing bad deliveries. They added a crucial 39 runs until Captain Bennett called for Wise Fullicks from the Fullicks End to apply stump-to-stump pressure, immediately finding reward by dismissing both batsmen and ending the innings at 144 all out in 35 overs.

Hennessy – 3-40
Merchant – 3-38
R. Fullicks – 2-11
H. Coates – 2-30
5 catches taken.
144 by no means an easy chase at the Hill against a fired-up Kempton Bowling attack.

Second Innings: The Gritty Chase

Following a clinical 10-wicket win last week chasing 74 without loss, Captain Bennett and R. Coates resumed their positive start to the season as an opening pair. Bennett started the innings with a bludgeoning cover drive to set the tone for the chase. Unfortunately, Kempton were not going to make this straightforward, with a particularly good opening spell from the consistent Joel Miah, whose left-arm swing bowling removed the in-form Robbie Coates early on.

R. Bennett and JNS began the grind from here, seeing off a storm of probing, challenging bowling from Kempton, accompanied by a fired-up sledging crew in the field and behind the stumps. The Captain got the chase to 42-2 before falling for 18 to the well-controlled in-dippers by Andy ‘Maria Sharapova’ Ward. With S. Fullicks coming to the crease, runs started to come more fluently with the new ball seen off and Kempton’s roar mellowed. Together, SFu and JNS put on a 53 partnership. JNS's rearguard soon fell to a second big LBW shout in a row.

Massimo and SFu continued looking to punish any loose balls, but Kempton were not going to give up, with both being dismissed, leaving Hampton at 123-5 and Kempton’s tails wagging. Massimo fell to an incredible return catch by A. Ward. Hampton fans, keen to see the chase done and enjoy a cold one, witnessed a storm of chanting and support from the Hampton faithful for Jake the Snake Woods and Widgeymon’s resilient and motivated boundary-hitting against the run of play, as Kempton went all out for wickets.
With the hard work done and Hampton fans jubilant for the final blow, the iconic moment of the day occurred when the umpire reminded Hampton's best to “Keep it classy.” Snakey Woods brought it home with another boundary, finishing 24 not out off 25 balls. The final score was 144-6 off 43.4 overs.
Newton-Savage – 38
S. Fullicks – 26
Woods – 24*
Bennett – 18

Hampton finishes Week 3 in 3rd place and faces an away trip to Chertsey next week, looking to continue their good momentum.