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July 03, 2010

Tour Report - Chardstock

Chardstock reporter Stephen Drabwell writes:

Following a very hearty breakfast for most of the touring squad in Lyme Regis, Chigwell convened on a glorious summer’s day at what must be one of the most picturesque grounds in the country for an early start (to accommodate England’s opening game of the World Cup) against Chardstock. The breathtaking views of the rolling Dorset/Somerset/Devon countryside from this quaint little ground are offset a little by the fact that the ground is on a slope that would rival a Black Run at Val d’Isere. Brad even complained that when fielding at Deep Square Leg on the low side, he couldn’t see the stumps!

Captain for the day was Adam and following last year’s somewhat one sided victory a confident Chigwell Captain was ready to offer the Chardstock captain the opportunity to bat second  ‘to make a game of it’ but the olive branch was rejected and the host’s captain correctly called and took the chance to bat first on a good looking wicket. Maybe Chigwell’s confidence was a little misplaced!

Bossman and Rob A opened the bowling and Rob A was on the money from ball one and managed to make a couple of early breakthroughs using the ‘slope’ to get the ball to nip back from a dangerous length. Adam replaced Rob A (2-11) and Dave came on for Ross to offer a variety of spin from each end, off spinners from Adam and leggies from Dave. The Chardstock middle order batted steadily and looked set for a good score until Adam was replaced by Richard who took two quick wickets and Dave had the ‘soaring’ Rocket expertly caught by Brad to reduce the score to 138-5. Wickets fell steadily including another one each to Dave (2-24 from 9) and Richard who finished with 3-17. The skipper, in the spirit of the tour, introduced the very part time slow right arm bowling of Nigel (1-16)and Stephen (2-14) in an effort to ‘extend the game’ but they managed to pick up the last 3 wickets leaving Chigwell to chase 177 for victory.

Nick and Rob O opened the batting for Chiggers and made a slow but steady start with the aforementioned ‘Rocky’ Rocket bowling with a bit of pace and getting the ball to nip back down the slope. Rob O (11) tried to up the ante but in going for a hook shot could only to top edge through to the keeper. Brad also perished to the ‘Rock’ without scoring and following a bright and breezy 17 from Russell Chigwell were rocking a bit at 33-3. Stephen (20) and Nick managed to add 44 for the 4th wicket before Stephen was run out, once again, from a direct hit. Nick was starting to get into his stride and hit the shot of the day with a glorious front foot drive lifted over the covers. Nigel joined Nick and batted well for his 16. Enter Richard ‘Boom Boom’ Hannant who hit a huge six over long but was out for 11 with 3 scoring shots! At 136-6, the position may have been perilous but fortunately we probably had the strongest tail in Chigwell’s illustrious history. Nick was also still there and made a faultless and well deserved 55. Rob A (22no) and Dave (14no) saw us home with plenty to spare to win by 3 wickets in a little under 37 overs.

Then it was off to the Tytherleigh Arms for beers, dinner and England. Thanks go to Chardstock CC for arranging with the  pub to section an area off for the two teams to watch the football. The beer was great, the food outstanding, the company excellent and the football......dire. Nick managed to find the only spot in the pub where the TV couldn’t be seen and quite honestly we’d all wish we had afterwards. Then it was back to Lyme for a few late night beers.

Man of the Match: Nick Allum


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