Skip over navigation

Result - Eton Ramblers

Sun Jul 28th The Grannies win by 3 wickets

Match report

I’m unsure if my brief and retrospective summary can do justice to the events that unfolded in Eton, but it smacks of Trent Bridge 2005. At the toss both captains argued about making a bad decision – nobody wanted to field first, despite the lively pitch, overcast conditions and bright sunshine forecast for later. Eton’s rationale may have been based on their heavyweight top-order, with dangerous batsmen in ample supply. So, winning the toss Eton elected to bat first.

The Grannies opening bowlers put on an exhibition of how to use favourable conditions. Felix consistently kept the ball on a good length and got well deserved rewards, drawing the big hitting Ballantyne-D into a loose drive, which (in very un-Grannies-like fashion) was comfortably taken low down in the slips by Maisey. Slip catches are a bit like London buses In the Grannies, as Wilson was dismissed in carbon-copy fashion, rendering the Etonians 13-2 in the 5th over.

This brought in Longan, a key wicket in the Eton line-up. Continuing his roll, Tritton maintained his discipline, getting one to jag in off a length and trap Longan in front, who despite batting well out of his crease, was very out.

A few overs of rebuilding followed for the Etonians, with the other opener, Oram looking dangerous. Despite some lively bounce from Maisey, Oram picked up the short ball well, depositing one into the nets. This prompted some subterfuge from Maisey, who conceded to the batsmen that the short ball wasn’t working and brought up his deep square leg. The next ball was a bouncer aimed right into the grill of Oram, who mistimed his pull vertically and was caught comfortably by Hope behind the stumps – I love it when a plan comes together.

The opening partnership had made serious dents in the Etonian line-up and the middle order were easy pickings for the Grannies change bowlers. W Dunn was tidy, picking up the valuable wicket of MacDonough, J with a tennis ball bouncer and Guy Walsh cleaning up Eton’s number 6 with an absolute beauty. Seasoned campaigner Mike Fernie drew the Eton skipper so far out of his crease, that he just carried on walking once he missed it. Will Siebert put on an exhibition of leg spin bowling, with accuracy and consistency and the Etonian lower order did not possess the capability to get anywhere near it. Considering the state of the Etonian scorecard, it made sense to ensure everyone got a fair bowl, but in hindsight Will was certainly under-utilised given the class he displayed.

The twist in the tale was instigated by Warburton, who, yet to make double figures in his career, decided to throw the kitchen sink at everything. Despite a number of fielders in deep catching positions, nothing went to hand and he motored to 50. It was a frustrating spell, and from 60-6 Eton managed to make it to a competitive 140 before Maisey turned back to the reliable Tritton to clean bowl Warburton and snick off yet another batsman, with Hope gratefully holding on to the edge.

Tritton picked up the last 2 in short order to earn a well deserved 5-wicket haul, finishing with figures of 10-0-26-5 – a phenomenal effort, backed by great control.

Other bowling figures included:
Maisey: 9-3-17-1, Dunn: 5-0-12-1, Seibert: 4-0-7-0, Fernie: 7-0-36-1, G. Walsh. Jr.:v5-1-27-1, Ahmed: 3-0-19-0

Special mention must go to Ben Hope, who having never really kept before, was exceptional – fielding wayward deliveries, holding on to his catches and capturing a stumping, a real performance considering being asked to step up at short notice.

Sam Pougatch and Ben Hope were given the nudge to open. They did a fine job navigating the 15 or so overs before tea, which can often be a difficult period to know how to approach. Both were watchful, Ben playing some classy drives and Sam epitomising the “if you’re going to go, go hard” adage – pillaging runs over the cordon., ultimately they set the Grannies up for success, leaving us 110 to get after tea, with all 10 wickets intact. Because of their early graft, both openers started to cash in and runs flowed freely, Sam falling to Eton’s opening batsman-cum-spinner, tantalisingly close to his half century, bowled for 48.

At 95-1 with 45 odd needed, there weren’t any alarm bells, but it seemed like the square operated in a revolving door fashion; as one batsman went out another trooped back, with the respective scores of bats 3-7 reading 0, 4, 2, 0, 8, with Ben also eventually giving up hope and skying one himself for an exceptionally well made 63. Suddenly from 95-0 the Grannies found themselves 120-7 and the remaining 25 runs needed looked a LONG way away.

The tension in the pavilion was palpable, as all eyes were fixed on Tritton and Dunn. Stand out performer for the day, Tritton navigated the remaining runs expertly, with calmness and sense, taking no risks and marshalling the strike. The two of them slowly eroded away the 20 required runs, with excitement starting to build as the target slunk into single figures. Finally, to the delight of the Grannies, Will D dispatched one via the medium of one of his signature cover drives to secure a well earned victory.

You couldn’t really have asked for much more from a game of cricket. All played in good spirits, it took many a twist and turn and ultimately led to a thrilling finish - and a famous Grannies win.

Match info

A great game (with excellent lunch/tea) on the hallowed fields of Eton. We have had some excellent encounters over the last few years - here's hoping for another

Also playing : Ben Hope, Ben Walsh, Nadeem Ahmad

Eton College,