6s fail to be beaten at Abinger
By Chris Hudson
by Richard Boon
Reigate Priory VI-Kings (6-208) drew with Abinger CC (6-250).
A VI-Kings team that was very much a mixed bag of youth combined with experience ventured to the normally challenging if picturesque Abinger Hammer ground where games are normally character-building for Reigate.
With the toss allowing the home team to bat first Abinger looked to make use of the small boundaries but were found wanting as an energetic and lively attack asked several questions, three of which were comprehensively got wrong by the opposition.
However, after the initial set backs Abinger grafted out a century partnership which was made even more impressive by their Australian import admitting to the close up fielders that they may wish to move further away as he had been drinking until he passed out at 01:00 and was feeling none too well. Sadly, the hangover didn’t inhibit his stroke play although we all felt far better (unlike him) after it was found that he had hit a huge score against Coldharbour earlier in the week and had played reasonable grade cricket in Australia.
Despite the flurry of boundaries and an ever-increasing total, not one player in the Reigate ranks gave up. The fielding, unlike in some previous games, was sharp and the bowling attack continued to probe causing all sorts of problems. The moment of the match was when TJ took a one handed catch, almost behind his back, in a display of nonchalance that would have outdone Kevin Pieterson in his prime. This was rather ruined by TJ then admitting that he had misjudged the carry and it was the only way he could get near the ball.
Once the century partnership was broken the Reigate attack, including an outstanding 5fer by Charlie Chovil, ripped through almost all the remaining batsmen. The final total of 250 appears, on paper, to be a huge score but credit must be given to all 11 who kept on going and aside from two quality batsmen, were more than a match for the opponents with the small boundaries also being a contributing factor.
After one of the better teas of the season (home baked bread & scones with clotted cream) the VI-King openers looked to see off a pacey opening pair, which they did with surprising ease. A partnership of 66 between De Mello and Wilson was only broken after De Mello (30) decided that to be run out (in two consecutive matches) was truly the way to go. There followed a fine partnership of 99 between Wilson (69) & Vassou (75*) frustratingly broken by a tight LBW decision.
Credit to our stand-in skipper (Wilson) for offering to retire earlier in his knock and allow the youngsters to bat but a majority decision sent him back out to defend in only a way that the Barnacle can.
However, with the draw effectively achieved with the overs running out and despite a couple of unusual run outs the Reigate total edged past 200 and the decision by the home team to make it a timed match meant that an honourable draw will show on the record books.
Ultra Posse Nemo Obligatur