This Saturday Eastry played Northdown CC on a sunny yet incredibly blustery day. Northdown won the toss and elected to bowl in the swirling winds, and with a brief pre-game rain shower the ball offered to seam early on in the innings. After two early wickets of Deveson (3) and Sumner (17) Eastry were in a vulnerable position at 65-2, however Aaron Friend and Robin Smit set about rebuilding the innings. This was stalled however when Friend was caught (surprise) for 56 and two quick wickets of Dartnell (8) and Weathered (0) left the Pigeons stranded on 118-5 with only 45 minutes left to bat. Feeling that a score of 175 should be a defendable total, Smit and Deveson upped the run rate and formed a fast scoring partnership of 83, with Smit playing a beautiful innings combining back foot finesse with powerful blows into the trees, eventually being bowled by Scott for 83. Eastry eventually declared before tea at 212-8.
After an enormous tea, capped off by an amazing Eton Mess (thank you Holly!), a much heavier Eastry team took to the field to bowl in the late afternoon sunshine. Northdown’s Humphries came out of the blocks quickly, and after only 6 overs had raced to 34, dismantling the Eastry opening bowlers, as the track seemed to offer very little movement for the ball. Humphries fine stroke play came to an end as he played one shot too many, and fired a straight drive back at bowler Andy Betts who took a fantastic reflex catch low to his right, leaving Northdown 44-1. Northdown then began to slowly lose wickets after some accurate bowling from Betts had David Brear caught for no run, and then opening batsman Francis Hatt was run out by Deveson for a steady 22 as the required run rate climbed higher and higher with the team languishing on 97-3 as the 20 over mark crept nearer. With two new batsmen, however, Northdown found a new spurt of run scoring, with Green (48) manipulating the erratic bowling of Deveson and Crow (21) hit some punishing sixes off of David Waring, leaving Eastry to watch as an impressive partnership threatened to take the game away from them rapidly. But “cometh the hour cometh the man” as skipper Lord Graham Phebey tossed the cherry to Robin Smit (after much persuading by his esteemed vice-captain) who then proceeded to rattle the top of Crow’s off stump with his very first ball, and then removed the bails of Green a few overs later. With the majority of their middle order back in the dressing room Northdown looked to batten down the hatches and hold out for the draw with 14 overs left to bat. Deveson looked threatening to the tail, taking three wickets, but with only four overs left and two resolute batsmen at either end offering no chances to the fielding side the game ended as a draw with Northdown finishing on 163-8.
View the scorecard at: http://eastry.play-cricket.com/scoreboard/scorecard.asp?id=11772014