Hertford welcomed us to their main pitch for our return leg on a fine, if breezy, early summer evening. One or two of the boys were due to arrive late, so the team coaches agreed that we would bat first.
Ollie and Spencer opened the batting in flamboyant style, with both boys attacking right from the bell, striking several boundaries, and, amazingly, running some 27 singles between them before first Ollie and then, shortly after, Spencer retired; the ideal opening partnership, laying a strong foundation for the rest of the team to build on.
Jack and skipper Dan were next in and, while Jack made a steady start, Dan was caught by an excellent ankle-high catch at mid-wicket, the ball having been struck at a fair rate of knots.
Freddie and Jack rebuilt and the pair played-out a steady and sensible partnership, taking the score into three figures for the fifth time in six games.
Freddie was unfortunately caught mid-way through the 20th over, leaving Josh to come in for a swing with three balls to come. We closed on 110-2 off our 20 overs.
After a very brief break, it was time to defend, though this time we were only able to do this with ten boys.
Skipper Dan gave the ball to debutante Dylan to open alongside Freddie.
And wow, what an exciting start to Dylan’s KPCC career: a boundary first ball, an oustanding run-out by Kobie second ball and then a debut wicket – bowled – third ball, followed by three dots!
Freddie had a loose opening over but came back fighting with a wicket-maiden in his second.
Thereafter, both boys bowled a tight line backed up with challenging pace, leaving the opposition behind the required rate after the first seven overs.
Young Thomas and his wiley partner-in-crime Kobie were first change, the pair bowling absolutely brilliantly, with Thomas clean bowling their danger man and the pair conceding just 18 runs for their six-over spell.
By this time, Hertford were very much behind the asking rate, needing well over a run-a-ball from the last seven overs.
Three wickets were to fall in the next four-over spell from Callum and Dan, the former taking a wicket in his first over (bowled) and then executing a fairly straight-forward (are they ever?) caught and bowled in his second over to remove Hertford’s remaining potential danger man.
And then, the omnipresent Kobie contributed with his second run-out of the day during Dan’s second over.
So with three overs to go, Dan spread the field to protect the boundary and Jack and Josh thoroughly enjoyed their short spell: Dan taking a high catch at mid-off of Jack’s first over, Josh clean-bowling their No.10 with his fourth delivery and then Kobie – just in case anyone hadn’t noticed his first two – chipped in with his third run-out (Ed, is this a record?) midway through Jack’s second over to have Hertford all out with three balls to spare.
A quite outstanding effort boys, all the more sweet for doing it with just ten of you on the field; yet another above-par performance with many of you tearing round the outfield putting your bodies on the line saving boundaries. Well done, Ollie, for standing-in for Charlie behind the stumps today – a great effort indeed.