Sun 7 July                             Vagabonds                     Drawn

We:     171/7 in 39 overs   (Rohan Ghosh 53*, Adam Sumner 30, Tim Russell 21, Extras 29, M.Hill 3/37, Mike Gayle 2/34)

They:  106/8 in 35 overs   (James Harding 21, Will Perton 19, Wajid Tahir 4/23, Neeraj Nayar 2/22, Seethal Tharakan 2/28)

When Tim announced that he had picked up a fixture deep in the heart of Hampshire, an hour and half’s drive from London, to replace a cancelled game, we all panicked. However, a perusal through the Vagabonds CC website dispelled all fears. Not only did the Vagabonds appear to uphold the same values of social Sunday cricket that KCC aspire to, they also looked splendid in their pink blazers (Sunil would have been proud). What’s more the club boasted a famous Hollywood director amongst its alumni and the nearby pub apparently made the best burgers in the county. What could go wrong?

Well, that’s an easy one. Our batting. After a promising start yielding 29 runs in 5 overs, thanks to some swishing and smashing by David Behar, Kensington collapsed to 66 for 6 by the 12th over. Rohan, Adam and later Neeraj, then launched a brave riposte, first soaking up the pressure with resolute defence and then a measured onslaught. Two fine partnerships followed, taking our score to a respectable 171/8 declared. Rohan was unbeaten on a fine 53, a true captain’s knock.

With an attacking field setting, Adam and Wajid were awesome from the get-go – hostile, nagging and at times simply unplayable. Wajid in particular was outstanding, bowling 4 maidens in 10 overs to pick up 4 wickets. As a result, at 58/5 in the 20th over, the hosts had all but shut up shop. Although the dynamic duo of Neeraj and Seethal were rewarded with two wickets each from their nagging darts, in the end we were unable to bowl the Vagabonds out. For the second time in the match, the lower order proved impenetrable. Nonetheless, considering that at one stage in the first innings it looked like we’d be home by teatime the result felt like a “winning draw”.

We proceeded to the pub for beers, a chat and some nosh. And yes, I can confirm, the burgers with cheddar cheese and sourdough buns were indeed truly special.