Sat 17 Sept                                    Hambledon                            Lost on run-rate

 They 173/9 in 40 overs     (Atkinson 37, K.Shinn 31*, Bond 26, Extras 34, S.Nayar 3/30, Mehrotra 2/5)

We    118/8 in 35.3 overs  (Ledger 38, T.Khan 27, Syed 22, S.Le Clercq 3/19)

KCC won the toss, and Hambledon were inserted on a wet and very slow pitch.  With run scoring difficult, and KCC’s bowling not at its best, the game meandered along fairly uneventfully for 20 overs or so.  But within a handful of overs, Hambledon’s innings imploded.  With 7 wickets falling for just 9 runs, 99 for 1 became 108 for 8.  Cue a subsequently self-confessed miscalculation from KCC skipper Chris Ledger. 

Thinking that Hambledon weren’t going to score nearly enough runs to make a decent game of it, Chris took off the spinners, who were proving a handful, and brought back the pace bowlers, who on such a slow pitch were proving much easier to score off.  As a result, helped by some sensible play from their tailenders, Hambledon were seemingly satisfactorily able to advance their score to 173 in their allotted 40 overs.

Kensington’s reply, however, showed that on this stodgiest of pitches even a total as low as 173 would be difficult to chase.  After both openers fell early, leaving KCC’s score at 30 for 2, skipper Chris Ledger and Tabrez Khan tried to consolidate to avoid the loss of too many more early wickets.  But with both batsmen scoring at the rate of just one run for every two balls faced, the required run rate became progressively higher, leaving too formidable a task for the batsmen to come.  With darkness rapidly descending, KCC’s innings was cut short by a downpour with four and a half overs to go, and 56 runs still required to win.  With no realistic chance of victory, Chris conceded defeat – as well as his double misjudgement! 

New friends were made at this inaugural fixture, however, and Hambledon proved very hospitable hosts; an excellent BBQ fortified us for the long drive home.

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