Rising to the Russell-Cooke Cricket Challenge
An important cricket event took place yesterday. No, not the first day of the 2015 Ashes series in Cardiff, but the inaugural meeting of teams from Russell Cooke and WSM, facing each other in an invitation challenge of thirty over's on the pretty ground at Hampton Hill Cricket Club, on the edge of Bushy Park.
It is fair to say that the WSM challengers were a mixed bag, some players showing county quality batting and bowling prowess, whilst others had never lifted a cricket bat in anger. Arriving in non-traditional blue with the boast that they were 'on top of their game', it was a worrying sight to see a fully kitted Russell-Cooke team in sparkling white kit, clearly understanding the subtleties of reverse swing and googlies.
Russell-Cooke batted first in the 8-ball over format and had notched up 154 runs by the end of their 15 over innings. Notable was a stunning catch by WSM's Christie and aggressive bowling from Edwards and Colyer. Edwards and Mitchell made a decent opening stand, but the team looked to be in trouble following the rapid dismissals of Fisher, Wisniewski-Smith and Hoskin in the fourth over. Memorable innings from captain Lee, young upstart Christie, first timer Bithray and ringer Richards enabled us to get within 12 runs of the target with one over remaining.
With fading light and the last pair batting, man of the match Harry Edwards hit the boundary three times to secure a famous victory for the boys in blue. Our charming hosts took the surprise defeat in great spirit and generously supplied supper and drinks to ensure the evening banter was taken on into the clubhouse. It's sure to be a fixture in next year's sporting calendar.