Headley 236-9 dec- (J.Pickering 80)
Old Cranleighans 102-3
Rain stopped play
The rain which had threatened this fixture all day finally claimed it at 5:10, with the match intriguingly poised midway through the second innings. One suspects that the Old Cranleighans, 102-3 chasing 237, with two set batsmen and lots of time remaining, might have prevailed. But the drizzle was by that point fairly steady and soon after both sides had retreated to the pavilion it became very heavy and that was that.
Earlier in the day Headley had won the toss and, with rain forecast at some point, decided to bat first. Whether it was the threat of rain shortening the game, or just the natural tendency of the whole line up to go after the ball (one suspects the latter) the Headley innings was a short and violent affair with 236 being made in just over 30 overs. James Midmer set the tone with a brief and violent 27- George McDonald (30) and Charlie Woodall followed suit, Barney Hesketh smashed his way to a breezy 40, and Mitch Pickering endured a memorable duel with OC’s left arm spinner Mike Chase, during which the youngest of the Pickering clan almost did himself an injury heaving and missing at balls that were deliberately tossed up at about 20 miles per hour. Fortunately for Headley, Josh Pickering batted in slightly more mature fashion and eased his way to 50 before succumbing to the callings of cow corner. With Grant Waller heaving 10 off what proved to be the final two balls of the innings Headley had set 237- a competitive total achieved in good time.
After tea, Headley set out with some enthusiasm and some accurate spells from Alan Clarke and Henry Elburn, an opening partnership at opposite ends of the pace spectrum. Elburn yorked two OC’s batsmen and Clarke’s accurate spell brought the wicket of Rob Merry caught at cover. At 50-3 Headley were buoyant, fielding a 6 man slip cordon and had a sniff of victory, but it had already started to drizzle, and spirits were dampened by both this and a good partnership between Damien Hill and Mike Chase which took OC’s to the hundred mark. With conditions becoming treacherous an early end was called with the OC’s captain showing great sportsmanship to allow Headley off the field when his own side looked better placed. An honourable draw and hopefully a fixture that will get some better weather to go with some good cricket next year.