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Match 20 (24th scheduled) 2018: August 12

Chippenham CC vs Pimlico Strollers CC

Honours even at Chippers as we snatch a draw from the jaws of victory
posted: August 13, 2018

Strollers at Chippenham, 12 August 2018

On an afternoon in which fortunes oscillated from one side to the other, the spoils were ultimately shared in this year's trek to the charming surroundings of Chippenham.

Having won the toss George opted to field first with mizzly conditions overhead and the greenest top wicket one can remember at Chippers. It looked to be a great call as the oppo slumped to 106-6 thanks largely to an excellent spell from Harry who picked up 3-19 with impressive pace on an otherwise soft surface. However a rearguard seventh wicket partnership between Asgar and Grant brought Chippenham up to a more respectable 174 at which point – after a whopping 45 overs (!) – they declared.

After a customarily delectable Chippers tea, including a delightful assortment of trademark Victoria sponge and chocolate cakes, we returned to business. All looked rosy in our response with openers Gav and Harsh initially fending off some searingly quick stuff from Desborough before taking apart the remainder of the Chippers attack, finding boundaries all around the park, to set us up with the perfect platform with a hundred run opening stand before each departed in identical fashion, playing and missing across the line to Asgar – Gav departing for 42 and Harsh, having notched up yet another fine half century, for 56.

But, despite only needing just 94 from the final 20 overs, after the dismissals of our openers a procession of wickets tumbled ...mostly thanks to our own misdeeds. Collapsing alarmingly to eight down with only 150 on the board our expectations dramatically swung from hopes of surefire victory to worries of an embarrassing defeat. With still 24 required from the last three overs, but with only two wickets remaining, Harry was given instructions to shut up shop and close out the draw which, thanks to solid defensive batting, he managed to do ...even if Dickie was having none of it as, in the final over, he swatted a defiant four back past the long off boundary.

So, honours even. Both sides repaired to The Tharp – the Chippers XI in high spirits having somehow salvaged an unlikely draw whilst we, on the other hand, could only reflect on thoughts of what might have been – namely an unheard of back-to-back second win at Chippenham in successive seasons. Nevertheless we can keep our heads held high having at least retained our version of the Ashes for another year!

Gavin Richardson

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