The well-known struggle to form teams on match days for summer sports pervaded not only tennis this year, but also cricket. Happily though, this difficulty seemed to be shared among all the teams in Division 2 of the Inter-College Cricket League. This led – in the form of three concessions in our favour, one against, and three rained-off games – to seven of our eight matches being settled off the pitch.
Our one played game, however, against Christ Church, was a triumphant victory, in which – with only nine players – we managed to overcome a complete opposition side. Fielding first, early wickets were taken courtesy of James Kempton (2011), using an unusual two-step run-up due to an injured neck. Jadon Buckeridge (2016) maintained extremely tight lines and lengths at the other end to restrict the run rate. His spell finished however, we were reduced to eight fielded men, revision apparently being a priority for Jadon. James Sully (2018) and James Chalaby (2016) provided effective spin options, Sully bowling a top-order batsman with an absolute ripper. Some control was lost following this, however, as our discipline dropped and it was only thanks to tight death bowling from Josh Navarajasegaran (2016), who also claimed three wickets, that Christ Church posted no more than 151 in their 20 overs.
A target of 152 was daunting, especially given that three of the team had either not batted before or only batted a few times. However, an 80-run opening partnership between James Kempton and the returning Jadon Buckeridge, made in quick time, calmed the nerves. After Jadon’s wicket was lost, possibly suicidally to return to revision, James Sully came to the crease and hit two monstrous sixes to pummel the opposition into submission. In the end we made the target with an over to spare, with Kempton omnipresent and finishing 57 not out.
This single heroic effort made by the team of nine effectively secured our promotion and so we shall next year be returning to the dizzying heights of Division 1.
James Kempton (2011)
Merton College Cricket Captain 2018-19