Indian Summer

Sunday 23rd September 2007

Bosham CC v Lodsworth CC at West Itchenor

Lodsworth CC 211 for 9 off 35 overs (Alfred de Souza 109 not out, Paul Phillips 16, Jon Houghton13: Sam Evans 6 overs 3 for 54, G Farrell 6 overs 2 for 20)

Plaistow CC 33 all out in 19 overs (M Farrell 11, Sandeep 4 overs 3 for 7)

Lodsworth won by 158 runs

Bosham CC’s temporary home is a delightful oval set in the grounds of a large country mansion at West Itchenor with an artificial turf wicket. After an hour of searching the narrow lanes and byways of the Selsay Peninsular the team finally located the pitch to find that the opposition were three men short and had forgotten to bring one set of stumps!

In village cricket this is a minor problem. It was agreed that Lodsworth would bat first, a spectator was dispatched to locate the missing stumps and the game commenced with three stumps and a traffic cone (The remaining stumps arrived in the sixth over). And so the game alternated between some very competitive cricket and comedy, ending in the total annihilation of the home team.

Alfred de Souza has been threatening a big score all season and inspired by India’s victory over Australia and anticipating another win over Pakistan, he finally came good with a chanceless 109 not out including 11 sixes and eight 4’s. Lodsworth concluded their innings on 209 for 9 with other contributions by Paul Phillips (16) and Jon Houghton (13).

Bosham began confidently enough but all the luck and much of the skill was with the visitors and the home team was scythed down in just 19 overs, Sandeep led the blitz with 4 overs 3 for 7 making this a true Indian summer. There were a number of decent catches from Jon Houghton, Alfred de Souza and Bob Powell (2).

And so the curtain comes down on a successful season. Although five games were cancelled as a result of heavy rain the team played 15, won 8, drew four and lost only 3. It is the best record in recent years and congratulations to skipper Matt Hall. To round off the year Matt Hall’s XI will play the village team led by the Vice-Captain Bob Powell on Sunday 30th September in a friendly post-season limited-overs game for the Joe Clifford trophy

Three years ago I wrote of the changing nature of village cricket. Where once the team would be composed of the local vicar, publican and farmers we now rely heavily on ‘incomers’. We regularly field a team containing two South Africans and occasionally two or three Indians. With the changes in the village demography it seems inevitable indeed if a quota were to be set on the number of overseas players in the Lodsworth team it would probably collapse. And undoubtedly the overseas players raise the standard of our cricket. That said many of our talented young local players prefer to hone their skills at Midhurst or further afield at Arundel. It is an exodus we have to address and ways have to be found of attracting them to play regularly for the village.

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