“It’s always a good game if it comes down to the final ball” – Mercer & Hole played cricket for the third year running against H E Stringer Limited, a client of the Rickmansworth office.
Batting first at picturesque Long Marston Cricket Club, near Tring, in this now traditional mid-Summer Friday night fixture, Mercer & Hole scored 203 off their allotted 20 overs. Under ‘Barrington rules’, every batsman must bat for at least 3 overs and everyone must bowl at least one over. Each side is given 100 runs to start with, and if a wicket falls the batsmen continue their innings but with a 5 run deduction.
Mercer & Hole benefitted from an injection of promising new players to join the long-serving stalwarts. Top scorer was Chris Dennell with a breezy 23, and the shot of the day was a huge 6 hit by Rifat Hayat, which went out of the ground and over the road. All other batsmen chipped in to good effect.
Was 203 a winning score?
H E Stringer batted and raced away in the first few overs before good bowling from Ben Samuels and Bhavin Patel got Mercer & Hole right back into the game. Stringers’ total didn’t seem to move from 150 for a number of overs.
Needing 3 of the final over to win and with Stringers star batsmen batting again to level up the numbers, Stringers overtook Mercer & Hole score but needed to bat out the over without losing a wicket to ensure victory. With fielders now strategically placed around the bat and in the deep for the catch, Bhavin Patel bowled the final ball which was successfully defended, and the opposition was victorious.
Best bowler was Bhavin Patel who had bowled the only maiden over of the match earlier, and earned the opportunity to bowl the crucial final over. Best fielders were Nakul Rao, who stopped a number of fierce drives, and Chris Dennell who caught and threw very well. Peter Godfrey-Evans kept wicket once again and his evergreen agility was tested to the full.
A splendid cricket tea and refreshments followed and both sides are hopeful to continue the series next year.