Victor Trumper XI (Aussie touring team) won by 2 wickets
Match Date & Time
|July 28, 2023||2:00 pm||2023|
“Dare to turn life on its end and you may find that topsy-turvy is a truer perspective than turvey-topsy.” Robert Breault.
On Friday we welcomed new friends from down under to Middleton Park. The Victor Trumper XI are a touring team of mixed ages (13 to upwards of 65) based largely from the Canberra and Bathurst areas of New South Wales. There are an off shoot of the Don Bradman foundation XI who toured in 2019.
The touring side had played fixtures from Hastings northwards, basing themselves for purely geographical reasons in the historic and culturally vibrant town of Slough. The MSCC fixture was a chance for a more relaxed game in a traditional English setting. The VT XI were able to field some of there extended squad players which made for an ideal match up of strengths.
Arriving by coach the blue blazered visitors added to the colour of the occasion. The ground was verdant after all the recent rain, the outfield twice trimmed in 24 hours by Simmo and Eliot was still lush and a in brief interludes the sun threatened to shine. Max finished off the rolling of the pitch as the skippers tossed up. Knowing that one of his players was delayed by a bell ringing engagement Tim R chose to bat first.
Against the Trumper’s youngest player, Ben Merritt and Matt Carpenter were soon taking advantage of an opening spell that was not as rapid as might have been expected. Like Duckett and Crawley the scoreboard was making rapid progress as Ben scored with drives and deflections, while Matt scored square of the wicket. Matt reached his first half century of the season before the first hour of the innings was complete.
There were short bowling spells for a selection of the fielding team but none could slow the scoring rate. There were thoughts of an early declaration as drinks were taken at 114 for no wicket. The Trumper’s had kept some of their better bowlers back and after drinks leg spin and off spin tied the home team down. Both openers were bowled deceived by considerable turn. Debutant Simon Smith played patiently, as Jamie Lumb, after a couple of trademark lust blows, and James Lyons fell trying to accelerate. The second hour was clearly won by the guests.
Middleton continued to lose wickets as tea approached. With 200 or more still in reach, Tim House and George Williams threatened to do so before both succumbed to temptation. Simmo was well beaten by a ball that pitched on middle and took off ( according to him) and Jason Williams was run out by a direct hit as the skipper attempted to steal the strike. With one over left before tea, Rob Barton must have been hungry as he lasted only one ball playing his shot long before the ball arrived. 198 looked a par score with the outfield slow and the ball not coming on to the bat.
Katie Williams had produced a tea that was memorable. Vegemite sandwiches and fairy bread made the Australians on both sides feel at home, and the copious sandwiches, fruits, biscuits and cakes fed not just the players but also the ever gathering numbers of past and current players assembled in front of the pavilion. . Max and Andrew ensured that the spectators were able enjoy a refreshing glass or two as the second innings began.
George Williams bowled the first over at a lively pace from the Church end while Rob Barton supported from the farm end. George proved hard to get away conceding just 2 runs from his four over spell and picking up one wicket, the visiting umpire delivering the long slow goodbye for LBW. Rob picked up a brace of wickets as he found the right pace for the ball to swing.
James Lyon and Mike Simpson were first change. Simmo rubbing his hands at the prospect of line up filled with lefthanders. James always looked likely to pick up a wicket, and did so thanks to a Jamie Lumb catch. The Trumper team had kept its stronger batting for the second half of the order. At 70 – 6 at drinks it looked as if MSCC were in the driving seat.
Jason Williams bowled the first of the last twenty overs. Although he did not know at the time, he dismissed the leading run scorer on tour, again thanks to Jamie behind the stumps. He thought he had picked up a second, before the skipper decided that the appeal for stumping should be withdrawn. In return for the favour the batsman deposited the three next balls for two sixes and four.
Simmo made a vital breakthrough with a smart caught and bowled leaving the batting team 7 down but with the best of the batting to come. Just as he was beginning to take control, Simmo pulled up lame… maybe it was the run off to greet the fish and chip van. Middleton chopped and changed bowlers in a attempt to take the last three wickets but the Trumper’s were making the chase look easy. George took a very good catch in the deep before returning to try and blast through.
With two runs needed to win the visitors decided to opt for a very cautious final push taking four overs to get over the line. Win they did leaving the field to applause from the largest gathering of players and supporters seen this season. The day had been made memorable thanks to many who helped unheralded, the scorers and umpires for both teams who make it so much more enjoyable for the players. Speeches of thanks were made and tokens of good will were exchanged while the crowds enjoyed a fish and chip supper, thanks Simmo for organising.
As the coach departed, with the lingering players finally persuaded to embark thoughts turned to the next fixture between the two sides in July 2027! Simon Godfrey was again on hand with his camera, you can soon view pictures of the second innings at https://www.flickr.com/photos/simongodfreyuk/albums
Victor Trumper XI (Aussie touring team)
|Richard Lumb||Chris Greer|