Bures CC v Leavenheath – 19/06/2021

A dramatic change in the weather in the latter part of the week meant that a largely youthful Bures team arrived at a slow and soggy Leavenheath pitch, and not altogether unsurprisingly, they were inserted.

Max R made one of his rare appearances for Bures and opened the batting with the Chairman, and for just over 2 overs they made a confident enough start. However, with a combination of some rather loose shots and a pitch with variable pace and bounce, Bures were quickly reduced to 29 for 3. Shortly afterwards this had become 45 for 5. George E batting nicely (14) was triggered by his “friend” Max R, and then Max W, facing his first ball, was clean bowled. He proudly announced in the pub later that he now had 2 innings for Bures, both of which had lasted one ball! Should he achieve this on his 3rd outing as well, I feel this may deserve some exceptional recognition.

The outlook was bleak, with many of us wondering if we would even reach the Twinstead score of last week. However, we hadn’t reckoned on Jack “Stokesy” Crace and Mark “Jack Leach” Brewer. Jack, with such a bad hangover that had meant stopping the car “for relief” coming from the station, proceeded to play one of the best innings seen for some time for Bures. Mark, too, played the innings of his life in great support, seeing off their alarmingly quick ringer, and growing in confidence throughout. Together they added 46, with Mark eventually getting out for 5. Further dogged resistance from Magic Ralph, Eddie M and a nice little cameo of 11 from Freddie M allowed Jack to go to town in the last 6 overs, and between them all they added 70 to our score. Jack duly completed his excellent century, ending up on 111 not out, and Bures with a respectable total of 180 for 8.

A leisurely tea was taken, and then Leavenheath, led by Tris Skinner, began their reply, which they did with a certain amount of swagger, making 50 for the first wicket, despite some tidy bowling from both Freddie M and Magic Ralph (his best spell of the season). So it fell to the spin twins, the Chairman and Captain Stu, who did a decent job of first restricting Leavenheath and then making a couple of break throughs. However, Tris took a liking to the Chairmans bowling striking him for 2 huge 6’s and he was swiftly replaced by Rupert H, who also bowled his best spell of the season.

Then to one of the most bizarre overs ever recorded by a Bures bowler, which consisted of 4 wides and 4 no balls but surprisingly only one boundary. The variation from some balls going full toss straight into the wicket keepers’ hands, to the ball nearly hitting his toe before dribbling down the pitch, was a sight to see, and poor Max retreated to the outfield somewhat mystified.

Meanwhile Tris continued on his merry way, ably supported by their ringer, and they looked to be cruising to victory. But Jack C, once again, came to the rescue, cartwheeling Tris off stump. Things started getting a little tighter and when Captain Stu removed the ringer it was right in the balance. With 4 overs left Leavenheath needed just 21 to win with 6 wickets left, so it was back to the spin twins to finish it off.

Max R then came into his own, achieving 2 run outs with the help of George E, who kept extremely well throughout, and Leavenheath became more and more desperate. Runs were hard to come by, and when the Chairman bowled another batsman, they needed 7 off the last over. Fortunately, experience triumphed in the end and they were restricted to just 3, with Bures the victors by 4 runs, achieving their third win of the season and maintaining their 100% record.

A great game and a fantastic result. Well done to all, no doubt there will be sterner challenges to come, but possibly none quite so tense.