Baz Dare Memorial XI vs. Nick Houlder Memorial XI

13:30, Sunday, July 9, 2023

Report by Daniel Mortlock:

With our planned external games against Bibury and the Bunnies having fallen through, the only way to satisfy all the eager tourists was to play with ourselves. This we did in the form of a memorial match with teams named in honour two past - and now passed - FAS legends: Baz Dare and Nick Houlder. The Dares were represented by Cliff, Joss, Hal and Jamie (with Tommy off the field with a stress fracture); the Houlders by Fraser, James, Harry, Aaron and his younger brother Jake (touring for the first time). It was a wonderful demonstration of family connection, one of the pillars of FAS cricket.

The next challenge for the day was the dismal weather forecast, with rain predicted throughout the day. Our response was to take a "modular" approach, starting with a twenty/20 and then adding on a ten/10(?) if time and conditions permitted - which, in the end, they did.

Nick Houlder Memorial XI (119/5 in 20 6-ball overs)
Baz Dare Memorial XI (67/6 in 20 6-ball overs)
by 52 runs.

The first game started a bit slowly but eventually . . . well, almost ground to a halt, really. Although they struggled to score freely, the best - and biggest - partnership of the day was the first, with tour first-timer Jason Simon (28) combining with Adam Slater (18) to put on 40 for Team Houlder. But from there it was a steady flow of wickets as Daniel Mortlock (1/19, having had time appeal for his LBW three times before umpire Rob Harvey eventually raised the finger) made the initial breakthrough and then Tom Reynolds (4/23) went on the rampage. Houlders Aaron (5), Fraser (14), James (12*) and Harry (10*) all made good contributions and there were some nice Houlder vs. Dare head-to-heads: Joss and Cliff (both 0/9) kept things quiet with their disciplined bowling; whereas Hal (0/17) opted for an anarchy-foward approach, his single over being immortalised via two boxes' worth of heiroglyphs in the scorebook. Still, he did manage something none of the rest of us have: skippering a side with Cliff in it and actually getting to make the decisions.

Face with a run-a-ball target, Baz's team clearly hadn't heard of baz-ball, or even possibly the concept of limited overs, as they blocked good balls and knocked singles as if under the mistaken belief that they could bat out a draw. There may be lies, damned lies and statistics, but in this case the numbers tell the story perfectly. Other than Toby Reynolds (11 off 12 balls) every one else who lasted more than 10 balls scored at a soporific rate, as George Bradford (5 off 24 balls), Nigel Reynolds (23 off 35 balls), Daniel Mortlock (13* off 23 balls) and Jamie Dare (4* off 11 balls) all tried to send the scorer to sleep. Conversely, this made all the bowlers look pretty good without the requirement to really have to do much: Joe White (1/10), Jake Houlder (0/11), Aaron Houlder (1/14) and Faruk Kara (0/11) were super-economical; and Harry Houlder (3/17) successfully trialed his new "haz-ball" tactic of bowling full tosses that are hit back to him as catches (which happened twice). The "result", if it can be called that, was a dominant Houlder victory that was all but decided from the half-way mark - the batting side were just 20/2 after 9 of their 20 overs.

Baz Dare Memorial XI vs. Nick Houlder Memorial XI

17:00, Sunday, July 9, 2023

Baz Dare Memorial XI (73/3 in 10 6-ball overs)
Nick Houlder Memorial XI (60/3 in 10 6-ball overs)
by 13 runs.

The Baz Dare Memorial XI, having screwed up a short-format T/20 innings, got a chance to show they could similarly mangle an even shorter T/10 "innings" . . . but actually did okay. For most of the innings it was the Kittow show as surprise opener Ben (14 off 14 balls) and Dave (14* off 20 balls) enjoyed a rare chance to bat together. Josss Dare (0 off 2 balls) then managed the surely unique FAS achievement of getting two ducks in a day before his nephew Hal (25* off 20 balls) went on a brief rampage, highlighted by two enormous sixes. With the default of one-over spells there wasn't really that much to say about the bowling, although Adam Slater (2/20) did well to get two wickets in his first over, hence earning a second . . . which was highlighted by one of Hal's sixes. The Dare XI hence scored more in 10 overs (73/3) than they managed in 20 (67/6) and so perhaps were half-way to balancing the day's ledger.

Or not, if Joe White (19 off 13 balls) has anything to say about, his intent clear from his first ball smear through the covers. But that was as good as it got for the Nick Houlder XI, as wickets fell steadily, highlighted by BK bowleing James Houlder (a subdued 6 off 11 balls) with a McGrath-like delivery that hit the top of off-stump. Jason Simon (10* off 8 balls) and Adam Slater (9* off 7 balls) tried to achieve a miracle at the end, but there was just too much to do.