On the hottest day since the world began, Blades fielded first in this first fixture we have had against Kings Somborne, or indeed anyone’s Somborne.
There was an early wicket in the second as Humphrey claimed the no 2 bat leg before, but otherwise good news was at a premium for the Blades. KS, helped by a close-cropped and dry outfield that seemed to increase the pace of the ball rather than slow it, found the boundary more often than this correspondent would have preferred and motored on to 51-1 off six overs. The first change brought joy for the nine-man Blades though, with debuting Deportivist Marsh and the ever-reliable Meering slowing the rate considerably. When Meering claimed two catches in the 10th – a high looping C&B followed by Fay H claiming a pacey catch in the covers – and Marsh bowling the 11th as the first maiden of the innings, KS were 76-3 and Betfred were quickly reducing the odds on the Blades. Hamer K and Rhodes were second change and despite some tight deliveries, the Sombornians turned the screw once more. Their number five appeared to declare war on the cars parked near the scorer’s table as he hit two big sixes in consecutive overs before retiring on 27. Hamer B took over from Hamer K in the Blades’ first ever inter-generational bowling change, and brought the innings to a close with the Sombreros – including a last-ball six that bounced over the fence into a neighbour’s garden – having posted an intimidating 149-3.
As we awaited the Blades innings, the black clouds to the South East were thickening and several rumbles of thunder were heard. Would the rumoured storms intervene? Hurst and Hamer K opened the batting but a miserly first attack splayed the Hamerian furniture in the second over, the Wickets column claiming its first stat before its Runs Scored colleague. Sadly, the next two overs went much the same way with Marsh caught and Humphrey bowled, and Blades were on 7-3 off four. This brought Fay H to the middle and a quick 20 partnership built between him and Hurst including 12 from the 6th. But when Fay was bowled for 13, he was soon followed by Meering caught behind and Hurst bowled for 17. 42-6 became 43-7 when Rhodes was run out in the 10th and Blades had fallen somewhat behind the required rate. The threatening spots of rain then became a proper shower but the game continued in clear light, although the press contingent were forced to retreat under the table to protect the book and their phones. And so it was from this undignified angle that the six-over partnership of Fay J and Hamer B was recorded, Hamer’s single from the last ball of the 12th to keep strike gaining huge applause from the travelling Albanians. The pair resisted and indeed Fay, in his first foray into the middle for some years, knocked an impressive 14 before being bowled to end the 24-run partnership. Hamer K set off to the middle for his second innings of the night, and the Hamer/Hamer combo posted a handful of runs leaving Blades needing just 80 from the last over. Sadly, it was not to be. A wicket maiden saw Hamer the Younger was bowled, and the innings limped to a conclusion on 70-9.
RESULT: KING’S SOMBORNE WIN by 79 runs
Hamer B’s cultured knock
Fay H’s catch off Meering
Fay J’s pair of fours in the 13th