This was the game where more leather was chased than at the infamous Wyoming Cow Fetish Convention back in ’89. By the end of the afternoon there more runs than at the ill advised raw chicken curry night and with a script more implausible than Rocky 12 ‘The After Life Comeback’.
Lubenham won the toss, batted and proceeded to score an enormous 281 for 7 after 40 overs. 40 overs I may add that were bowled in a fraction over two hours despite numerous trips to the boundary edge to retrieve a dispatched cherry. By this you can either assume the Legends were running on high performance intakes or the average run up for each bowler was about five paces.
The incident started early. Luke Spence was persuaded to rumble in from the top end with the cherry and waited until LJ came up to the wicket before sending down two bouncers that would have required Shaquille O’Neal on stilts to take. Kean wasn’t beyond testing the middle of the wicket either but one of his short pitched deliveries got a wicket from a top edged swipe. As the ball soared into the air there were two contenders, The Bard and Sam Pole. The Bard sort of called for it, Tad left his shout until very late in the day and a very messy catch weight collision was inevitable. Luckily the ball was snagged before the unstoppable force met the unmovable object and only light bruising occurred.
Rotating bowlers only ensured the punishment was spread and the scorer had long since run out of fingers and toes before the secret weapon was unleashed with devastating force. Sam Walsh fresh from last weeks heroics got her first victim mimicking Graeme Swann’s dismissal of Chris Rogers in the Lords Test, hitting the crouching batter in the chest with a full bunger that could have only uprooted middle. If that was unusual her following victims were much more orthodox, two visiting batters being lured out of their crease and third keeper of the afternoon Kean ‘The Cat’ Folley whipping off the bails. The roof officially came off!
282 to win off 40 overs is a mountainous proposition and when faced with climbing a mountain you either get your hiking boots and fuel up for the challenge ahead or take the Abbo route at tea and just fuel up. This didn’t stop the Kibworth Kraken opening the batting with Sam Pole who had spent his time in the field putting in a huge shift and proving it probably was possible to be in two places at once. In any event both didn’t last too long and Kibby were 29 for 2 after 5 overs leaving the home side looking at a huge defeat and Abbo dining out off his first ball boundary.
What began to unfold however was anything but an Ashes style mismatch. Kieran Wordsworth began to loosen his arms in a noteworthy effort to keep up with the bludgeoning performance of Luke Spence who had in turn shown restraint in waiting for at least his third ball before launching his first maximum.
What began as a bit of fun soon became less than amusing for Lubenham as the score reach 133 for 2 at drinks and then just five overs later 195 for 5. Luke falling for a whirlwind 90 off just 60 balls and Kieran a breezy 50 at a strike rate that was not as high in the scorebook but probably on par on a ‘pound for pound’ basis.
With the fall of these two batsmen you could have been forgiven for thinking the party was over, but not a bit of it. LJ began his own version of the clean hitting and running like a lunatic routine and found a willing partner in debutant Elliot who seemed very adept at giving his partner the strike. Incredibly with ten overs to go Kibworth were just 51 short of victory and had assumed the mantle of favourites which, at the beginning, seemed about as likely as a Rhino winning the 2013 tip-toer of the year competition.
Elliott finally fell but momentum wasn’t lost, skipper Kean Folley went to the wicket reminding anyone who would listen about his previous golden duck but there was to be no repeat on this afternoon. A visiting side run completely ragged brought back their opening bowlers but to no avail as Kibworth unbelievably chased down their enormous target with a full two overs to spare.
The impossible is fast becoming the norm for the Sunday XI. No team has the right to expect to chase down such a large total but to do so with a full two overs to spare borders on the ludicrous. Even on a day when the First Team secured a notable win away at Loughborough Town they would have to share some of that limelight with the team that cake didn’t forget!
William Jennings – 21/07/2013