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Essex Shield

Tales from the Boundary

Over & Out


The last game of cricket that I played was in 1978 (I think).  I played a few games for Lymington, which did an annual tour of the Isle of Wight, so I came to be playing against Ventnor, my former club.

I was not on the tour proper so it was necessary to catch the ferry to Yarmouth (not the Norfolk one) and then get picked up in a team mate's car.  My companion on this trip was a friend's young son who happened to be the nephew of the ferry captain on the way back, so I got a free drink.

My entry to the game on about 70 for four surprised some of the Ventnor side.  My usual position with Ventnor was number 9, seen as an insurance policy in case we needed to play out time.  A couple of seasons previously I'd been not out in eleven of 20 innings (but for few runs).

Anyway, I'd scratched my way to 18, but time was ticking, when the captain, John Hilsum, put himself on to bowl.  His first ball I attempted to push for a single on the legside but mistimed it and the ball soared away to mid wicket for a six.   It was, however, a pretty short boundary.  Next over, shaping for a leg glance, I thought I'd put a bit of bottom hand in it, which led to another short six.

John took himself off and brought on Jeff Hose, father of the Hamphire, Somerset and Warwickshire player, though Adam was not even a twinkle in Dad's eye then.  Jeff was a dark curly haired version of Stuart Broad and did play a few times for Hants Seconds later.

I left alone three rising balls, just short of a length outside off stump, but anticipated the bouncer, was early into position and just failed to clear the trees on the square leg boundary.  At start of next over I heard John say 'pitch it up' and so played probably the shot of my life - straight drive on the up, no need to run, though it was a bit slow crossing the boundary late on.

Next over, new bowler (can't remember his name), got cleaned up with a yorker.

Andrew Appleby