Royal Brussels T20
12 Jun 2015 - Charlie Compton
After a leisurely journey from Sevenoaks to Brussels, a mentally prepared and thoroughly focused Old Oaks side arrived at the magnificent Royal Brussels CC for this, the first of the two-game tour. En-route to the ground, the skipper spoke of his concerns of getting each squad member the chance of a game over the weekend. He needn’t have worried.
It was arranged between the skippering brothers that the visitors should bowl first in the glorious evening sunshine. Billings and Sykes opened the bowling, and is wasn’t long before the lesser cricketer of the Compton siblings was back in the pavilion preparing salad for the evening BBQ. A good start for the tourists but things were about to take a turn for the worse. towards the end of the third over, Simon ‘Lord Uxbridge’ Constantine went down for a fairly regulation piece of fielding but struggled to get up. “Begat Sir, I have lost my leg.” he cried. Uncle Billings, by now making his way to third man had no time for wasting, declared, “Begat sir, so you have. Now get off the ‘jolly old’ pitch.”
The Old Oaks lost some momentum after the departure of Constantine, not that those two things are necessarily related. A long lunch / pre-match refreshments coupled win the spike ban (due to an artificial wicket) made life difficult for the tourists (particularly Mike Jones), and the hosts went on to make 159-3 from their 20 overs. Morale amongst the troops was still high though, and we rallied for an assault.
Judd and Jones led this chase, and rightly approached with caution for the first couple of overs. In over three, Jones became the first Vine player in 280 years to be bowled by a Frenchman. Le sport est une maîtresse cruelle.
Once again, the Old Oaks were able to rely on the experience of Macca (25) at the crease, who led the methodical chase through the middle stages. Sykes was back in the hutch, guest tourist Morris (20) chipped in, Lowndes (18) played an invaluable role, and Skipper (23) led by example. But the team player of the evening was Smith, who sacrificed his wicket on the alter of quick runs, running himself out to allow Sykes (30no) steer home this first sweet victory on foreign soil.
Wellington would have been proud!
Old Oaks won by 8 wickets
Compton of the match: Charlie