We welcomed our third touring team of the year on the last day of June, St Matthias CC from Brighton. They had arrived the night before and immediately hit the bars, with some clearly still a bit worse for wear come 2pm the following afternoon! Umer Razi graciously lost the toss and we were put in the field.
Less graciously, Umer decided to open with the pace pair of Zeeshan Dildar and Maxi Hoeck but it was the captain who once again took the first wicket with a second run out in as many games. The other opener was soon after given out LBW to Zeeshan and walked off mouthing "thank you" to the standing umpire - I'm not sure he was enjoying the quick bowling! Maxi sent the number three back to the dugout first ball with a sharp caught and bowled. Reuben Grahame and Duncan Newing offered a bit more backbone at number 4 and 5 respectively before Simon Eldridge had the former caught by Burhan for a well made 18. Tom Sherlock made the bold choice to try and ramp Shriram Bhosale off his second ball and was caught at short third-man by Shane Lightley, allowing Duncan and number 7 Louis Grahame to build another mini recovery. Eventually Duncan was run out and Louis (along with new partner Alex Coghlin) retired. Simon came back on and bowled the tour manager Joel Sayers for his second wicket and St Matthias posted a below-par 120/7 from their 20 overs.
Regular guest Pandian Karuppaswamy opened with Vishesh Gajjar but there was confusion early on and Vishesh was run out - maybe Pandian shouldn't expect a call next time we're short! Shriram Bhosale reprised his role as pinch hitting number 3 that had worked so well in the league last weekend but could only managed 16 this time. Pandian somewhat made up for the run out by scoring 31 off 25 before falling caught. Burhan Ejaz (33*) and keeper Jack Jewson (17) kept the runchase well above target before Umer came in to score the winning runs in just the 15th over.
A good game played in great spirits between two teams that were probably much more evenly matched than the report and scorecard might suggest - it would certainly be interesting to play them in a more competitive game! A great bunch and we joined them for dinner, along with a couple of others from Men In Blue (who St Matthias were due to play the following day). Overall, it was a great day and Razball now has two wins in a row!