Sidbury cricketers begin new season is soggy circumstances

Ottery cricket club. Photo by Terry Ife ref shsp 2821-22-13TI To order your copy of this photograph

Ottery cricket club. Photo by Terry Ife ref shsp 2821-22-13TI To order your copy of this photograph go to and click on myphotos24 - Credit: Archant

If you witnessed one man in thin white clothes, standing in a field in the rain on a cold Saturday afternoon, you would be forgiven for thinking he was to say the least eccentric, writes Mark Bishop.

However, add a couple of bats, a ball masquerading as a bar of soap, 21 other similarly impractically dressed men and a couple of slightly more practically dressed umpires, you have village cricket in England in April.

This was certainly the case last Saturday when Sidbury welcomed Kenn for a 35 over game to raise the curtain on the new season. On a drying wicket that offered a lot to bowlers, providing they could keep their footing and an outfield that in places would have been more suitable for rice farming than elegant cover drives, it was no surprise when Kenn won the toss and elected to field.

Talk in the changing room was that 120 would be a competitive score, after the loss of Bennet in the first over things looked ominous for Sidbury, but Mark Bishop and John Miller steadied the ship until Miller was dismissed for 10 and Bishop followed for a patient 25 with the score on 58.

Captain for the day Martyn ‘windy’ Miller anchored the innings and with the score on 78 he was joined by James Pearse batting at number 10. The two of them set about the bowling and pushed the score up to 114 before Miller became Mason’s 4th wicket of innings. Steve Crick scrambled a single off the last ball of the innings and Pearse was not out on 14 as Sidbury’s innings closed on 115.

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After proving that Sidbury put the tea in team, opening bowlers Crick and Barney Stone found their line and length quickly, and supported by some uncharacteristically good fielding, made life difficult for Kenn openers Bragg and Hutchins. It was Crick who deservedly got the first breakthrough when he summoned the branoc from deep within and took a full length diving catch off his own bowling to remove Bragg, and followed that by dismissing Hughes with his next ball. In keeping with the weather, the next two overs saw three more batsmen back in the pavilion for ducks. Crick finishing his spell with outstanding figures of 2-3. As the rain became more persistent two more wickets fell before rain the rain snatched the possibility of victory from Sidbury’s grasp and the match was abandoned with Kenn on 57-7. The other wicket takers were Stone, Mark and James Pearse and Phil Major. In the absence of a maths graduate to calculate the Duckworth Lewis, Sidbury will have to be happy that this was a great start to the season, with plenty of positives to build on. Thanks to Alan for umpiring and to everyone who helped to prepare the ground pre season.

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