On Sunday Crowborough Cricket Club hosted the Lashings All Stars, a team of former International Players, at their ground at Wolfe Recreation Ground.
Lashings describe themselves as the Harlem Globetrotters of Cricket.
Crowborough’s guest player for the match was Tom Evans, part of Tom, Nicola & Jack on Heart Radio Breakfast Show in Sussex. After a coaching session in the morning and following lunch, when the players were formally introduced, the match began at 4pm and followed a T20 format. BBC broadcaster Henry Blofeld commentating.
Crowborough Cricket Club’s Chairman Jon Woollerton kindly sent this match report and these photographs:
The day began with the Lashings players taking a coaching session for the younger and future generations of Crowborough players followed by an amazing 3 course dinner during which there was the formal introduction of the Lashings players, a silent auction, an actual auction and games of stand up sit down and heads or tails.
During the meal the start of the main event took place with Lashings captain Chris Schofield winning the toss and electing to bat.
The game began with Crowborough in their usual vocal mood and soon had the crowd on their feet when, with just the second ball of the innings, George Callingham forced West Indian legend Kirk Edwards (0) into a leading edge that flew to deep cover where Jack Turner took a good catch. In the very next over and with the score at just 14, Crowborough’s guest player Heart Breakfast’s very own Tom Evans forced Lashings other opener Indian legend Wasim Jaffer (9) into a loose shot which looped all the way to George Callingham at fine leg. This brought England, Notts and Surrey legend Usman Afzaal to the crease to join Lashings captain and England, Lancs and Surrey legend Chris Schofield. These 2 set about the Crowborough attack with and aggressive yet measured approach, seeing off the opening bowlers and rebuilding the innings after the loss of early wickets. Freddie Simmons and Liam Edwards replaced the opening bowlers and both bowled tight lines and both beating the bat on several occasions but as the 2 former England internationals settled in and grew accustomed to the pitch and conditions soon starting hitting the fence and over it, including Schofield finding the ice cream van.
It was the introduction of spin that brought a few wickets and had the home crowd back on their feet as Crowborugh captain Mikey Parker had Afzaal (43) caught by Freddie Simmons with a smart take at square leg. This brought Schofields club teammate Samuel Felix to the crease as Lashing looked to push the score beyond 150 and towards a decent total. However the Crowborough attack had other ideas and Schofield fell LBW to his opposite number Parker looking to play an audacious switch hit for a majestically made 63. This brought another West Indian legend, the one and only Tino Best to the crease. Felix had pushed the score beyond 150 with some aggressive hitting especially over square leg and mid-wicket but went for one shot too many off the bowling of Greg Follows and holed out to Jack ‘safe hands’ Turner at deep mid-wicket for 25. Fraser Hall replaced Parker and bowled brilliantly to keep the score down and in the next over Follows had his second wicket as Tino Best (1) mis-timed a pull to deep square leg and Tom Evans to a great catch to reduce Lashings to 164 with 1 over to go. Fraser Hall then bowled a splendid over conceding just 1 run bowling to Lashings star for the day Steve Pierce (0*) and England and Surrey legend Martin Bicknell (2*) leaving Crowborough needing to chase down 165 to end Lashings 53 match winning streak.
Crowborough began their chase in interesting fashion. Ian Easton (4) faced the first ball from Tino Best and looked assured even at a fierce pace and when he cut the 3rd ball for 4 the crowd erupted in applause. However the 2nd short ball rattled him on the helmet and the ball after deflected off his gloves into the safe hands of Schofield. West Indian legend Fidel Edwards bowled the second over to Jack Turner who defended bravely and pinched a single on the 4th ball bringing George Callingham on strike. He also defended stoutly and both batsman slowly played themselves in against the pace of 2 West Indian test fast bowlers. Again it was the change of pace that brought wickets although it brought runs as well as Jack and George both hitting the ball out of the ground before Schofield deceived Turner (21) in the flight and was caught by Martin Bicknell at long on. Greg Follows (0) then came to the crease but England and Middlesex ‘s John Emburey managed to sneak a turning delivery through his defence to bowl him cleanly. David Bob Burns replaced him at the crease and hit his first ball from Schofield for 6 but with the score at only 45 Schofield then got George caught and bowled for 9. Burns (28) then hit Emburey for 2 sixes and 2 fours in an over before going for one shot too many off Schofield caught at deep mid-wicket by Kirk Edwards. Freddie Simmons (7) hit Wasim Jaffer for a lovely 4 through square leg but then got stumped over reaching going for another big hit. Hamish Marr looked tidy before succumbing to the same fate but this time off the bowling of Schofield. Captain Mikey Parker then attempted to take the initiative and launch a counter attack with wickets and overs running out. Hitting boundaries all round the ground off of both Wasim Jaffer and Martin Bicknell including a huge six over mid on but Samuel Felix completed his hat-trick of stumping’s when Wasim Jaffer outwitted him for a marvellous and well crafted 32. Fraser Hall and Liam Edwards combined at the crease with Crowborough still needing 40 and Edwards (7) hit a lovely 4 before finding the hands of Schofield of the bowling of Bicknell. Hall (13*) then hit Bicknell for a huge 6 but needing 20 off the last ball our guest for the day Tom Evans (0) unfortunately failed to make his ground and Crowborough found themselves 20 runs short.
Lashing 165-6 (20)
Crowborough 145-10 (20) lost by 20 runs
A brilliantly entertaining game played in brilliant spirit and enjoyed by a crowd, full of enthusiasm for both Lashings and Crowborough players alike.