Damerham cricket club is situated in the Western downland village of Damerham on the Northwest edge of the New Forest. Read more >
August 03 2019 - Calmore Sports III - Home - 1pm
Damerham 191-7 beat Calmore Sports III 17-ao by 174 runs
05 - 2 - 03 - 6
05 - 1 - 09 - 2
01 - 0 - 04 - 0
A full stretch leap, with the wrong hand vertical above the head, twisting backwards to pluck the ball improbably from too high in the air. No, not the one shared all round the world on social platforms, seen by millions of people who never otherwise watch or have any interest in cricket, the one accompanied by Nasser Hussain’s excited incredulity “Ooh! No way! No. No way. You cannot do that, Ben Stokes.” Nope, not that one.
Pards instantly and emphatically declared it ‘the best catch you will ever see in village cricket’. Hard to argue with. For this was not Ben Stokes it was Jude, and not in the World Cup at The Oval but in the Hampshire League R1NW at Damerham.
One might even dare to argue that it was more impressive than Stokes’, as this was also a reaction catch, being only 25 yards or so from the bat. The ball was a drag down long hop which fully deserved to be murderously pulled for four through midwicket. Which is exactly what happened to it, except it never got to midwicket because Jude caught it. Using witchcraft.
Sadly no one caught the catch on camera, so Jude is denied instant global social media fame, and you will just have to take the word of those who were there that this was indeed The Best Catch You Will Ever See In Village Cricket. May the tale grow ever taller in the telling.
It was a very good day for Damerham. We’ve been on the wrong end of some almighty thrashings this year, but today was our turn to be on the right end.
Put in on a 50/50 sort of deck and day, I finally made a contribution with the kind of relief you feel when you eventually find a loo having been desperate for a wee since April. After drinks it became clear that Calmore had run out of seam options, as they turned to a full complement of spinners and purveyors of loopy slower balls of varying quality. (They only had 9, and had clearly roped in a couple of mates to get that many. We’ve all had weeks like that.) Their part time bowlers did well though, claiming steady wickets among the boundaries. Henry made a dizzyingly fast 40something to lift his aggregate league season runs above 600 – already a pb, and inching above Hakey’s club record of last year – still with four games to go. Hacon played the slow men watchfully and accelerated well at the innings’ end, losing the last ball into the Bryant’s field with a massive six to bring up his 50 and take us to 191.
His typically frugal 9-2 with the ball was eclipsed by Rob, who returned figures scarcely more believable than Jude’s catch. We had the deepest bowling attack we’ve had for many a week, with five seamers, two of whom not required. The Best Catch You Will Ever See In Village Cricket was Rob’s first wicket – a dreadful ball as previously mentioned. His last was a full toss missed by a non-batsman last man. The four in between though were pretty decent, especially clean bowling their best batsman swinging across the line, clearly frustrated at the rate he was running out of partners. He bowled well, but we’ve seen him bowl better for no result at all. But when you bowl a side out for 17, someone’s going to have great figures. Our benevolent fund has provided plenty of career best figures around Hampshire this year, and today it was Rob’s turn. If any of us ever gets better figures than 6-3, I hope I’m there to see it. Catch of a lifetime and figures of a lifetime in one game. And there were three jugs on the table in the pub garden before six o’clock. Not a bad day.
While mathematically we’re not safe, the practical reality is we probably are, though another win or two from the last four would make it comfortable. If the engraver chap in his little hut is already carving Henry’s name on the batting trophy (he can do it with his eyes closed by now), the bowling race is hotting up nicely, Rob’s six-fer getting him to within one of Hakey, who leads the two horse race 17-16.