Last Wednesday evening the Bath Rugby Legends XI recorded their second consecutive win over the Bath Cricket Club Select XI in the annual Charity T20 at North Parade.
It was a match that looked in serious doubt due to the sheer volume of rain in the days running up to the game, but thanks to the ground staff at the cricket club and a let up in the weather on the day, the decision was made to go ahead.
Legends' captain, Ross Batty, won the toss and elected to have a bowl. This was soon to be a decision which proved prudent as Academy flanker, Joe Buckle, managed to get the first half of Bath CC's opening pair caught at slip in the first over, with Batty himself taking the catch. The second over, bowled by Matt Banahan, produced yet another wicket, leaving the hosts two down for not very many!
The next few overs saw Bath CC steady things and by the halfway point the score was 58 for 2. A catch by Banahan off the bowling of Carl Fearns in the 11th over then brought in the current Bath 1st XI captain and ex-Somerset player, Robin Lett. An instant acceleration in the run rate ensued with the crowd enjoying some enormous 6's.
The overs soon ticked by, as did the runs. Some fine glove work by Gary Gold behind the stumps aided in his teams' work in the field and Matt Perry was the next to pick up a wicket with a superb one handed catch off his own bowling. This, though, did leave everyone amazed at how he missed the dolly-drop only a few overs previous to that!
The last two wickets fell in fairly quick succession, with Banahan adding both to his tally and leaving Bath CC with 168 from their 20 overs.
A quick turnaround saw Batty and Buckle open up with the bat and a flurry of activity between the wickets and big hitting from the off.
Buckle was looking to push the ball into the gaps; Batty was looking to push the ball into next week - his first shot going straight over the White Wall for 6. The partnership was broken in the third over when Buckle was tempted by a 'moon ball' and was promptly stumped.
His replacement was fellow Academy player, Will Tanner, who unfortunately came and went without adding to the total. This, however, brought Banahan to the crease and with his first shot being a reverse sweep, the back stated his intentions.
Between him and Batty the Legends were soon scoring well above the required run rate, the ball being fetched from behind the white line on a regular basis. Having both scored nearly 30 runs a piece, though, they soon fell foul of going for one big hit too many, giving Bath CC a bit of breathing space.
This didn't last for long though as the next pair of Stephen Donald and Carl Fearns arrived and promptly carried on where the last two left off. Some fine stroke play mixed in with some more big hits meant that by the 10th over the legends were only 60 runs short of the required total.
Fearns went next having knocked up 25 and was followed almost immediately by Donald with 30. Matt Powell, Bath's Business Development Director, kept things ticking over nicely but when Palma-Newport was bowled first ball this left the Legends having lost two wickets for one run and needing 22 from the last four overs with just three wickets in hand. We were once again poised for a tight finish!
Matt Perry was the new replacement and when Powell was run out Bath President, David Trick (a.k.a the fastest winger on the planet) took to the crease. This was the beginning of the end for Bath CC as between the pair of them they managed to knock off the runs in emphatic style, with Trick launching a number of boundaries in quick succession, including a huge 6. The final runs came with a 4 from Trick's bat, sealing the win for the Legends.
Bath Cricket Club were raising money for BBC Children in Need on the night, hence the spotty stumps and helmet. If you'd like to donate, you can do so by clicking here.
The Legends XI will next be in action against Biddestone CC, at Biddestone on Tuesday 31st July - please note the new date for this fixture - with money being raised for the Bath Rugby Foundation, so why not pop down and cheer the boys on?
Bath Rugby Legends XI:
1) Ross Batty (c)
2) Matt Banahan
3) Stephen Donald
4) Matt Powell
5) Carl Fearns
6) Kane Palma-Newport
7) Will Tanner
8) Joe Buckle
9) Gary Gold
10) Matt Perry
11) David Trick