The final chapter of the Hammond Years was closed at pretty Bamville yesterday, unfortunately ending in defeat for the away side.
Bamville won the toss and batted in warm, muggy conditions. The ball was swinging around early on, particularly from the green end (the pitch is literally on the middle of a fairway between the tee and the green, with a local byelaw stating that on Sundays, that particular hole becomes common land, allowing the club to play). Ashby picked up two early wickets and Phil Clarke another as Bamville slipped to 35-3, however that would all change soon. Black and Platts came to the wicket and put on an astonishing 170 for the fourth wicket in double quick time. Several catches went down as the two batsmen cut loose, with virtually every bowler getting hammered to all parts. With Dave Carman going for 34 from 3 overs, Ashby brought himself back on to ‘keep it tight’, only to be despatched for four consecutive sixes back over his head by the impressive Black. And then Taz dropped him the next ball…
Hammond was ironically the man to break the partnership, removing Platts caught and bowled for 53. With the partnership broken, Lilley finally managed to claw the run rate back slightly, Black was bowled next over by Ashby and the paceman added two more wickets to complete a ten over spell of five for eighty one!! Phil Clarke bagged another to give him 2-45 from 8 overs and Taz produced another fine run out to make up for the earlier dropped catch, however Bamville had registered an impressive 269-9 in their 40 overs. Tomsett had to leave the field towards the end after a dropped catch had cracked him on the finger. Matt Clarke took over the keeping duties.
Lilley lost Tomsett for 12 in reply, adjudged lbw by umpire Mellor, but Hammond and Matt Clarke then unloaded, puting on 96 for the second wicket. Hammond was bowled for 45 having played a great knock in his last outing for Lilley. Clarke at the other end did register his fifty with another flashing four, to add to several fine strokes all around the wicket, notably a powerful swept six early on. Once Clarke was out, Lilley’s slim chances of victory disappeared, although Ashby (25) and Phil Clarke (26 not out) both chipped in towards the end.
All in all, Bamville scored about 80 runs too many, but Lilley’s batting was encouraging.