Mandarins chalk up late-season victory in Rochester drizzle

Mandarins (159 for 2) beat King's School Rochester (157 for 9) by 8 wickets


A fine performance with ball, bat and in the field (despite a couple of dropped catches) saw Mandarins notch their third victory of the season at one of the season's blue riband fixtures at King's School, Rochester. 

The clouds were ominous as King's went in to bat. Fine opening spells full of line and length balls from Eastaway (9-2-16-2) and Heard (8-1-25-1) restricted them to 41 for 3 after 17 overs. Fielding was tight for most of the innings, with some questioning whether this was really "how the Mandarins did things"; some worried about a dangerous precedent being set. Manian had a mixed day in the field, holding a great catch at deep midwicket before inexplicably letting the next chance through his hands to slam into his delicates. 

A spell of 14 overs straight from Hurst kept the runs down, going for 34, with two wickets. He was ably supported by Forman (10-0-44-3) and Healey (5-0-31-1). 157 for 9 declared at tea looked a gettable score but it was hard to tell given the rain had already been coming down, stopping play for 15 minutes in the middle of the innings and taking the shine off the ball and some pace off the wicket.

After a suitably classy tea in the headmaster's house, Baxter and Lowen started the Mandarins innings solidly, a few nice boundaries and some surprisingly quick singles taking us to 40 before Lowen was caught for 12. Lord Sir Graeme Tunbridge Esq. was out quickly, caught and bowled for a duck, but Brand steadied the ship at number 4. 

There followed a match-winning partnership of 110 between Baxter and Brand, who both dug in and accumulated steadily at around 4 an over before taking advantage of some friendly change bowling and then seeing off the returning opening bowlers. Each scored an unbeaten 63 in the wind and drizzle to win the game with 9 overs and 8 wickets to spare. 

Sam Brand

The day was rounded off with drinks in a candlelit Restoration House: many thanks Jonathan and Robert for your hospitality - Ed