Lashings serve up world class day of cricket at Belhus

Lashings World XI 256-6
Belhus XI 172-8

An estimated crowd of 600 thronged to the North Stifford village green on Friday afternoon as Belhus Cricket Club adventurously hosted a team of full internationals from most of the World’s test playing nations. And in a surprise move, esteemed BBC Test Match Special radio commentator Henry Blofeld set up his microphone to provide commentary on the game in his usual inimitable style. James Marshall (New Zealand) and Australia’s Ian Harvey got Lashings off to a fiery start by scoring 62 and 75 respectively in an opening partnership of 126. Marshall hit nine boundaries including one six, while Harvey hit nine fours and three huge sixes.

The momentum was continued when Wasim Jaffer (India) hit 30. West Indian Jimmy Adams was undefeated on 32, while Saqlain Mushtaq (Pakistan) scored 22.

The Belhus team did well to contain their illustrious guests; none more so than Belhus man-of-the-match Paul Bennett. He took two catches in the outfield, one to dismiss Phil Defreitas (England) off the bowling of Gavin Jefferies for just 12 runs, while Bennett also caught Mushtaq from the bowling of Billy Winter for 22.

Bennett continued his great display by scoring 81 for Belhus, batting at number four. He was eventually caught by Defreitas on the mid-wicket boundary off the bowling of Harvey having struck seven fours and five sixes from 67 deliveries. He received a standing ovation from the huge crowd and the whole of the Lashings team for his efforts.

Also in double figures for Belhus in a spirited reply were opener Gavin Jefferies with 29, despite having to face the opening pair of Mohammed Akram
(Pakistan) and England’s Devon Malcolm. Nick Marns hit a patient 16, Winter finished unbeaten on 13 while Michael Fogg ended on 10 not out.

For Lashings, Defreitas concluded his four-over bowling spell with 2-10 while Harvey went for 2-43, also from four overs, while John Emburey, Malcolm, Mushtaq and Jaffer took one wicket each.

Lashing’s twelfth man Henry Olonga (Zimbabwe) played his part in the day by entertaining the club’s corporate guests by singing and then later joining Blofeld at the microphone.

Fred Taylor, Belhus Chairman said: “It was a super day enjoyed by everybody and I would like to thank our sponsors, corporate guests, officials, the
Lashings team and support crew, not forgetting our own volunteers who worked tirelessly throughout the day”.

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