Pilgrims 239 (A.Nurton 42, A.Pusinelli 35). Canford Cygnets: 160 (F.E.Taylor 2-19, A.Nurton 2-30).Won by 79 runs.

  After a long week of cricket and after Thursday night, notoriously the heaviest of the Week, the Pilgrims arrived at the Upper with tender heads and bodies. Fergus Taylor, remarkably for a man, who once lost eleven tosses in a row, won his fifth toss in seven games and, to the joy of the rest of the Pilgrims, elected to bat against the Cygnets in this annual 40-40 fixture. Our innings started off in much the same vein as it had all week, apart from the previous day’s match, with both openers Elliot Whiting and Hugh Willis falling early on. Number three Tom Gibbs was very unlucky to be given out ‘strangled down the legside’ when he missed the ball by at least a foot. Franke, in at four, remained true to form in accumulating four runs and, with Kennedy, Guppy, F.Taylor and Smibert accumulating just 67 between them, we were in a spot of bother on 137-8 from 24 overs. However, it was at this point that our numbers nine and ten, Andrew Nurton and Alastair Pusinelli, began the fight back . Both were aggressive and played with freedom and confidence, the former amassing 42 runs (not out) and the latter 35. Indeed, Pusinelli, in adding to the fine 50 he scored against the MCC on the Tuesday, is in now danger achieving the strange accolade of receiving his batting dimension before his bowling despite being an out and out opening bowler and tail ender! That said, his and Nurton’s contributions, in conjunction with one of their bowlers getting the yips (8 runs from three no-balls before being taken off by the umpire), helped the Pilgrims reach a respectable 239 before being bowled out in the last over.

Given the fact that we were 140-8, getting 239 was an excellent result, but we knew, having chased 283 ourselves on Monday and having only just defended 269 on Wednesday (both in 40 overs), that we would have to be on the money with the ball and in the field to be victorious.  Our openers started well: Andrew Nurton (2-30), as he had done all week, gave us great control in the opening powerplay picking up a wicket in his third and fifth overs; his partner Mike Kennedy (2-30) also bowled with much control and was rewarded with wickets in his first and fifth overs. Hugh Willis, despite not having played cricket for 6 years, was quick enough to attack the ball and run Mitchell out to leave Canford 31-5 after the first 10 overs. To Canford’s credit they  fought back well from that desperate position to 92-5, but thereafter it was the Pilgrims game with the rest of the six bowlers used mopping up the tail to dismiss the Cygnets for 160 and, thus, to give us a well earned 79 run victory on the last day of the Week. It was a great way to finish what was an outstanding cricket Week both on and off the field. Over the course of the Week we certainly played some good cricket, winning 5 out of 7 matches, including the Stour Cup T20 tournament, and had a lot of fun off the field in the pubs and up at Sherborne Town CC. I know that all those Pilgrims involved this year are already chomping at the bit for the next.