Charlie Prior performs a Hat-Trick
The Dinton skipper opted for a 30 over game on a drizzly day with heavier rain forecast. Having won the toss, he elected to bat. FPCC used 9 bowlers, all of whom bowled exceptionally well - evident in Dinton's final total of 105-8. The delivery of the day came from Charlie Knight, a perfect length, swinging in late through the gate and taking the top of off stump. Wasim Akram would have been chuffed with that one. So would Jimmy Anderson. Any bowler would. The real highlight though was the hat-trick from young Charlie Prior, bowling his leg breaks from the pavilion end. The first of his wickets was a stumping, eventually, the batsman befuddled by the flight and spin, the keeper just befuddled by the whole experience. The next batsman was clean bowled first ball, a beauty that saw befuddledness becoming contagious. In came another lamb to the slaughter, and the field closed in in the hope of taking a third scalp in successive balls. Charlie had bowled some beautifully flighted deliveries, but this one was fairly flat, the bounce low. The left-hander genuflected to try and sweep the ball - it caught a top edge and looped into the hands of Charlie's Dad at short square leg. Ten players yelped with joy and gathered round the lad to congratulate him. It was a rare and beautiful moment.
After a quick turnaround our openers went out to start the chase. Dinton's opening bowler took a two step run-up, or dawdle-up, and sent down slow deliveries that found a little movement in the air but posed no real threat. That said, he was surprisingly difficult to put away, not least because the ball almost needed a taxi to reach the batsman. The chap at the Beckford end, Sam was his name, and probably still is, looked like a proper bowler - fluid, quickish and accurate. The start was relatively slow but then the run rate required was only 3.5. Ed Spicer eventually played on to a delivery that seemed to cut in and tuck him up. Andy Knight was caught and bowled shortly after - both these wickets falling to Sam. John Sealy, opening with Ed, did hit Sam for three magnificent fours in the same over, and a few more after that. Simon Prior came in at 4, and he and John were ticking along nicely before it was decided that we should come off. The rain was getting thicker and the wicket slippery. We waited under cover for twenty minutes before calling it a day. Match drawn, but with FPCC looking good for a win on 57-2, needing only 49 off the remaining 17 overs.
It was a really solid performance, especially in the field. The bowlers must all have had excellent figures, and all played their part in taking wickets and keeping the run rate down. The day though, without question, belonged to Charlie Prior - a day I imagine and hope he will remember for a very long time, as will his proud Dad and all of us who witnessed that glorious over.
William Scott-Masson, Skipper on the day