Cambourne shines in Wimpole cricket re-enactment

It’s been many years since the thwack of leather on willow has been heard on the lawns of Wimpole Hall, but on Sunday the original cricket pitch was brought back to life with a Georgian re-enactment match. Players from across Cambourne CC, from juniors as young as seven to representatives of all three senior teams, joined in the event organised by National Trust Sports and Cambs Cricket.

Cambourne were drawn against a team from Royston CC. Captain Ben Miller won the toss and elected to field, to get the measure of the pitch and the 18th Century rules: no LBW, no boundaries, a wicket consisting of two stumps and one long bail, a period replica bat, and underarm bowling in 4-ball overs.

After everyone had changed into period garb – pantaloons, stockings and loose linen shirts, the players took to the field in the glorious sunshine.

In the first innings, Cambourne bowled well, with Royston’s batsmen scoring relatively few ‘notches’. That is, until a wily shot into the long grass – on the penultimate ball of the innings – allowed them to notch up another 13 while the Cambourne fielders searched frantically for the ball. That brought the total to 50 notches from the 16 overs.

In reply, Cambourne’s juniors showed their mettle and athleticism, running well between the wickets. They were supported by senior members of the team, and ended the first innings with a nine notch advantage.

With time to spare, we took a second innings, allowing a few more players who’d turned up to join in and have a go, and entertain the crowd of almost 100 people who had gathered to watch. Royston added another 26 notches to their tally in their eight overs, leaving Cambourne needing just 18 notches to win, which we knocked off with style.

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