THE Awali Camels gave their 23rd annual summer tour of England a winning start as they claimed a last-gasp victory over Bingham CC in the English midlands.
This match will go down as one of the finest in the Camels’ illustrious history as they overcame a Bingham outfit bristling with Premier League players and including Ugandan international Naomi Kayondo.
Put in to bat, the home side set out their stall with some belligerent slogging by Lee Hartland before a bowling shuffling by Camels’ skipper Doug Perrins saw Matty Rees dismiss Alex Rudman leg-before.
Returning to Camels cricket after 20 years, Andrew Boddy quickly made his mark by pouching a Hartland steepler and with it the NHSC catch-of-the-day shield.
Then entered Kayondo and the class of her batting was immediately obvious as she stroked boundary after boundary for an elegant 50.
With two wicket-keepers in the visitors’ ranks, Dave Mason was relegated to first slip where he pocketed a sharp catch off the parsimonious bowling of Dave Starkie and it followed further wickets for Rees and Steve Turner.
Nine bowlers were used with Axtell father and son keeping the score down in the closing overs but a target of 198 still looked daunting.
After an opening partnership of 65 with Guy Parker, Mason kept things steady as the middle-order of Perrins, Rees, Boddy and Andrew Pilgrim came and went, before the Ben Peel conjured a triple-wicket maiden.
That left DHL man-of-the-match Mason and Dave Axtell needing to survive four overs and score 25 to win.
The Bingham players screamed with frustration as the ball flew anywhere but to the fielders before Axtell crashed a four through mid-wicket to settle the matter with four balls to spare.