Today, we are not going to go back that far – in fact, just two years to Sunday 22nd July 2018.  As has been mentioned in a number of previous editions of “On This Day”, our record in T20 cricket could be described as poor, verging on hopeless.  But we always put on a good show at Loperwood Park and this game, in the quarter-final of the Southern Premier League T20 Plate against Hampshire Academy was just that little bit more special – if only because we had the presence of our flourishing “All Stars” in attendance, giving the players a guard of honour and joining in on the team picture.

What happened on the field will live in the memory for a very long time.  For 95% of this game, we were completely out of it against a Premier Division side that was glistening with future talent, including three members of the then county playing staff and one who had already made his County Championship debut and would later record a first-class ton.

I am extremely grateful to captain on the day Jimmy Manning, club captain Mark Lavelle, two of the bowlers Paul Proudley and Ben Perry, batsman Sam Moss and Hampshire Academy coach and former Calmore Sports player Charlie Freeston for their time and effort in putting together today’s edition.

JM – I was really looking forward to this game against Hampshire Academy, after being given the T20 captaincy by Lav.
– Having relinquished the T20 captaincy to Jimmy to allow myself a bit of stress free cricket, it was set to be a great day welcoming the Hampshire youngsters to a packed crowd at Loperwood.
SM – The T20 game against Hampshire Academy was a fixture we had worked towards and everyone was excited for the day.
CF – Travelling to Calmore Sports on a hot summer Sunday in July, a young group of players from the Hampshire Academy were excited to play in a plate QF in 2018.
ML – Sadly our T20 record for the last decade has been distinctly average. So ‘making a day of it’ was the order of the day.
JM – Lav and Gunner Pete said we just had to make a game of this, have a good day for the club!  I turned around and said, let’s bat first, I am not here to lose the game.
BP – I can remember respecting Jimmy’s positivity in wanting to bat first but wondering whether it was the right call, given the opposition and bumper crowd.
CF – The summer had been hot and Calmore Sports won the toss and batted on a dry surface. A good toss to win, we thought!
BP – You know that wondering whether it was the right call?  That feeling grew considerably stronger when we found ourselves 4-3 and I was strapping on the pads, not what the crowd had come to see!
JM – We were 25-5 when I got out for 6.  As I was walking off, my mum and dad arrived at the ground.  He looked at the scoreboard, looked at me and said “did you win the toss?”  Five minutes later, he said, ok then, I’ll see you later and went home!
ML – So when Jimmy won the toss and batted and we found ourselves 37-6, I think most of us wanted to kill him, people were still arriving and we were in a terrible position.
SM – Personally, my game started in the worst way, having been bowled for a five-ball duck, but I am a firm believer that you can still impact the game in some way.
ML – Thankfully useful runs from Westy & Rosey gave us some slight respectability getting us to 76/8.  We couldn’t, could we?
BP – Some very handy late order runs spared total embarrassment, but we were still way short of the total we wanted batting first.  Our mantra of ‘bat and squeeze’ was to be seriously tested defending 76.
CF – Having reduced Calmore to 45-8, the Academy team were obviously confident that we would have enough batting to see the game through.  A good partnership saw Calmore reach 76 of their 20 overs.
JM – I spoke to James Hibberd at half way and asked him whether he thought we had a chance and his reply was quite blunt … “absolutely no chance”
BP – We were determined to give it our best shot as a decent number had turned up to watch.  As always, the club put on a show and we wanted to redeem our batting effort.  Lav and West got us off to a decent start with the ball but, defending such a low total, we knew wickets were our only chance.
ML – I opened up with Westy and helped them off to a flier.  At 54/3, it seemed a foregone conclusion.  Enter Paul Proudley.
PP: It was a bit of a shock when Jimmy chucked be the ball and asked me to bowl.  The previous day I wasn’t the most economical and back to back days of cricket I was struggling to bend down and tie my laces up before the game!!!
ML – Prouders had struggled for the most part of the summer with the ball but alongside Westy and Jim produced an unbelievable spell that pulled us right back into it 63/6. Still not happening is it?
PP – My thoughts were just try and bowl the f***ing thing straight (easier said then done).  I think my mixture of slower balls and even slower balls bamboozled the Hampshire batsman who clearly fancied getting hold of my 45mph powder puff cutters!
BP – Prouders seemed inspired by the crowd and tumbled down the hill at speed. He bowled as well as I’ve seen him bowl.  Proper wickets.  Jimmy hustled the batsman from his end.  We grew more confident in the field.
JM – Paul Proudley bowled really well, bowled amazingly.
ML – Then disaster struck and Prouders pulled his hammy and left the field to a standing ovation.
PP – Just when I was getting in some sort of rhythm and thinking to myself maybe I have still got something to offer the team with the ball, PING!!!  Hamstring and pride completely gone!
BP – Prouders pulled up mid spell and left to a proper ovation.
PP – The standing ovation I got was a nice touch!  Many thinking it would be the last time we will see him on a cricket pitch again…..probably should have been!
CF – On a tricky surface, no batter ever felt in, but reaching 63-5, needing just 13 runs with 5 wickets left, the Academy still felt we would get over the line …. just.  But then we saw the Calmore spirit kick in.
ML – Pez was thrown the ball and the Academy eased their way to needed 3 to win with 4 wickets left.
BP – Lav and Jimmy asked me to complete his over with less than 10 to win and 4 wickets in hand.  Within a couple of balls, their batsman tried hitting me over mid-on but were deceived in the flight.  Nice to keep the game alive but surely too late.
JM – Pez was one of my five bowlers so when Prouders hobbled off to his standing ovation, I threw the ball to Pez to complete the over.  And he bowled brilliantly, slow, straight ones.
SM – The tail needed only a few runs to win and decided they needed to hit over us to get there and two went straight into my hands.
ML – What happened next was remarkable!  Pez picked up one, then Jim picked up one but the scores were level!  2 wickets left and one to win.
BP – It got to the scores being level with the Academy 8 down.  We’d put up a good fight and turned humiliation into a competitive game.  I bowled one of my sliders that cannoned into the batsman’s pad (probably umpires call on leg stump).  He was convinced by DV’s strong appeal and given. One run to win, 9 down.
CF – The Academy youngsters were nervous at this point so it was left to me at number 11!
BP – I just remember thinking ‘just not a wide’.  It wasn’t the time to toss it up so I fired another in and trapped Charlie in front of middle. No doubt about this one.
CF – I still don’t think it was out!
BP – It felt like the umpire took an eternity to give it – clearly milking his moment.  By the time he raised his finger, the lads were pretty much on the wicket
ML – Pez took two in two to create some unbelievable celebrations!  No one actually knew what was happening until the umpires let us know it would be a super over.
JM – We tried our hearts out, as we do, and took our chances.  And somehow, we had taken the game into a super over.
ML – Academy batted first and it was West to bowl.
JM – I would never have thought, in any kind of captaincy experience did I think I would turn to Westy and tell him to bowl it!
ML – They sent in two of their first-year pros out but the experience of West won the battle.
BP – So into the super over.  I was at cow thinking I was in bomb alley.  Westy held his nerve and Mossy took two of the best outfield catches I’ve seen, in terms of difficulty and game situation.
SM – Like many others, I have never been involved with a super over so it was a great experience. An experience made better when I ran in to catch a skier off the opening batsmen.
ML – Westy’s over was amazing but he was outshone by Sam Moss who took two unbelievable catches at long on.
SM – On the final ball of the over, George Pardoe smashed the ball back past the bowler with one of the better shots of the day.  As soon as he hit it I thought I could get there from long on.  I took the catch and stopped the 6 runs, meaning we only had to get 4 to win this unbelievable cricket match.
ML – The rest is a bit of a blur, Pez told everyone I’m his teacher style to relax and concentrate
BP – People were running all over the place.  I grabbed hold of Lav by the shirt and told him “we don’t screw this up.”
ML – Jimmy and I decided we would both go out and bat and with a combination of leg byes, overthrows and inside edges, we got home with a ball to spare!
JM – Me and Lav decided to take it on and we just kicked it around – couple of leg byes, an inside edge and an overthrow – and we won.  This was, without doubt, one of the best wins I have ever had on a cricket field, and I have had a few!
CF – It proved to be a valuable but slightly painful first experience of a Super Over for all players in a Hampshire shirt.  Calmore came out on top and celebrated (quite rightly) like Stokes etc did on winning their own Super Over v New Zealand in the World Cup.
SM – As Lav and Jimmy padded away the four runs to win the game, it sealed the single best moment of cricket and the best game I have seen or been involved with.
BP – The boys held their nerve and pulled off a memorable win.  A relatively inexperienced team had pulled off a great victory.  The on-lookers cheering Mossy’s catches was outstanding.
JM – I can say that I have never played cricket with a bunch of lads like this.  We had no chance at half way really and definitely no chance when they only needed a few runs to win.
ML – Cue a pitch invasion and celebrations that went long into the night.
PP – The celebrations certainly went long into the night!!!
ML – A truly remarkable performance from us to drag the game back from certain defeat.
CF – The experience will be a valuable one for the young hopefuls, and a few old heads in the Calmore team enjoyed one of the best days in a Calmore shirt.  From my point of view, the year after, the youngsters went on to win the competition, so I was delighted that the players learnt from this game and responded so well in 2019.
SM – In my first season for Calmore, I was lucky to be involved with some great moments both personally and as a club but this was a real highlight.
CF – Being an ex Calmore player, it was good to see the team so well supported and the players enjoying the game so much.
ML – I’m sure some harsh lessons learnt for the young Hampshire lads who I’m sure will all have decent cricket careers, but it was just one of those Calmore days!
JM – What a result that was.  One of the real highlights of my playing career.

RV’s match report from the game two years ago, if you want to relive it again!

Massive thanks to all six of the gents who made themselves available to have a few words.