Last week a T20 cricket match was held at Belvoir CC to celebrate the life of Vic Heppenstall who had given so much to the club and the wider community in the Grantham area. The weather was perfect and the setting sublime as befitted the man himself. Before the match a plaque was unveiled by family members formally naming “The Vic Heppenstall End” of the ground. Money raised at the event was donated to St Barnabas Hospice and Marie Curie Cancer Research.
The game was between a Belvoir XI which included ten of the current 1st XI squad and a Vic Heppenstall XI put together by the club Chair, Andy Dann. The latter included Graeme Swann, Matthew Dowman, Simon Oakes and Darren Bicknell.
Belvoir won the toss and put Vic’s XI in to bat. Dowman (65 ret’d) put the hammer down straight away with 23 off his first 10 deliveries. Bicknell (58 ret’d), after a quieter opening, broke out of his shell with a string of mighty blows scoring 27 in one 9-ball onslaught. Dowman’s runs were compiled with a level of dismissive violence that thrilled the 200-plus present. Bicknell’s were more classically accumulated but no less damaging. Both completed half-centuries in fewer than forty balls and retired. Bowlers Phil Irvine and Danny Gibson slowed the run rate temporarily before Swann (21) and Danny Ross got things going again keeping the run-rate at a steady 9 per over. At the death, Sam Penford had Swann well caught by Joe Bottomley in a tight spell of 2-23 and Vic’s XI finished on 183-3.
In reply Belvoir’s Olly Clayfield crafted a neat 42 at a run-a-ball while at the other end Jake Fisher (18) smacked four boundaries in an 11-ball cameo. At the latter’s demise Tom Neville strode to the crease menacingly. He took a ball to get his eye in and smashed the next for four. From then on it was as if the rules of cage-fighting had infiltrated the cricket arena as he bludgeoned a 24-ball fifty. It didn’t matter what was bowled, it was all met with a series of martial art strikes bringing him 8 fours and 3 sixes in a total of 64. He shared a fourth wicket partnership with Lewis Dann (30 from 19 balls) who merely kept to the Marquis of Queensbury rules of batsmanship. Chris Dobbie finished it off with consecutive fours to win the game for Belvoir (185-4) by six wickets with eight balls to spare.