Two former Kent County Cricket Club captains in Steve Marsh and David Fulton, as well as ex-Warwickshire and England bowler Gladstone Small, were joined by Tom Chaplin and Tim Rice-Oxley, from rock band Keane.
They were at George Meadow to help Battle Cricket Club continue to celebrate 275 years of recorded cricket from the town. The stars were playing for an XI raised by club president Dr Rice-Oxley, but it was the Chairman’s XI which triumphed off the final ball of a 30-overs-per-side contest.
Batting first, the President’s XI lost two early wickets as Chaplin unluckily played on during an impressive spell from Kye Phillips. However, Fulton showed real first class batting with a range of shots around the ground until retiring after making his half-century. Ollie West continued to drive and pull impressively for 60.
Tony Boardman sneaked one through Marsh’s defences to bowl him cheaply and Josh Jones bowled the best spell of the match to take 3-11. Owen Griffiths (31) and Tim Rice-Oxley (17) drove and nudged to leave the end score at a good, but not out-of-reach, 179-8.
Following a quite magnificent tea supplied by the Rice-Oxleys and Wests, suitably fortified Battle openers Tim Dudgeon (38) and the patient Phillips (39) started well.
Curtis Chandler and Elliott Jeffs eventually did for them though and, with Small tweaking a muscle to end his bowling spell, the classy Jeremy Reid (21), a wise Ciaran Treloar (13) and a more belligerent innings from Jo Carthew (51 not out) took the Chairman’s side closer to a victory that was sealed when Steve Huggins hit the last ball for four.
Dr Rice-Oxley generously hosted a buffet for the players and supporters at The Bull Inn afterwards.