August is the time of year when several counties stage festivals and cricket weeks at various out-grounds, with Scarborough, Blackpool, Colchester and Southend all featuring on the county calendar. This year, those spectators attending the one-day games at the Horsham and Colwyn Bay festivals have also been treated to some big-hitting fireworks with some remarkable displays of batting and record-breaking performances.
On August 14 at Horsham, Sussex Sharks amassed a mammoth 399 for 4 in their Clydesdale Bank 40 contest against the Worcestershire Royals, scoring at an astonishing 9.97 runs per over – a rate more akin to a Twenty20 match, and beating the rate of 9.92 at which the Surrey Lions had made 496 for 4 against the Gloucestershire Gladiators at The Oval in 2007 in a 50-over contest that had previously provided the record rate in a List A game in which a side had faced their full quota of overs.
The match began with Ed Joyce and Joe Gatting sharing an opening stand of 210 in just 23.5 overs. Both batsmen scored hundreds, with Joyce reaching three figures from 66 balls and Gatting making his hundred from 86. Lou Vincent then struck 71 off 43 balls, before the Royals made a spirited chase, scoring 319 in 36 overs with Moeen Ali making a superb 158 from 119 balls, yet ending up on the losing side in a game in which 718 runs were scored.
The following Sunday saw another remarkable run-fest at Colwyn Bay where Glamorgan sped at a rate of 9.93 runs per over to 328 for 4 in a Clydesdale Bank 40 contest which had been curtailed by rain from 40 overs to 33 overs per side. The total was the highest-ever in List A cricket anywhere in the world for an innings spanning 33 overs, beating the 277 for 8 made by South Zone against West Zone in Indian domestic cricket in 2005/06.
Glamorgan’s huge total was also underpinned by a massive opening stand of 199 between Alviro Petersen and Gareth Rees, with Petersen making a career-best 144 from 89 balls, with nine fours and 10 sixes, including four successive sixes off Oliver Newby.
Quite literally, Rees also had a smashing time, with the left-hander striking seven fours and three sixes in his 69-ball innings of 76. Two of his sixes came in succession off Stephen Parry – the first went straight through the plate glass window of the Lancashire dressing room on top of the Colwyn Bay pavilion, before the next delivery sailed into the car park alongside the same building and smashed the window of a parked vehicle.
Another local resident also had quite a surprise when one six ended up in the hallway of a house adjoining the ground; the occupant happened to open the front door just as the ball sped in!