Halstead Cricket Club chairman Mark Surridge answered an 11th-hour call in his side’s 118-run defeat against Copdock and Old Ipswichians.

The hosts were struggling for numbers when spinner David Elsbury suffered car problems and found himself stuck in the West Country.

His late omission was the last in a series of unavailabilities that left the first team seriously short of bowling.

However, Surridge, who had earlier in the week starred in the Essex Over-60s victory over Bedfordshire, with one for 16 from his nine overs, now found himself bowling in harness with Sam Walter – 45 years his junior – against South African Adrian Nel and Suffolk openers Archie Gravell and Martin Cull.

“This was taking the club’s youth policy a bit far, as I last played a Premier League game 20 years ago, aged 40,” joked Surridge.

“And these batsmen take no mercy – anything slightly off length is despatched to the boundary.

“I went for 23 off my first two overs but was pleased with my next 13 overs, which only went for 60.

“Sadly, however, the three wickets I might have had escaped me as three regulations catches were put down, costing us valuable points.”

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