The summer of 1990 will be remembered for a number of reasons, the chatter about the ‘Greenhouse Effect’, the slow demise of Margaret Thatcher, record breaking temperatures, and also the Italia 90 World Cup.
On the 17th June, an overcast yet warm day, Wanderers gathered at Wish Road in Hove for a match against the West Sussex team of Parham Park. The opposition were renowned for two things, firstly a ground of beautiful setting near Storrington, and also a legendry batsman, Brian Huffer, well known on the circuit for preferring innings totals in three figures to two. Neither were on show on this occasion.
Before the match started, much talk was had of England’s performance the previous evening against Holland. Although a goalless draw was the result, the new kid on the block, Paul Gascoigne, had been an inspiration. The thought was that England might actually progress in this tournament. They did, only to fall in the Semi-Finals to the eventual winners, West Germany.
Wish Road was the primary venue for home matches in 1990, although the Nevill Recreation Ground was used once. It appears that Wanderers had a preference to travel elsewhere, certainly from the July of that year, from which indications are that only away matches were played. Wish Road was known, in an unaffectionate way, as ‘dog turd alley’. Not entirely unwarranted, although Hove Recreation Ground need keep quiet on such matters…
Wanderers won the toss and chose to bat, amassing a score of 206-3 in 39 overs. Although initially reduced to 22-2, what ensued was a record that would last for many years. Alan Whitehead, ‘Yogi’, joined Tony Preston at the crease and put on 180 for the third wicket. Alan, who scored 46 not out, was never a big hitter of the ball, but was hard to remove. A solid anchor for Tony’s efforts, although the batting line up was strong that day.
Tony Preston batted for 1 hour and 50 minutes, arriving at the crease at eight minutes past three. His 133 remained the highest score by a Wanderers player for that decade. It contained 19 fours and 3 sixes. The last five scoring shots, doubtless pressing the total at the end of the innings, were 4,4,4,4,6.
Parham Park, in return, held out for the draw against a tight Wanderers attack, finishing on 102-8 after 40 overs, thus drawing the match.
Due to no-one giving a thought to bringing a camera to such occasions in those days, and internet technology being a mythical sketch on ‘Tomorrow’s World’, no visuals exist of Tony’s monumental innings. The scorecard is below.
|Total||(39 Overs)||3 Wickets||206|
|Fall of Wickets||13,22,202|
|Did Not Bat|
|Huffer (D)||b||Harrington (J)||0|
|Tolerton||c Mcleod||Harrington (J)||12|
|Byars||c Noakes||Harrington (J)||4|
|Kitcher||c Clarke (w/k)||Field||25|
|Carter (G)||not out||17|
|Carter (R)||not out||4|
|Total||(40 Overs)||8 Wickets||102|
|Fall of Wickets||0,29,32,37,74,77,80,82|
|Did Not Bat|