LYMINGTON and Bashley are unlikely to receive a mention in Wisden – despite contesting one of the most unusual matches in the history of recreational cricket.

The New Forest rivals locked horns in Regional Division Three South West of the Hampshire League on Saturday – with the game played exclusively from one end.

Captains Chris Tollerfield and Chris Lewis made the decision after vandals had damaged the prepared pitch at Lymington’s picturesque Woodside headquarters.

Lymington skipper Tollerfield told the Daily Echo: “I had a call from a fellow member on Saturday morning to say someone had done something to the pitch.

“They had got hold of the posts which surround the wicket and had dug holes in one end of the pitch. We tried to fill them in but deemed it too dangerous to play on.

“Both teams had a lot of kids playing and we wanted them to feel comfortable. Thankfully, the Bashley captain said they wanted to play and we weren’t going to let these hooligans stand in our way.”

Neither team batted their full allocation of 42 overs as both were bowled out fairly cheaply with Bashley’s total of 109 surpassing Lymington’s 102 by seven runs.

However, although the circumstances are believed to be rare, a spokesperson for Wisden said they were “fairly certain” it had happened before, meaning they would be unable to guarantee an appearance in what is considered the bible of cricket.

Urging spectators to get in touch with them should they come across anything similar, the spokesperson added: “However, it is absolutely the kind of thing that is the meat and drink of our chronicle section, where we pour light on curious goings on in the cricketing world.”

Tollerfield added: “We had a cracking game and, bizarrely, it took half the time.

“People didn’t have to keep moving positions and, if you had similar type of bowlers, it was just a case of handing over the ball to someone else and getting on with it.

“Batsmen just had to change ends after every over and that wasn’t a problem at all. The whole thing was really quick.

“It was a pragmatic answer to what was a really difficult position for us. In the league we are in, we have so little cricket at times and it takes such a long time trying to get 11 people on the pitch. We just wanted to play.

“It was brilliant of Bashley to agree and we had a great afternoon. The Bashley captain was such a good guy and, if it hadn’t been for him, it wouldn’t have been possible.

“Other teams may not have been prepared to do it. But we had both worked so hard to get teams out and we just wanted to play the game.”

Bashley chairman John Neal said he had initially been “concerned” when he heard about the damage, particularly in light of both teams fielding so many young players. But he commended both captains for reaching what he described as “a resourceful solution”.