AS with all cricket matches, the weather can play a big part. But for Dame Norma Major s annual charity cricket match at Alconbury Cricket Club on Friday, the sun was shining as an array of celebrities and guests took to the pitch. It was the 17th year

Ex-England Captain Clare Connor

AS with all cricket matches, the weather can play a big part.

But for Dame Norma Major's annual charity cricket match at Alconbury Cricket Club on Friday, the sun was shining as an array of celebrities and guests took to the pitch.

It was the 17th year of the annual match, and this time the sides managed to play 70 overs compared to last year's three. Rain interrupted play to such an extent it was a washout.

Victory went to The Lashings whose all star team beat The Bunbury's by 20 runs.

Footballer Darren Bent enjoyed the day

The star of the show was England women's cricket captain Charlotte Edwards, who scored 98 runs.

She was part of the Bunbury's team, which included James Major, former world lightweight boxer Lloyd Honeyghan and Shailesh Vara MP.

They were against a Lashings side which included former West Indian captain Richie Richardson, Vasbert Drakes, Clare Connor, Henry Olonga, Greg Blewett, and Grant Flower.

But the day is more about the fundraising than the cricket, The crowd was there not only to watch the celebrities but to raise money for Mencap.

On the pitch there was a great performance by Joe Cuby's 10-year-old son who claimed a wicket for Bunbury's as he bowled out former England captain Clare Connor.

More money than ever was offered by bidders at a pre-match auction and the event was so successful it delayed the start of the match by half an hour.

Dame Norma Major said: "It's been a fantastic day with some excellent cricket players, today is about Mencap and raising awareness."

Jonathon Djanogly, MP for Huntingdon said: "About five years ago I bought my three -day-old car to Alconbury and Richie Richardson hit a six on to it. What can you do but smile? I walked here today."

Clare Connor added: "It's been great fun, the concept is fantastic and there has been a good turn out of the local community."

"With players like Blewitt, Richardson and Olonga what more can you want?"

Well you could ask for Billy Connolly and Brad Pitt and would have almost got it. The look-a-likes were wandering through the crowds all afternoon.

Cricket club manager Laurance Rickard said: "Today is splendid, I am so pleased after last year's three overs, everyone is happy and smiling, I'm getting a little worried about the directions of the sixes though."

The Lashings is a charity cricket team, who tour the country to raise awareness. Every summer they visit Alconbury to play The Bunbury's.

The Bunbury's, captained by David English are a charity celebrity team which boast Eric Clapton, Elton John, The Bee Gees, Ian Wright and Joanna Lumley among their players.

Among the crowd was Doug Sheppard from Alconbury who said: "It has been a very good day with a lot of famous cricketers. The Lashings will win they always do."

Mencap is one of the UK's leading learning disability charities, working with families and carers

Huntingdon Mencap has provided care and support to people with learning disabilities for 21 years. Dame Norma Major officially opened the Huntingdon Mencap Centre in June 2004.