Wick xi vs Wine Trade
Wick 167-9 40 overs (Mackie 65)
Trade 123 AO (Wickets shared around)
Clark, Mackie, Madoc Jones+, Selves*, Chedwood, Gauvain, Webster, Chedwood, Nicholls, Smith, Collier
On a scorching hot day (what’s that? Ed) a Wick xi assembled from the young and the old and infirm despatched an unusually strong Wine Trade team by 40 runsish.
Skipper Selves won the most important toss of the year, condemning the Wine Trade to 40 overs in the field in 30 degree heat. The Wick deck looked hard and dry but was actually about as responsive as a deaf dog.
Wine Trade had assembled a side that included some familiar faces and some younger folk who looked like club cricketers and or ringers. You could tell this from the shirts they were wearing which had other cricket club logos on them. So it’s not like this author has an eye for talent.
Clark was tasked with seeing off the new ball with Mackie. He was successful for four balls of this task but the fifth (an absolute Jaffa naturally) took the inside edge and the leg bail. An opportunity for an early shower was declined as Clark’s anti-perspirant had not been tested by his brief stay.
Madoc-Jones replaced him and from the other end the Greggs van arrived and some nice looking pies were served up making our departed opener most cross. Mackie and MJ took advantage of the meat-filled bowling until one actually landed on the strip having swung one way and seamed back to defeat a bemused MJ. Wick in trouble at 20-2.
Skipper Selves experienced many of the same issues with the fiery opener from the Kingston end and despite an extremely cautious approach got another Jaffa and was returned to the pavilion. One half of Chedwood then amused the crowd by scoring approximately ten runs and then succumbing to having to run with Mackie and almost being unable to stand up. Charles eventually managed to get himself bowled to end his torture with the Wick’s second highest score on the day of 19.
Leo Gauvain – possibly on debut – was then run out by a combination of ambitious calling (Mackie), comical non studs cartoon running (Leo) and excellent fielding (Fiery Oppo Opener). We were then treated to a superb cameo from Luke Webster who smashed 14 runs in no time at all, 9 magnificent runs from a field splitting Nicholls and some nurdling from the remaining bats.
In the middle of all this mayhem, Mackie batted superbly (when he had the strike – I’ve never heard so much whinging) lofting spinners to the pavilion boundary and flicking and nudging the ball around elsewhere. Scoring 65 absolutely typical Mackie runs, he anchored the Wick reply playing the day’s outstanding innings. For the oppo, Fiery Opener delivered a stunning analysis of 8-3-7-3. The seven runs he conceded he did so in wides. Not a single run came off a Wick bat. He was either pretty much unplayable or… unplayable. That said he was bowling mostly to 4th xi batsmen… and might be 2s standard if he was Wick…
Tea. Absolutely standard DBW tea. Some unusually shaped buns. Didn’t try any new combos. Found some mustard which was particularly good on the ham sandwiches. 8.
The oppo’s reply began with a bat from Kempton (looked useful) and a bat from Brighton. The Brighton bat drilled one absolutely ravishing boundary through the gap between cover and point. Looked a million dollars. Was however VERY lucky not to be LBW to a Webbo full toss before being very unlucky to then be given out LBW for the first LBW when he wasn’t LBW to the second LBW. If you catch my drift. The Kempton opener also looked like he knew what he was doing but fell to both halves of Chedwood.
Selves at mid off instructed Ched to hit the top off stump telling him that he had an excellent off side field, apart from Wood standing at gully. The bat duly smoked a late cut at Wood who pouched a screamer. The rest of the side laughed like hyenas which is so much more upsetting for a departing bat who knows he has been dismissed by something approaching a statistical fluke.
Excellent spells from young Jack Smith and Mike Collier pegged the run rate back and both took wickets leaving Wine Trade in some disarray and behind the rate. To spice things up Selves then turned to the pastries of Clark and Chairman Mao. Clark’s first two filthy overs gave the Wine Trade a sniff of victory but eventually he managed to persuade a number of bats to fall on their swords. Nips at the other end bowled a bat who was trying to take a ball from middle stump and deposit it into the pavilion and removed the #10 more conventionally, caught Webster at point.
Beers were drunk. Wines were tried. A sunset (typical one) was observed. Stories were told. Some became difficult to understand as the evening wore on. Plans for world domination were drawn up before being disregarded in favour of even more ambitious ones. It was agreed that the Wick was a very fine place to play cricket indeed and that everyone who played there or is any way associated with the old place are jolly fine people. All good…
Thursday, 26 July 2012
Monday, 23 July 2012
HWRCC 163-8 (42.5 overs) Clark 47, Fudge 30, James Doherty (u15) 30
S&L win by two wickets
Signing up for 4s cricket in a club that has only fielded a league 4xi this year was always going to have its frustrations. The clubs we play (and we of course) don’t tend to cover their 2nd tracks – in this difficult season the 4s have already missed 4 games due to adverse weather conditions, had a bye weekend, face another in the coming weeks and no one is playing any cricket next Saturday owing to a bike race closing the county down. So little cricket played… it’s heart breaking to think that the 4s might just have pulled off a stunning promotion this year as they’ve been competitive in every fixture they’ve played.
You’d think, with two cancellations in a row limiting the cricket and this weekend providing the only opportunity for cricket until August 4th that people would be queuing to play. But cricket at The Wick is often a perverse beast and hero of the hour Adam Selves found himself prospecting for players on Friday night at an U15s game as we had (by some estimates) only six fit players available for our game.
In the end his hard work was rewarded with Cameron Bose and James Doherty – two U15 players – signing up on Friday night to make their senior debuts. And they more than held their own. More later. Along with a reluctant Chairman and some of the regulars Selvesy managed to assemble ten players including a just fit again David Fudge to make the trip to
Staines and Laleham. And it’s no exaggeration to say that
those ten should have beaten a spirited Staines
side. But to quote our President “winners are grinners and losers tell stories”.
So I’ll tell you a story. But not as a loser.
S&L’s seconds pitch is a bit of a horrorshow. No offence, as Clarky’s kids will often say before delivering a blistering piece of critcism, but from the makeshift changing facilities (a container from a container ship?), the bordering hockey pitch, the unkempt scrub surrounding and the general standard of the outfield, it’s not somewhere you’d want to play every week. Given our last trot out was at Valley End – one of the best 2s grounds we are likely to play on for many a year – this was, as they say, going from the sublime to the ridiculous.
The only excuse you could make for the track we played on was that at least there was a track to play on. The strip that had been cut was far too damp so we played on the previous week’s number which we are guessing had been pretty damp when it was last played on. It was bare at both ends and had absolutely no bounce – although it showed some signs of life later in the day after it had had an afternoon’s sun on it.
Selvesy was not successful at the toss this week and inevitably the Wick were asked to make first use. Rizzo’s difficult trot continued as he skied a ball that stopped on him in the first over. As
Clark was to remark kindly later, if Rizzo went to a Run
Shop with his AMEX card this season, they wouldn’t sell him any. Clark joined Fudge in the middle in the first over as
result. It was tough going but both played aggressively, Fudge the first to
deposit opener Cole into the hockey facilities at the Chertsey
end. The ball often kept low and occasionally did ridiculous things but when
the ball was overpitched it was dispatched and together they quickly put on a
fifty partnership. Fudgey fell eventually having been undone by the pitch
before James Doherty joined Clarky in the middle.
The oppo, sensing an abashed Colt, brought in the field… only to watch this Colt bash the ball all over the place including him tonking a six through cow off a modestly quick youngster. What an innings from Doherty! To have had such talent at that age… it’s enough to make Wickman weep.
At the other end Clarky almost wept as having hit the ball hard and pushed the field he miscued an off drive which held up in the pitch and holed out at long off to a catch that never looked like being taken until it was taken. He was not amused to hear that the fielders shared his incredulity as he trudged off a couple of runs short of a well deserved 50.
Kirky and Selvesy picked off singles, Kirky playing a number of flowing off drives, Selvesy milking balls off his legs. Splints too manoeuvred it around. Some of the urgency of the earlier bats though had deserted us and the innings became a quest to balance a score of 160 with overs taken. This duly done the skipper pulled the plug with us eight down sparing us the indignity of being bowled out chasing runs on what was a tough deck.
For the oppo, young Nathan Hunt bowled extremely well and deserved more than the late wicket of a bemused Splints. Skipper Gyves used the conditions well and removed both Fudge and
for an economical return.
Tea was below average and in keeping with the sense of dilapidation felt earlier. The actual tea that comes in cups had never been boiled. It was so luke warm that any of the fathers in the side would have been happy to serve it to a six week old baby were it simply milk. Which it might as well have been. There were sandwiches, a bit of fruit and some cakes. But this was poor fare indeed. The example of Ickenham’s jam sandwich tea was once again brought up for some perspective along with another game where pizzas and chicken wings had to be ordered. This did add perspective but perspective can’t be eaten and it was agreed that we were eating a 3 out of 10 offering.
When we returned to get on with seeing if we could bowl S&L out The Wick were quietly confident, even if we did have 10 men and the skipper was making vague threats that he’d have to bowl. With Linter, Fudge, Jack Smith, Mao, Cameron B, James D and Selvesy as possibles – and on that track – we had a right to be confident if not overly so having seen S&L bat earlier in the season at our place.
And the early signs were promising. If our fielding had been top notch and catches and run out chances had been accepted (let’s say four went begging early on) we’d have been home by 6pm watching the end of the 2s game.
Sadly cricket is a cruel mistress as we know. No sooner had she tickled us into arousal and had us slavering at the thought of a win, she put her clothes back on, asked to be paid for services rendered to date and phoned our wives to tell them we’d been up to no good.
Selvesy threw the ball to Fudgey and we anticipated fireworks from the quickest bowler on either side. But in his very first delivery stride his supporting foot buckled underneath him and it was clear that he had suffered a very serious injury. The game was suspended for an hour while first an ambulance was called (sad to say it took a long time to come), then it parked on the square and Dave was made as comfortable as possible before being eventually removed to casualty. Milky Bar – who had bowled beautifully to this point – accompanied him and those remaining grappled with the enormity of seeing a team mate’s season ended abruptly and cruelly.
It was decided that the game should be completed if possible. S&L (who behaved impeccably throughout and showed empathy for David’s situation) loaned us a string of players to act as substitutes and we set about trying to win with eight players and severely depleted bowling resources. Despite the odds being now stacked against us, a very brave effort was made to take the game to S&L. And if a couple of chances had stuck we might have won. But it was not to be.
Selvesy strode into the breach and almost won the game single handedly. Spotting that the pitch was difficult to time the ball on he bowled nice little swinging deliveries, always aiming at the stumps, and in what seemed like no time had broken through and proceeded then to take a Michelle. Notable spells from Jack Smith and Cameron Bose, coupled with an unlucky spell from the Chairman, kept us in the game.
But one bat for the oppo, playing well in the conditions, gave S&L the innings they needed to build around. Dropped early, Hitesh Pabari then picked the shots he wanted to play and then hit the ball hard through cow and straighter. Very little got past his bat whatever was tried and by the time he was out he had scored a brisk 63 and only a handful of runs were required. We generously donated 26 runs in extras to help him and opener Mann (also dropped early in his innings) to get S&L within sight and they stumbled over the line some time after 8.15 with The Wick only 2 balls from an improbable victory.
MOM Selvesy. In a sobering week for availability he deserves it simply for assembling enough players to complete the fixture. But to then not just marshal the team in desperate circumstances but also to very nearly bowl us to victory with 6-45… outstanding stuff.
Posted by Wickman at 14:57
Monday, 9 July 2012
HWRCC 1xi beat Oxted & Limpsfield 1xi by 3 wickets.
For scorecard click here
Wick successfully overcame a few nervy moments to record a win that keeps them in contention for Champions League places and with an outside shot still of promotion. In this tight league there is plenty still to play for.
Having won the toss maybe three times in 2009 (and not lost a game all season), Davies bad luck continued in 2010 by winning what must be toss #8 (out of 10). A lovely flat track and a pretty ground was supplemented by a Summer Fair which included a live band who played Kam’s ipod collection with gusto. Dire Straits, Take That, S-Club 7. You name it.
Wick bowled first due to the threat of weather taking hold at some point. Nomi and Fahad put on a great opening spell – plenty of dots and play and misses. Unfortunately two drops (one hard, one very hard) meant the openers got away with it somewhat. A change of bowling to Day and Tong brought a quick flurry of runs, but this was only temporary as Day beat the best bat on the day to take a vital wicket. Kam then nabbed one on the stroke of drinks, leaving Oxted on 80-2 from 28 overs. Slow but sure. Post drinks Kam continued to keep a lid on progress, ending up with only 18 runs conceded from his 13 overs. Tong at the other end kept plugging on what was really a batsman friendly track and was rewarded when Immo took a sharp one at goolie. The scorecard shows three decent scores 1,2,3 and not much else and credit for this goes to the aforementioned two and towards the end a burst from Nomaan whose fast a straight bowling brought deserved success in what has been an unlucky bowling season for him thus far.
144ao was below par on a flat track, but credit must go to the bowlers who kept control and were patient when needed. Also some honorable mentions in the field to Lloydy in particular whose presence kept up the chatter and morale in what was to be honest quite a boring afternoon in the field.
Teas were plentiful but a little disappointing. I haven’t eaten sandwich quarters since I was 12, but these days I need more than bitesize sandwiches to keep me going. Thankfully the tea lady was VfM ;). 7/10 for that alone….ask Iain.
The response started off brightly, although Nomaan will be livid at skying one early doors. Iain joined Fin and the runs were coming at a healthy rate, 4s/5s until two quick wickets (Tong, I and Day) putting a temporary halt in progress. Rashid provided some stability before being triggered. All the while Finbar was playing carefree cricket, keen to hit through the line into the large vacant spaces in the outfield and beyond. The fact that he pulled a muscle in his back (he’s got some back too!) makes his performance even greater. Four huges 6s over a 5-man leg side boundary ring speak volumes of the belief and ability of the fella. These were some big hits.
Inevitably he fell eventually, riding his luck once too often, but his 59 deserve the MOM (and POW) awards. JMJ and Davies then looked to see things through. Conditions were easy and the bowling good without being lethal, it was all about knowing the scoring areas. A period of calm followed as the runs came but only at 3s and as the light started to fade a little the pressure built (and the rubbish chat in the middle). Then as JMj and Davies had decided to accelerate somewhat, the ball flew to the boundary where a fielder managed to break his collarbone in stopping the ball. Thereafter followed a 30m delay as an ambulance was called and the light got worse. He was fine but upon resumption the game quickly became a bit of a shoot out. It was approaching 8pm and with 20 needed and 4 wickets in hand, we decided to go for it and finish it off. They brought a quicks back and JMJ fell leaing Tong, G and Davies to see things home without too much fuss.
Ambition was the buzzword on Saturday – we showed the desire to win the game slightly more than Oxted and were rewarded with the points. Fin demonstrated that in abundance with his maiden 50 for the Wick 1s.
Posted by Wickman at 14:30
Monday, 2 July 2012
Mohit's lucky that the skipper is out in the middle...
HWRCC won the toss
Valley End 196 a/o Jenkins 84 Clark 5-16
HWRCC 197-8 Clark 81
Detailed scorecard here
“I think Clarky may have found his level” (Pinball, Club Day, 1 July 2012)
What a game of cricket. It had everything. In the end it boiled down to Mohit and Splinter putting on a 9th wicket partnership to seal victory with last minute call up Sunny gnawing his bat handle and the stand in skipper sucking down the Marlboro Lights. Occasionally everything falls into place and as Mohit smacked a four to bring the scores level that feeling that all's right with the world in the best of all possible worlds flooded over Clarky.
It had not been thus all the way through the day. At the beginning it was the usual Wick tale of players assembling from all parts (the Chairman generously stood down at the last minute because we had 12, only for the man he stood down for to get TFC), the stand in skipper turning up with just enough time to toss up before the stated start time (having had to fetch his monstered spinner from a nearby station), the Wick getting hammered for 30 overs before clawing their way back into it and then assembling the perfect chase despite having been skittled the previous week.
What a game of cricket. When Wickman finally arrived at Valley End he found, to his delight, that the Valley End revolution has progressed so far that the beautiful 1s ground of yesteryear is now where the 4s play. If you haven’t had the pleasure, it’s a fabulous ground hewn out of farm fields, surrounded by tall trees, benches to spectate and with a meadow beyond one boundary. All the boundaries have boundary boards, there were more sightscreens than you could shake something long, brown and sticky at, there’s an electronic scoreboard, covers… oh me oh my. This is what Wickman attends cricket matches to write match reports for. This was an absolute privilege for 4s players and something to be savoured for the rest of the season.
And it was a jewel of a day. The sun was out with a light breeze. The wicket was ever so slightly green but, covered, was hard and dry. The outfield had had a Brazillian cut and was rapid. As close to perfect as a 4s cricketer is going to get.
On winning the toss, Clarky inserted the home side. The track was not dry enough for half trackers, but the outfield surely was and Valley End got off to a very quick start. Short balls and full tosses were despatched. A wicket for Gayan caught behind (the youngster should have walked but didn’t) gave us early hope and then one for Splints (a bit filthy but it’s in the book) made us feel good… But we lacked control and from early on men were posted back. The 3rd wicket partnership was a heart breaker - particularly after Baird declined to walk for a caught behind off Splints.
The Wick took this non-walking badly. Together opener Jenkins and Baird put on 108 as the Wick toiled in the hot Sun. Given we thought we had had him every flick off Baird’s legs was a dagger in the heart, every beautifully caressed off drive like ashes in the mouth. At the other end Jenkins made the most of the bad balls we served up and hit ten fours. Sad to say there were many poor balls which were punished. We were not on top form. The Wick just did not settle in the face of mostly risk free batting.
It didn’t help that we shelled catches like Eastern European migrant workers pick strawberries. Catch after catch was refused until we could drop no more. Paddy counted seven that were put down in all parts of the field and none were particularly difficult. When drinks arrived the Wick were seriously under the cosh and looking like a scratch Sunday side and had conceded so many runs that Clarky was considering gunning everyone down before impaling himself on a stump. Jenkins had profited most and in the way of these things was making a big contribution having been given so many lives.
At drinks more esprit de corps was called for and it was pointed out that we could be out there for another couple of hours chasing leather if things didn’t change. The fielding had deteriorated to the standard of the clowns' scene in Dumbo. Jenkins was making merry on an outfield that was either a four or one type of track and Baird looked like the kind of character who could go on to score big. Something had to happen.
Many of you, like Wickman, will lull yourself to sleep from time to time thinking about that perfect game of cricket. Obviously during that perfect game, you will play a blinder from a position of extreme peril and will end the day adulated (if that’s a word) by your peers and written about by gushing journalists. From a position where most of what the skipper had tried went wrong, without warning it all went right. There was no rhyme or reason for any of it other than a vague hunch that it was time to change things around before Valley End bent us over and rogered us senseless.
First Sohail came on and changed the game by pinning the miscreant Baird in front. He bowled full and straight and with pace and deserved his wicket. At the other end, Clarky decided that someone needed to take the pace off.
Rapidly calculating that Mackie was hoping to be brought on despite only being able to stand on one leg (not going to turn out well) and an injured Unsworth was reluctant (and probably risking a season ending injury) the skipper decided it was time to look around the outfield and find someone else who could serve up some slow stuff that might hit the stumps. With instructions to Dutchy to be brutal in his feedback if his bowling was too filthy Clarky then brought himself on (for the second time this season… and the second time ever in League cricket), bowling wobbly induckers off four or five paces. The early signs were not good, but he managed to convince the new and dismayed Barkham to play on from a lowish full toss. An over or so later he removed the opener Jenkins LBW for 84 with a slightly better full ball. Suddenly the Wick had both ends open and were back in the game.
And then it seemed the skipper could do little wrong as, hardly believing his luck, he bowled three more bats who groped around his gently swinging deliveries and didn’t seem to concede too many runs. It was a golden arm spell – greeted by incredulity initially, until later, some people may have been convinced that he could actually bowl. This terrible confidence trick played on Valley End precipitated a gargantuan collapse from 142-2 to 179-9. Some late hitting from Toms and Gale got VE to 196 from 46 – not before Paddy took a stunning caught and bowled and finally castled Toms to end the innings.
What a fight back. The Wick were being raped up until drinks and were fearing a 240+ mauling. At tea, on the back of collapsing last week, they had no right to be confident but were at least back in the hunt given the by now excellent deck and glassy outfield. Tea was as least as good as one of Dave’s and scored 8 without even really trying.
Over tea the skipper debated the batting order and decided that everyone from the previous week’s shenanigans should drop a place where possible to give us length in the tail. Sohail and Miles opened up for the Wick with instructions to get rid of the shine. Given that most weeks the Wick 4s are notverymany for 2, this week’s 21 partnership was a boon and did get rid of a bit of shine and gave us something to build from. Mackie briefly accompanied Miles but quacked with the score on 32, caught behind and TFC. Miles then subsided soon after for a well boshed 19 and the Wick were 33-3, with our “worm” falling behind Valley End’s.
Dutchy and Clarky then put on 43 with Dutchy the more confident. He pulled a six and cut savagely, but when he fell in the early 20s the Wick were 77-4. There was still much to do – but plenty of time. Gayan joined Clarky and the two made it to drinks with approx 120 needed at six an over. It would need a big team performance to get home from here. Gayan batted beautifully, technically correct, and played a strong supporting role as suddenly things started to kick off at the other end.
A decent young leggy Ames was introduced to partner Barkham who had bowled straight up and down from the pavilion end and here the game for the first time flowed in the Wick’s favour. Gayan played very straight and nudged singles around while Clarky started to go after it. There was no point fannying around with six an over needed so he targeted the leggy and treated him harshly off front and back foot eyeing the cover and straight boundaries. With Barkham tying things up at the other end, the leggy was either going to go for runs or take wickets. In the first part of his spell he went for runs. The partnership grew and grew and turned into 77. Clarky smashed him into the nearby meadow and manoeuvred him through long on and off. Gayan worked bad balls away at the other end. Clarky passed 50 and continued to try to put all the pressure on VE but eventually played one shot too many and was caught on the boundary at square just when he should have been finishing the game. Around 40 needed.
But if the skipper was cursing himself for letting the side down, the side then took over and biffed fours and ran hard. It all got a bit tight and nails were chewed. Paddy smacked it around but, like Gayan, was bowled, as the leggy started to flight it having bowled a little flat at Clark. Unsworth also perished (not before he had the dream sledge retort – oppo – “his bat says Big Edge on it” [Unsworth smashes a four] – Unsworth - “it also has a big middle” Ithangyou) as Ames dragged the game Valley End’s way with four priceless wickets. With less than 20 needed and the Wick running out of balls and wickets any result was possible – but gloriously Splints clagged a four as did Mohit and we got over the line.
Both sides could have won the game. In the end it was all about dropped catches. The Wick put down Jenkins four or five times and let other bats off too. Valley End let Clarky off on 20ish and then again on 47 as a simplish stumping chance went begging. The whole game might have been wrapped up by 5pm if both teams had played perfect cricket. In the event neither did so we had a thrilling denouement at 7.30 as the shadows lengthened. Amazing game. Kudos to both sides for trying to win it come what may. Let’s hope the rest of the season is as exciting as this. If it is we’ll all be re-writing the scripts for our daydreams – not just Clarky.
Posted by Wickman at 11:15