Tuesday, 16 August 2011

HHCC vs Gamecox

An Ex-Chairman writes...

Michael Simkins in his book on village cricket, The Last Flannelled Fool (available from Telegraph Books - any chance of a free copy?) asserted that the game of cricket’s soul abides on our village greens. However, maybe not in the middle of August when our captain is arranging the composition of the side from Croatia, the best batsman is away, camping (enough said), the purveyor of spin and insight is unavailable (also camping [against his will – Ed.]) and everyone else seems to be away with Mummy, Daddy and Ryan Air.

For the first time for a long while, the Heath were a bit short not just from Stanley Burgham making his debut (and a very good one, too), but because of a few late drop-outs. In all honesty, most of the players are very good at phoning an apology, but it must be said there is nothing more frustrating than expecting someone who doesn’t appear and keeps his phone switched off. Anyway, 7 originals plus the aforementioned Stanley, the captain’s brother-in-law and the ex-chairman who only came to report the demise of the mower, made up to a creditable 10. Ben Sonley kindly stood around as eleventh man, didn’t bat, had his tea and left for his radio show at 5.00!

Peter Cox won the toss and inserted the Heath, never a good thing for us. Mike, the groundsman, came back early from his holiday to present a very good pitch and we were off. Shrimpy and Dom looked very good, hitting several boundaries until Shrimpy was out to a “pearler” even Anderson would have been proud of, and Dom followed soon after. To the wicket strode Nick, father of Stanley, and murderer of short bowling. Firstly Liam and then Spencer gave him support as he laid in to their bowling. Liam, one short of his best score, and Spencer with a solid 20, led to the ex-chairman battling to survive up one end, while Nick treated the same bowling with disdain. Maybe by fate, a severe calf injury left him anchored to the crease with a runner but just as brutal. 89 runs with 3 sixes was a great return. Next in was Jeremy who again made the bowling look easy and scored a fine 50. Up the other end, the bowling seemed much more difficult, although 27 not out, gives the senior Capper a better average than junior but slightly less runs (609 less)!

236 for 5 off 37 overs was a good score but the tea was even better. Excellent sandwiches, dreamy chocolate, ginger and fairy cakes, melon, strawberries and sausages, hopefully, would dull the Gamecox’s batting. Thank you ladies.

Down to 9 fielders, young Josh agreed to help us out and later took a stunning catch at mid-wicket. After a fast start from the opposition, Jeremy bowled really well and accurately as did Richard Austin, our captain for the day.

Richard then rang the changes with Liam, David and Spencer all bowling creditably. Gradually the score crept up with a good second wicket partnership and with 6 an over needed off the last 17 overs it could have been a close game. However an excellent catch by Liam and some great bowling by Jeremy (4 for 48), Richard (2 for 40) and Shrimpy, slowed things down and at the end Gamecox were struggling. 209 for 7 and a tense final over saw the game to a close. Actually, after the struggle for players at the start, there was some very good cricket. The fielding was very good indeed with Shrimpy, Spencer, Liam, Dom, Josh and Stanley the main men.

Simkins says “Faith is what’s required in village cricket, faith that the sun will come out, faith that the opposition will turn up (or all of the agreed players for our side), faith that their best batsman will nick an edge (and walk!) and faith that the game won’t disappoint.” This game was, actually, of a high standard, in spite of being a tricky time of year and Josh, Stanley and Ben should be congratulated for making a game out of what could have been a disappointing day.

1 comment:

  1. i had 2 cakes! And they were lovely... hence i had 2.