BEAMERS THUMPED AS CHIGS SHOW TOUCH OF CLASS (29/5/05)
'Pleased to meet you, I'm Frank' said the Beamer. 'shall we go and choose a wicket for todays game' he continued. Slightly taken aback that we had a CHOICE of tracks I agreed and followed Frank out to the middle. The wickets were a carbon copy of each other except one was approximately half a nautical mile form the other so I plumped for the one positioned nearest the pavillion to allow the predicted large crowd the best vantage point to watch the days play. Niall, the Beamers skipper, arrived as Frank and I were walking off the pitch and as time was pressing on a coin was hastily tossed landing on my call of heads so I chose to insert the Beamers.
I opened the bowling with the tried and tested new ball pairing of Rob Allum and myself. The wicket was true to form of previous years providing a lot of assistance to the bowlers early on and it didn't take long for Rob to be rewarded with the first wicket. The next three wickets followed in suitably quick fashion and after 12 overs the Beamers looked unsteady on 30 for 4. I decided to take myself out of the attack and give the still relatively shiny & new ball to Richie to see if he could work his swing magic. Richie looked relatively happy at the prospect of bowling. I say relatively as Richie looked a little bemused to actually be on a cricket pitch in the first place with him still 3/4 pissed from the previous nights session. I think the other 1/4 of his brain was still waiting for a single malt at The Hilton Metropole bar. Neverthless he swerved in with gay abandon scorching the turf as he went with toxic vapour trails. After a slightly untidy start he overcame his double vision and took a couple of wickets in a rewarding spell. At the other end I continued with Rob Allum despite his claims of having a slight pull in one of his hamstrings, a neat trick I asssumed to be taken off bowling duties in the hope of attaining a lofty position in the batting order. The Beamers run rate continued to be restrained by tidy Chigs bowling and exceptional Chigs fielding, particularly from Oli Diggins who's 'body on the line' approach set a very high standard for the rest of us to match. Rob and Richie were eventually replaced in the attack by Nick and Brad with about 20 overs reamaining before tea. I felt sure this move would tempt the Beamers into more expansive stroke play and perhaps result in the fall of a few more wickets. The wickets did indeed fall; two for Nick and one for Brad (Brad unlucky not to bag a second after Mitzy's fresh air stumping attempt) and after a brief return spell for myself the Beamers finished their innings on 140-8. All in all a very disciplined bowling and fiedling performance. Well done Chigs!
So after a fine tea the target was set at 141 for victory. For those unfamiliar with East Brighton Park this may seem somewhat of a stroll in the pre-verbial park but the ever present WISDOM of Rob Allum assured me there was no such thing on this particular ground. Having taken his advice firmly onboard I stuck with the batting order I had in mind and sent Mitzy and Ross off to the middle to start our challenge. The wicket continued to provide a mixed bag of tricks and both Chigs openers had to be on their game to counter an early onslaught from the Beamers opening attack of Musset and Jeremy. There were a few play and miss shots from the pair but nothing more than a couple of half chances were offered up to the fielders. After a very controlled and applied spell of getting themselves in both Mitzy and Ross started to increase the scoring rate and over by over we approached the target. Mitzy was the first to tuck into his bag of tricks pulling and driving the bowling attack with ease. It was his his trademark pull shot that was his eventual undoing as he got onto one a bit qucikly and top edged a chance taken at slip. Neverthless he contributed to the cause magnificently with 62. Tim Hall replaced him at the crease and the inevitable waltz to victory was put on ice for a few overs as maiden followed nail biting maiden. Ross deservedly hit the winning runs and finished with an unbeaten 57, an excellent and hard earned knock which for me summed up the Chigs team performance. Well done fellas!
After the game, there was the constitutional visit to The Battle of Trafalgar where many a jug was sunk and points of view on the game were swapped. Here's to next year fixture and hopefully another victory!