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June 17, 2005

CHAVWELL HELD..... WG 157-5 Chigs 154-6 Match drawn (30/5/05)

Skipper for the day Ritchie Charlton reports: Awoke to reasonable weather in Brighton but the prospect of a non-starting car was rather upsetting in my hungover state. However, Rallum called upthe RAC and they got us fixed up. Steamed down to Isfield in progressively worsening weather trying to call Nick on his mobile to see if we could procure some brunch - sugar/glucose was much needed! After a glass of the black doctor and steak & kidney pie, chips and vegetables I went to the ground for a recce. I arrived to find a man with a moustache and a lawnmower preparing grass and mud. Things didn't look good.

After some negotiation it was decided that a 3 oclock start would be best (half an hour late). I returned to the pub, rounded up the troops and ongetting back to the gudges I won the toss and unsurprisingly inserted the opposition. We bowled like drains. We fielded like sieves. I think probably myself and Owen were the worst culprits. We were massively hungover. Mr. Loverman was clearly shaky over the dusty memories of distant conquests (victims) and I dropped two catches. Mind you at one point with Dom berating me for not chasing a ball to the cover boundary (I thought I'd put a fielder there!) I had delirious visions of the Palm House at Kew and a rather large sack of half bricks. We didn't gain any control until I put on the new spin twins even though for the previous year I'd been thinking that my tactic against WG would be to open with spin. Unfortunately I won the toss and convention dictated that I should put seamers on. Anyway with the opposition somewhere in the region of 80 for no wicket I had no choice but to call on our version of Laker and Lock or is it Rhamaddin and Valentine? Rob O bowled the opening batsman and that bought to the crease a certain hersuit assailant that kind of looked familiar! From this moment in the 24th over WG started thinking of the draw. We settled into a long period of reasonably dull cricket, covering the boundaries one end and surrounding the moustache at the other. This was quite nice for me as for the first time in the game I could relax. In my minds eye, my captaincy is usually full of aggression and self belief. ButI was so bloody hungover that I had no belief whatsoever and come to thinkof it, no self either! Eventually after 31 overs of quality spin from the dynamic duo I bought on Tim M from the top end for 2 overs of declaration bowling. With a fixed tea, this isn't usually necessary but we did it anyway!

Tea was the usual WG feast. There was a bit of a tear up when the dandy highwayman - who'd been slighltly unsettled all day - was spotted necking ham sandwiches and quaffing tea. Fortunately, at the moment he told the entire team to go forth and multiply, his girlfriend turned up and all was right with the world.

Elected to open with our previous sterling partnership - Mctagget andMitzman. After an early boundary Ross got a little bogged and was caught at the wicket. This bought in Diggins. Boris must have found something else in that broom cupboard because he now seems to want to sweep everything and a stumping seems to be the somewhat predictable result. Rallum came to the crease. Mitzman left the crease, I think succumbing to his favoured pullshot, for 33. Repeated patterns of behaviour being a somewhat repeated pattern on the day. The man of experience provided some much needed imputus with James. They had an excellent stand that got us right in the game. No one was really playing the leg spinner Bain with any certainty and it was generally felt on the boundary that he was gonna get the better of us. However, after he had taken James' wicket LBW for 23, they took him off as we piled on the pressure with the Dominator to the fore. There was then a period of seam bowling with all boundaries covered. This led unfortunately to rob being run out on 39, bringing Nick to the crease. On came the legspinner again and the dominator holed out after a quick fire 22. We needed 3 off the last 2 balls with Orange facing. But in a strange symmetry with the home game last year; Orange captain, Charlton batsmen; we just failed. And the match was drawn.

Really excellent second half of the first innings/batting performance and a pretty good day considering the horrible weather in the morning and the extent of the hangovers!

Maybe next year.....

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