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« No to Willingale ('s lack of ambition...but a good tea as usual;-) | Main | Nil Desperandum »

May 26, 2010

Salute the Magician - Nick shines again against STM

Vice Captain Rob Orange writes:

Ramesh, the debutant, keen to impress, was at the ground a full 75 minutes before the scheduled start, having phoned me for directions, so I trundled down to Chigs a little early myself arriving a minute or two ahead of our skipper.  The rest of our somewhat unusual team had assembled by one thirty.  Two other debuts were to be made:  Sarah, and Jonathan.  Three others including Sarah’s charming straw hat.  Or four including the much awaited long-sleeved tops and jumpers, which had abused the privilege of irony by arriving in 28 degree heat, following two games played in thermals. So lots of arrivals, but not that of the opposition – STM – who finally rolled up at somewhere considerably nearer three than two o’clock .

Rob negotiated a 40 over a side match, the best we could manage against a definite preference for a 30 or 35 over game by the STM skipper. STM won the toss and would bat first, so after a few more minutes delay whilst umpire coats and the Chigwell scorebook were unearthed Ramesh and Richard opened the attack.

Richard returned to the bowling form he had shown in the first two matches of the season and while Ramesh was suffering from edges that never went to hand, Rich was able to claim the first wicket; a juggled but well pouched effort from Nick in the gully.  Notwithstanding Richard’s strike the score was rattling on, and there was a seemingly ominous period where no wickets fell.  Please excuse any vagueness in the detailing of events in this innings as STM may not have an experienced scorer to hand and the book was in a bit of a state in terms of readable data by the time we got it back at the tea interval. 

Rob asked Richard to take a blow, replacing him with Nick – very much our ace up the sleeve this season.  After a couple of overs of bedding in he proceeded through the STM upper order, aided by good catching from Rob A, Adam and himself – another juggled effort.  During this spell I replaced the unlucky Ramesh at the “Bell” end and soon had his help in taking a wicket; a good catch at cow corner.  Rob A took a catch at slip for me too, but then I dropped a straight-forward return chance offered by the opposition skipper (who went on to score 50) and this drop seemed to infect the team to the extent that I soon after saw three consecutive chances go begging, a fate customarily reserved for Brad’s bowling.  Speaking of which Brad replaced Nick at the “plum” end but struggled to bowl the line dictated by his skipper.  At least he took a wicket with a stumping that was so obvious nobody appealed – until it suddenly dawned on us that the batsman might not actually go without this formality.

Ramesh came back for another luckless over, but Nick’s return brought about the end of the innings with two timely wickets, one bowled the other LBW.  Fine figures of 7.3 overs 5 wickets for 39 tell their own story, as indeed do Nick’s figures for the season; something like fifteen wickets at about eight runs apiece.  STM were all out for 207 (9 wickets as they only had 10 men – a problem with which we are well familiar)  a crucial 3.3 overs ahead of the 40 over mark.

The Old Chigs tea showed no signs of improvement and moves are now afoot to arrange something better.

Brad stepped up to the plate when asked to open the batting with the skipper and helped see the shine off a new ball in a sturdy partnership of 60 for the first wicket.  He left on 14, walking like a man when thinly edging behind.  Adam joined Rob and took this partnership took the score beyond 100 before Rob rather wastefully ran himself out for the second time in three games. Enter Jonathan Stephenson, friend of Sarah and all round good egg, for his first bat in about three years.   After a few early nerves he calmly accumulated runs, eventually falling on 31.  Adam had departed in the meantime for 45, having popped one back to the bowler.  The victory had looked secure at 174 for 3, but two wickets fell in rapid succession to give us a few jitters.  Nigel (who had replaced Sarah towards the end of the STM innings) had been one of those to go, but had at least registered his first runs of the season (6).  Sadly Ramesh holed out for a duck, but we know enough of him to be confident of many runs (and wickets) in the very near future.

Eventually Dan and Richard saw us home with 2 overs to spare in a short but commanding partnership.  A special mention should go to the redoubtable “extras”, who contributed 57 runs but as usual declined to buy a jug.  Nick however got to the bar in quick time (just as well as it was closed seconds later), but not quite quickly enough to see any of the opposition, who left with far more urgency than they had shown in arriving... ;-)

Captain Rob Allum adds; It was great to have Tim Hall playing and hopefully he'll make it for a few more this season too..  What with Ross and Tim both being available already this season could this mean we might get to see Graham out on the field soon?  R.x

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