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July 2009

July 05, 2009

Tour match III - Axminster

'Scoop' Hannant's match report:

14th June 2009

Well, Sunday was upon us. After two wins out of two the opportunity presented itself of making a clean sweep and winning all three tour games, a feat never previously achieved. Unfortunately there was a new captain on duty with absolutely no idea how to set a field other than to say "can you stand there, please"?

The captain, me btw, fortified himself with a hearty breakfast and another bracing swim. All was well with the world, nothing could go wrong. And it didn’t.

The Axminster captain and I didn't have a toss, we just shook hands on the format (40 overs) and who should bat first (them). The previous year they put out a team of varying ages but the victory we earned was quite tight so i was expecting the same this year, even though their team was made up of mainly colts. One thing they didn't anticipate, and whoever could, was the way our opening bowler could swing it. The ruddy cheeked, bespectacled mass that is Graham Wiskin trundled in from the pavilion end to take the wickets of the opening two batsmen, two fine looking stroke players but in the end quite incapable of coping with Mr. Wiskin’s unplayable swinging balls.

Because of the loss of the early wickets my job as captain was made considerably easier enabling me to shift the bowling around without too much anxiety of them making an unexpectedly high score. In dispatches I’d like to mention young Mr Wiskin who, after a bright start, fell to earth in the middle of the wicket with a seeming dislocation of the shoulder. Thankfully it wasn't and with a few beers down his neck after the game he soon forgot all about it. And I’d also like to mention Owen, just because I would.

Their innings was not without contention however. Two blinding stumpings by the poor man's Aussie were cruelly denied by the umpire, who was clearly blinded to them and by them, which did make the game at one point seem a little niggly but by the end of their innings a not impossible total of 168 was set for us to chase.

After another lovely, fresh tea Bradders and Nige were sent in to intimidate and frighten their opening bowlers. After that failed the cherubic seraph that is the poor man's Aussie was sent in to try and avenge for the umpire's previous indiscretions, and this he duly did with a blinding and belligerent ton, three cheers for the Ocker. But even in batting contention followed us, or was it just Dave the Kiwi that contention followed? Towards the end of the ton there was some very unsportsmanlike behaviour from one of their bowlers. With our score rapidly approaching theirs the opportunities for the ton were receding rapidly, especially since their 'bowler' deliberately bowled wides and no balls to try and stymie keeper Dave’s chances. Lots of grumbling and heckling ensued but this in itself could not aid Dave towards his ton, but we had a much better weapon. The crafty, wily, and sportsmanlike BGC was batting at the other end and as wide as the 'bowler' tried to bowl the ball was batted back with the BGC at some point having to stretch six foot on his off side so to do!

By the end Dave needed four for his ton but we only needed one to win. Thankfully a nice young man gifted Dave a ball that he could despatch to the boundary. The ton was his but more importantly the victory was ours.

The team could return home with victory ringing in its ears, a hundred per cent win for the team and a 100 per cent win for me.

This captaining lark.....it's all quite easy really, isn't it?


Strength and honour

Tour match II - Chardstock

13th June 2009

After about 30 minutes of driving around in one of Dagenham’s finest, Dave and I found the Chardstock ground, writes Nigel Barfoot. The pitch was pitched at around 10 degrees from leg to off and had a pretty short boundary. Nice.

After a quick toss with the opposition’s captain, he informed me of their weak batting line up and suggested we bat first to get more of a game. We batted first…

I faced, with the Chigwell talisman Rob Allum dropped to number 2. Frustration at not scoring an early six on the short boundary caused Rob to hit one straight to a fielder at mid off which was subsequently dropped. I did the same thing the next over then something strange happened. The score board showed 116 for no loss of wicket? Seagulls started talking to me saying there was no trawler to follow. Then the BGC was bowled making 56.

Steve Drabwell padded to the hilt entered the fray with a nervy start to then hit a couple of fours which settled him down. I hit my fifty then decided to go for a big six and got stumped. Richard joined the crease then departed before his Marlboro red was extinguished which caused a fracas in the changing room as Nick had to rush his box in. Steve was in hitting mood and managed to crack a huge straight six into the field next door. Very nice.

Dave came in next with Graham and Brad following in quick succession after Nick had scored 9. Adam came in after Graham and managed to score a quick 22 with three fours and a six. We finished on 215 for 8.

Dave the Kiwi rave opened the bowling with Ricardo Hannante and it wasn’t long before Dave bowled the #2 bat. Once the second wicked fell there was a huge Chardstock collapse with five ducks in a row, a few golden too. Nick had a huge amount of W’s and one M so had to be taken off so everyone got a game.

With 16 overs gone, we didn’t have much of a game to play with the score at 53 for 7. Rob O bowled 3 overs collecting 2 wickets and was replaced by Brad. Graham was brought on with everyone hoping to see the legendary swing that the Wiskas can produce. We didn’t have to wait too long with Graham beating the bat virtually every ball. At one point we had 4 slips and a gully due to the swing which was especially useful as Graham bowled one straight to 3rd slip.

Owen replaced Beef and picked up an amazing wicket caught by Ricardo at cow corner. Nice catch mate.

They finished on 106 all out so we could have an early beer which was jolly kind.