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April 2010

April 27, 2010

Eclectic tea the highlight

Chigwell vs Pacific at Wray Crescent, 25th April

In a game that had seen a relatively even contest during the home side's innings, Chigwell were, ultimately, well beaten by Pacific CC (see their match report) in what was still an enjoyable early season fixture against Rob Allum's `other lot' –
writes Frank Gough.

The day began with the unfortunate news that Charlie had joined Ahsan on the unavailable list for the match, which had the double impact of considerably weakening our batting and leaving us a man short for the match itself; Owen having managed to draft in the much appreciated services of his friend Clive in the absence of Ahsan, but Charlie's withdrawal coming too late for a replacement to be found. A touch of drizzle for the first time in several days lent these developments a portentous feel as we began our journey over to Hornsey.

Upon arrival, Rob Orange, skipper again in the absence of Rob Allum, lost the toss, but, having explained the brittle nature of our batting line up, requested that we be allowed to field first, a request to which the Pacific captain kindly agreed. We also shook hands on this being a timed match rather than fixed overs, although in this case I think that acquiescence rather than agreement on the part of the opposition might be a more appropriate way of putting it.

I opened the bowling at one end with Richard at the other. The combination of a lovely new cherry, a bit of moisture in the air and some decent bowling meant that life was tricky for the Pacific openers, with some prodigious swing and slightly variable bounce from the artificial pitch in evidence, eliciting a fair amount of playing and missing and the occasional edge that would not go to hand. After a couple of overs, the Pacific no.2 was beaten by some late in-swing and could only succeed in cannoning the ball into his stumps via an edge and his pad. I wore a large smile in the realisation that I had just equalled 50% of my 2009 haul of wickets in a somewhat shorter timescale. The no.3 was also dismissed quickly; chopping onto his stumps whilst attempting to cut a ball that was a shade too close to him for the shot.

At this stage, we were feeling in the ascendancy, although the sight of a purposeful looking 6'4" antipodean batsman striding to the crease did cause a certain degree of trepidation, quite rightly as it transpired. I was the first to suffer, one over disappearing for 17 with four consecutive boundaries being crashed to a variety of points on the field, with Rich then being clumped mercilessly for a four and a six. We then had a slice of luck; the six was so monstrous as to lose the ball, which had ceased to swing having absorbed the moisture from the outfield. The replacement, however, did swing; a fact that Rich exploited by bending one in to make an almighty mess of the brute's stumps to the relief of all concerned. A successful spell was rewarded with another wicket, lbw, as Rich profited from largely maintaining a full length; his final figures reading 9-0-47-2.

Enter Nick. Picking up from the previous week, he quickly settled into a rhythm; realising that the wicket was not offering much turn, Nick instead used flight and clever changes of pace to deceive the batsmen, with three of his eventual five victims either being bowled or stumped to full deliveries that caught them at the crease. The one exception was an excellent off-break that climbed and turned on its way through to Russell, who took a very good catch behind the stumps off the edge to claim the scalp of Pacific's no.6. Rob settled on keeping Nick on for a marathon spell, eventually returning the impressive figures of 16.2-1-46-5. At the other end, Rob took over from Rich, bowling tidily and picking up one wicket (8-1-21-1) before deferring to Dan and Brad for short spell prior to Nick closing the innings with a lower order heave finding the hands of Rich at mid off. In truth, Pacific had scored more than we would have liked, with 222 their final score as the game entered a slightly subdued phase, but c'est la vie.

After an eclectic tea – I cannot think of another way of describing a mix of frozen sandwiches, pimento stuffed olives, guacamole, onion rings, Milky Way bars and Jaffa cakes – we set out to chase down the total, with Dan and a psyched up (and, even by his standards, spectacularly hairy) Owen entering the fray. It was at this point that events went on the slide as Pacific turned the screw with an extremely disciplined bowling performance from their seamers. After a couple of pleasing leg side shots, Dan was the first to perish, lbw for 11. Rich then sauntered out for one his more outrageous displays, mixing attack with… well, attack. Nicks, edges, you name it; it was all happening, just not for very long, as everyone's favourite Lancastrian had his stumps splattered for 21. Nigel was the next to go, the victim of a full length inswinger that caught him on the crease for 0, with giving him out lbw or cheating horribly being the only options available to yours truly. Owen had, up till this point, being batting sensibly and began to free his arms with a 2 and a boundary being scored through backward point as he began to exert some authority. Sadly, he then tried to be a little too expansive and joined his long haired brethren back in the hutch for 13, his stumps cartwheeling merrily. Russell went quickly after, leaving the scoreboard showing a distinctly unhealthy 46 for 5.

Rob and Nick then joined forces, first stopping the rot and then suggesting the start of a rebuilding operation before Rob, trying to be positive, edged behind for 6. Clive did not last long against a spirited attack, which then brought Brad to the crease, striding out from the pavilion with belligerence and with his hair bouncing under his cap, neatly positioned on top. He was clearly in the mood to save the game as we entered the final twenty overs and, as darkness closed in, the number of overs dwindled and he and Nick looked increasingly confident, it began to look a real possibility. Sadly Nick, not wanting to stodge a drawer in a game that had been played in a good spirit up until that point, then missed a straight one and was comprehensively castled for a fighting 33. I came out as last man and could only last two balls before bowing to inevitability and an offcutter that was simply too good for me.

So, a loss, but a good workout before HWG come to Chigwell in the league next Sunday where we will be looking to start that season in positive fashion. It was just good to get back out there.

Full scorecard 

Allum of the Match: Nick, by default.

April 25, 2010

Tense atmosphere...

Tense atmosphere...

Chigwell vs Pacific

Pacific reached 222 at tea. Chigwell 26-1 after six overs.

Update: Chigwell lost. Scores and report to follow.

April 23, 2010

Chigwell up and Winning

Chigwell vs South Loughton 18th April

Chigwell began the season a man light, writes Rob Orange, but enjoyed a stress-free victory over South Loughton, a team never before vanquished by the brigade of strength & honour.  In previous seasons we have either been soundly spanked, or lost from a dominant position, so without reference to the make up of the South Loughton side I made up my mind to bowl first, given the option.  Having called correctly and got my way I began to notice that we were taking on a side made up predominantly of colts.  Terry ventured that the game might not last too long.

Richard and Ahsan opened the bowling, Ahsan slightly reluctantly as I pressed him in to bowling seam as we were pretty short in this department.  He bowled really well, but never caused the scorer to rotate the wicket wheel in the score-box as the numerous edged deliveries refused to fly to Chigwell hands.  Richard meanwhile struck the most significant blow of the match as he had Terry Heman, a man who usually clumps many a run against us, coolly caught by Nick at gully.

There followed a quiet period as the highest partnership of the innings tentatively prospered.  Richard was punished for a couple of loose deliveries and left the attack with figures of 5-2-17-1.  Ahsan bowled 9 luckless overs for 28 and was replaced by Nick, Charlie under captain’s orders, bowling seam at the other end.  Young Rudkin produced a beauty to claim the second wicket and finished his short but impressive spell with 6-1-13-1.

Nick began the season in ominous form.  The South Loughton colts became his playthings as he ripped through the middle order, taking 3 wickets in 4 overs.  He was so effective that I was forced to stop him at this stage as the chances of getting the whole team involved were rapidly receding.  Brad took over from Charlie and showed the value of not netting by grabbing three wickets of his own.  Admittedly two of them were from not –so-good deliveries, but the third was the result of a well executed plan of pushing the ball a little wider and forcing a false shot from the South Loughtonian batsman.  In general Brad bowled a tidy line and length finishing with accomplished figures of 8-2-17-3.

Ahsan’s cousin, Kash, bowled five overs, which after a wonky start improved noticeably.  He joined the party with a wicket of his own before giving way to the return of Nick, and the inevitable wicket that closed the South Loughton innings on 98.

We certainly had plenty of time to get the runs, so after a prolonged tea Nigel and Charlie settled to their task.  Nigel was facing some very tight bowling from Dave Smith who racked up three consecutive maidens, bowling exclusively at Mr. Barfoot.  Inevitably as soon as Nige got to the other end he was bowled for a duck.  Charlie fell (after a prolonged umpiring change) to the same bowler an over or two later.  Ahsan departed  to a false shot while trying to have a bit of fun, but as we were facing such a small target it was easy to consolidate and between Russell, myself and Adam we cruised in with 15 overs to spare.

It was satisfying to have been able to give everyone a game, and of course to win.  I always prefer to bowl first in the first fixture of the season – I think the team rediscovers its bonds better that way, but perhaps next year I should take a closer look at the composition of the opposition (before deciding to bowl anyway...)

Man of the Match: N. Allum 5 overs 2 maidens 4 wickets for 5 runs (and 1 catch)

Full scorecard

April 20, 2010

Chigwell Raises Curtain On New Season With A Win


South Loughton 98
Chigwell 99-4

Chigwell recorded a first-ever win against South Loughton in the opening match of the 2010 season. Scorecard here. Match report to follow, if we are lucky.

April 04, 2010

New Season, League Awards Night and Pre-Season Social

The first match of the season is a friendly vs South Loughton on Sunday 18th April. All the fixtures for 2010 are now published.

To get into the swing of the new season, and to celebrate our victory in the League in 2009, please come to the League Awards and Pre-Season Social hosted by Ravi Sondh and co. at the Mayfield Athletic Club on Friday 16th April at 8.00pm.