Archive for May, 2012

Age and Cunning Triumphs Over Youth and Skill

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

It was an interesting ploy by the Findon selectors, fielding an almost entirely youthful side against the usual bunch of Beamer crocks and hangovers; particularly interesting on such a beautifully hot and sunny day.  “Run ‘em ragged”, I’m sure was the cry as their skipper won the toss and invited us to spend two and a half hours in the baking heat.

This Is Not What Their Team Looked Like

From the moment he picked Rob and I up and mentioned that he had a, “Well, it’s as bad as a Tour one, to be honest”, to the time he threw up shortly before the start of play, it was obvious that Siddo was just the man to take the new ball, which he did, partnering the red-eyed Tonguester in a hungover pairing from hell.  After some time “focussing” and an early torrent of runs, the incision came, with Tonguester removing two in two balls (including their very handy skipper and opening bat) and Siddo dispatching the other opener, who had lived something of a charmed life before playing across the line once too often.

Things become a little blurred at this stage, as I was feeling rather hot and needed to concentrate on bowling and fielding changes rather than the match report… I think they then put on quite a few for the fourth wicket and got up to around 140, with Rob Nic bowling dry but not really threatening, and with Riggers – in between being punched through the covers, past a cowering Maf and down the hill – inducing a couple of false shots every over but with nothing more than runs resulting.   At this stage, with an hour still to go before tea, Age and Cunning were already considering the Harvey’s in the clubhouse, while Youth and Skill were revving up for a night on the alcopops…

What we really needed to get back in it was an ill-judged run, a brilliant stop but wild throw by Ben and a great piece of keeping by Pete to drag the ball back onto the stumps.  Age! Cunning! Howzat?!

Going up the gears in the approved fashion, we moved smoothly to an all spin attack.  3 wickets for Riggers – a fine result following those early near misses – a couple for Beast – returning to the Beamers’ loving embrace in splendid style – and one for me (crap ball, shit shot, good catch by Ben, since you’re wondering).  All out for 171.  All out, what’s more, with 25 minutes to spare.

Tea dispatched with the same alacrity as we’d cut down the youth of Findon, the top order decided by the simple technique of perming the four who hadn’t bowled or kept wicket, we settled down to see whether Ben was ever going to find any form with the bat.

Turned out his batting form was just fine.  In fact, I suspect that, if he hadn’t played 18 holes of golf in the morning, he’d still be out there.  As it was, his innings was in three parts – a typically entertaining start, Maf partnering him and both hitting some crunching boundaries, a period of exhausted agony as he crawled to 50 and beyond in partnership with Dave – who played well for his 18 before becoming victim to a somewhat controversial lbw decision – and then a late flurry before a tired shot saw his downfall for 78*.

The back of the chase broken, Nick and Riggers at the crease, just over 40 to get and 20 overs to get them in. Not a problem, surely?  And yet, it all became rather tricky as the runs started to dry up.  The energetic and enthusiastic Findon – with their young skipper Harry to the fore – continued to put the pressure on and the overs ticked by with the scoreboard barely moving (although the rate required – to be fair – never got over 3). A couple of wickets could have made it interesting.  They got one – Nick bowled by a beauty which cut back in down the hill – but Tonguester came out to inject a bit of urgency and he and Riggers took us safely home.

Beamers win by 6 wickets with a couple of overs to spare.

A&E

*He shot 78 in the morning too.  Whatever that means…

 

Sopwith Camels – smashing…

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Smashing. That’s what it was.

Smashing that we actually played. Smashing that it was in sunshine (though with a typical East Brighton park wind it was still chilly).

And smashing was what Ben did all day. Smashing the Sopwith bowlers all over the place, and smashing Beamers’ records too (probably including the number of jugs it’s possible to be liable for in one game).

We lost the toss and were asked to bat (Ha! We didn’t know what was coming so they must have been fairly surprised). John and Ben opened well ‘til John got a straight swingy one. Maf joined ‘the mighty one’ and played beautifully, scoring quickly against good bowling on a pitch where you needed skill and welly to get it off the square. Thirty and then new bowler, watch it first, ah…

David joined ‘the mighty one’ and that’s when the Beamers enjoyed a batting master class. Classic cover drives, punches through point, straight sixes merely caressed over the boundary and bloody HUGE sixes carted everywhere.

Ben after cranking it up

Ben scored 156! The new Beamers highest individual score. David got a bit of a shooter, Riggers and Frank didn’t have much time to trouble the scorebook and we DECLARED BEFORE TEA (well with about three minutes to spare) on 221 for 5 or some such.

A splendid tea from local caterers Eaton & Riches and the Beamers were like coiled springs ready to unleash the skipper’s cunning plan (get 10 wickets).

Well of course we didn’t – where have you been for the last 25 years?

Siddo and Riggers opened, both bowling well and chances went down a little too regularly. But not many runs, so time to bring on the left-hand duo. Gordon started fizzing them down (which is where many of them stayed much to his embarrassment) but it says bowled in the scorebook so who cares? And A&E bamboozled like only he knows how.

But the Camels weren’t moving anywhere fast. Rigby F and Nicholls tried to winkle them out, which brought more drops and few runs but a draw was the only result likely. Still, unbeaten in May looks good from here…

Rob Nic