Archive for May, 2016

Heroics at Jevington

Saturday, May 28th, 2016

It’s all about communication. And the skipper was mightily relieved to carry out a head count at 12.47 on Sunday afternoon and reach the magic 11, despite never having actually confirmed the final line up, not to mention the added bonus of Frank filling the combined scorer/treasurer role and Jan maintaining her uncontested position as legendary supporter.
With the team dispatched Jevington-bound thoughts turned to tactics. The usual confused, uninformed chatter regarding our strengths as a chasing team, our weaknesses as a penetrating bowling force and possible game formats danced back and forth between the skipper’s travelling companions. The conclusion was that we should bat second on the basis that the bowlers could enjoy a large tea!
We arrived in glorious sunshine simultaneously with the opposition and as tall, sinewy youths peeled themselves out of back seats we realised that we were not facing a team that even approached the average age of the beamers (only kept below 50 by the very welcome presence of Jack Renshaw).
The opposing skipper, one of the sinewy youths, completely misread the toss and called a hugely optimistic “heads”. It was tails and the Beamers skipper instantly inserted Jevington to their fate. Buoyed by the knowledge of an extensive tea the Beamers bowlers were pawing at the ground in anticipation.
The pre-match huddle was really an excuse to wish a very happy 65th birthday to Jonners “the cat” Jonners with the morale boosting “Win it for Jonners” being the game plan.
Opening with Greg “Blackadder” Blackadder and Renshaw senior against the opening batters of Youth and Sinew it wasn’t long before the first breakthrough. Glen, using a devious change of length and width drew the batsman into playing early. The ball looped high into the air towards a slightly pensive looking mid-off Jack Edwards. It has to be said that in pre-match warm up Jack had dropped just about everything that came his way. The total silence that followed the ball through its trajectory towards Jack reflected the possibly dented confidence in the catch being taken. There should have been no doubt as the ball was safely pouched.
There followed a period of excellent bowling from Bladder and Renshaw, Glen picking up another very useful wicket of the skipper and Mark being just too good to actually claim a wicket. Reference to the economy will describe the quality of the spell. A change was required and on came Renshaw junior (another Jack) and Chafey (another Lord). Niall managed a marvellous spell producing three lovely wickets including a hat-trick ball while Jack R was cruelly denied his first Beamer wicket for a second time (his father had fled to long leg claiming he could not take the pressure of dropping another off his son’s bowling) as a rocket from the eventual top scorer with a 50 was spilled. “no one would have caught that!”
It was time for spin. A mesmerising spell of left arm orthodox (actually I don’t have a clue what it is described as) coming down the hill and right arm leg spin coming down the other hill kept batter, fielders and audience royally entertained. The A&E master class in “using the loop” was parsimonious if a bit wicketless. The leg spin was expensive for the first three overs as the nine months of rust were shaken off and the spell nearly came to an end right there. However in a moment of captaining brilliance Riggers was kept in place to magically haul in three wickets in two overs of an unplayable mix of leg breaks an googlies. Genius!
The spin binding spell bowling spell came to an end and we continued with the never ending supply of bowling talent as on came safe hands Jack and the legend Rob Nicholls. We were into the tail and runs had dried up but the final wicket (they only had 10) was elusive. Rob Nicholls solved the problem with a bizarre piece of self-pressurising reverse psychology. He stated to the skipper “I’ll have one more then you should come on”. No sooner had the skip started creaking into a semblance of a warm up than Rob produced an in-swinger of sublime quality to remove middle stump. Jevington all out for 116 with 34 minutes of batting time remaining. Well bowled, well fielded!
Tea. Nothing more need be said other than it has been voted tea of the season already. The successful tactic of batting second allowing the bowlers to gorge themselves was slightly misunderstood by Maf (batting 3) who reached the end of the table with his plate groaning under the strain of beautifully prepared goodies. The bowlers (all eight of them) naturally did gorge themselves during a tea which took at least 15 minutes longer than usual.
We eventually arrived at a batting order largely selected on the basis of who could still move and Riggers and Lord Chafey made their way to the centre. Under instruction to “have a look” for the first 30 minutes and then accelerate through to victory the score book began to tick. Bowlers Sinew and Youth opened the attack with a mixture of pace and accuracy. Both batsmen strolled into double figures when Chafey suffered the merest brush of an outside (maybe inside, I was only umpiring after all!) edge. So mere was the brush that the aforementioned umpire was not inclined to raise the finger having heard nothing untoward. Standards were properly maintained however when Chafey quite correctly walked. Fair play! Sinew was replaced at the pavilion end by taller, faster, leaner, south African Sinew who bowled 8 overs of impressive, fast, outswinging, off-breaking deliveries. Obviously this was way too good for any Beamers to get anywhere near so he only managed one wicket. Glen Blackadder Blackadder shone with the bat overcoming the pace and guile of the attack to amass 41 and with some support from the skipper we came within 10 of victory. Then came the second Chafey LBW issued to a work colleague that afternoon and Black could adder no more to his score (hmm). It was about this time that the umpire was handed the bowler’s right boot with the sole hanging off and the right arm off spin continued with one stockinged foot.
So Beamers 106 for 6 and into the fray enters Jack Renshaw looking, if we are honest, slightly pale and nervous. In a very non pale and un-nervous three balls Jack clipped a legside delivery to square leg for two, drove a straight ball to long off for another two and nonchalantly nudged a quick single to steel the strike. 5 to win. Jevington, in a desperate last throw of the die reverted back to the fast, accurate opener. The skipper wondered momentarily on the likelihood of Renshaw junior being given LBW by Renshaw senior. The next ball tested this conundrum for the father. A fast ball flashed between bat and pad, a noise, a huge shout, a nervous look up from the son, and implacable father quietly and sagely shaking his head muttering words like “pad”. The bowler, clearly furious, stormed in to deliver the next ball intent on taking off young Jack’s head. The chest high beamer was clipped (possibly edged) between keeper and slip for four. Game tied. Another fast ball on leg stump simply clipped to square leg and the game is in the bag. Well played and welcome to the team Jack Renshaw.

Beer followed in the 8 Bells and then the Good Companions. What a great day!!

Thank you Beamers.