Abdul Aziz 15 July

By Erik Samuelson

Cricket report 15th July 2001 – Abdul Aziz

Gardeners triumph again as records tumble

Salmagundi Gardeners rampaged to a third successive win today by the huge margin of 88 runs (is this a record?) and with what may well be a new record for a fourth wicket stand (it will take a little time to check the archives). Not only that, in what must surely be another record, SGCC had 13 players available at the start of the game. Make no mistake, the pressure on places is mounting. Finally, and almost as an aside, Jim Monahan delivered proof of one of the fundamental laws of nature early in the game – but more of that later.

Opponents Abdul Aziz had been our first opponents of the season and, in a 40 over match, had scored 230 for 7 and beaten us comfortably by 71 runs. Some (well, actually it’s me) say the margin would have been less if our opening batsman had not been given out LBW by an SGCC umpire who both appealed and gave the decision, overruling the bowler in doing so. Not that I’m bitter, oh no.

So this game was our chance for revenge and, assuming we would maintain our inability to bat through, we opted for a 35 over match and batted first. James Tait and Erik Samuelson got off to a roaring start with Tait regularly walking down the wicket to smash fours through the leg side as he hit 40 off 33 balls in an opening stand of 64. As so often happens, two wickets then fell quickly with Tait caught before Samuelson was bowled in the same over for 21, having never looked entirely comfortable.

In came Seorais Graham and Mike Fox to the strains of a jazz band in the nearby park playing something relaxing and slow “music to watch Mike Fox by”. Nonetheless, Mike and Seorais moved the score along to 104 with some well chosen blows, studied defending and Mike Fox calling for some quick singles (I said it was a record day). Eventually, Mike called for one too many and was stranded in mid pitch, run out for 18.

Mark Gilkes joined Seorais and together they set about the bowling. After 25 overs SGCC were 124 for 3 and Mark and Seorais had put on 20. When the next wicket fell, in the 35th over, we were 218, with Mark and Seorais having added a further 94 in 10 overs and a stand of 114 in total. This was achieved by some judicious hitting, but never slogging. Furthermore, Abdul had decided to hold back their best bowlers until later in the innings so this was a stand of the highest standards, with Gilkes, who has regularly shown flashes of quality without building a big innings, coming good in a stunning innings of 41 in 30 balls. Meanwhile, Graham raced to a classy 80 before they were out in successive balls.

Jim Monahan and Phil Sessions saw out the last two balls, with Jim hitting a 4 and a 2 but run out going for a third – Phil, meanwhile, did not face a ball. So SGCC ended with 224 for 6, almost certainly our highest score for several years.

Abdul’s opener Hughes was a danger, having scored 97 against us earlier in the season, but tight bowling backed up by slick fielding meant that they never got going this time. The first wicket to fall was a caught and bowled by Mike Fox, who managed to catch the ball and Samuelson’s little finger as they went for it together. Mike took the first three wickets before debutant Bruno Brewin made the key breakthrough towards the end of his spell when he had Hughes LBW for 22. After that, and despite some lusty blows, wickets fell regularly and the required rate mounted as high class fielding kept the pressure on. Martin Carter made many good stops as the ball seemed attracted to him like a magnet and he was unlucky not to take a fine reflex catch at short midwicket.

Probably the highlight of the innings was a stumping by James Tait which was astonishingly fast and smooth off Chris Packham’s bowling, although Mike Fox later took a specialist juggling catch off the same bowler to provide some light relief. With Joe Fox chipping in with aggressive bowling that deserved more than the single wicket he took, the scene was set for a grand finale. And who better to provide it than Mark who lured the last batsman into playing far too early on his “extra slower” ball. It went on to bounce off both pads before hitting the stumps to an embarrassed silence all round as we trooped off with Abdul 136 all out.

    Statistics?

  • Samuelson 21
  • Tait 40
  • Graham 80
  • M Fox 18
  • Gilkes 41
  • J Monahan 6
  • Sessions 0 not out
  • Extras 18
  • Total 224
  • M Fox 7-0-26-3
  • Brewin 7-0-28-1
  • Packham 7-1-27-2
  • J Monahan 3-0-2–1
  • J Fox 4-0-21-1
  • Gilkes 0.3- 0-0-1
  • One run out

Finally, Jim Monahan arrived late because he had been to church, thereby proving (as predicted by Einstein all those years ago) that there is a link between Mass and time. Next week Jim will present a detailed explanation of the paradox of Schroedinger’s cat and Erik Samuelson will derive Fermat’s last theorem from a statistical analysis of SGCC’s average run rate over the last three years.

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