French House 29 July

By Chris Packham

Cricket report 29th July 2001 – French House

Another nail-biting finish for the Gardeners

Almost a year to the day when Seorais Graham and Jim Monahan batted brilliantly but vainly in a last wicket stand against Oak and Beech, the same pair featured in a late drama, this time against French House. When Seorais was bowled with only seven needed to win, Jim strode to the wicket to join his son, Henry. Before you read on, decide now whether:

  • Jim and Henry saw us through
  • Jim ran Henry out with only one run needed to tie
  • Jim was out for a duck and there was no tension at all
  • Jim had an almighty swing at the ball and, missing, fell on his wicket and broke a stump
  • none of these (invent your own ending)

Games against French house are always tight and this one was no different. FH arrived with only 8 men so it was agreed that they would bat first against an attack missing the Fox family. Nonetheless, to maintain the tradition of family involvement, there were three Monahans; Monahan Major, Monahan Minor and Monahan Regular (? – Monahan media ?)

Despite their shortage of players, FH made a terrific start and only the wicket of Menno Zessen (out to the first ball of Monahan Major’s spell) had fallen with the score approaching 120. We were beginning to think that it was unfair that they had as many as 8 men. Then on came Seorais Graham for a first over that cost about 16 runs, cleverly lulling the opposition into a false sense of security because he went on to take 4 wickets and reduce them to 153 for 7 (i.e. all out). Tom Monahan took the other wicket and there was a run out. Oh, if only the opener, Vance, had been caught from a hard chance first ball off Tom, instead of going on to make 58.

In came Erik Samuelson and James Tait, as usual, to open the Gardeners’ innings. Samuelson had been to see Sting the night before and, perhaps inspired by thoughts of Tantric cricket, he took about 6 hours (long enough, surely, for even Mike Fox to snatch a quick single) to move his bat when Amesbury bowled him a full toss first ball. So, 0 for 1 after 1 ball. Three more wickets followed quickly as Tait also went for a duck, Phil Sessions for 1 and Mike Stewart made a quick and impressive 11 that was halted just when it looked like he was going to build a big score.

Then came the recovery as Chris Packham and Ian Todd added 75 for the 5th wicket with Chris running into form after a hesitant start and Ian mixing power with elegance in a high quality innings. However, we then collapsed again as Ian pulled the ball onto his wicket for 59, Chris was caught at short square leg for 21 from a ball that stood up and Tom Monahan went to a fine catch behind the wicket, also for a duck. This brought Seorais to the wicket to join the injured Henry Monahan who needed a runner.

Seorais and Henry produced an exhilarating stand of 39, 38 of them scored by Seorais with sterling support from Henry. But then Seorais was bowled, leaving the Gardeners 7 to win from 8 overs. So how did it end? Well, which option did you choose for Jim? The answer is – wait for it – :

He was LBW for a duck, second ball, and we lost by seven runs. So there was no tension, despite this writer’s attempt to build some into the report. Sorry. We then retired to the pub for a hamburger, which is just a device to allow me to quote TS Eliot, “And so it ended, not with a bang but a Wimpey”.

    Match statistics:

  • Packham 4 – 1 – 19 – 0
  • T Monahan 5 – 0 – 27 – 1
  • I Todd 4 – 0 – 17 – 0
  • J Monahan 7 – 1- 26 – 1
  • S Graham 7 – 0 -33 – 4
  • M Stewart 3 – 0 – 24 – 0
  • Samuelson bowled 0
  • Tait bowled 0
  • Todd bowled 59
  • Stewart caught 11
  • Sessions caught 1
  • Packham caught 21
  • T Monahan caught 0
  • H Monahan not out 2
  • Graham bowled 38
  • J Monahan LBW 0
  • Extras 14
  • Total 146 for 9 (we only had 10 men)
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