Oak & Beech 1 July

By Mark Gilkes

Cricket report 1st July 2001 – Oak and Beech, Amersham

Salmagundi Fail To Produce Anything Risible

Although taking the mickey is a vital part of the Salmagundi game, this week it’s very difficult to find anybody to laugh at. We were up at Amersham, and this time nobody left James behind, so what’s funny about that? On top of this, there was all this stuff: bowling accurately, hanging on to terrific catches, and producing a highly competent all round display. What’s a correspondent to do?

Salmagundi, batting first, set a total of 134 for seven off 35 overs. A solid opening of 36 by Tait and Packham was backed up with handy scores by Monahan Snr, Chris Wroe (returning with an assured 25) and Fox Snr.

Oak and Beech were similarly solid, and accelerated in their chase at just the right time, but then, needing less than 30 with five wickets remaining, and looking very likely to get it with overs to spare and some very powerful hitting, they folded under the pressure. Belief flowed through the Salmagundi team the way the ball normally flows between the slip fielders. Two outstanding (and outstandingly nonchalant) catches by Tom Monahan, and a fantastic – missile stopping – caught and bowled by his father, epitomised the strength shown in defending a relatively modest total.

(It really is very hard not having anybody to insult. In the pub afterwards I managed to make several amusing comments about Jim’s lack of hair – but even that rather smacks of explaining the joke.)

Oak and Beech are an extremely tight and athletic fielding side. It was required we match them if we were going to win and the contributions from everybody, especially those turning out for the first time this season, such at Jake Wood and Seorais Graham – both of whom fielded and threw with great power and skill – were exceptional.

Here are the details. Jim took 4 for 30, Seorais 3 for 21, Mike Fox 2 for 17, and Chris Packham picked up the other wicket for just five. Excellent catches by Tait, Packham and Fox were equally as significant as those already mentioned.

The tea even catered for the vegan in our midst.

J Tait 19 run out being more interested in where the ball had gone
C Packham 15 bowled comprehensively (as in bog standard comprehensive)
S Graham 7 very elegantly walked on a caught behind appeal
J Monahan 21 some lovely shots but can never keep his head (copyright)
C Wroe 25 sacrificed himself in a pre-penultimate over thrash
M Fox 18 was allegedly seen to run three on one occasion
T Monahan 11 not out (played in a shirt of egg yolk yellow. Words fail)
J Fox 1 beautifully timed first ball single, blinded by egg yolk yellow on last shot
A Wood 1 not out, but hardly in
J Wood even less in, did not bat
M Gilkes arriving 45 minutes before the other ten earned him number 11 batting slot

NB: If these reports are to have any interest for non-playing and non-family devotees, it’s time to return to the agricultural thrash (unique to Salmagundi, a phrase that refers to our bowling).

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