Up to the Extension for a game against our good friends the Players. The 1.30pm start caught out none of us apart from The Lord Fakenham who called your correspondent to check up – having already been informed of the details earlier in the week by skipper David Stead. His Lordship was on holiday during the week on his estate in Norfolk so the Wherry Summer Ale must have taken its toll. Mick was late as well but that was for the usual reasons of our socialising superman.
Dave won the toss and decided to field. I had a feeling he was planning to do that as he instructed me to set the boundary markers so far away from the stumps you needed a mortar to get the ball back into the middle. Chris and Dave opened the Gardeners’ bowling and managed to keep the scoring rate in check on a wicket that was very slow – if you pitched short the batsman had to count to three before attempting a stroke. In Dave’s second over he produced a swift straight one that rearranged the timbers of Dunn for 4. At the other end T. Langridge was playing elegant strokes and looking very settled. Enter Mick Campbell, bowling at a very lively pace and giving the batsmen several problems, culminating in inducing a mishit pull from Hickox, who departed for 8. Fakenham replaced Chris at the West End and hit an exemplary line and length immediately – obviously the trout that he had fished out of the Nar during the week had been most agreeable. At the other end Mick secured a second wicket as G. Crouch pulled to the skipper at square leg (who was daydreaming … fortunately someone shouted “Steadley!” early enough for Dave to effortlessly complete the wicket). Mick then trapped Grimason lbw for a duck and the Gardeners were ahead in the game. Unfortunately this state of affairs was changed in some style by T. Langridge combining with Sweet to subject the Gardeners to a good deal of chasing leather. David turned to the man that all Salmagundi skippers have looked to down the years when in search of a breakthrough … Jim Monahan. Jim duly extracted some turn and bounce but conceded a few runs to high class sweeps and drives before one sweep too many by T. Langridge resulted in the ball cannoning into the stumps – bowled for 51. “Bring on the Gostick” chanted the Gardeners (a variation to “bring on the bostick” used when an injured player was being attended to at Carrow Road in the 1970s). Jeremy likes to think he’s left handed, so bowls right arm around the wicket in the style of J. K. Lever. This cross handedness confused Harris who holed out to Chris Packham – a finely judged running catch – for 3. Back in the game … ah no … J. Langridge joined Sweet in hitting some lovely shots until the returning skipper had Sweet caught by Will Towers at deep Extra Cover for 74 and then bowled J. Langridge for 35. Jim and Jeff combined to run out J. Crouch for 1 and the 35 overs drew to a close.
Players 210 for 9 off 35 overs
|J. Dunn||b Stead||4|
|T. Langridge||b J. Monahan||51|
|T. Hickox||c Brasted||b Campbell||8|
|G. Crouch||c Stead||b Campbell||8|
|M. Grimason||lbw||b Campbell||0|
|S. Sweet||c Towers||b Stead||74|
|K. Harris||c Packham||b Gostick||3|
|J. Langridge||b Stead||35|
|J. Crouch||run out||1|
|T. Pigott-Smith||not out||3|
|M. Callaghan||not out||1|
Jim provided a superb selection of sandwiches and salads at tea and Richard made possibly his most telling score of the season with his debut carrot cake being scoffed very swiftly to great appreciation. The victoria sandwich (home made plum jam) and cherry & walnut loaf also featured strongly.
Into bat for the reply … I think the term “disaster” is frequently overused in the press, but on this occasion it’s a fair appraisal, as Jim was bowled first ball by Players paceman Pigott-Smith. Richard then sneaked a single only to watch as Will was also bowled first ball. David came in and saw out the over. Richard then got in a position to play no sort of shot at all and played on to his stumps. Gardeners 2 for 3. Dave and Fakenham both played well in trying circumstances, scoring a boundary apiece until the baronet became Piggy’s fourth victim for 11. Dave likes to be different and was caught off J. Langridge for 13 to end the Piggy monopoly. Jeff scratched about for a few balls (“I had a heavy night last night”) before becoming number 3 in the Club de Canard, then Mick played a few lusty blows before he was brilliantly caught-and-bowled by J. Langridge for 11. Amardeep took a long while to get zero, Fakenham caving in to the appeal for Ghost to take his first wicket of the day. The game had become a bit difficult to win by now, but Jeremy scored 7 before being stumped off Ghost and Chris added 11 including two handsome boundaries before he was last man out lbw to Grimason. Paul “Barking” Brasted was unbeaten on 5 and produced the best bit of calling … “it’s your f**king call Chris”.
SGCC 74 all out lost by 136 runs
|Jim Monahan||b Pigott-Smith||0|
|Will Towers||b Pigott-Smith||0|
|Richard Higginbottom||b Pigott-Smith||2|
|David Stead||c Sweet||b J. Langridge||13|
|Lord Fakenham||b Pigott-Smith||11|
|Jeff Round||b J. Crouch||0|
|Mick Campbell||c and b||b J. Langridge||11|
|Amardeep Jamu||lbw||b Callaghan||0|
|Jeremy Gostick||st T. Langridge||b Callaghan||7|
|Paul Brasted||not out||5|
|Chris Packham||lbw||b Grimason||11|
Back at The Old Bull and Bush we established that Alistair Cook should get back to county cricket to learn his trade. He can come and play for us next week at Ham! Amardeep has agreed to give him one-to-one coaching (his credentials as a Councillor are impeccable). Richard would rather see Michael Carberry open the innings as anyone whose name sounds like a type of jam has to be a good selection. Meanwhile Will anounced that he and one of the Players had been in a vocal ensemble together at Cambridge. “What sort of music?” enquired Dave … “Early Baroque” came the reply. Mr Brasted’s curiosity beat him: “what the f**k is that?”