Down to Ham – an unusual location for a home fixture. Personally I hope it stays unusual because it’s nowhere near any public transport and took me hours to drive to – though very pleasant when eventually I made it with my passengers Dave 2-Bats Hollingsworth (a worthy navigator) and the Lord Fakenham (who identified the lodgings of several former girlfriends en route).
Debut skipper 2-Bats won the toss and decided (yes that’s right) to bat. Richard hit his first ball for 4, missed the second, third for 2 then put the fourth into the hands of Cover. Enter Fakenham to work hard with Chris Packham to repair the damage. The two stalwarts diligently applied themselves to the task, His Lordship garnering most of the strike whilst Chris watchfully accumulated. Fakenham punched a drive off the back foot through Extra Cover for 4 and took two futher straight boundaries bemusing those who expect the ball to continually be heading towards deep midwicket. The baronet skilfully negotiated the opening bowlers and was truly getting into his stride when he fell to a good catch off left arm seamer Rahman for 28. The skipper and Sanjay also succumbed for four each as Rahman got into an excellent groove. Chris had got to 20 when he was probably stumped, but Fakenham turned down the appeal before thinking “that was probably out”. He tried to make amends by giving Jeff out when he wasn’t out – the Abdul players showing some splendid sportsmanship by rescinding the appeal. However the reprieves were short-lived as Chris went caught for 21 and Jeff, after hitting a couple of big 4s, perished for 9. Mick as usual added some fine blows but stood back too far in executing another pull for 4, out Hit Wicket for 23. The tail petered out and we were left with an uphill task.
SGCC 106 all out
Richard Higginbottom caught Graydon 6
Chris Packham caught Burrows 21
Lord Fakenham caught Rahman 28
David Hollingsworth caught Rahman 4
Sanjay Kittali bowled Rahman 4
Jeff Round caught Rahman 9
Mick Campbell hit wicket John 23
Paul Brasted bowled John 1
Adam Wood caught Burrows 0
Visharad Pandey bowled John 0
A real team effort for tea, with Paul shooting off on the Speed Triple to get some vessels. Good work Jeff, Mick, Paul and 2-Bats. Back out into the field and obviously Abdul had a serious thirst as they set about openers Mick and Sanjay adding 30 very quickly until Mick took 2 wickets in consecutive balls with great yorkers. Opener Cristofani continued to plunder until Mick induced a false shot, popping one up to Mid On for 32. Fakenham replaced Mick and bowled his worst ball of the season first delivery. The batsman took 2 paces and tried to crash it over point for 6 – instead finding Paul’s grateful hands meaning we had an outside chance of getting a respectable result. Unfortunately that was the last of it, as Abdul skipper Graydon batted elegantly for an unbeaten 43 seeing us off with some ease.
Abdul Aziz 108 for 4 won by 6 wickets
Cristofani ct Ross (sub) b M Campbell 32
Gill b M Campbell 9
Robinson b M Campbell 0
Rowlands ct Brasted b Amesbury 6
Graydon not out 43
Rahman not out 3
All kinds of dreadful traffic on the way back to Clerkenwell to deposit the North Norfolk Nobleman (driven by the South Norfolk Serf) at his gaff. Now for 2 games in 3 days. Come on Gardeners let’s put a winning streak together!