Match report by Chris Packham
Thanks to the good offices of Duckett and Fakenham (not a baffling method of
fixing weather affected limited overs matches, but two men in an Ambassador*) we found ourselves in the charming village of Ardington on this wonderfully sunny Saturday, for the first match in our weekend tour of Bucks. The big question was would we be far enough away from the Seven Dials to thwart the dreaded curse of the caps – the only reasonable explanation for our appalling record this season.
The ground was behind the village church in a lovely setting surrounded by fields. The type of match was our usual 35 overs. Captain Nick could only muster 9, so fully accepted the offer of a guest player, especially one called Lilley. ‘You haven’t a Thompson as well?’ he queried. Salmagundi batted first with Tom maintaining his fine form, but Richard succumbing early. Adam has also been scoring well this year and continued in the same vane. The Boars’ banked on the 69 year old spinner Nigel Baring, and spin it he did. Our own Nick didn’t cause a run on Barings like his namesake once did, but Jeff and Jason plundered runs with some hard hitting, despite Lord Fakenham’s unwillingness to run – something to do with the previous
night’s dinner party. ‘This is a 200 wicket’ Jim said to me before he went in, with little time left to up the ante. Well we only got 176. Would the Boars Head team cap that?
Tom Monahan 35
Richard Higginbottom 3
Adam Wood 21
Nick Duckett (cap’n) 9
Jeff Round (wkt) 36
Lord Fakenham 38
Chris Packham not out 13
Richard Lilley 5
Jim Monahan not out 7
Paul Brasted DNB
The tea our hosts provided was excellent and greedily quaffed by yours truly, which was wonderful until I was asked by the captain to open the bowling. If I continue the merchant banker theme you’ll get the picture as to what I bowled like. After 4 overs each the openers were changed, bringing Fakenham and Jim to the fray. Jim’s answer to the accursed caps was to wear a knotted handkerchief. His Lordship forgot his ‘Kiss me quick’ hat, but even so they both bowled extremely well, first one then the other taking a wicket; Fakenham ending up the winner with 4 wickets to Jim’s 3. At this stage the score was 67 for 7 with Baring coming to the crease to join Richards. We were practising our apologies for embarrassing our charming hosts when the timeless Mr B smacked one for 4 and then the younger Mr R cracked one into the adjoining field. The game was afoot. Actually the game was more like amile, because no matter what desperate field placing our captain tried – at one stage there were 5 fielders on the leg side boundary – the ball still ended up in the maize. Our own particular maze we could not get out of and the batsmen remained unbeaten, with Richards scoring an impressive 89; the Boars Head team winning by 3 wickets.
Packham 6 Overs 0 Wickets 39 Runs
Lilley 7 – 0 – 43
Fakenham 7 – 4 – 10
J. Monahan 7 – 3 – 27
Brasted 4 – 0 – 35
Duckett 1 – 0 – 6
T. Monahan 1 – 0 – 4
Our hosts’ hospitality continued into the evening, culminating in an invitation to a fiftieth fancy dress birthday party in the village hall. Marvellous!
*This does not refer to the public school inspired peculiarities of the Foreign
Office, but an Indian built version of a 1950’s Morris Oxford in which Nick and
Lord Fakenham trawled around the Home Counties last year in search of the meaning
of Salmagundi. We await the television series.