Players 23 May

Players vs SGCC at Parliament Hill, May 23rd 2010 

Roger and Nick return from the toss up

To steal a headline from The Sun: Phew! What a Scorcher!  Skipper Dave S was running a touch late so vice captain Nick headed out to the middle with Roger (who often features for the Gardeners).  Nick also paid homage to The Sun by going topless for the toss up.  The shirtless effort failed to work and Roger duly elected to bat.  Dave arrived just as we crossed the boundary line to start the battle (phew! again).

Jim Campbell was soon into his usual routine, getting lift and deviation from a fairly flat wicket, both opening Players struggling to make contact.  Roger showed some class by managing to get a few away for runs outside the off stump.  At the other end Chris enjoyed his first spell of the season but Roger – in prime form – struck some fine blows (often off pretty good deliveries).  The Players had reached 48 without loss when the skipper (on first change) produced a beauty to claim the first wicket.  David is taking an extended holiday from next weekend so was determined to end the first part of his season on a high note and continued to bowl with remarkable pace and accuracy, taking wickets at frequent intervals as the Barnet Brass Band played some inspirational marching music.

Jim was replaced at the Trailer End by Toby, who used his height to get some dangerous bounce out of the wicket.  However, Roger brought Toby’s spell to an end with three astonishing consecutive straight sixes – one landing in the Trailer – off good length balls on the stumps.  We are grateful that Roger is back for the Gardeners next weekend!  Just as we were thinking that we’d be chasing leather all the innings, Dave S produced his latest trick – the slow bouncer.  Roger skied it so high that six of us were within range for the catch.  Richard was interested then thought better of it.  Nick was working out how to include Robert Johnson, Ray Charles and Hank Williams Senior on his next CD.  Paul was considering whether to go to The Chemical Brothers later (not a euphemism, the music act).  Lord Fakenham lit up a cigarette.  Dave claimed ownership by shouting “MINE!” and then (to make sure) “DAVE STEAD’S!!”  Tom ignored Dave and took the catch supremely calmly, Dave bouncing off him in the process.  Roger and out for 56.

Mick, sporting an plaster above his right eye from an unseemly brawl (or an untimely fall, depending on whose story you wish to believe) at his 30th birthday party the previous night, took over from Dave at the Running Track end and kept up the pace and threat.  Fakenham and Jim C combined at the Trailer End for the game’s top moment – a stunning full height catch on the long-off boundary out of the sun by Jim.  He told us at tea that it was “more embarrassing dropping one of those than getting a duck” back home.  Flaming heck no wonder these Tasmanian boys are high quality competitors.

Jim Monahan chipped in with a wicket (smart stumping by keeper Paul), Mick got a couple, Dave came back to get a richly deserved 5-for and Toby closed the innings with a splendid stump-shattering yorker after some excellent late order hitting by the Players.

Players 177 all out

Jim Campbell   7 overs   2 maidens   28 runs   0 wickets
Chris Packham   3 – 0 – 23 – 0
David Stead   7 – 1 – 17 – 5
Toby Frow   3.1 – 0 – 36 – 1
Lord Fakenham   4 – 1 – 20 – 1
Mick Campbell   5 – 1 – 21 – 2
Jim Monahan   3 – 0 – 13 – 1 

The Players laid on a splendid tea for us, including choc ices, pineapples (of course), tea from a pot (hurrah!).  What a fine body of men they are.

Lord Fakenham and Mr Rhythm 'n' Blues discuss tactics while waiting to take guard

Back into the fray on the Gardeners’ reply – Richard clipped away a couple of leg glances for four before going across his stumps once too often – lbw for 10.  Dave S, also opening, proceeded to play a measured innings, punishing the bad ball and offering no chances.  Dave H dealt with some expert bowling by the Players before also perishing lbw for 10 – enter Jim C.  Remember earlier Jim had said he’d rather get a duck than drop a skier?  Unfortunately he got his wish, pushing across the line at a very good delivery from Wylie second ball.  Toby produced a couple of excellent shots before going for 13 as Sweet and then Ghostie bowled well from the Trailer end.  Roger has a marvellous way of introducing his team – once informing us that “the bowler is sweet” and later “the bowler is wily”.  Note to Dave and Nick – “the bowler is dodgy” could be used in future games.

Oy pineapple! And what's that you're holding?

Lord Fakenhm and Dave attempted to up the scoring rate with varying success until The Whitley Bay Champion was caught for a superb 63, earning him the “Golden Pineapple” (thanks Roger) for Man Of The Match.  The Norfolk Cobbler holed out at deep midwicket, shortly followed by Tom being caught by the diving Sweet at cover, leaving Nick to partner Mick to try to scrape together the remaining runs.  Mick heroically plundered fours and sixes to all parts of the ground but unfortunately we couldn’t quite make the target, falling 9 runs short.

Gardeners 168 for 7 lost by 9 runs

Richard Higginbottom   lbw   10
David Stead   caught   63
David Hollingsworth    lbw   10
Jim Campbell    bowled   0
Toby Frow   caught   13
Lord Fakenham   caught   14
Mick Campbell   not out   41
Tom Monahan   caught   3
Nick Duckett    not out   0

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