Abdul Aziz 24 July

Terrible Saturday: Norwegian madman killing kids and Amy Winehouse lost her battle with addiction.  It’s up to the Salmagundi Gardeners to put some cheer back into this miserable weekend.  First with the jokes was Chris: “Where is everybody?”  Richard: “Where are you?”  “Ham”  “You should be at Barn Elms”.  Some Sat Nav twiddling and Chris appeared a few minutes later, enabling us to commence bowling to Abdul having lost the toss.  Jim Campbell took a few deliveries to find his usual consistent line and length – and when he did it induced a return catch from Arif Nahman that gave us a good start: 10-1.  Mick Campbell at the other end took a while to adjust his radar, bowling a surprising number of wides owing to the significant left-to-right slope.  In fact, when Mick took a breather after 4 overs half of his runs conceded 0f 14 had come in extras.  Debutant Andrew Kleinig took over from Jim at the West End.  Richard confused everyone by calling him Paul.  Then Dave confused Richard by calling him Paul.  Then Jim and Mick confused Richard by calling him Jack.  So I’ll give him an Aussie-style nickname of “Kleino” for the rest of this report.  Kleino’s bowling was a bit rusty “my first match for 10 years” he said as Richard handed him the ball.  After a couple of overs he started to find his length and the batsmen and wicketkeeper were getting beaten regularly by extravagant spin.  At the East End, Chris Packham was delivering a tightly controlled spell, the batsmen being lucky to escape with wickets intact.  The pressure told as Andrew ripped one past van Nieceur to bowl him for 9 and open his account for the Gardeners.  Kleino was very unfortunate not to add to this as a couple of chances were spurned as the Gardeners attempted to change our economy advantage into more wickets.  Lord Fakenham replaced Chris and bowled his best spell of the season, resulting in the wickets of Halliams, opener Smillie (finally) and Bow for an excellent return of 3-8 in 4 overs.  Dave bowled some tidy stuff too, Robinson succumbing to the Whitley Bay Champion’s stock ball, caught confidently by Fakenham at Cover.  Doosra took the prize wicket of Abdul captain Telmanos, caught very neatly by Dave Stead making ground at Long Off.  Other highlights included Bruiser (I’ll explain later) and Seal Clubber at keeper and slip doing a circus act (thanks to His Lordship for the simile).  Unfortunately it was the Clowns and not the Acrobats.  Hay and Mantzner proved impossible for us to part, however, the returning Jim’s final over being surprisingly expensive (though two fours went fizzing over the slips).

Abdul Aziz   139 for 7   off 35 overs
Smillie   lbw Fakenham   25
Nahman   c&b J. Campbell   6
Van Nieceur   b Kleinig   9
Halliams   c Kleinig b Fakenham   9
Telmanos   c Stead b Duckett   23
Bow   lbw Fakenham   0
Robinson   c Fakenham b Stead   4
Hay   not out   17
Mantzner   not out   21
Llowans and Burroughs   did not bat
Extras   25

SGCC Bowling
Jim Campbell   6 – 2 – 24 – 1
Mick Campbell   4 – 0 – 14 – 0
Andrew Kleinig   7 – 0- 28 – 1
Chris Packham   5 – 1 – 12 – 0
Lord Fakenham   4 – 2 – 8 – 3
David Stead   6 -1 – 18 – 1
Nick Duckett   3 – 0 – 27  – 1

Tea included bought cakes, Richard admitting “running out of time”.  A shoddy excuse and I apologise.

Into bat, Adam scored a couple of runs and then hit the ball pretty hard straight back at Bob Burroughs who did well to hold on.  2-1 and a shaky start.  Jeff had been giving catching practice before the match and kept on in the same vein, tempting Abdul with chances of varying degrees in between playing a number of sensational shots (a classical off drive and a solid cover drive sticking in the memory).  Sadly Jeff perished on 48 having put all the bowlers to the sword whilst Dave at the other end coolly collected runs – the stand realising 74.  On Jeff’s departure Dave clearly decided it was now The Steadley Show and smashed a 6 and a one-bounce 4 back over the bowler’s head.  Chris swept neatly but didn’t realise a fielder was in the way and trudged back to the boundary.  Fakenham and Dave put on 34 in no time as Dave reached exactly 50 before playing an uncharacteriscally ugly swipe across a straight ball.  Richard joined Fakenham and they calmly collected the winning runs with 10 overs to spare.  A super all round performance by the Gardeners.

Salmagundi Gardeners   140 for 4   in 24.5 overs
Adam Wood   c&b Burroughs   2
David Stead   b Robinson   50
Jeff Round   c Trumanos b Bow   48
Chris Packham   c Halliams b Robinson   1
Lord Fakenham   not out   19
Richard Higginbottom   not out   6
Mick Campbell, Jim Campbell, Paul Brasted, Nick Duckett
and Andrew Kleinig did not bat
Extras   15

Abdul Aziz bowling
Burroughs   3.5 – 0 – 20 – 1
Llowans   6 – 0 – 38 – 0
Nahman   5 – 0 – 19 – 0
Hay   5 – 0 – 44 – 0
Bow   1 – 0 – 9 – 1
Robinson   4 – 0 – 12 – 2

SALMAGUNDI GARDENERS WON BY 6 WICKETS

After the match we repaired to the Red Lion.  Paul revealed that he didn’t wear a box for batting or keeping wicket.  Richard expressed his amazement “with your catching ability” (harsh).  Doosra suggested we call him Bruiser.  We agreed this was a “2-Bats moment”.  Time will tell for Bruiser Brasted.  Nick tried to palm off a shandy onto Fakenham who can tell watered-down alcohol from across a crowded room and pushed it away like a bad smell.  Well, if Love is a Losing Game, cricket was a winning game for us today.  RIP Amy.

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