French House 3 July

Now where am I … oh yes in a pub in East Illsley.  Time for breakfast.  Well, me and 2-Bats are fairly bright eyed but I only imbibed after I got here.  Lord Fakenham and Chris are fair-to-middling.  Whoaaaaa here come Nick and Murray.  “Who put the lights on?” queried the not-so-tame Lancastrian.  “Did a truck run me over?” asked Murray.  Full English breakfasts all round.  Wake up Brasted: “You got your kit?”  “No, thought you had it”  “No it must be still at Ardington”  “OK I’ll head over there once I’ve woken up”.  Nice lilac nightie he was wearing.  Clearly a good night was had by all.

So off we headed to Parliament Hill to meet our old friends the French House.  So good are we that we gave them Murray, Mike and (bravely) Henry.  Let’s see how quickly we can clear our collective hangover, decided Richard, electing to bat.

Amardeep got us away with a flying edge that was fingertipped on its way to the boundary.  Amar celebrated like it was going out of fashion.  Reg congratulated him by saying “Tosser”.  Well, that’s mild for Reg when he’s putting his heart and soul into his bowling.  French skipper Jonny Spitfire then showed considerable skill bowling out Amar and fellow opener Adam in his third over to get us into the precarious position of 14-2.  Richard scratched around like he still didn’t know where he was and characteristically popped a soft catch back to Mike.  Toby had come in at 4 and was quietly building a foundation for his innings.  Tom shored up and we advanced to 77 before Baglivy bowled Tom for 13.  Paul quickly followed, a wicket for Murray at last (well deserved for his weekend’s efforts), stumped by the quite amazing Frank behind the stumps.  I still think he’s Alan Knott in disguise.  At the drinks interval I asked him how long he’d been keeping wicket.  “18 overs” he replied.  “Oh and a few times over the years.  I took a break while chasing after women and booze”.  Have to admire a man with an almost perfect sense of proportion.  Jeff entered at number 7 and a stand of 55 ensued as Toby started to reach and occasionally clear the boundary with some classical attacking strokeplay.  Jeff clobbered a few handsome strokes in able support before being caught by Mike off the returning Jonny.  Nick didn’t quite hit Murray for 4s and 6s as he’d promised the previous evening, Jonny bowling him before he’d troubled the scorers.  Fakenham gave Murray some catching practice, Reg claiming the wicket.  Chris played a neat single to enable Toby to hit a glorious straight 6 off the penultimate ball before being caught by Mike off Reg’s final delivery of the innings.  A brilliant innings of 88 by Toby.

Salmagundi Gardeners   173 for 8   off 35 overs
Amardeep Jamu   b Spitfire   4
Adam Wood   b Spitfire   1
Richard Higginbottom   c&b Mike   2
Toby Frow   c Mike b Reg   88
Tom Monahan   b Baglivy   13
Paul Brasted   st Frank b Murray   1
Jeff Round   c Mike b Spitfire   17
Nick Duckett   b Spitfire   0
Lord Fakenham   c Murray b Reg   3
Chris Packham   not out   1
Ben Myers   did not bat
Extras   43

French House bowling
Spitfire   7 – 2 – 18 – 4
Reg   6 – 0 – 40 – 2
Mike   7 – 0 – 40 – 1
Baglivy   7 – 1 – 19 – 1
Murray   5 – 1 – 28 – 1
Keith   3 – 0 – 20 – 0

Tea mainly consisted of Indian delicacies hand cooked by Amardeep.  Well played Sir – much appreciated and absolutely delicious.  Belching and hiccuping, we staggered out onto the field.  Chris reckons we should always field first if a good tea is in the offing to give more of us a chance to let the feast settle.  Good point as usual.

On with the motley.  Debutant Ben got into his rhythm very early, pinning yesterday’s team-mate Paul Jordan lbw in his opening over.  Richard kept him on for his full 7 overs as it let everyone else’s tea settle whilst Ben became gradually less threatening as the tea refused to settle.  Lesson in here somewhere for skipper and bowler.  Opening at the other end, Chris delivered three superb overs, including the wicket of Henry and the French House were 0 for 2.  I think we relaxed.  But fair play to the French – Mike and Keith played some very fine shots as an impressive stand was built up and we were made to chase leather all around the park.  Fakenham had replaced Chris at the Tennis Courts end and the skipper kept him toiling away all through this period until at last a trademark outswinger hit the right spot giving a simple catch to Richard in the gully to break the stand – Keith out for a top quality 35.  Mike followed shortly after, Fakenham trapping him lbw for a breezy 31.  Time for the twirlymen decided Richard, bringing on Wily Wood and Doosra Duckett.  Adam rattled through the middle order, taking wickets at regular intervals with Tom taking two catches nervelessly whilst Chris also took a neat catch.  Adam’s finest moment was a perfect yorker to remove Jonny.  Doosra tempted Murray down the pitch and Jeff completed the stumping so that the Lancashire Terrier at least completed part of his threat to conquer Murray.  Wait a minute though … Gary at 10 played like a barn door – we couldn’t get past him – and Frank showed he can bat almost as well as he keeps wicket as we failed to take the final wicket, relying on overs running out to secure a hard-earned victory against the best French House side most of us have faced.

French House   153 for 9   in 35 overs
Jordan   b Myers   0
H Monahan   b Packham   0
Keith   c Higginbottom b Fakenham   35
Mike   lbw Fakenham   31
Phil  c T Monahan b Wood   6
Spitfire   b Wood   7
John   c T Monahan b Wood   4
Reg   c Packham b Wood   2
Murray   st Round b Duckett   1
Gary   not out   5
Frank   not out   32
Extras   30

SGCC Bowling
Ben Myers   7 – 1 – 39 – 1
Chris Packham   3 – 1 – 8 – 1
Lord Fakenham   7 – 0 – 36 – 2
Adam Wood   7 – 0 – 29 – 4
Nick Duckett   4 – 1 – 16 – 1
Tom Monahan   4 – 1 – 17 – 0
Paul Brasted   3 – 1 – 8 – 0

SGCC won by 20 runs

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