Westway 19 June

Following last week’s match being cancelled due to rain I felt the presence of a discomforting shower as I approached Parliament Hill.  Fortunately it proved to be my team mates, and gradually the weather improved.  Our first ever game against Westway – some of these guys weren’t even born when Lord Fakenham was shaping his first last and Richard was sharpening his quill pen to make his first ever ledger entry.

Richard won the toss and elected the bat.  A mainly selfish decision as he’d been ill the past couple of days and decided to put his feet up and score to continue his convalescence.  Malcolm and Jeff opened and dealt with some very swift and accurate bowling well until Malcolm got one that nipped back and was out lbw.  Dave replaced him and was looking deceptively solid and resolute.  This was deceptive as he was unfortunate to chase after a very wide delivery and gave a simple catch to Point for 4.  Chris followed soon after and in similar fashion, a bit rusty after a couple of weeks without a game.  Jeff had been playing against type – watchful in defence, eschewing the extravagant on drives – partly because the skipper had told him he’s batting 11 for the next two games if he gets out early slogging.  Jeff’s vigil came to an end as another catch was pouched in the infield.  52-4 but Toby was looking calm and assured as he played a serene innings of 29.  Unfortunately at the other end Paul, Peter and Nick all failed to trouble the scorer, putting Fakenham in who was desperate to end a run of ducks.  He did this in splendid fashion, pulling handsomely to the midwicket boundary and celebrating amidst raucous applause from the boundary as if he’d scored a ton.  Fakenham contributed 15 before being skittled, then Toby departed, and Richard played a leaden footed poke to Cover leaving Jim M unbeaten and a low score to defend.

Gardeners   108 all out
Malcolm Birks   lbw Cartwright   12
Jeff Round   c Banks b Rickett   10
David Stead   c Bevan b Rickett   4
Chris Packham   c Banks b Amir   2
Toby Frow   lbw Amir   29
Paul Brasted   c Montgomery b Amir   0
Peter Lee   b Rickett   0
Nick Duckett   b Max   0
Lord Fakenham   b Norman   15
Jim Monahan   not out   0
Richard Higginbottom   ct Norman b Max   1

Westway Bowling
Cartwright   7 overs – 2 maidens – 13 runs – 1 wicket
Norman   7 – 2 – 28 – 1
Rickett   5 – 1 – 20 – 3
Amir   5 – 0 – 19 – 3
Max   4.3 – 1 – 20 – 2

Tea was “the best we’ve ever had” said our gracious visitors – and took a picture as evidence!  Richard was relieved to have done something right.  Into the field to try to salvage the game.  Dave ran in purposefully from the Athletics Track end, bowled a true line and length and the ball disappeared over deep mid-on.  Hang on that wasn’t in the plan.  The Westway openers Banks and Bevan obviously had left the oven on at home and didn’t wan’t their slow cooked pork belly in armagnac jus to go to waste.  Whatever Dave and Pete (at the Tennis Courts end) tried they seemed to have an answer to.  When Dave tried coming around the wicket and looping up a chest high full toss to Banks to puzzle him, the ball was lifted imperiously over the 5 storey building at deep backward square.  “I haven’t seen that since a West Indian clouted me for 4 sixes a few years ago” said Fakenham in some bizarre version of consolation.  “Ring the changes” thought Richard and Toby managed to slow down proceedings whilst Jim at last got us off the mark in the wickets column, Bevan offering a catch to Malcolm – out for 40.  Jim continued to bamboozle the new batsmen, trapping Try lbw for 1, then bowling Akish and Montgomery with consecutive deliveries.  However, Banks kept going and his unbeaten 59 was instrumental as Westway reached the target in the 15th over.

Westway   112 for 4
Banks   not out   59
Bevan   c Birks b J Monahan   40
Try   lbw   J Monahan   1
Akish   b J Monahan   4
Montgomery   b J Monahan   0
Rickett   not out   0

SGCC bowling
David Stead   4 – 0 – 44 – 0
Peter Lee   4 – 0 – 31 – 0
Toby Frow   3.2 – 0 – 16 – 0
Jim Monahan   3 – 0 – 14 – 4

WESTWAY WON BY 6 WICKETS

The mood was quiet and reflective afterwards.  Then we reminisced about last year’s trip to Ardington and felt a lot better.  Come on Gardeners!

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