Woodstock 2 September

September already – where has the Summer gone?  Enjoying the Paralympics though not too sure whether they really are using the BMX ramp for the “wheelchair pole vault”.  Sounds a trifle too dangerous even for the intrepid likes of Paul Brasted – who calls me at 2pm about 30 minutes into the game to ask where everyone is – he’s 3 miles further South at the Enclosure; we’re entertaining our friends Woodstock at Golders Green.

Richard lost the toss and was put in to bat by the gentlemanly Bob who noticed that we were still 3 down (Jim and Tom arrived about 15 minutes after the start).  Chris and Paul J opened the batting, adding 23 in an unflustered start before Chris nicked a decent delivery and was caught behind.  Richard loves putting himself in at number 3 as that’s where his boyhood hero Viv Richards used to bat.  Richard is about as much like King Viv as he is likely to beat Elly Simmonds in a swimming race and ran himself out in idiotic fashion for the third time this season.  Head is being examined as I type.  Anyway, some vaguely familiar looking ginger headed bloke strode into bat and after a few fours and sixes we realised it was Dave Stead, playing for the first time since his Ardington century (some people thought he’d retired).  Paul and Dave put on 80 to get us on track for a decent score until Dave called Paul through for a sharp single to the keeper who mis-gloved a wayward leg side delivery, only to recover brilliantly and throw the stumps down to run Dave out by a small margin.  Terrific 56 by the Whitley Bay Champion which we didn’t get the chance to acknowledge as Chris (now scoring) figured he gets quite enough applause during the season.  Enter the increasingly desperate (for runs, that is) 2-Bats.  Pretty soon the Walthamstow Winkler was playing some good looking drives and pulls as he worked well with Paul to take the score towards 150.  Paul was accelarating smoothly until he fell lbw for 42 at which point Jeff joined the fray.  The Seal Clubber hit a few shots straight at fielders, scored a single somewhere then followed his much-thumbed coaching manual’s advice of “playing right back” – unfortunately too far as he removed the off bail with the bottom edge of his bat.  I thought “plonker” from my vantage point at square leg umpire; Jeff thought something rather more colourful.  Jim’s been (quite rightly) badgering me about his place in the batting order so I put him in at 7 to recognise that he is very definitely an all-rounder.  Did Jim think we were playing a timed game?  Dave H was encouraging our founder member with shouts such as “two overs to go!”, “try to hit it off the square”, “are you awake?” (bit harsh that last one).  Anyway, Jim got out with a couple of balls to go, enabling Tom to take his place and get a cricket ball on the forehead from some bizarre and improbable fielding by Woodstock.  Still can’t figure exactly what happened but the ice block in the sandwich coolbag got used for medicinal purposes and Tom recovered well over tea.

Salmagundi Garders   169-6 off 40 overs
Paul Jordan   lbw Dhaver   42
Chris Packham   c Darren   9
Richard Higginbottom   run out   1
David Stead   run out   56
David Hollingsworth   not out   30
Jeff Round   hit wicket Dhaver    1
Jim Monahan   c Sunil b Dhaver   10
Tom Monahan   not out   1
Adam Wood, Jeremy Gostick and Paul Brasted did not bat
Extras   10

Woodstock Bowling
Lorne   5 – 0 – 17 – 1
Sunil   8 – 1 – 21 – 0
Bob   8 – 1 – 21 – 0
Jake   7 – 0 – 51 – 0
Paul   7 – 0 – 42 – 0
Dhaver   5 – 0 – 18 – 3

Richard didn’t make the cakes this week but (shock horror) bought them … however Mr & Mrs Bobbin of Hatfield Farmers Market were supplementing their pension in fine fashion and the Raspberry sponge, Lemon drizzle and Fruited tea loaf went down well.

Chris opened up bowling down hill and down wind and found some extravagant inswing owing to us “playing in a cloud” (according to Jeff who reckoned himidity was at 100%).  Richard was being distracted by the female rugby players walking past but fortunately Dave H was alert enough to react quickly to a lofted cut off Dave S to take our first wicket.  Chris soon kept up, Adam taking a similar catch to a similar delivery – mistimed cut.  Both openers back in the pavilion (alright, the hedge) with Woodstock on 10.  Here comes Woodstock’s captain Bob, who has not failed to get at least 50 against us every time we’ve played them.  Chris dropped one in just short of a length, Bob rocked back and hammered … oh no wait a minute not quite … it looped up and plopped onto the turf at short midwicket … could any of us have got there?  Oh well.  Bob soon tried the same shot with a bit more success … heading towards Dave H who made good ground and couldn’t quite hold on as the ball dropped over his shoulder.  Chris retained his composure to claim an impressive LBW to remove Dhaver for 1.  Dave S continued to bowl well, prompting another tricky chance to head in Dave H’s direction … couldn’t quite pouch it.  “Two Drops!” quipped someone with a name similar to crack ’em.

Paul B and Jim took over from Chris and Dave … both needed one over to settle and then bowled some excellent deliveries putting the brakes onto Bob and Hugh who were both looking to up the run rate.  Another two catches went down then there was a mix-up in the running presenting us with a simple run-out opportunity that a combination of sub-optimal throwing and gathering left us wicketless.  The captain blew a gasket:  “Aaaaaaggghhh!!!  Let’s stop p*ssing about and play some cricket!”  For once the Gardeners took some notice (actually I think I was simply stating the obvious) and Jim decided to take any guesswork out by bowling strictly at the stumps and produced a super delivery to bowl out Bob and followed up soon after trapping Hugh lbw.  Sunil and Darren batted very well to keep us on 5 wickets despite some fine bowling by Paul B and then Jeremy, until Jim bowled Sunil, almost immediately followed by Adam catching Lorne at Mid Off from Jeremy’s bowling.  Woodstock’s final two batsmen were rather less experienced than their predecessors, and Jim took their wickets in successive balls to claim our first ‘Michelle’ (Pfeiffer = Five-For) since the 2010 season.  Gardeners run out convincing winners – our 2012 record is now Played 13, Won 6, Drawn 1, Lost 6 – and rained off 11.

Woodstock 112 all out off 29.5 overs
Stu   c Wood b Packham   0
Paul   c Hollingsworth b Stead   5
Dhaver   lbw Packham   1
Bob   b J Monahan   31
Hugh   lbw J Monahan   26
Sunil   b J Monahan   25
Darren   not out   9
Lorne   c Wood b Gostick   0
Jake   b J Monahan   0
Bobby   b J Monahan   0
Extras   15

SGCC Bowling
Chris Packham   6 – 1 – 21 – 2
David Stead   6 – 1 – 25 – 1
Paul Brasted   4 – 0 – 16 – 0
Jim Monahan   7.5 – 0 – 27 – 5
Jeremy Gostick   4 – 0 – 17 – 1

Salmagundi Gardeners won by 57 runs.

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