French House 7 September

By Richard Higginbottom

Now September has come and the Gardeners have woken up – we came into this match on the back of two victories, could it be three in a row?  Thanks to Conor for agreeing to play for our opposition today as we had a full 11 against their 9.  Then it turned out we only had 10 as Richard had made a mistake re Jeremy’s availability (surely he could have walked a bit faster along the Ridgeway to get back here to The Extension for cricket?).  And Joe didn’t show for the French House.  So 9-a-side.

Richard won the toss and opted to bat.  Where’s my opening partner?  Oh well Dave H subs in for the baronet.  Where’s number 3?  Ah good Matt appears just as I’m inking in the batting order.  So I’ll nominate Sachith 4, assume that Lord Fakenham’s coach-and-four will swing into view imminently (it did) and the rest are already in place.  Good opening bowling from Reg – could easily have got both openers – Jonny the occasional good ball amongst a mercurial mix.  Merv comes on and Richard decides to play out of type and try to cudgel him to the boundary.  All too predictably he only succeeds in slicing the ball to Point where Piers takes a good catch.  47-1 and the skipper back in the ‘pavilion’ (by that I mean the park bench) for 15.  Matt’s a little nervous at the start – the wicket is somewhat green (I wish my lawn had such a thick covering of grass) – and offered a few chances before he settled to playing some high class strokes all around the wicket.  2-Bats similarly started to open up but then drove uppishly towards Reg who took a quality catch off Keith’s bowling to send the Walthamstow Babelfish back to the bench for 28.  Sachith’s a bit wary of his damaged hamstring and nicked one off the returning Spitfire, Paulie J (who is playing for French House owing to the Salmagundi captain being truly generous) taking a sharp chance behind the sticks.  Lord Fakenham’s third ball from Jonny is an inviting full toss to which he played the correct shot – a heave to leg – unfortunately it spiralled up off the top edge, Paulie again took the catch albeit of a completely different nature.  Can debutant Puji keep Matt company?  Yes indeed, looking pretty solid as Matt racks up his half century with a six over Mid Off – lovely way to reach his milestone.  Puji and Matt put on 30 together before they departed to Piers – Puji giving a return catch for 13 and Matt being castled for 70.  In the midst of all this Jonny sprained his ankle so Richard found himself in the field as Nick drove in the air off Oscar – it always happens like this – and the Gardeners captain took a catch for the opposition.  Sorry Doosra.  Dave S and Tim both got into double figures until Merv got his just reward for some good bowling to close our innings for an above-par 185.

Salmagundi Gardeners 185 all out off 34 overs
Higginbottom  c Piers        b Merv      15
Hollingsworth c Reg          b Keith     28
Incledon                     b Piers     70
Dassanayake   c Paulie       b Spitfire   4
Amesbury      c Paulie       b Spitfire   0
Sumanasiri    c &            b Piers     13
Duckett       c Higginbottom b Oscar      1
Stead                        b Merv      11
Clamp         not out                    12 
Extras                                   31

French House   O   M    R   W
Spitfire       7   0   41   2
Reg            7   0   40   0
Keith          7   1   19   1
Merv           5   1   19   2
Piers          7   0   60   2
Oscar          1   0    3   1

The Whitley Bay Champion opened for us from the Hill End and was successful in his first over, Reg miscuing a drive to Tim at Backward Point.  Tim then bowled a tidy second over.  Dave pinned Piers in front of middle for a plumb lbw in his second over and it’s 2-2.  Then he got one to take off, clipping the edge of Tim W’s bat, pinging off ‘keeper Richard’s glove and landing in Fakenham’s hands at slip – it’s 2-3.  Tim and Dave then traded maidens.  Keith and Merv showed solid technique as they put together a stand of 40, seeing off our opening bowlers.  Puji bowled some useful deliveries as a foil to the baronet, who claimed the wickets of both Merv and Keith – one straightforward lobbed catch to Steadley at slip, the other a tougher one requiring some smart footwork and good hands, again accomplished by the WBC.  Dave has 5 catches in the last two matches.  Paulie adopted a “they shall not pass” attitude as he played himself in, Johnny spanking a couple of big fours until he drilled one back at Sachith (who’d taken over from Puji) for 10.  Conor took the long handle to Doosra who’d relieved the baronet at the Hill End until Sachith bowled him for 16 with a full length off cutter to finish the match.

French House 85 all out off 21.1 overs
Piers    lbw        b Stead         2
Reg      c Clamp    b Stead         0
Keith    c Stead    b Amesbury     23
Tim      c Amesbury b Stead         0
Merv     c Stead    b Amesbury     12
Paulie   not out                    2
Spitfire c &        b Dassanayake  10
Conor               b Dassanayake  16
Oscar    did not bat
Extras                             20

Salmagundi Gardeners  O   M    R   W
Stead                 5   1    5   3
Clamp                 4   1   11   0
Sumanasiri            3   0   17   0
Amesbury              4   0   14   2
Dassanayake         3.1   2    1   2
Duckett               2   0   17   0


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