By Richard Higginbottom
For the first time in quite a few years the Gardeners succeeded in having 11 players for our long standing tour to deepest West Dorset (or East Devon if you prefer). Only one minor problem … we were due to play the Lyme Veterans on the Saturday, but owing to Brian Rattenbury’s wife pulling the dastardly stunt of treating him to a holiday for his sixtieth birthday the organisation at the Lyme end for once was the issue. [Note: this is one reason why the Gardeners captain books all his family’s holidays]. It turned out the Sunday match had been “cancelled” according to Lyme’s skipper Eddie Clarke when we met on the Saturday. After a bit of telephone diplomacy amongst the home club, “some sort” of match was agreed for Sunday. So – panic over – we were ready to play at 1pm on Saturday. Richard’s recent fine run of form with the coin ended, the home team electing to bat.
There’s only ten bodies on the field … so who’s not here yet? One of my prospective opening bowlers, Lord Fakenham. Therefore, Chris Packham (a delight to see him for the first time since the second Jesus College fixture) – notwithstanding his injured elbow – took up the challenge and opened from the Pavilion End with the Whitley Bay Champion commencing from the Lyme Regis End. First time the Kentish All Rounder has been on the field for a while and the occasional loose ball was punished by both the opening batsmen, usually exactly where the baronet would have been positioned in the field. (Note: this may be construed as a thinly veiled attempt to make him take more notice of the inexorable progress of time in the future). It’s a 40 over game and the openers (combined age of 29 – yes that’s not a misprint) are playing like it’s a T20. Both Davies (16) and Holmes (13) played high quality strokes all around the wicket; anything leg stump and beyond was summarily dispatched. The 50 came up pretty quickly despite both Dave and Chris bowling pretty accurately and beating the bat. But shortly after the landmark Chris got Holmes to play a bit early at a slower one and Richard staggered around slowly from behind the stumps to make an easy catch look difficult by the time he arrived at backward Short Leg. Time for the Praying Mantis … Jim found an excellent line and length and the early deployment of an outswinger put the batsmen on their mettle before a classic off break trapped our oft-nemesis Russel Bennett in front for 6. Lord Fakenham had arrived in the meantime and took over from Chris at the Pavilion End. He’d failed to catch any fish and we could see why as his line was so off-kilter it was easy to imagine he’d missed the pond when casting. The batsmen took advantage and then (of course) the magic returned – tighter line, superb swing – Davies sent back to the pavilion for 31. Norman and Wellman continued to play good strokes as Jim and the baronet kept probing until Norman located Chris off his lordship before Wellman was trapped in front as Jason more than made amends for his wayward start. Thomas is now looking to cut loose so the skipper posts David at long on … Jim bowls the ball and it looks like it’s going for six … ah no, Dave judges it to perfection taking the catch with ease and making Richard look like he has some tactical nous. Sachith put in a great spell, many runs coming off edges and nudges behind square leg and was rewarded when Jason took a good catch at wide mid-on towards the end of his spell. Stuart Rattenbury (it’s not Lyme without one of them) and Jones batted well at the close to take the score to exactly 200.
Uplyme & Lyme Regis 200 for 7 off 40 overs Davies b Amesbury 31 Holmes c Higginbottom b Packham 25 Bennett lbw b Monahan 6 Norman c Packham b Amesbury 29 Wellman lbw b Amesbury 32 Thomas c Stead b J Monahan 13 Rattenbury not out 17 Clarke c Amesbury b Dassanayake 1 Jones not out 10 Extras 36 Salmagundi Gardeners O M R W Packham 8 1 45 1 Stead 8 1 34 0 J Monahan 7 0 38 2 Amesbury 8 1 33 3 Dassanayake 8 0 44 1 Wood 1 0 2 0
A delightful tea from our hosts and we’re back in the middle as the chase begins. The Old School Team of Wood and Duckett headed out there and Adam got a couple of shots away before Doosra faced up to Steve Howe – and was unlucky enough to face a perfect inswinger from the left arm around bowler, pitching on a length and clipping the outside of the off stump. Patrick came in and it was a case of immediate Deja-vu as an identical delivery clipped Pat’s off stump. Here’s Paul who came in looking determined and played accordingly whilst Adam aimed a lofted cut off Davies and Mark Brimacombe took a blinding one-handed catch at Backward Point to dismiss Norfolk’s Newest Nomadic Cricketer. Keshan eased the tension (it was 6 for 3) by hammering a couple of fours through Midwicket and Paul caught the bug, a lofted drive for four followed by a classic Extra Cover drive for another boundary. Lots of character. Paul perished for an excellent 26 – bowled by Howe – and shortly after Keshan pulled across a straight one from Brim. So it’s 55 for 5 as Sachith took up the chase, Richard was also at the wicket but was generally enjoying an excellent view from the non-striker’s end as the ball frequently disappeared towards or over the boundary. Eventually the captain engaged in the action and hit a Cover Drive for four as well. Holmes got his revenge, removing Sachith for a brilliant 45. Richard tried to maintain the tempo but sliced the ball to Brim at Point for 16. Jim batted well for 19 before he was bowled by Brimacombe to keep the win a possibility; Chris got a good ball from Stuart Rattenbury; then Dave was unbeaten on 6 as Jason attempted to repeat an earlier boundary, bowled by Holmes for 7 to end the game.
Salmagundi Gardeners 161 all out off 36 overs Wood c Brimacombe b Davies 0 Duckett b Howe 4 Bolster b Howe 0 Brasted b Howe 26 Dickwella b Brimacombe 15 Dassanayake b Holmes 45 Higginbottom c Brimacombe b Rattenbury 16 J Monahan b Brimacombe 19 Packham c Thomas b Rattenbury 0 Stead not out 6 Amesbury b Holmes 7 Extras 23 Uplyme & Lyme Regis O M R W Howe 8 0 36 3 Davies 6 2 19 1 Brimacombe 7 0 26 2 Wellman 5 0 20 0 Holmes 8 0 48 2 Rattenbury 2 0 3 2
UPLYME & LYME REGIS WON BY 39 RUNS
Pilot Boat – Heather complains about Adam taking her “up every back alley” on the way there. Nick sees off the challenge of Russ’s boy Stefan (6). Shouts “and next time bring your schoolmates, I’ll sort them out too”. A lot of chickening out of the midnight walk on the Cobb as Stead simply clears off and Richard is prevailed upon by wife and daughter that it’s “not their idea of fun”. Blimey! (as Chris would say). The time is set for our Sunday morning version of “The War On The Shore” – the annual crazy golf tournament. Heather’s on form again advising the competitors that it’s difficult to concentrate with balls everywhere. She’ll have to stop reading the Benny Hill joke book. Nick was cruising to a repeat win as he aced a number of holes (Dave started with two hole-in-ones before Richard struck back in a low-scoring first half). Then Nick catapulted the ball into the deep rough on the half-pipe hole 14 and shortly after Adam was the leader in the clubhouse on 37. Dave and Richard had chances to win but both fluffed it, Richard just managing to scramble in to take Adam to a play-off. Five holes couldn’t separate them so as waiting wives, boredom and the need for a coffee kicked in we agreed a tie was the fair result.
So Mary took us to her friend’s coffee shop on the front and shortly after Chris, Adam and Richard headed up for the second cricketing encounter. This time Jason has Oliver with him and they are first there (as the baronet hadn’t been at dinner he didn’t get the message it was a 1pm start … two wrongs etc, whoops bad captain). So the home team padded up ready to bat without tossing a coin … ah fair enough they wouldn’t be anything close to a full team for a while yet, so it made sense to get the 25-over game underway.
Jason’s on form from the off today, holding the opening batsmen in check apart from an immense pull-drive over midwicket from Batey. In Dave’s first over the same batsman looks to kill the umpire with a straight drive of thunderous power; somehow the Whitley Bay Champion got the ball under control following the most brave and skilful piece of fielding imaginable, nonplussing the batsman who stood in disbelief before going to the pavilion. Sal-ma-gun-di! Davies played well again as Wellman opened up, the pair putting on 88 until Sachith was rewarded for some very accurate and swift bowling by getting an edge off Davies, Richard taking the catch. Thomas came in and played well as Wellman hammered past his half century and was looking to get to his ton in Nick’s first over – though he was fortunate as Paul was surprised at the ball looping up slowly towards him (it had been going like a bullet most of the time). Richard made some carping comment. Paul’s reaction was somewhat over the top. Fortunately Doosra produced another lovely delivery, this time Wellman missed it and Richard completed the stumping, so there was effectively no damage. Richard apologised to Paul. Adam suggested a group hug to rehabiliate the man from Yeovil … Paul ran in the opposite direction. And that was about it, 167 achieved, seven bowlers used – Oli, Jim, Chris all unlucky not to take a wicket as the home umpires, mindful that not everyone had arrived, were very exacting in their lbw requirements (ahem!).
Uplyme & Lyme Regis 167 for 4 off 25 overs Wellman st Higginbottom b Duckett 85 Batey c & b Stead 4 Davies c Higginbottom b Dassanayake 30 Thomas not out 22 Holmes b Amesbury 14 Jones not out 1 Extras 11 Salmagundi Gardeners O M R W Amesbury 4 0 20 1 Stead 5 0 32 1 Parry-Lashon 3 0 25 0 J Monahan 3 0 22 0 Packham 4 0 23 0 Dassanayake 4 0 27 1 Duckett 2 0 15 1
Once more into the breach … oh dear we’re 5 for 2 in no time as Lord Fakenham clubbed a four then top edged to the keeper straight after. Exactly the same dismissal as he managed the previous week. Keshan gets a couple of good balls, first one might be close to lbw – not given – next one is going over by at least six inches (your correspondent was umpiring at Square Leg) – but is obviously in line as he’s out this time. The Gardeners are indeed a lovely group of people (apart from the captain) but we shouldn’t always be so generous to our hosts. Adam got a great ball from Batey after supporting the free hitting Sachith for a while who is continuing in the same vein as the day before. Jim also brilliantly as they got up with run-rate until Holmes – putting in a quality spell – beat Sachith to leave us at 62 for 4. Dave and Jim put on 22 in even time to keep victory possible until Dave miscued a drive off Howe to hole out for 15 and then Jim mishit one, offering Wellman a return catch. Oli was extremely unlucky to have just left his ground as the ball ricocheted off keeper Davies’ gloves and Paul put in another very good knock whilst Richard and then Nick struggled for short periods in vain (both bowled by Holmes attempting to push towards the target). Paul was last out caught-and-bowled by Jones for 15 as Chris was left unbeaten on one. Thanks for mustering enough players for a game and being excellent hosts ULRCC. Until next year!
Salmagundi Gardeners 121 all out off 20.4 overs Amesbury c Davies b Batey 4 Wood b Batey 5 Dickwella lbw b Batey 0 Dassanayake b Holmes 42 J Monahan c & b Wellman 18 Stead c Holmes b Howe 15 Brasted c & b Jones 15 Parry-Lashon st Davies b Howe 0 Higginbottom b Holmes 3 Duckett b Holmes 1 Packham not out 1 Extras 17 Uplyme & Lyme Regis O M R W Jones 4 0 49 1 Batey 4 0 7 3 Brimacombe 3 0 24 0 Holmes 3.4 0 12 3 Howe 4 1 5 2 Wellman 2 0 16 1
UPLYME & LYME REGIS WON BY 46 RUNS