Chris Savory
Half-baked and underdevelopedPDFPrintE-mail
Thursday, 25 August 2016 10:00
Written by Chris Savory
Leadon with guile from the Duckpond End

Full scorecard | Photos

Sunday 21st August 2016
Orchard Field, Otford, Kent

Merstham 218 for 9 (40 overs)

Beechwood 118 all out (29.1 overs)

It should have been a pleasant task to report on Sunday's game in theory. What could possibly cause otherwise? After all the sun shone brightly - for the most part, Beechwood had a whopping twelve players on parade with an agreed fielder rotation policy in operation and the day's oppo were to be Merstham 1st/development XI, who would surely be no match for our 1st/fully-developed XII would they?!

Our opponents arrived and it was circulating around our changing room that they were all fifteen or sixteen years old which was obviously not the case as they arrived in four cars and brought no spectators along with them but hey; I for one won't allow a little exaggeration to distort the facts...anyway, they certainly were a sprightly looking opposition.

Beechwood won the toss and somewhat surprisingly to many, found themselves fielding. Beechwood opened with trusted regulars Fraser and Rob and it was nip and tuck to begin with until Rob deceived batsman Snelling with the visitors' score 13. It was an unfortunate misjudgement from the batsman as he was rewarded with an early and long umpiring stint which resulted in him being hit flush in the cheek by Fraser's (fortunately under-armed) throw back to the bowler, and with him being told by that renowned custodian of on-field etiquette KHM that an earlier lbw appeal that he had upheld was almost certainly missing the timbers. Ah well, adults will be adults.

The beneficiary of said appeal was Onkar, making a welcome return to our ranks removing Nicholson for 36, but the next man in wasn't chancing a repeat of this and first ball reverse-slogged him to the boundary, but just eight balls later with twelve already to his name he chipped a return catch to a grateful Mark.

101-3 then, and Merstham were starting to accelerate towards five an over although Mark was able to break through again shortly afterwards, but opener Crouch (61) was still there until yours truly, replacing Mark, dismissed him to leave Mestham 142-5. It would be fair to say he was deceived by the quality and pace of the ball which did for him but certainly not in a manner that any bowler would crow about.

The DoC came on at Onkar's end and steadily and single-handedly dismantled Merstham's lower middle order and returned the respectable figures of 3-37 before Fraser returned to claim a final wicket in the last over leaving the visitors on 218-9 from 40 overs.

A bit of a baking to be honest then, and while it's all fine and dandy having eleven fielders to pick from it's hardly advantageous if setting a field with the permitted ten still causes such an unnecessary furore. It sure doesn't help the bowling department to say nothing of the fielders. Adults eh? Still, time for tea and it was nice to see so many generations of Kellys and Cartwrights popping along to watch us in all our glory.

Tony tends to fall on his sword far too often these days where batting orders are concerned, but he went the whole hog this time and stood down as a batsman completely; not an ideal scenario with a cricket match to be saved but there you go. I won't dwell on our run chase too much. Only Fraser, Brad and Rob made it into double figures and all played reasonably well but for Beechwood to be bowled out on an Otford deck for 118 inside 30 overs was a poor showing to put it mildly. These things happen...

I was initially designated as the non-batsman apparently, a role I pulled off with aplomb despite not having the title eventually bestowed upon me, although I will add that I was certain I staved off a hat-trick ball successfully but Playcricket says 'golden duck' against my name and if I'm losing my mind and imagining all this I think it's perfectly excusable considering the way events unfolded throughout the afternoon. To accompany our ignominious demise the sun frequently hid behind the clouds allowing a stiff and decidedly chilly breeze to gust over the outfield, but in spite of the occasional disappearances of the sun there was more than the odd glare in our ranks to make up for it and wild winds truly WERE blowing - maybe it's time the club invested in a communal helmet for use in the changing room alone. Anyway, as David Gower is fond of saying when post-match Sky analysis looks like the lawyers may get called in - "We'll leave it there!"...

A bad day at the office for the hosts then and a nice round hundred run defeat for our efforts. That can always happen; bad tastes in the mouth need to be expunged though, sooner rather than later if possible and I hope we can turn up at Groombridge at least resembling a team, even if we don't play like a good one, and not a squabbling horde. As for our opponents? Well, aside from their occasional habit of continuing to natter amongst themselves as the bowler ran in, they were obviously more than competent opposition but more tellingly behaved with impeccable manners throughout the afternoon; manners from another generation I'd be tempted to say...or am I being unfair here? Perhaps such manners actually define this generation and it's we supposed sage-aged relics with the conduct that has oppositions questioning us? Food for thought.

Choke me in the shallow water before I get too deep....

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 August 2016 11:07

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