Chris Savory
Domestic win still so elusivePDFPrintE-mail
Friday, 21 July 2017 19:00
Written by Chris Savory
Bradley Hill with a counter-attacking 45
Full scorecard

Sunday 16 July 2017


Beechwood 144 all out (42.5 overs)

Kemsing 88 for 9 (29.2 overs)

Match drawn

So! A week after chilling in the Corinthian mountains (and losing The Ashes along the way), it's back to the hustle-bustle of hurtling around motorways for some domestic cricket. Our close neighbours Kemsing hosted us this week, a pretty if quirky setting which wasn't to the liking of some but I appreciated it anyway. Compact, scenic, tranquil, inclining as well as sloping with an off-centre table and a flower-bed outfield, it certainly was quirky, typifying village cricket and indeed the sort of venues we enjoy visiting...apart from the Waitrose shoppers among us...

Kemsing had a couple of senior players in their ranks but were mainly comprised of 14 to 18 year olds by the look of them; certainly of an age to give Beechwood the runaround. The toss was bypassed as our hosts weren't confident of making a game of it had they batted first, which was a generous gesture to say the least, especially as we wrote the book on that subject, so all that was left for assistant deputy vice captain Freeman to do was nominate a batting order.

Fraser and Adrian opened up for the visitors and their hosts opened the bowling with the impressive duo of Halford and Bingham. Adrian drove his second ball from Bingham impressively to the boundary but drove his fifth into the hands of extra cover. Overhead conditions were favourable and the slope was in his favour but irrespective of these, Bingham was hooping it around corners for fun. Fraser and new bat Hamish generally had the measure of this in spite of the understandable occasional plays and misses although as soon as he showed he had an off-cutter which came back up the slope he planted some seeds of doubt into our batsmen, and Fraser was eventually cleaned up by one that held its line having made a watchful 10.

Hamish (24) would soon depart, smartly held at slip by Austin off Halford and when Ian soon followed top-edging a full-bunger to the keeper Beechwood were on 71-4 and needing a Bradley counter-punch to get the visitors back on track. Brad had to fight a bit of a lone hand though and despite keeping his head down and his tongue out, he didn't get much support from the lower order, and it was a supreme irony that having inserted us without tossing to make a game of it, our hosts were now bringing on their occasional make a game of it!! These 'occasionals' were a bit too good for Beechwood however and aside from Brad's attacking 45, the rest of us didn't make for great viewing. Mark was out in an ungainly fashion, The Doc also found himself dumped on his backside but at least wasn't dismissed as a result of it, Dave's first ball pirouette saw him continue walking off in the direction he finished facing and yours truly proved that being a nailed on number eleven each week is more an act of mercy than injustice.

Sandwiched between all this Tony (9*) and Keith (14) managed to use up 100 balls, and before we scoff too much at least this act of obduracy pretty much allowed Beechwood to bat out time; time however that for those who watched it, no matter how hard they try, won't be getting back...

The visitors finished their innings bowled out for 145 off 42.5 overs with H. Cooper mopping up the tail, bagging 6-25 and it'll probably be a while before he encounters such lambs to the slaughter in front of him again.

Beechwood's first domestic away tea of the season was gladly awarded the Kitemark (Beechwood Standard Approved) and hats off to all concerned with its making. As most of the fielding team strode out to the middle it was latterly joined by Keith who'd remembered such keeping essentials as his bandana and his Hannibal Lecter mask, but had only donned one pad in the process and had to stand up at the wicket in this state of undress for the first over...always entertaining are Beechwood!

Yours truly and Fraser were entrusted with the opening bowling slots and in a fairly short space of team had reduced the hosts to 30-5. On such a relatively small playing area it was quite staggering that only one maximum was scored all afternoon although not so surprising to learn that it was launched back over yours truly's head!

Batsman Martin attempted the same route a couple of overs later but this time failed to connect and KHM eagerly completed the stumping, having already taken a catch behind to dismiss opener Austin. Skipper Beadle and Jake Wood (two of Kemsing's older young heads) were now at the crease and set about rebuilding the hosts' innings. It was quite clear that they thought an overhauling of the visitors' total was unlikely and equally clear that the remainder of the afternoon could possibly churn out some attritional cricket, but Beechwood plugged away and made steady inroads into the wickets column.

The DoC broke through with one that shall we say kept 'slow and low' which deceived Beadle with its second bounce but much better was his enticing Bingham to miscue to Brad at point. Mark, who was also bowling tidily downhill, clung on smartly to one to earn The DoC a third and The Hamster came on and picked up Beechwood's ninth. Wood was still there however and having dead-batted his way through the latter overs was looking to dig in for the draw as the match went deeper and only a couple of 'Carry-On'-style running issues with his number eleven threatened to thwart him.

As a recalled yours truly sent the final scheduled delivery of the day harmlessly past off stump, I was quite stunned to find as I turned to retrieve my cap the umpire with outstretched arms facing the scorers! Everyone seems to want a little bit more of our entertainment! For the record, Kemsing closed their innings nine down on 88, Beechwood agonisingly so close to a first domestic win but yet again so far. Could things have been different?... Certainly a couple of umpiring decisions could have made the difference (although we can do without the petulance that followed them), as could time for a couple more overs bowled, but Beechwood still found a way on a postage-stamp size playing area (the uphill slope was effectively an extra fielder) to occasionally make five field changes in an over, with Dave's athleticism rather wasted patrolling a short boundary leaving Fraser to trudge uphill to retrieve any of the spinners' wayward pies on the opposite side, BUT, I'm being picky now... as usual; the fielding has certainly moved on from the opening weeks' efforts... results haven't.

I like the way Kemsing went about their business and as the game progressed some of their younger heads showed a bit more nous than some of our supposed cricketing sages, and we wish them well for the remainder of the season, and if this is to become a regular fixture those heads will be one year older next time around... and so will our bodies.

Gawd help us!!

Last Updated on Saturday, 22 July 2017 10:34

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