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Sat 8 September - St Mary’s

Posted on 9th September in 2007, Friendly Match Reports

The morning’s low cloud had burnt off and a strong sun was moderated by a light breeze, giving us perfect cricketing conditions.

Shoreham batted first and James and John opened for us: one wore a bright pink cap and the other a cap of an equally brilliant blue, as if for easy identification in a training film.

‘Now children, see how Mr. Pink Cap is crouching down as the naughty man without any cap at all runs in and tries to use the ball that he’s holding to knock down the sticks that Mr. Pink Cap is standing in front of. But hooray! Mr. Pink Cap has hit the ball with the piece of wood that he’s got in his hands – that’s what we call a “bat” - and he calls “Yes” and starts to run. Then Mr. Blue Cap shouts “No, no, no!” and Mr. Pink Cap has to run back again. What fun! Oh look: the naughty man has had six goes at knocking over the sticks and that’s the end of his turn so now another naughty man without a cap is going to try and knock down the sticks behind Mr. Blue Cap. Oh goodie! Mr. Blue Cap has hit the ball with his bat and he shouts ‘Yes’ and starts to run. And now Mr. Pink Cap shouts “Nooooo!” and Mr. Blue Cap has to run back again. Oh dear, he doesn’t look very pleased’.

James and John put on exactly 100 for the first wicket, mainly in boundaries. James, on 62, was beaten by a ball that turned prodigiously. Montie made 32 before he was out with the score on 166. John was dismissed next for a joint top-scoring 62. Graham managed 7 before getting the thinnest of edges to the wicket keeper. Finally Wyn and Chris contrived some entertaining shots before finishing respectively 20 not out and 12 not out in a total of 215 for 4.

After tea the afternoon was still enchanting: the sun still shone, the dragon flies zipped here and there across the outfield and the feral children whooped in the branches or set off car alarms at crucial moments.

Brad and Dave were first up for Shoreham. Brad picked up the first St. Mary’s wicket with the score on only two but thereafter the visitors’ numbers one and three put together a stand that began to look threatening. James therefore decided to introduce himself to the attack and after bowling tightly for a few overs finally broke the partnership with the score on 92. The tide seemed to be turning our way but when the final 20 overs commenced the asking rate was still below six an over. Despite the fall of two more wickets to James and one to John the required rate stayed below 6 until there were just 14 overs remaining.

Nine of the side finally bowled but James was our only consistent wicket taker, finishing with 6 for 31 off 11 overs but a special mention must go to Alex Haysler who picked up a wicket in an excellent short spell in which he conceded only 5 runs off 3 overs.

James’ fourth wicket was the dangerous St. Mary’s number three who was out for 70 and after his departure, with the score on 139, there was no real prospect that St. Mary’s could approach our total.

For several seasons now Mrs. Wanastrochi has graced St. Mary’s side. This lady is a good sport and though one feels perfectly secure taking up a catching position six feet from her bat she does not sell her wicket cheaply. She asks for no quarter but the bowling naturally takes on an altogether fluffier aspect when she appears at the crease. St. Mary’s obviously realise that this is a good wheeze because this time they introduced her daughter as their number 11. Although Mrs. W edged a ball from James into the hands of a startled Brad, Miss W. survived. Whilst we failed to dismiss her and therefore drew the game I’m sure that we all feel better about ourselves in consequence.

- Wyn