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Sat 15 September - Underriver

Posted on 16th September in 2007, Friendly Match Reports

Senior Citizen Styles, our captain for the day, won the toss, elected to bat and set out to open Shoreham’s innings accompanied by Ageing Hack. The skies were blue, the wicket was true and all was set for another great afternoon.

Underriver proved to have a lively and varied attack but the opening partnership was worth 41 before Ageing Hack lobbed a slow ball to a fielder and trudged off to watch the rugby. Sree, once again guesting for us in the late season, struck three crisp fours before admiring a fast inswinging delivery as it flashed past him to extract his off stump. Citizen Styles had meanwhile collected a cool 27 but soon after Sree’s dismissal elected to walk as a debatable decision reached the committee stage. Martin had replaced Sree but he too was soon returning to the pavilion and a side that looked good on paper was now struggling a little on 79 – 4.

JD and Bob brought some stability with contrasting innings: JD put together an increasingly aggressive 39 of which all but 7 came in boundaries whilst Bob’s 22 contained 16 singles and just one four – it seems that Robert the Developer doesn’t have quite the muscle tone of Bob the Builder. The score was on 139 before John departed. Robert was still there until it was 162. Brad enlivened things with an undefeated 18 that contained some lusty blows and there were supporting contributions from Dave and Alex before the innings closed on 180 for 7.

After tea, Dave and JD opened the bowling. Deceptive Dave proved as difficult to put away as ever, conceding only 24 off his 8 overs. After Brad had had a little catching practice he eventually held on to one and gave Dave his only wicket. Meanwhile at the other end JD had to be taken off after some shameless showboating. Two early wickets rather unhinged him and when presented with the simplest of return catches for his third he declined to take it, opting instead to fingertip the ball backwards over his head so that it looped down onto the stumps and ran out the distinctly aggrieved non-striker. JD himself claimed that he took a split second decision as to which was the more dangerous batsman but another school of thought held that having bought a jug last week he reckoned a run out would be cheaper. JD was allowed to have a couple more overs to calm down during which he picked up another victim (the second to be very well held by Martin) before being sent off to the boundary where he ran through his full complement of RTFA* routines for the rest of the afternoon.

Despite losing early wickets Underriver’s later batsmen fought their way back into the match and with 18 overs to go they were scoring at above the required rate of six with five wickets in hand. Things could have become tense but Captain Calm quietly adjusted the field and encouraged his bowlers, exuding a sense that all would be well in good time.

Sree struck, bowling the number 5 batsman with a peach (all the cricket balls having been lost in the undergrowth by now), then Brad, who was getting the hang of the catching thing, confidently held on to one that the number 7 batsman skied off George’s bowling.
Underriver’s number 8 began to strike the ball well and he obviously represented the last real danger. It was Robert’s turn to decide that he wanted some catching practice and he spilt one towering shot over the boundary. Next over though he employed the juggling skills that management develops, even using his head (with as much success as an Arsenal striker), before gratefully clasping the ball to him.

There were now just four overs to go and two wickets to take. The field closed in but the batsmen played very cautiously, offering no chances until a defensive shot lobbed out onto the offside. From a crouching position at short leg Plumstead Pensioner took off, accelerating as if the Post Office had just opened, and took a fingertip catch that will probably require a visit to the osteopath.

One wicket down, one to go. There was some more determined defence. There were just four balls left when Brad’s dead straight delivery struck the number 11 batsman’s pad but he had taken a good stride down the wicket. An enthusiastic appeal was sportingly accepted by the umpire and it was off to The George to celebrate Citizen Styles 25 run winning margin on his captaincy debut.

- Wyn

(* Ray Trick Fielding Award)

Batting:
 
Styles
Melville-Jones
Sree
Wells
Dinnis
Stacey
Fletcher
Simms
Haysler
Rivett
Barrett

 
 
27
24
12
6
39
22
2
18 no
2 no
dnb
dnb

Bowling:
 
Fletcher
Dinnis
Stacey
Sree
Rivett
Haysler
Simms

 
 
8 – 2 – 24 - 1
7 – 2 – 27 - 3
5 – 2 – 19 - 0
3 – 1 – 21 - 1
6 – 1 – 28 - 2
4 – 1 – 25 - 0
2.3 - 0 – 12 - 2