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Sat 22 September - Knockholt

Posted on 23rd September in 2007, Friendly Match Reports

One, two, Sree. That’s how elementary it got to be. Our late season visitor made it almost a one-man show: topping the batting, fielding sharply, bowling tidily and taking two outstanding catches, the first dismissing Knockholt’s top scorer at a point where they were threatening to mount a real challenge and the second sealing victory by snapping up the wicket of their No. 11.

Knockholt were, as ever, worthy and welcome opposition. Probably the most notable feature of their performance was that they were by far the best team that we have played all season at finding the ball. We gave them a reasonable amount of practice but they were up to every challenge and their mean retrieval time of 27.8 seconds plus the fact that they didn’t lose a single ball speaks highly of how well honed an outfit they are.

Shoreham batted first. Paul of course is a shoo in to open. I don’t know if it was just me but this week the steely grey of his hair and the close cut made him look very Germanic. So Von Styles took his place at the head of the order. Ve developed a cunnink plen to confuse der opposition. Sri played von, Von played two, Nicholas Valker played sri und four und there var anuzzer Valker efter zat. Knockholt countered with three Reemans, two Harpers, a Finn and a Fenn scattered through their line-up but it proved insufficient!

The opening partnership between Von and Sree (Or should it be two? You see now how cunning our strategy vos?) was broken on 65 by an lbw decision that was regarded as generous to our visitors by the boundary commentators. Paul returned to the pavilion with 20 to his name and Nick Walker senior replaced him. Sree was by now scoring heavily off a respectable bowling attack and put together a good looking 70. Next, Nick Walker junior joined his namesake but the burdens of captaincy obviously detracted from his personal performance and he lobbed up an easy catch. Ed then maintained the Walker quotient at the crease until his Dad eventually heard the sticks rattle behind him after a rapid 51. Ageing Hack joined Ed and managed to stay until the end. Ed announced that it was time to hit out and achieved the ‘out’ bit next ball. Graham then arrived at the crease, took up his familiar baseball stance and despatched the next ball for four but he too perished in the chase for late runs.

Robert the Developer, apparently unflattered by his new sobriquet, strode to the crease, forearms bulging and determined to redeem his reputation. He had only one ball to do it and failed to reach the boundary but improved his average with an unbeaten 2.

Shoreham finished on 204 for 6.

Ed had a very productive opening spell, ripping out Knockholt’s numbers two and three; then Deadly Dave accounted for their number four to leave our visitors on 25 for 3. Fenn and one of the Reemans (Reemen?) took the score on to 89 before Sree took a stunning catch to dismiss Fenn. Sree and Ageing Hack, the first change bowlers, then accounted for a Reeman each. This brought Neil Hardstone to the middle and he and the remaining Reeman looked capable of chasing our total until a Robert special bowled him.

There were now two wickets to take and six overs remaining. Meanwhile Chris had replaced Robert behind the stumps (actually he had played more like a Bob in this role) but Chris in turn had to be replaced by Nick Walker junior when he injured his back. Knockholt sportingly allowed us a substitute and the (improperly attired) first team captain came on and immediately took advantage of this sporting gesture by assuming an intimidating position, looming over the terrified small boy now occupying the crease. Perhaps it’s this ruthless streak that the seconds have missed this year?

Anyway, the small victim at the crease tentatively lobbed a ball straight to James who then took a couple of paces forward and began to salivate as an even smaller victim appeared. It was however Sree who sprang to his right and took a very smart catch to have the last word as he had had the first.

Von Styles
N Walker Snr
N Walker Jnr
E Walker
W M-Jones

28 no
2 no

E Walker
G Rivett
W M-Jones


- Photos by Sam, George and Ed

4 Responses

  1. Old Nick says:
    September 24th, 2007 at 1:50 pm

    Interesting to note that the chronology of our innings as reported varies somewhat with the order of events as this correspondent remembers them. I conclude that the ageing hack was actually watching England v Tonga in the pavilion at the time. Given his allegiance to the land beyond Offa’s dyke (who is now a regular at the George by the way) this is disappointing.
    There is also a remarkable lack of coverage of the ageing hack’s vulnerability under the high ball when Shoreham took to the field. This rather inelegant performance has been noted for RTFA purposes and indeed, one would suggest, thrusts him well to the fore in the title chase for this keenly contested honour…

  2. Old Nick says:
    September 24th, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    Correction - England v Samoa

  3. Ageing Hack says:
    September 24th, 2007 at 4:23 pm

    Dear Old Nick,

    If you find that you are becoming confused about the order of events - and don’t worry, that’s perfectly normal for someone of your age - then it’s probably your mind playing tricks about the scoresheet. If on the other hand you have perfect recall then the Tricks were playing with the scoresheet they minded. And yes I did spend a good deal of time in the pavilion doing social work with distressed England supporters. Well someone has to.

    As to the fielding I thought of saying that I’d hold my hands up but that’s just inviting some rather obvious riposte.

    Oh and don’t worry about not being able to tell Tongans from Samoans, it will be easier after this week: the Tongans will be the only ones in the quarter finals.

  4. sree says:
    September 25th, 2007 at 11:27 am

    dear wyn
    well done!!!
    i like it. i shall be a regular reader of your columns from now on- pity -season is almost over.