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Sat 12 July - 2nd XI v Southborough II

Posted on 13th July in 2008, 2nds Match Reports

Until Saturday I thought of Southborough merely as an obstruction on the road to Tunbridge Wells but now I know that it is also a place where people live and play cricket. Rather well actually (the cricket I mean, the rest I don’t know about). I had to say that bit about the cricket, firstly because they beat us, and secondly because it turns out that these match reports are read in Southborough.

I realise that I have already destroyed what narrative tension there might have been for anyone who wasn’t there by giving away the result in the first paragraph. Just to complete the job, Southborough batted first and scored 218 for 5. In reply we only managed 138 all out in 31 overs, so we came away from this fixture with just a single batting point to our credit.

Now let’s concentrate on the interesting bit: dissecting performances and reputations.

The seconds were without all of the three bowlers who have regularly opened the attack for us this season. Alex was promoted to the firsts, Brad was otherwise engaged, and the Plumstead Pensioner has finally been found but is unfit for action until next week. In their absence Jack and Montie became our first line. Jack dropped a return catch from the Southborough number two in his first over. 4,4,4,4,6 later he was probably regretting this. Then he produced a great delivery that scattered the young man’s stumps. Some time later, a similar delivery accounted for Southborough’s number three, and Jack finished his 9 overs with 2 for 55.

Meanwhile Montie wheeled away at the other end for seven overs finishing with 0 for 37.
The most exciting moment of his spell was probably when a firmly hit edge nearly caused the Ageing Hack, who was obviously standing too close, in a vaguely third slip sort of position, to be readmitted to hospital; this time for maxillo-facial attention.

Southborough’s batsmen gave us a lot of chasing to do and no-one ran around more enthusiastically and to greater effect than the Duracell Bunny. To the RTFA and the JABA I think we should add the JAFA, which – in contradistinction to the other two – will be a mark of honour rather than of shame. James took one outstanding catch in the deep, running to his left and taking the ball at full stretch, but perhaps his most impressive feat was to clear a high-backed bench in a single bound after chasing a ball to the boundary. Had he been less athletic we would have had to refer to him in the future as the Duracell Gelding.

Russ Brooks, who took over from Montie, bowled very tidily for at least 5 balls in each over, each over being at least six balls long. He finished with 1 for 36 off 9 and contributed to slowing the run rate from around seven an over to around five. Rupert Harris and Jack Porter continued the good work, bowling 5 and 6 overs respectively and picking up a wicket each. In keeping with this youth policy, Ageing Hack was introduced for 4 overs at the end of the innings, with no reward other than the joy of bowling.

218 was a lower total than had seemed likely at one stage and not entirely out of reach. Unfortunately a rusty Hack gave his wicket away cheaply and Paul watched as a succession of other batsmen came and went at the other end. Martin was surprisingly involved in a run out, but this time he was the victim. Rupert failed for the first time in a Shoreham team. Zack came, saw, swung mightily and was caught in the deep without troubling the scorers beyond recording the means of his dismissal.

James Asplin was delighted with his contribution with the bat, scoring a lively 18, and – as he remarked – for once contributing more runs with the bat than he gave away with the ball. We pointed out as kindly as possible that this was probably because we hadn’t let him bowl.

Our captain reached the boundary once, and - like several others – felt that it should not have been too difficult to carry on doing so. But, it was not to be and he dragged the ball on in his next attempt. Jack Porter also managed a single boundary before being bowled, whilst Russ only managed 2 before presenting the bowler with a return catch. Finally, Jack began to mete out some of the treatment he had received earlier, striking three mighty boundaries before playing all around a straight one. This left Montie undefeated on 7.

A delightful day’s cricket: lovely setting, good weather, sporting opposition, and good ale afterwards. All in the garden would have been rosy had it not been for the feeling that we could have / should have done a bit better, particularly with the bat. No doubt our next opponents will feel the fearsome effects of our rebound from this disappointment.

- Wyn

3 Responses

  1. Ed says:
    July 16th, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    Have two awards both named after James? I’d be very concerned about the size of his ego relative to the size of his head…

  2. Hatchethands says:
    July 16th, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    Never mind that - it is more worrisome proposing an award that is for something positive. Possibly a case of too much time spent in the sun by the Ageing Hack - a pleasant lie down in a darkened padded room should soon cure this.

  3. Duracell bunny says:
    July 16th, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    Don’t be concerned about the award being reletive to the size of my head as Jack points out to me most weeks my head is far to small for my body refering to me as Pea, so my head getting bigger could be a plus.