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Sun 20 July - Otford

Posted on 22nd July in 2008, Friendly Match Reports


As is to be expected with all first class sporting events, there was a packed gallery at Otford on Sunday. The WAGAMs (Wives, Admirers, Gilfriends and Mothers) took up position around the boundary, whilst the official photographer ascended in the camera tower that comes with Russ’s white van. - So this is what it’s like to appear for the Stars On Sunday.

Shoreham fielded first and the captain had to setterfield (geddit?) without Dan, who had cried off the night before the game. The captain himself opened the bowling, and - with the assistance of a lively pitch – largely kept the batsmen on the defensive. Within half a dozen overs, similar deliveries accounted for Otford’s numbers 2 and 3, knocking back their middle stumps in a very satisfactory fashion. Meanwhile, at the other end, Tom Palmer beat the bat on a number of occasions but without reward.

At 29 for 2, Baker and Pyman came together and both rose to the occasion (I’ve been working on that one). Despite accurate bowling from Sean, Tom and Russ Brooks they put together a stand of 70. George Rivett’s wily spin finally accounted for Pyman, who was well caught by Martin having scored 59.

Sean finally turned to lack of pace. Ageing Hack was introduced from the non-camera- tower end and Baker, attempting to cut his first ball, found that it was six inches lower than he thought it should have been and bottom-edged the ball into Martin’s welcoming gloves. The first ball of AH’s second over was chipped gently to Kumar at mid-off, who dropped it like an invitation to a VAT inspection. Nonetheless AH continued to bamboozle a series of batsmen with his deceptive, slow, straight deliveries, and picked up a total of four wickets, one with the assistance of a sharp stumping by Martin.

Otford’s innings concluded on 215 for 7.

The captain then opened Shoreham’s reply and it seemed that he was destined to carry his bat. Indeed he did nothing much else with it until, in the 13th over, his first run was greeted by rapturous applause from a crowd that by now wanted any excuse for some exercise to keep warm.

At the other end, a series of partners came and went. Alex Haysler fell without scoring and then Nick Pearce, who was driving with some elan, perished on an unlucky 13. Francis De Souza manufactured a bizarre run out for himself, but this was the only one in our innings and did not involve Martin!

The afforementioned club chairman now came to the crease and proceeded to make an accomplished looking 29. After he and then Sean (top-scoring with 33) were removed, it fell to the shortened tail to play out the final overs for a draw. George hit 7 and Kumar twice found the boundary with his new bat in his 10. At the end, Ageing Hack was left on 1 not out and Tom Palmer on 6 not out plus whatever bonus points are awarded for maiming the bowler with a vicious return drive.
According to the scoreboard, which in this instance proved more reliable than the book, our innings closed on 133 for 7. Obviously all we needed for a famous victory was more time.

- Wyn