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Sat 2 August - 2nd XI v Halstead II

Posted on 4th August in 2008, 2nds Match Reports

As background to the most extraordinary feature of this game it is necessary to know that Nick Walker (snr) has been complaining about the amount of fielding that he has had to do, relative to the amount of batting and bowling that he has been given. Today he was picked for the second XI, who were very happy to have his talents at their disposal. But read on ….

Halstead won the toss and elected to bat. Fielding first suited us well because we knew that we had a Linda Trick tea to look forward to: the kind that makes it difficult to run afterwards..

Shoreham took the field with ten men and what turned out to be a hologram of Nick Walker. It looked like Nick – the same boyish smile, the same long-striding walk, the floppy hat, the glasses - but anything solid (for example, a cricket ball) went straight through him.

Shoreham’s opening bowlers made the most of overcast conditions, getting the ball to swing and seam. The pitch was also providing variable bounce, so life was difficult for the batsmen. The other non-holograms supported the bowlers very well, particularly James Asplin, who (appropriately) has made the JAFA his own, closely followed by George Rivett, who threw himself around with great commitment, saving at least three boundaries with sliding stops.

Montie and Brad were bowled through: Montie conceding just eight runs in nine overs and Brad taking 3 for 26 in his nine. Alex, replacing Montie, then took a wicket with his first ball, and at the other end the King Of Spin was introduced to the attack.

At drinks, Halstead stood at 47 for 4, but after the break they came out fighting.

Ray was distracted – for one reason or another – by the arrival of his wife, carrying a plate of sandwiches, and conceded the first six of the innings. Shortly afterwards, as play was interrupted by rain, Ray led the charge towards the pavilion. Resuming ten minutes later, with some crumbs still adhering to his moustache, Ray proceeded to work his way through Halstead’s middle order (whether as dessert or hors d’oeuvre was not clear). Ray took four wickets – the finest of which was a sharp, one handed, return catch. Montie had meanwhile cunningly disguised himself as the Nick Walker hologram by putting on a sun hat and glasses. Two of Halstead’s batsmen fell into this trap: chipping the ball confidently in his direction and being amazed to find themselves walking off.

Halstead’s number 7, Dan Weston, began to strike some lusty blows but then hobbled to a halt with what seemed like a painful hamstring problem. Not long after, he became one of the victims of the Ray / Nick-Walker-hologram-look-alike combination. Kenny Cowan, batting at nine, was the only other Halstead player to reach 20.

When Alex (9-0-39-1) and Ray (9-1-34-4) completed their spells, Captain Brown called on the Rivett brothers to take an end each. George clinched our third bowling point in the final over, and the ten men of Halstead finished on 141 all out.

When everyone was focused on their tea, Sarah and Bea Walker arrived, dragging a large case that contained something that seemed to be mumbling and struggling, which they deposited in the changing room. A little later, the holographic Nick walked into the changing room; there was some banging and cursing and a strange light shone from the window. Then, Nick strode out again, pulling on his batting gloves with a very self-satisfied expression.

(The real) Nick and Ray opened the batting, and put on a well-paced 83 for the first wicket. Ray was eventually bowled on 30, whilst Nick proceeded to his half century with a series of elegant drives, before he miscued and was caught at mid off, for 51.

Ray was replaced by Alex and Nick was succeeded by Paul. They regularly despatched Halstead’s first change bowlers to the boundary. Alex scored an undefeated 22 and Paul an undefeated 21.

We ran out comfortable winners, with ten overs to spare and just two wickets down, so for once we made it to the George before the first team!

- Wyn