2004-06-27. Win By Dan Jacobs

At last the match report

Another excellent performance from SJFCC resulted in a very close match that went down to the last ball. You’ll have to read down to the end of the report to find out the outcome.

As Captain for the day, on one of my rare outings for the season, I started in true form by losing the toss. In fact I didn’t lose the toss as by the time myself and the other captain had reached the pitch we realised that we didn’t have a coin. Impressive for the treasurer. So I actually lost the ‘picking of hand that contained a dirty tissue’. As it happened we were put into the field which would have been our choice anyway.

Opening the bowling with Boxer and Walsmley we soon made early inroads with Walmsleyey taking two wickets, both bowled. As usual our fielding was excellent with very few mistakes. So after the opening spell of 8 overs the opposition were moving slowing along on 25 for 2. Boxer was then replaced by the injured (he could hardly walk, in the field anyway) Philips from the scoreboard end who managed to bowl a very controlled spell of 8 overs, taking one wicket, caught behind by Harris, finishing with 8-0-35-1.

However, from the other end it was a slightly different story. For some reason the Captain saw fit to bring Jacobs on to bowl. He’d allegedly been the top wicket taker in 2003 however, he struggled, on this occasion, to actually make the ball pitch. Although on the two that did bounce, one took an edge and the other beat the bat. Amazingly enough the Captain kept him on for 5 overs. So after 20 overs the opposition were on about 75 for two with their two batsmen beginning to score quite quickly.

Time for a change, Barnard senior was brought on from the pavilion end to support Philips and bowled four good overs taking the key wicket, bowled, of a very dangerous left hand bat. So, after about 28 overs they were on about 100 for 4 looking to get above the 150 mark.

Then, what looked like an inspired decision, the Captain replaced Barnard snr with Jacobs. However, after a not too bad first over back, he then, according to a team mate, ‘bowled utter toss and was duly dispatched around the ground’ and was taken out of the attack immediately. Barnard Jnr (Tom) had a good four over spell from the scoreboard end but suffered a bit in his last over being hit for a big six – his time was yet to come.

Walmsleyeyey (7-1-17-4) and Boxer (7.5-2-17-4) then returned to the attack wrapping up the last six wickets, including their top score (49), four of which were caught, one by Jacobs and three ‘superb’ [his words] catches by Granty. The most memorable of which was a real skier to mid off that was greeted by Granty throwing his hat into the air and letting out a huge shout of Mine as for some reason he thought that the rest of the team were converging on him at speed. As it happened none of the other fielders had even moved and no one was within 30yds of him when he held onto a very good catch.

An LBW (disputed as they all are) and a bowled concluded their innings. Once again a very good fielding performance from SJFCC with only a couple of minor blemishes. One from Dave that went slowly through his legs, a couple from Bungle who had a bit of trouble seeing the ball – more later, and a very impressive diving fielding attempt by Sylvester at short cover, where he dived on top of the ball for it to amazingly go through him. There must have been a hollow in the pitch, someone was heard to say, and if not before the dive then definitely after. Another good wicket keeping performance, with some very good diving stops down the leg side, was also a contributing factor to the result. All being said, the opposition finished on 145 all out off 38.5 overs.

This looked to be a challenging total on a pretty good pitch. The innings was opened by Sylvester and Grant who played contrasting innings. Granty (4) was out quickly and Sylvester wasn’t. Bungle (Herbert) was in next and despite not really being able to see the ball played a superbly consistent innings of top edges, bottom edges, inside edges and outside edges. There was a couple of good slogs thrown in as well. This quick fire 22 was just what was needed which was all the more impressive as when Herbert was later asked to umpire, suggested that it wasn’t such a good idea as the stumps at the far end were a bit of a blur! – apparently he’s off to the opticians this week. I think Bungle’s wagon wheel graph would have made interesting reading.

As wickets continued to fall, Sylvester played a key role in holding up one end (not so much as holding it up as high-jacking it, some wag remarked). Edwards was the next man in and just as he looked to be settled and ready to score was run out in a mix up with Sylvester. Brief appearances then followed from Jon Walmsleyeyeyey (6) and Harris (4). The next to fall was Sylvester having batting doggedly for a massive 71 balls, departed, bowled for a grand total of 9. Slow progress but provided crucial stability.

So, after 20 overs we were teetering at 57 for 6, chasing 146.

Confidence was still high as next in was Philips who proceeded to play himself in, briefly, and then started to show his usual streak of ‘going berserk’ hitting a number of boundaries including one big 6, not onto my car bonnet this time, but into the neighbouring football pitch. Having reached 23 Philips was controversially (in Christie’s eyes anyway) given out LBW by Walmsleyeyeyeyey which led Christie to being a serious contender for one of the match awards – see later.

So, after 30 overs we were on 97 for 7 still needing another 49 at 4.9 per over. With the oppositions confidence on the increase, in went our youngest member of the team, Barnard Jnr (Tom) to start to build what could be a crucial score. Ably supported by Boxer who, when on 1, faced an over from the scoreboard end and promptly hit three boundaries in succession. A crucial contribution as it brought our required run rate down to under 4 per over. He’d obviously thought that he’d done his bit by then and was promptly bowled out for 13. With about 6 overs left and still requiring about 30, it was the Barnard partnership with Barnard Junior leading the way. Then with 3 overs left and still requiring 16 runs Barnard Snr was run out for 3.


At last Jacobs, the Captain, had the chance to make up for his bowling (the last 8 overs were needed to claw back the runs he’d given away). He strode confidently to the crease, passed the fielders who could now sense a victory, to then have his confidence slightly dented by the guidance from Barnard Jnr. ‘Block the straight ball and give me the strike’. Jacobs then proceeded to play a superb innings, blocking yorker after yorker (that’s what it seemed like).


Barnard Jnr continued to pick off the runs including a nice lofted four over mid off. In the penultimate over an early call of no-ball from Sylvester saved Barnard Jnr from a plumb LBW. A couple of almost runouts when backing up added to the tension. All this left 5 runs being needed off the last over. Barnard Jnr hit a 2 off the second ball and then a 1 to fine leg. Which, to everyone’s horror, except his of course, left Jacobs facing with three balls to go. Ball 1: swish of bat and not contact. Ball 2: somehow the ball went towards fine leg – Scores tied.


Then, on the last ball, Barnard Jnr facing, Jacobs took a run up, from more or less the bowlers mark and just kept running, Barnard Junior glanced the ball just behind of square and the victory was ours (146-9 off 40 overs). Tom (Barnard Jnr) finished on 37no and the Jacobs on 1no (it seemed like more).


A great victory, a great game and a good all round performance with contributions from all, in fielding, bowling and batting.


Now for the match awards:


Man of the match: Despite the excellent bowling from the openers, Boxer and Walmsleyeyeyeyeyey, the award goes to the batsman that saw us home, Jacobs – only joking, the award goes to Tom Barnard.


Strop of the match: Tied between Christie (for being given out plumb LBW) and Mao (for resigning from SJFCC – only briefly I’m pleased to add).


Cake of match: The Victoria sponge.


Comedy moment of the match: Mao calling “right hander” when there were two right-handers at the wicket.