The One At Clarence Park
2007-05-22. Won by 7 wickets By Matt King
SJFCC vs ST ALBANS DIOCESE
Result – St Albans Diocese: 103 for 5 from 30 overs, SJFCC: 105 for 3 from 20 overs.
It is re-assuring to know that Dave has fully got to grips with his new role as Chairman of Selectors. A role which, Iím sure youíll agree, he does both errÖ.selectively and chairman-like. If he could actually count, well, then he would be world class rather than remedial class. We had 12 players. Not a common problem for Fishers. The oppo, to (un)balance things up, had about eight. Clearly, only our most clean-living, nay, saintly player would be of the right material to play for the oppo. Phil Milton, I hear you cry. (No, that really would have been too much) step forward Paul Sands.
After some tough negotiation, Bungle had not only agreed to a reduction in overs to 30, but also conceded to a minimum of two (yes, two) bowlers per team. We were tempted to send him back to fine tune some further match-related aspects, but feared he may have volunteered us to clean church windows for a year and agreed that we would play without pads and in ëskinsí.
I donít think it matters who won the toss as they were going to bat first anyway.
One of the turning points of the game came early on when Adam bowled an opener who had scored highly in previous fixtures for 0. The partnership that followed put together about 70 before the fall of the next wicket. As if to prove a ìweíve got more bowlers than youî point, Bungle used six in total. Everyone bowled well. Everyone got a single wicket each. Those of you paying attention will have noted, though, that only five wickets fell in the innings. Well done, go to the top of the class. The rest of you..read on.
Bungle had the worst figures. Thatís a bit harsh to say of 1-18 off four overs, but I just wanted to write it anyway.
We made them work hard for their runs. A sunny Clarence Park made fielding almost a pleasure without the usual rabbit holes, lost balls and undulating outfield. Iíd just like to state that their were no embarrassing mis-fields, no-one fell like a fairy in two minds whether to dive forwards or step back and no-one was left patrolling a big out-field alone all afternoon, punctuated only by the chase for the occasional lost cause towards the boundary. I just thought it worth clarifying.
..and so to tea.
Wow, a clubhouse you remember them? In fact, a clubhouse was needed to house all the food. Good food it was too. Standard issue triangular cut sandwiches, but deep-filled and with a selection to make our Chairman of Sandwich Selectionsí mouth water. Good though the savoury serving was, it was the cakes that took the ëdish of the dayí award. There was some discussion about the technical differences between a Victoria Sponge and the classic Sponge Cake, but, overall tea passed without a hitch..although we did discover a new verb. To “over-tea” being the verb associated with a hungry cricketerís over zealous actions in gorging himself in the interval on a carbo-banquet and then suffering a subsequent subdued performance on the field.
At Fishers we must have ëover-teaedí a lot in many, many previous matches. Even the games at which no tea was supplied.
Anyway, The Reevonator didnít want to let an extra piece of moist, homemade fruitcake come between him and showing that ball who was boss and Chris said something about not wanting to cramp his style, so our openers ëunder-teaedí while the rest of us paid no attention whatsoever.
With 103 to beat and 30 overs to go, Reevo took the only sensible course of action and tried to get them all in the first few overs. He did pretty well and only cluttered the scorebook up with a three unnecessary singles, before being caught off Bobís (yes, that Bob, our Bob) bowling for 23.
Matt joined Chris and scored 13, before the second wicket fell at 61. Malcolm stepped to the crease, before the third wicket fell at 61. In his defence, Malcolm did claim that this was his first ever Golden Duck. Iim sure he wanted it mentioned here. A Golden Duck.quack, quack. Malcolm was out for a Golden Duck, his first ever.allegedly.
Simon then graced the middle and, apart from the one that hit his toe (?) before being dropped by the wicky, batted in a manner befitting Clarence Park on his way to 32 not out.
Chris, in the meantime, held his end up throughout the whole innings. As well as that he also scored 26 not out. Chris ëcarried his bat or did the bat carry Chris? Iím not sure. Luckily, though, his ëslightly pulled muscleí didnít slow him too much from his normal pace between the wickets.
So, a victory for Fishers. A good time was had by all. Bob bowled well for both sides and we helped them out in the field. Reevo fielded out on the boundary for them and didnít touch the ball once…at least I got a mis-field.
Iíd love to say that Sandsy was the man of the match, but I canít. Having made a genuine gesture in offering to play for the opposition, they rewarded him by allowing him to umpire for one innings, not bat, not bowl and field on the boundary for the whole of our innings. The man of the match was Si for 7 tight overs and a strong knock of 32.
We retired to the bar and made a second attempt on the sandwiches, but admitted defeat after discovering another hidden cake.