Witham Friary v London Saints
Report by Andy Mayhew ( Batting average 79, 2 catches and a brilliant run-out/ stumping)
Following a bloodless coup, D.T. was exiled to Barbados and replaced by Johnnie as skipper.Some things never change, after losing the toss we were in the field. Phil Rogers, making a welcome return, and Mike opened the bowling. At one point Phil bowled nearly 4 overs without conceding a run, Mike picked up 2 wickets and after 10 overs Witham were 18-2. The good work was continued by Keenan and Nanton, and not until Hunt came in at no.5 did Witham gain any sort of momentum.
Everybody continued to do well in the field, Rat making his debut behind the stumps took a great juggling catch to remove the dangerous Hunt, John Smith snaffled one at square-leg which was eclipsed by a great leaping one-handed effort from Johnie. Dacombe started to hit out, but with not many overs left Witham were 126-8, with John Watkin taking 2 wickets in his first over.
As we had 12 players, we were rotating fielders every 5 overs. With 5 overs left I replaced Keenan with Jonesie and was then severely rebuked by his lordship for not taking Pearcey off. Unfortunately Paul then proceeded to drop 2 sitters. As Paul last dropped a catch in 1992 (the sun was in his eyes), I don’t think anybody could reasonably be expected to see that coming. Witham finished on 171 which was probably 20/30 runs above a par score. Special commendations to Rat behind the stumps, who despite wearing a garish pink cap, did not concede any byes until right near the end.
Witham bowled tightly and despite everybody chipping in we lost wickets at regular intervals and were always behind the run rate. Nanton livened things up mid-innings by suddenly rolling around on the outfield clutching his right buttock and demanding treatment. After several minutes of embarrassed looks and blatant disinterest Witham produced a cold spray and he was able to continue. Dave then hit a massive six over the hedgerow, proving his arse was not that badly injured. However, the star of the innings was Ben who batted beautifully and it was not until he was bowled having a cross-batted swish that he was recognisable as a London Saints batsman. We eventually limped to 121 all out, a good 50 runs short of Witham, rendering Pearcey’s drops not significant in the end.
M.O.M. – A close run thing between the calypso attention seeker and Ben, but Ben’s slightly more elegant batting swings it in his favour.
Champagne moment – Wath for his great dive after getting his foot tangled in the fence retrieving the ball from the boundary, the first time many people had seen Wath do a dive.
Again, many thanks to Witham for their always warm welcome and lovely tea. The very generous match fee will also allow D.T. to replenish the kit bag in case we get another nasty arse injury
Witham 171-8, phil 2-7, mike 2-28, keenan 1-16, nanton 0-19, ben 1-53, paul 2-22 and john w , 2-22, saints 121, nanton 20, ben 19, mike 14 and paul 11.