London Saints

Captain’s innings not enough

LSSC vs. Gents of West London
Crown Taverners CC, 23rd May 2010

LSSC – 136 All out 35 overs (DT 45, Van Barge 19, Monty 18)
Gents – 140-6 26.3 overs (Van Barge 2-9, Lucan 1-9, Dunn 1-7)

The 30th season of LSSC cricket started in glorious sunshine on Sunday and saw an enjoyable game played out on a pretty ground new to us this year.

Last year’s opener away to Gents was a rather poor season opener with a lethal wicket and LSSC skittled for just 35 runs – not this year however with LSSC making 101 more runs against Gent’s bowlers. On this trajectory we are clearly now on target to score close to 500 when we take on Coldharbour later this year.

With the temperature in the 80’s and the game delayed as the LSSC kit manager was lost in nearby Farnborough, DT astonished his team by actually winning the toss and electing to bat in a 35 over game – this was a bold decision reflecting the Skip’s confidence in the batting line-up despite last year or more likely that with this being the first game of the season he was concerned that some of the less prepared LSSC athletes might ‘park a custard’ or even kick the bucket if we had we fielded first.

Trev and Paltrow opened the batting and found scoring hard work with accurate bowling providing very little to hit and Mr Extra’s being sadly missed. After 6 overs we had scored just 13 runs before Johnny became the first wicket to fall this season courtesy of a swift LBW decision by Monty Nanton.

Trev was joined by Clive Dunn and survival on a bouncy wicket was the order of the day and a lot of swishing outside off-stump to boot – Tony was next out in the 12th over with only 23 on the board landing the season’s first Duck and quite possibly one of the longest knocks of ‘0’ we’ll see all year.

By the end of the 13th over both Trev (dolly catch) and Wath (trademark) were out and things looked bleak with just 28 runs on the board but fortunately Johnny Quinn and Monty set about rebuilding our innings. They batted very sensibly and started to get the scoreboard moving with Monty hitting some thunderous boundaries as well and by the time both fell the score was 66-6 in the 24th with a base now set for the LSSC famed tail to hit out.

DT led the way magnificently getting off the mark with a 6 and hitting 3 more maximums, 2 of which came off Gent’s stalwart quickie, Snarler Snelling who was bowling well! Gavin van Barge provided an excellent foil to DT and the scoreboard clattered up to 132 in the 34th over before the fun ended and a mini-collapse saw the rest of the tail flop.

There was time for Mildred to secure a silver-ball Duck with a pirouette just for the fun of it and then for last year’s quackster, Finn to land his first Duck of the season as well – ignoring a run off his first ball and then promptly playing forward/back/bowled to his next one. Finn has now been out for a duck 5 of his last 6 innings and all of these have seen him bowled!

A score of 136 was a decent effort in the end but we’d have liked a bit more to be honest.

The Tea was a good spread and the members of the Teas Committee present ensured little was left despite knowing the hard work was still to come.

With a new cherry for the second innings (such luxury), Finn and Monty opened and enjoyed the bouncy wicket with Monty bowling Desai for just 5. However we were unable to break the next partnership as runs came pretty quickly and one or two catches were put down – a sign perhaps of rustiness given this was our first game. Lord Lucan was brought on and displayed his new Winter-developed delivery, the ankle-biter which on a bouncy hard wicket was no mean feat and this troubled the batsmen before securing the breakthrough we needed, Wath taking a good catch.

Those two Saints veterans remind me of Ledley King, both having no need for things like practice or Nets but still turn in the performances when physically able.

Steve’s 3 overs went for just 9 runs but the spin-twins had rather less success and were unable to buy a wicket this time whilst Dunn was excellent and deserved his wicket.

With Gents closing in on their target and plenty of overs left, DT turned to Gavin van Boat & he rose to the challenge delivering a fine spell and capturing 2 wickets including another high quality catch by Wath out on the cow-corner boundary – the Skipper taking self-paid credit for moving Wath a few yards after he’d seen the batsman play and miss with the same shot 3 times before finally connecting.

The Skip rotated the bowling allowing Wath to claim a wicket but to no avail with Snarler hitting the winning boundary to end the game.

A good natured game which allowed 9 of the team to get a bowl with only the 2 stand-in keepers who whole-heartedly shared the gloves (Trev and Johnny Q) not getting to turn their arms over.

Time-Form Guide (Pete, look away)
England Batting: 34 runs, 2 ducks
England Bowling: 9-0-68-0

ROW Batting: 86 runs, 1 duck
ROW Bowling: 17.3-1-64-6

England Catches: 0
ROW Catches: 3

Man of the Match
Gavin comes very close both for a good partnership with DT when batting and the best spell of bowling but DT has to win for his field positioning prowess and more especially his superb demolition of the Gent’s leading bowlers. Alright, not that either, it’s really because he won the toss and didn’t make us field first – that man saved lives I tell you!

Champagne Moment
My own highlights since you ask were finding the ground having spent an hour lost thanks to my SatNav and then having a fine 10-over umpiring spell with no controversy, the rest of my day was pants including a nightmare drive home.

Johnny Quinn excelled himself when retrieving a lost ball from the woods (off my bowling) and then when throwing it out to the others managed to lose it again in the nettles thus prompting a second search.

Other bright spots included Wath’s two catches, particularly the second one when stationed out deep and of course DT’s first six which was his first scoring shot which left onlookers rubbing their eyes as to who was actually at the crease.
His second 6 off Snarler who was charging in full pelt on a bouncy pitch was my winner though as DT then dispatched the ball out of the ground to the longest boundary. Such was the quality of that shot that I heard Gent’s players winding up Snarler afterwards in the bar about how it was that DT had managed to pull off such a big hit against him.

My advice Skip, give the return match a miss!

Mayhew T. (w) Caught, Bld Skibbaris 14
Paltrow LBW Summit 5
Dunn C. Bowled Snarler 0
Quinn J. (w) Bowled Patel 15
Wathan Bowled Skibbaris 4
Monty Caught, Bld Buck 18
Van Boat Stumped Patel 19
DT Bowled Skibbaris 45
Mildred Bowled Skibbaris 0
Lucan Not out 0
Quinn F. Bowled Patel 0
Extras (1nb, 8w, 3 lb, 4bs) 16
136 all out

Desai Bowled Monty 5
Gilkes Ct Wath, Bld Lucan 34
Toft Bowled Van Boat 41
Palmer Ct DT, Bld Grimes 19
Kumar Ct Wath, Bld Van Boat 3
Dubey Not out 10
Buck Bowled Wath 4
Snarler Not out 5
Extras (10w, 1 lb, 8bs) 19

LSSC Bowling
Quinn F. 4-0-30-0
Monty 4-1-23-1
Lucan 3-0-9-1
Mildred 3-0-24-0
Dunn 3-0-7-1
Paltrow 2-0-14-0
Van Boat 4-0-9-2
DT 2-0-6-0
Wathan 1.3-0-10-1

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