London Saints

Roadrunners run out winners vs. battling London Saints

London Saints 156 all out  (Griffiths 50;  Rogers 37; Nanton 22) – lost by 35 runs

Scorecards rarely tell the full story of a cricket match. Sunday’s defeat in this season’s return fixture against Roadrunners was a closer affair than the above scoreline suggests. With 8 overs to go, a game that had been played in great spirit, was finely balanced. London Saints, going at a steady 5 an over, were 135 for 4. A third-wicket fifty partnership, featuring a hard-hitting David Nanton and Wheelie Bin Griffiths, was followed by further steady accumulation as Phil Rogers replaced Flatliner, whose middle stump had been uprooted going for one leg-side heave too many.  Instead of pressing on to a close finish, a succession of run-outs contributed to that all-too-familiar batting collapse. Saints subsided to 156 all out with Griffiths, Watkins and Thomas all victims of a mixture of some dead-eye throwing, crazy running and, in DT’s case, an unfortunate slip (though he would still have been struggling to make his ground as Hilda called for a suicidal 2 whilst heading for the non-danger end).

Saints had arrived at Houghton Regis in confident mood on the back of a rare victory in Wiltshire against the Hermits. Returning Skipper (without a win in two seasons), got his wish to insert the opposition and entrusted McIntyre and Nanton with the new ball.  Roadrunners’ openers seemed untroubled, but some tight bowling by the new-ball pairing and first change, Phil Rogers, didn’t allow the home team to get away.

Chances were few and far between, so it was imperative that the Saints’ fielders held on to anything that came their way. At 35-0, what came the Skipper’s way at long off was an eminently catchable, skied drive. Unfortunately Il Duce’s mind was elsewhere – a beach in Barbados? a pretty girl on the boundary? who knows. The ball sailed past, only narrowly missing him in its flight. The batsman in question proceeded serenely to 92 not out.

It was the start of a mixed day for Returning Skipper, who also managed to let 4 runs past him late on in the innings, but bowled four tight wicket-less overs, before being run out by Mr Berkeley.  The other slow bowlers, Pearce, Grimes and Griffiths all took some stick. The latter broke the opening partnership, only then to bowl what Geoff Boycott refers to on TMS as “slow filth”; this wasn’t lost on “Perfect Peter” who, after another long hop yielded a third consecutive boundary, chose to provide some coaching advice from deep midwicket, nicely winding up the bowler in the process.

As in several recent games, Saints allowed the opposition to get 20-30 more than looked likely at one stage in the innings. Yet a total of 191, whilst challenging was not as daunting as some totals posted against us this season. And things were soon looking up.  Paul Wathan striding in at number 5, requiring just 1 run for his 2000 career milestone, duly accomplished the feat, before departing for 2. (It had only taken him 35 seasons). That rarity, a “fat boy three” was achieved mid innings, as Saints took full advantage of a very long boundary on one side of the wicket and Speedtwin, patiently waiting to bat at no 11, thought his luck must be in when Roadrunners’ faithful pooch, Dizzie, took a liking to his box.

Some bizarre umpiring also contributed to an entertaining afternoon. Clive Dunn’s informing an incoming batsman that there were “6 to come” (recalling Smudge’s famous “wide  . . and over” call at Witham Friary some years ago) could have resulted in a nine ball over. DT’s miscalling 5 overthrows as byes instead of runs meant Wheelie Bin (run out for 45) was denied the rare opportunity to raise his bat. The scorecard was later amended after the match and a half century duly recorded.

Retiring to the pub in good heart, the Saints reflected on what might have been . . . if DT hadn’t had his mind elsewhere we could have been celebrating back-to-back victories for the first time in over 3 years.  Instead, it was more than deserving of the game’s champagne moment.

Roadrunners 191

McIntyre 5 – 1 – 26 – 1

Nanton 5 – 1 – 12 – 0

Rogers 7 – 1 – 19 – 0

Pearce 4 – 0 – 36 – 0

Thomas 4 – 0 – 17 – 0

Berkeley 6 – 0 – 24 – 1

Griffiths 2 – 0 – 20 – 1

Grimes  2 – 0 – 20 – 0

London Saints

Griffiths run out 50

Grimes ct b Adams 3

McIntyre bowled Patel 6

Nanton bowled Burling 22

Wathan ct b Burling 2

Rogers bowled R Catlin 37

Watkins run out 0

Thomas run out 3

Berkeley bowled R Catlin 7

Pearce not out 0

Jones (G) ct b Patel 1

Captain’s Comments

Those who weren’t there will need to read the report to understand the following comments ……………………….

Il Duce is contemplating his future following his shocking fielding performance but not all coups are successful, you just have to look at Turkey and see where all the plotters are now !

Some caveats should be made though not wanting to detract from a good story

  1. Wheelie Bin mentions that the skippers 1st fielding lapse (para 3) happened with the score at 35-0 and infers that it probably lost us the game – well Pete didn’t come on to bowl until the 18th over and this incident was in either the 20th or 22nd over so whilst we bowled tightly they had scored a lot more than 35 by the 22nd over – it was well after drinks which were after the 18th over with Roadrunners in their mid-80’s so they were probably around 100-0 at the time – small point
  2. Para 4 the Wheelie bin (in his orchestred bid for power) also points out the returning skipper let 4 runs past him – even if the returning skipper had stopped the ball the net loss would have been 2 at the most given the distance ran and right out on the boundary edge
  3. Para 6 – the skipper’s bizarre umpire when miscalling 5 overthrows as byes – this was not a miscall as he was just trying to attract the dozy scorer’s (Mr Top of the Averages Mayhew) attention – I would rather put this down as the scorers misinterpretation rather than at the ‘ bizzare ‘ umpire

A good report from a good day – the points above are currently in the hands of my lawyers

Il Duce (but you know what ultimately happened to him !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) – is this the end ?

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