London Saints CC V Roadrunners CC – Sun Aug 6th – Houghton Regis, Beds
Roadrunners 274 – 7 (Nanton 2 – 42)
London Saints 78 (Grant 19, Wathan 15)
With Pearce Taxi’s selfishly deciding to go on holiday on the weekend when their services are required, the train element of the LSCC XI (well 12 after some miscommunication) had to fork out £20 to get a taxi from Leighton Buzzard station to the ground in deepest Bedfordshire. Even worse news though for Flatliner who had to pay for his own taxi from the station arriving late after having ‘ brunch ‘ with his future mother-in-law (his future nuptials exclusively revealed by Mr Mayhew). They do say things come in 3’s so Dave has had to suffer 1 – paying for a round after the Hermits match, 2 – paying for today’s big suck-up brunch and 3 – agreeing to lay on a free bar for LSCC at his upcoming wedding.
We all turned up expecting to crown Wath following his expected 50th LSCC duck and his 4th duck in a row. Wath had actually become the 3rd team member to get a Hilda (after Pete and Psycho Burrell) as his duck in the last game of the 2016 season had been followed by ducks in his first two games of this season. He was also expected to follow Flatliner in announcing his retirement if he did, as expected, achieve a LSCC career high half century of ducks……………………………….but Wath hadn’t read the script.
The skipper proved once again to be a useless tosser as the two headed coin came down heads (has the useless tosser ever thought about calling heads once ? – Ed). Roadrunners won the toss and decided to bat. The skipper, despite being a useless tosser, achieved two minor victories in a) not agreeing to 40 overs a-side and sticking to 35 overs and b) agreeing to a retirement rule of 50 (which stopped some of their better batsmen surely getting to 3 figures and us chasing a record score).
It all started so well with the future bridegroom, buoyed by his in-law brunch, trapping their opener for a duck. At the other end Ben C (we have too many Ben’s and John’s in this team! so need some more nicknames) was finding difficulty finding his line or length so was taken off after his initial two overs. Tony who replaced Ben C and the future bridegroom found some control with Tony dismissing the other opener for 25. This brought in Nayer who along with their No 4 took the game away from us, both getting half centuries.
Oh how things could have been different, (and ok perhaps not the result but the nature of the defeat) if Nayer had been stumped on 5!!. Tony’s No 1 son-in-law, Richard, had replaced his father-in-law and bowled a beautiful delivery to entice the batsman out of his crease yards down the track leaving a relatively easy stumping (even for our No 827 back up keeper Andy Jones – quoting the words of Mr Mayhew himself from the Nascott match report) but Andy (and I feel that my harsh criticism here is only redressing the balance from Mr Mayhew’s slightly biased Nascott match report) standing two yards back fumbled, juggled and then finally deciding to hurl himself at the stumps, demolishing all 3, causing a massive divot in the pitch. He then had the front to boldly appeal for a stumping which even long leg could see was not out with the batsman safely in and having a cup of tea and a fag whilst waiting for Andy to ‘ attempt ‘ his stumping. Nayer’s confidence increased and soon had to retire reaching his half century.
The skipper received some ‘ mixed ‘ glances, none more so than from last week’s stand-in skipper, when he brought Ben C back at the other end (Ed – Il Duce is well known for encouraging youth). Perhaps this wasn’t the best move as Ben struggled again from the other end and suffered a form of the yips that not even White Viv in his prime has displayed. We agreed a 7 over maximum per over and though the scorebook only shows Ben bowling 4 overs, his 46 ball spell (inc a 17 ball over) meant he bowled his full allocation and more!). Now Ben C has a lot going for him; young, good looking lad, a great career ahead of him and is clearly a talented all round sports man – but………………………………………………when you bowl crap, you just have to call it and this was crap. Three positives will come out of this though: i) next season when it all comes together (as the talent is clearly there) the success will be that much more satisfying, ii) Ben now has quite a few potential nicknames for his shirt and iii) hopefully Ben can now feel fully integrated into the squad as we’ve all had bad days and having the piss taken out of you means you are a fully signed up LSCC member.
The rest of the bowling suffered as Roadrunners talented line up thrived. One particular player – Paul – coming in at No 6, and who also opened the bowling for them, was clearly too good for this standard of cricket and was around for less than 20 balls before thankfully he retired having scored 58no. Particular notice should be given though to the three John’s – Smith (tight bowling – only 9 off his 3 overs), Watkins (another wicket – this guy has the knack) and Griffiths (who proved the fact that you field well off your own bowling with a remarkable caught and bowled wicket).
To be honest Roadrunners score of 274 was around one hundred too many and as usual, over a very pleasant tea (Nascott take note), we dwelt over i) whether miracles could happen, ii) whether we could make a fast start and iii) whether anyone would volunteer to open with Johnny G. The skipper happily settled for a No 7 slot until, but having exhausted every alternative option (i.e. no-one wanted to do it), he was elevated to open, on the understanding that the last time that Roadrunners had scored heavily in their first innings they had opened with some ‘ weaker ‘ bowlers. The openers were then slightly surprised to see Roadrunners Botham / Flintoff / Stokes No 6 pacing out a long run to open the bowling! No let up here then and there was none throughout our innings as apart from Messer’s Grant and Wathan we all struggled.
After both openers had been removed by the same accurate bowler each for 10 and even younger Ben (this time the ‘ S ‘ variety) had been removed without troubling the scorers for the first of our ducks, our only real stand developed between Mr Scones and Mr Forty Niner. Steve played an excellent innings with some clean hitting, timing the ball beautifully with 19 off 18 balls but was undone by a good ball from Kishan, one of our 7 wickets clean bowled. Wath had come in under the cloud of being the first LSCC player to achieve 50 career ducks on the back of a run of 3 ducks. He struggled at first but soon looked solid (yes Wath looking solid) and played some fine shots. Although only scoring 15, he showed a lot of guts to last 51 balls, probably longer than he batted in the previous two seasons.
Once these two had been removed the deck of cards collapsed to add another chapter to the history of famous LSCC collapses. The last 7 wickets fell for 7 runs, 71 – 4 became 71 – 11 as Roadrunners allowed us to bat 12 – frankly we could have batted 22 and not got close. Whilst we batted poorly against a strong team we continue to not help ourselves with our ‘ honest ‘ umpires again giving lbw’s ! – we had many appeals turned down when bowling but as soon an appeal goes up from the opposing team we always fear the worst. Today was no exception when (and sure regular readers will not be surprised to hear that), Trigger Finger Griffiths raised his finger with lightning speed. This time though it was a family affair and to see Tony, with his head in his hands, on the side lines, after seeing His No 1 son-in-law (Richard) being given out for a duck by his No 2 son-in-law (Judas, DJ, Wheelie-bin you name it) was a sight to behold. Nice Pint Smith took the lead in the duck trophy race with his 3rd ducks in 4 innings and today 3 other players didn’t trouble the scorers. That is 16 ducks in the last 3 matches (ok two innings in Finland) and 23 in total for the season making a much more interesting duck race than the pathetic effort in 2016 when we only recorded 6 ducks in the same number of matches.
A thumping by 196 runs and our 4th heaviest run defeat but surprisingly (apart from when their No 6 was dispatching us over the boundary ropes) an enjoyable day and evening and thanks to the Catlin brothers from Roadrunners for ferrying us back on the long journey to the train station as all taxi firms were fully booked
Man of the Match – Arguably Steve could have won this for easily our best innings of the day but the award goes to Wath who battled through his barren drought to show some guts much to the surprise of his team mates – don’t worry we have Ex Blues for Wath’s 50th !
Champagne Moment – An excellent catch off his own bowling by Tony’s No 2 son-in-law was a contender but a good piece of cricket does not merit the champagne based on the overall performance. So it’s between the sight of Tony’s despair as his No 1 son-in-law was given out lbw by his No 2 son-in-law (it says so below in the scorebook!) and Mr Mayhew’s delayed demolishment of the stumps and his affront to appeal for a stumping in yet another vain attempt to prove that he’s LSCC’s No 1 keeper. Andy’s pathetic attempt just shades it if only to highlight to him to please stop doing it as one day some stumps might get hurt !!
Mark lbw Nanton 0
Richard b Grimes 25
Dave ct Thomas b No 1.Son-in-law Griffiths 55
Nayar retired 59
Matt juggled Grant b Watkins 10
Paul (too good for us) retired 58
Josh ct Mayhew b Nanton 4
Vishal ct and b No 2 Son-in-law Griffiths 5
Kisham not out 9
Sam ct Mayhew b Thomas 7
Total 274 – 7 off 35 overs
No 2 Son-in-law b Twyford 10
Thomas b Twyford 10
Sherriff b Paul 0
Grant b Kisham 19
Wathan ct Vishal b Sam 15
Collis ct Vic b Sam 8
No 1 Son-in-law lbw
No 2 Son-in-law 0
Nanton b Vishal 3
Watkins b Nayar 0
Smith b Matt 0
Grimes run out (Mayhew) 2
Mayhew not out (again) 2
Total 78 all out
Fall of wickets 18, 19, 24, 53, 71, 71, 72, 74, 74, 75, 78