London Saints

Kiss Me Hardy – Match Report v Trafalgar

LSCC 121/7 (Nanton 27, Jackson 20*)
Trafalgar 125/8 (Jackson 4/32, Nanton 2/11)
Trafalgar win by 3 wickets (12-a-side with Lana Speedtwin making her debut)

The Saints were edged out in sweltering conditions in South Wimbledon against new opposition. Things started badly when the captain was the last to arrive – perhaps the unfamiliar journey south of the river caught him off guard, but of course he blamed his sat-nav. Still, with everyone else just about ready to go, when he did eventually grace us with his presence, he surprised everybody by both winning the toss AND electing not to decide to stick us straight into the field in the baking heat.

Batting first involves a number of different attitudes and traits, such as judging the wicket and what might be a good score. Based on the opening ten overs of a (for us) shortened game of thirty, the wicket must have been a minefield as the scorers had only been troubled for the sum of 19 runs. We had only lost one wicket at this stage, with Griffiths edging behind, but the message at the first drinks break was to look to pick up the pace a little bit.

Seeing off the opening bowlers, who bowled unchanged for their allotted 6 overs apiece, surely things would get easier? Not a bit of it, as Richards (Jnr) deemed it reasonable to bowl to unprotected batsmen in their fifties off a 30-yard run-up while only occasionally pitching the ball vaguely in the on-strike batsman’s half. Thomas took two blows, one on the thigh and one on the shoulder, which undoubtedly unsettled him and led to his subsequent dismissal, caught looping one up behind the wicket.

The bowling at the other end was equally miserly, with Richards (Snr) bowling a very straight and full line on a consistent basis, which gave very little room for manoeuvre. Junior was replaced after dismissing Thomas, and the replacement at that end was far more friendly, with Grant able to dispatch Stroud for a consecutive boundary and maximum to the short off-side.

Mayhew walked to another edge behind, which brought McIntyre to the crease, and he was underway quickly with a boundary, but he was then bowled through the gate by Richards Snr by a ball that turned sharply off the seam. Pearce heeded guidance from Grant that Richards was bowling full and straight, and duly blocked the first delivery. He then seemed to forget that guidance for the second, identical, delivery, as he swiped across the line and was clean bowled for a duck.

Nanton arrived and began sensibly, playing his way in before looking to accelerate. Grant had already reached the acceleration stage and was trying to take advantage of the slower bowlers before the pace would inevitably return – unfortunately this led to a rash shot which saw the ball skied in the air straight into the hands of the fielder at mid-on. The Archbishop was the next man in, looking to continue his fine early LSCC form, and the pair manoeuvred the ball in the spaces well enough – along with one big hit by Nanton that nearly hit a passing tram – to add 54 for the seventh wicket before Nanton edged the last ball of the innings to the keeper.

Defending a relatively small total is never easy, especially so when two bowlers we’d normally rely on to bowl significant overs were unable to do so because of injury, but the pair who had batted for nearly half of our runs continued the fine work with an opening bowling spell that had the opposition in deep trouble at 9 for 4. Tutu removed both openers – including a finally-silent Richards Jnr – clean bowled and Frost at 4 caught by Thomas at mid-off, while Nanton clattered Stanton’s poles at the other end.

Seeking to preserve some of this bowling prowess for later in the innings, the skipper brought on the first change bowlers, with Smith and Grimes bowling good lines but the Trafalgar middle order playing well and a bit more sensibly to accumulate runs at around a run a ball.

Midway through the innings, the Archbishop was brought back on, with a proper slip cordon and the realisation that the only way we were winning this game at this stage was to bowl the opposition out. The decision paid nearly immediate dividends when O’Keefe the Skate was bowled by one that kept so low it was almost under the ground for 23, and with the last ball before the second drinks break, found the edge of the captain’s bat, but after a slight juggle at first slip, Grant saw the ball pop downwards rather than up, and the chance was gone.

As the required score ticked down, Trafalgar wickets continued to fall giving the Saints hope. Pearce, denied perhaps the most “out” of LBW decisions you could ever imagine by a previously-mentioned opponent acting as standing umpire, got one to turn a fraction and bowl Evans, before Nanton got a leg-before decision from the other end to see off Stroud.

While carnage was taking place at one end, March was calmly batting his way to a half century which took the scores level with 5 overs remaining, but departed shortly afterwards to a Griffiths off-spinner having advanced a long way down the wicket – Speedtwin would surely have completed a stumping if the ball hadn’t hit the stumps on its own.

With 4 overs remaining, we needed three wickets without conceding a run – a tall order, but not impossible, with Nanton having bowled tightly all afternoon, but after a couple narrowly passed the bat and the off stump, a fuller delivery was dispatched through the covers by Hussain to seal victory for the hosts.

So it was back to their pub for some excellent grub and – most importantly – beers, to look back on where it all went wrong… again.

Man of the Match: two out of two for the aptly-nicknamed Archbishop Tutu, Paul Jackson still doesn’t have a batting average after an unbeaten 20, and took 4/32 with the ball.

Champagne Moment: the long walk back to the boundary after the gobby one had been silenced by the Archbishop making a mess of his leg stump. Immensely satisfying for all concerned…

The Bruise

LSSC (won toss)
Griffiths c Evans b March 9
Thomas c b S Richards 12
Mayhew c Evans b F Richards 15
Grant c b Stroud 17
McIntyre b F Richards 6
Pearce b F Richards 0
Nanton c Evans b S Richards 27
Jackson not out 20
Extras (3b, 2lb, 7wd, 4nb) 16
TOTAL (for 7 wickets, 30 overs) 121

March 6 – 2 – 16 – 1
Smith 6 – 1 – 9 – 0
S Richards 4 – 1 – 11 – 2
F Richards 6 – 0 – 17 – 3
Stroud 3 – 0 – 24 – 1
Hussain 3 – 0 – 19 – 0
Philip 2 – 0 – 18 – 0

Johnson b Jackson 2
S Richards b Jackson 5
Stanton b Nanton 0
Frost c Thomas b Jackson 3
O’Keefe b Jackson 23
March b Griffiths 50
Evans b Pearce 5
Stroud lbw b Nanton 2
Smith not out 0
Hussain not out 4
Extras 31
TOTAL (for 8 wickets, 26 overs) 125

Nanton 6 – 2 – 11 – 2
Jackson 6 – 0 – 32 – 4
Smith 4 – 0 – 27 – 0
Grimes 4 – 0 – 25 – 0
Pearce 5 – 0 – 19 – 1
Griffiths 1 – 0 – 7 – 1

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