Old Midwhitgiftians 191 AO
W & H 167 AO - P Day 50
by Roger White
Oh! Defeat is such a bitter pill to swallow, especially when victory was within our grasp. It will be a game remembered for our inability to put meaningful partnerships together. Something we as players need to take more responsibility for. Our biggest strength, i.e. batting a long way down, can also be our weakness in that we give our wickets away too cheaply. An area, I am sure, our illustrious captain will pick up on in the next game.
The pre-game warm-up was once again led by Mark Surridge. Out of his bag appeared a baseball mitt and a rugby ball.( Cricket Anyone??) After I few fielding exercises Mark got the guys involved in what he called “ Hand hockey.” A game played by running into spaces and passing the ball along the ground to your teammate. This again seemed to help Steve with his tossing ability - Two in two and looking good.
OMW got off to a fair start, scoring 30odd in the first 10 overs. John “Curtly” Ambrose had a mixed opening spell of beating the bat regularly and being guided, and edged, down to third man. I was fortunate to claim the first wicket bowling wide of the crease and drawing the batsmen into an edge. Steve claiming the fairly difficult catch low down and making it look regulatory. Thereby justifying his all round talent and giving me a middle finger for the pre-season banter about his slip ability, or should we say lack of. After being spanked to the boundary by the oldest man on the park at 68, I was then fortunate to claim his wicket with an off-cutter that he chose to leave. My very next ball hit the new batsmen on the full and I thought my 3rd wicket was in the bag, only to be turned down by the umpire. OMW then consolidated well and were scoring at a reasonable rate. Their no.3 looked very good on the drive and was proving quite a challenge to remove. Mark was introduced into the attack and after some steady overs mixed with a few expensive ones, he had the no.3 defending a good length ball and edging it to Peter Alan, standing up. “Hawkins” Hanks was bowling from the other end and was doing a good job of limiting the runs. He then decided that the facilities were not good enough for his guile and deceptive flight, floating in a full toss to deceive the batsmen. The catch comfortably taken by “Cheets” ( Neil Cheetham) after posing himself a challenge by stumbling over his cap first. I was then re-introduced to the attack and took a further two wickets before the Peter Allan show began. His first display of mastery began with a regulation stumping off Mark followed by a brilliant leg side stumping (off Mark again) that had us in absolute awe. W&H is certainly blessed with fine keepers and Peter is one. The player I refer to as the “Dave Richardson” ( the SA wicketkeeper of a few years back- for those misinformed individuals) of W&H as he quietly and unassumingly goes about the business of “clashing symbols.” All of this with about 20 years on the rest of us and applying his trade with as much enthusiasm and zest for the game as any player in the club. Mark then “selfishly” claimed another two wickets in a row to end the OMW innings and claim a ‘fifer’ for himself. All this after bowling 18 overs on the trot.( Only happens when the Skip has you in his fantasy league team).
Mark Surridge 5 – 66 off 18, Roger White 4-33 off 14
The W&H innings started off a little slowly as our batsmen got use to the pace of the wicket. Mark then opened his shoulders to lift the run rate and played a glorious maximum off-drive. A shot possibly surpassed later in the day by the big hitting of Peter Day. “Cheets” was first to go with a mistimed cover drive and Mark (22) was soon to follow with a ball that he seemed to play inside of the line. Adam (27) joined Ed Smith at the wicket and was again taking up where he finished last week. Unfortunately, a fine piece of fielding (direct hit) had Ed short of his ground and we were three down. John Seward and Adam then set about restoring the innings before John was undone with a LBW decision. Peter Day entered the fray and soon became W&H’s restorer, hitting the ball with great gusto. Adam and Peter took to the attack before Adam was next to go, caught at slip trying to drive. Jason Bird was next in and was also involved in a miscued shot to cover. I then had the pleasure of joining Peter at the crease. A man with a simple attitude to playing cricket - Defend the good balls and take maximum out of the bad. Peter and I were comfortably scoring at 4 to 5 runs an over (well, Peter was, I was spectating) and OMW’s total looked to be in sight. Peter went to his fifty with a mistimed shot over cover. His innings consisted of some very big hitting and on two occasions had the fielders climbing fences to retrieve the ball. All in all, it was a well - paced innings from a batsmen with much talent. Unfortunately, Peter got out the next ball (bowled) after his fifty trying to loft one over the boundary. Steve “Skipper” Hankins walked to the wicket at 7 down and only had one intention – to win the game. He looked comfortable at the crease and was soon playing shots to the boundary. My job was to still rotate the strike and things were working well as the run rate dropped to 3 per over. I was next to go LBW and John Ambrose followed shortly afterwards. Steve still batting positively skied one to be caught and our day was through.
Peter Day 50, Adam Portlock 27, Mark Surridge 22
Man of the match : Mark Surridge (hard decision with Peter Day’s 50)
Wally of the day : Roger White – Again. For incorrectly answering a question from Peter Day on whether he was coming “around the wicket” to the left-hander, watching the side screen being moved and then having it all moved back when he eventually woke up to the fact that he was staying “over the wicket.” Schoolboy cricket!!!!!!!!
Quote of the day: “It’s annoying losing a game we should have won.” – Steve Hankins
Coaching tip : And what is Round the wicket?
Over the wicket - Bowling arm closer to the stumps
Round the wicket - Bowling arm away from the stumps
Both terms apply equally to both left-arm and right-arm bowlers.
Chirp of the Day: In answering a question from a spectator, “ We will get the score with 3 down.” Followed by a loud appeal and W&H going 4 down. – Steve Hankins
Moment of the Day : Peter Allan’s leg side stumping off Mark Surridge