MIGHTY WANDERERS CC VS TOURING THEATRES, 3 Sept 2006, Paddington Recreation Ground.
|Tranchell||Ct Lars (via JM)||Murdo||42|
|L. Owen||Ct Maddison||Mathias||0|
|TOTAL||228 for 8 wickets|
|Mighty Wanderers lost by 43 runs.|
|Man of the match: Richard 'Wufferelli' Winter.|
After dismal August weather, it was a pleasure to be faced with the first of two games at a new venue with a fine September Indian Summer in progress. Paddington Recreation Ground proved to be an attractive spot. The artificial strip played true throughout, though by contrast the outfield was a rutted field, ripe with Barnes Wallis possibilities for the hapless fielder. Gaf, already the owner of an artificial kneecap after a long ago ditch disaster on the Heath Extension, gave the pitch and it's crevices a sharp look, muttering darkly in Welsh.
Touring won the toss and went in to bat. The Wanderers bowling attack, though not at it's strongest, performed pretty well without managing to find the cutting edge to properly deal with the Touring batsmen who clicked well and found the boundary ropes all too often. Lars was substantially incapacitated with various leg ailments but still bowled very well and hobbled gamely in pursuit of a tiresome stream of fours. Noman, an excellent all-rounder, batted superbly for 90, finally dismissed when Skip took a superb catch at mid-on off Gaf, only for the incoming thespertron to smack his first ball to the boundary where your correspondent just happened to be standing. It had to be a finely judged catch, as a one mis-step backwards would've landed studded boot into any number of possible areas of blonde sunbather immediately behind. Facing the sky with eyes closed, she was clearly rivetted by the game. Facing her with eyes open, most players were clearly rivetted by other things.
Your Secretario was brought on for a few overs, with invaluable "left a bit, right a bit" assistance from Jonny behind the stumps. A number of edges and unconvincing shots flew to those non-existant 12th and 13th man fly-slips that cricket so inconveniently doesn't provide at those vital moments.
Murd's dismissal of opener Tranchell showed the true value of crowd pleasing teamwork over yawno conventional fielding, as Jonny neatly juggled the ball up for Lars to catch.
Tjazzy bowled, as usual for this year, with superb pace and accuracy, beating the bat again and again, with batsmen fishing, wafting and fending. As at Laxfield, Big T was bowling wicket-taking deliveries to batsman not good enough to get out to him. One extra-loud scream of frustration at a wide delivery showed the passion of the man for the cause (as well as the crumbling mental condition of the seasoned Wanderer). His eventual deserved reward was the whizz-bang clean bowling of Touring's well-set no. 6 Dan Owen.
Skip ran in in tease-and-float mode and bagged the prized Ben Martin scalp lbw. The Suffolk marshwiggle had reached 21 and with his invaluable experience playing for MWcc at Laxfield could well have gone on to make 22, but Wuff wisely snuffed this out.
Touring Theatre's final score was a big 276, always going to be a very tough call, but Gaf and Bob put on an excellent opening partnership before both were dismissed in short succession. In at no.3, Jonny Mortimer opened his account with two magnificent successive gold-plated flashing cuts to the boundary. Forget Shaun Goater at Man. City, as Lars batting at the other end aptly commented, all Touring Theatres bowlers were playing at this point was "Feed The Mort". Malignant Iago could see the writing on the wall, and JM was incredibly unlucky to be bowled three runs later by the ball of the day - a pearler that pitched full length outside off and jagged back to rip out off stump. The umpire, your Secretario, knowing that no natural ball could produce such a doozy on a matting wicket, summarily ordered Touring Ben to produce the cherry for examination. Sure enough, the ball had been slashed and gouged down one side, as if by the teeth of a Hyena. The other side was slick with hair gel and sun-baked Cranberry juice. This appalling situation was swiftly resolved by the umpire being offered and immediately accepting a modest bribe and play was quickly able to resume.
Any real hope of chasing the target went when Lars, batting well despite by now being on crutches, was out to a rare loose shot. But honour was well and truly salvaged by a superb late order stand between Wuff and Stephen T. Reminiscent of his legendary knock against Salix in 2001, Skip threw the nurdle stick into the long grass and proceeded to cart the ball to all parts, with nine boundaries out of a total 67 not out.
Touring's bowling attack was well served by the conventional, if rather dull, virtues of line and length, but the real ace in the deck was Touring Ben, who bowled a literally unplayable spell of self-yorking beamers, canny wides and shrewd multi-bouncers. Looking a-squint, with a fiendish grin on his face, he explained in his near-impenetrable Suffolk accent, "'E caan't reach 'e, 'e caant 'it 'e, boyee!" Touring's captain and gloveman was aware that his other bowlers were in danger of being shown up as dull journeymen. Morale was at stake and the Wanderers breathed a huge sigh as Ben was removed from the attack, retreating sulkily to the boundary where he spent the rest of the innings muttering and toying with an small evil-looking eel knife.
MWcc's final score was a very creditable 228, made possible by fine partnerships at t'top and t'bottom o't'order, along with a generous contribution by our old chum Mr E.X.Tras.
All in all, a very enjoyable day against one of our favourite sides.