Well as friendly games played on a day that began at -0.5 degrees, this one was a real pot-boiler! The visitors from Southampton Uni looked every inch the team on a mission as they showed up an hour before the start looking resplendent in chinos, blue blazers and club ties. Our last player actually arrived an hour into the game in pilot fancy dress so our standards cannot be said to have been quite as high. As Whispering pointed out, the rocking up in uniform really loses its shine after the 50th time Spinders. Though given the recent whatsapp stream, we all suspect he wears it at Herro’s request…
After Monica, skippering his first Sunday match, lost the toss – clearly due to a faulty coin leant to him by Jamo and his “these aren’t sight screen pushing shoes” – the Park were inserted on a very damp but drying wicket. The first ten overs were about survival, with Dushy and Monica poking and prodding at imaginary vipers to reach 12 for 0 after 10. The crowd was raucous with excitement, so much so that the first 2 of the day warranted a cheer. Monica cashed in on the change bowlers and brought up his 50 before drinks at 20 overs, with the park 77-0. Having mentioned to Dushy they should push on after drinks, the next ball precipitated Dushy’s wicket as the opposition Cheese turned one back from outside off. Aseem came in, hit three sumptuous boundaries and was lbw to the same bowler. Whispering came in as their slow left armer and Captain was turning the ball square and was done through the gate going for his trademark sweep, swiftly followed by a (unusually) grumbling Herro. Who’s be an umpire eh? Poor Jurgo.
Monica went in the 29th over as fatigue (lack of fitness) caused him to play over a yorker. He was still taking off his pads when Atul was gone too. This left Spinders and Uday to bring home the innings, with Spinders carving the final ball over cover for the first six of the season – which turned out to be somewhat important!
After tea (the actual cups of tea, as made by Jamo, being a sought a grey, warmed up water with milk affair – must be how the upper classes like it), Southampton made a confident start on a much dryer wicket, reaching 30-odd without loss of 10 oversbefore Whispering struck, Mikey C taking a fine catch at point. After both Jamo and Whispering had got 6 good overs under their respective belts, Uday and Mikey C proceeded to bowl with superior swing and, after Uday’s 11 ball first over, great control to peg the Southampton boys back, Mikey deservedly amongst the wickets. Special mention to Uday for warranting 2 slips on a slow wicket on a Sunday in April! Play swung back in the park’s favour until a good 4th wicket stand meant that with 6 wickets remaining, the boys from Wessex needed 6 an over off the last 10. Spinders and the Real Cheese bowled well without luck, Cheese again showing that the ball could be swung at the Park and Spinders showing good rhythm. There were a few dropped catches and a missed stumping as the Yellow Hat of Shame was passed around, but generally the Park fielded well, with Aseem exceptional in the outfield and Atul catching sparrows. Herro had a good day behind the stumps on a very testing surface for the stumpers.
Jamo and Whispering came back and a couple of quick wickets for Steve meant the park were back in the hunt. A fantastic game, played in an excellent spirit, came down the the last over. With 8 runs needed Monica turned to Spinders. With a wicket and a run out, it came down to the last ball, with 4 needed for a Southampton win. Holding his nerve to complete a stellar last over, Spinders was heaved towards the legside boundary, where Uday calmly threw in and the second run out of the over meant the Park were home by 2. Not bad the day after snow had fallen on the ground!
The Wessex chaps joined us for the traditional blue stripe, awarding it to the hapless chap who missed the easiest run out we’ll see this season (“go to fine leg and think about what you’ve done”). Our award went to Herro for making it halfway to the middle before realising that we had decided, in a break with tradition to use bats.
Well done and come on the Park!
Dawn ‘til Dusk Cricket Match – Welford Park v East Garston – 7th July 2015
The weather gods were not looking good on Monday night so the covers were put on the Welford Wicket. Sure enough as players started to arrive at 6.00 am, yes you did read that correctly, rain seemed to be in the air. The covers were removed for the scheduled 6:30 start but then quickly put back on as the rain fell. 24 people were feeling frustrated in the pavilion as other activities took place. The 9.00am Breakfast break was brought forward to 8.00 and then play did start at 8:30 with Welford Winning the toss and electing to bat – a split decision in the home dressing room as to whether this was a good idea.
Skipper Mark Jurgens quickly decided it was not a good choice as he returned to the pavilion having only faced 2 balls for a duck. Six overs into the innings things had got worse with the home side now 18-3. This brought Will & Ian Herrington together with the latter getting dropped on 0, which was to be significant. Will was give out LBW for 17 with the score on 44 which brought Mikey Carter to the crease. Along with Ian these two rebuilt the Welford innings matching each other score for score all be it Ian started 10 runs in front. At the drinks break the score had moved onto 141-3 with Ian having just reached his half century and Mikey 5 runs away from his first ever half century. The next 10 overs were painful additional cricket at East Garston kept everything tight with only 11 runs added. Mikey’s Granddad arrived at the ground which was the signal for Mikey to hit a glorious drive to reach his first half century. A few runs later the 138 run stand was broken as Mikey was caught behind off Galbraith, 182-5. This signified a Welford collapse as Andy Barr went next ball and then Ian Herrington for 99 with Welford eventually 224-11 all out, (it was a 12 a side game) with Matty Galbraith taking 5-35, and it was lunch time!
Garston made a great start with Chris Aubrey (48) and Michael Green (19) plundering runs all around the ground but an inspired bowling change was Nookie Yaqub gt both batsmen in the space of 4 balls – 72-2. The middle order fell quickly as Will Herrington took 2 wickets in 4 overs conceding no runs at all with Andy Brr chipping in with one as well, as Garston slipped to 98-5. Dan Hawkins however became the main stay of the Garston innings, top scoring with 70 ably supported by Russell Highnett (30) putting on 97 for the 6th wicket. At 207-8 it looked like Welford might have a small first innings lead by Matty Galbraith had other ideas scoring a quick fire 19 taking the visitors to a 4 run lead, however Garston were bowled out for 232 , a small lead of 8 runs into the second innings. Tea was then taken.
Under the rules of the match a sides top 5 scoring batsmen had to bat in reverse order at the end of the innings so Ian Herrington and Dan Hawkins would be their sides no12’s etc.
Welford were able to keep their same opening pair and again Jurgens was out to the second ball he face so not a very good day for the match organiser. Will Thornton, Manu Chadha and Adrian Bean all got going into double figures but there was a steady fall of wickets with only Nokhaz Yaqub playing attacking shots reaching 32 before being bowled by R Highnett. With Skelton Run out this brought in Will Herrington who hit a quick fire 55 off 28 balls and with last Man Ian Herrington (16) added 46 runs from 21 ball as Welford declared on 188-10 setting Garston a target of 181 from just over an hour and a half play which Welford said they would bowl around 30 overs to win so about 6 runs per over.
Blackmore and Burkitt and then Manoharan got the visitors off and running but lost their wickets so the score was 37-3 off 6 overs. Vince and Will Highnett put together a 38 run stand in the next 10 overs but Garston were slipping behind the rate. When Willoughby was 7th man out making the score 104-7 from 25 overs Garston’s chance seemed to have gone however Galbraith had other ideas smashing 21 off 10 balls. Garston however lost Green run out and then Galbraith brilliantly caught by Chadha making the score 133-9 from 28 overs. Welford had bowled their overs quicker than expected and there was still time for four more overs. The next two only went for 4 runs leaving Garston needing 42 from the last 2 overs. A fine attempt from Chris Aubrey saw him score 27 off 14 balls but Garston ended up on 167-9. Thus Welford were 2 wickets short of winning and Garston 14 runs.
So 175 overs had been bowled in the day, despite there being a 2 hour rain delay and 24 people left the ground very tired but hopefully satisfied having raised funds for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance. You can still donate by going to https://www.justgiving.com/dawn-to-dusk-2015/ or by contacting Ian Herrington on 01488 648132.