Sterner tests than the depleted Bohemians lie ahead for GCC this season. On the basis that you can only beat who is put in front of you, though, beat them we did. Ludo, in his fathers' day outing, took the bowling honours with 3-23, while the runs were mainly shared between the top three – David (42), Jim (30) and Jamie (40) – as we won by seven wickets with 10 overs to spare in a 35-over game in Crouch End. With all due respect to the players, however, the banter in the pavilion was more engaging than most of the entertainment on the park.
Gardeners lost the toss and were invited to bowl first on a lifeless track. Once Fatty and the Metronome found their range, Bohos inched along at barely two an over. Cunners saw good balls squirt down to third man or fine leg. Coming on second change, Ludo struck the top of off with his second delivery as Strum attempted to clout him into North Middlesex. All the while, the other opener was taking his own and his team's time. His running – or rather waiting – commentary sounded like Simon Hughes had brought the analyst's van out to the middle. He would eventually be caught and bowled by Ludo for 41, leaving Bohos 79 for 5 after 25. The run rate increased, but wickets fell in the process. Cunners and Rob picked up two a piece, the latter including a swift leg-side stumping straight from Mike's scrapbook of swift leg-side stumpings. Matt got one at the death, and was rewarded by Cooke smiting two sixes to a short cow corner. Ludo's last over went for 10; Clayders, if not opening the buffet, had offered at least one takeout pizza every over. Bohos 139-9.
In pursuit, Jim continued his sublime form of last week. A thwacking pull made the most noise, but the clip through mid-wicket had the purists purring. Jamie then played with the ease of someone flicking through the Sunday papers. His downfall was the batting equivalent of replying "Oh, go on then" to hearing "who wants the last pain au chocolat?" and promptly dropping it on the floor: he yorked himself ogling the short boundary. David was all crafty leg-glances and precision cuts; the blood on his gloves evidence he remains in fine nick.
Will S, who had arrived not-so-fresh from a car-boot sale in Chelmsford, roused himself from a snooze and disquisitions on the unbearable tightness of being No 4, to hit our only six of the game and see things through with Andy O. He had previously mentioned, in a discussion of Jack White's girlfriends, the fact that he had once seen the film Cold Mountain expecting it to be Brokeback Mountain. Jamie chimed in with the story of the Chelsea fan who tweeted during the Champions League about "never being this nervous about a semi since watching Brokeback Mountain." Fatty wisely steered Ewan, a brief spectator, onto the subject of quadratic equations. Ludo, meanwhile, was wondering aloud what his patented wicket celebration should be: a Pete Townshend power-chord seemed to be the front runner.
Back on formulae, consideration of the difference between a featherbed and a pudding of a wicket led Jamie to speculate about the algorithm for a "good pitch". Length of journey to the ground, quality of the tea, ability to score runs on it and the possibly of rain (Jamie adding that it's always cloudy in north London) were the relevant factors: where are Johnstone, Watson or Chambers when you need them? Cunners was playing with Poppy the dog.
A final word on Mike's beard, which will soon need its own Equity card. After being cast as Walter Raleigh, D'Artagnan and Shaggy from Scooby-Doo, its latest role was deemed to be Christian Bale: once a batsman, always a Batman? RC
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Oliver Cunningham (life)
Jamie Elliott (life)
John Lloyd (life)
Hugo Nisbet (life)
David Woodhouse (life)
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