GCC v Addington 1743 - Match Report
10th June 2018
'Addington 1743, finished by 1750'
by Greg Struthers
For those of you who do not wish to partake in a long reading excursion here is the ‘Ed Lite’ version of the match report.
Addington 1743, after winning the toss and batting first, were bowled out for 119 in 32.1 overs, although they did have only 10 players. Tom took three for eight and Saj three for 18. We knocked off the runs in 31.5 overs to win by four wickets. Matt top scored with 45 which earned him the Al Desco Sandwich Moment. The tea wasn’t great but then it wasn’t an Al Desco tea.
For those of you who would like read on then please join me on the journey…
Every cricket match is something of a peregrination into the unknown. When we reach our destination we may be dishevelled and distraught or joyous and jovial. On this occasion the many twists and turns against Addington 1743 brought us to a happy place. Victory by four wickets at 5.50pm and the opportunity to soak up the late afternoon sun with a pint or two. Time on our hands.
Like any voyage this one needed planning. Tom started the day in a somewhat grumpy mood, having spent Saturday quaffing too many lagers with the posh lads at Lord’s. His mood was not improved when he noted that we had been assigned a strip on the far edge of the pitch with one boundary 20 yards away and the other in the outer regions of Timbuktu. It took 20 minutes of on-field chat with their captain Hizzey to decide to opt for a used pitch closer to the middle. [Seriously though, what were you talking about out there? Ed] Did our Skip fancy it may take a bit of spin one wonders?
Phileas Fogg of Purley was also setting out on a journey on the morning of Sunday, June 10, 2018. His destination would ultimately be the sporting fields of Turney Road although he did not know it at the time.
He awoke bright and early and packed his bags before a quick breakfast. He keyed the directions to the Dulwich Picture Gallery into his Google Maps app. Destination: 8.5 miles. Time: 29 minutes. Traffic: usual. Expected arrival: 9.29am.
Knowing the problems he had experienced in the past in reaching his desired landmark on time, he decided to set off at 9am, giving himself a luxurious three hours to arrive at the Picture Gallery at noon for his appointment. This, he believed, would not be a momentous journey.
Having lost the toss, Rob and Sam had first use of the red missile. Rob locked his GPS onto the corridor of uncertainty, Sam’s was in the region of Duluth rather than Dulwich. A succession of wides did not improve the captain’s disposition. Unsurprisingly Rob elicited the breakthrough, opener Shafi popping a dolly to Olly. Obviously the homework after last week’s loss to the schoolboys had paid dividends.
Mr Phileas Fogg was making good progress as he reached St Peters Road in South Croydon, two miles into the excursion. Then he struck trouble. There was a thumping noise from the back of his motor. He pulled to the side of the road and inspected the rear of the vehicle. A puncture five minutes into his odyssey. Oh no.
Sam was back on track and an edge off opener Rehman’s blade was neatly snaffled at first slip by James as Addington slipped to 22-2. Saj joined the attack and chose the straight and narrow path to the stumps, bowling Amjad and Ghulab as Addington reached 66-4 at drinks. Scrubbers (sic) had a four-over spell of left-arm without success so Tom opted to change things around after the refreshment interval with an all-spin attack of himself and the non-spinning off-spinner James. It worked a treat.
Mr Phileas Fogg had experienced the misfortune of a puncture in the past and knew exactly what to do. In no time he had removed the troublesome tyre and replaced it. It had taken him 25 minutes to complete the repairs. Destination: 6.5 miles. Time: 25 minutes. Expected arrival: 10am.
Miah, their most dangerous batsman, struck a hard, lofted drive in Tom’s first over and Olly gobbled up the chance. We were travelling well now with Addington 78-5. The left-handed Blackman proved a mild irritation until he lofted a Tom delivery to James at square leg, Hizzey touched a James delivery into Matt’s gloves and Tom skittled Vishnu to leave Addington 91-8, effectively nine because they had 10 players.
Mr Phileas Fogg had reached the outskirts of Croydon when his progress was unexpectedly delayed. As he turned the corner into Hogarth Crescent there was a police car in front of him, impeding his journey. The road was blocked by a group of protesters carrying banners demanding the release of an Uzbekistan loyalist locked up in a cell in Ulan Bator for allegedly stealing Mongolian ducks. Mr Plod recommended Mr Fogg take a three-mile detour. Phileas thought he recognised the face under the big Bobby helmet but couldn’t quite put a name to it. Off he set on his detour.
Our route through Addington’s batting line-up hit a pot hole when the big-hitting Zaheer mistimed a hoick high into the covers above Steven. Tom called for the catch but spilled the chance and James paid for it in the next over with a series of boundaries to cow corner. Dave got under one but could not hold on.
Saj returned to the attack to bowl Zaheer with his first ball. This was the Gardeners’ first visit to Turney Road after last September’s memorable blood bath against The Sunday Times but lessons had been learned. There was certainly no thought of giving Addington a last-man-standing option. A target of 120 would do nicely.
Mr Phileas Fogg now found himself in the backstreets of suburban Norbury Park when the next misadventure befell him. His motor, so reliable in the past, came to a shuddering halt. The engine petered out and despite numerous attempts to restart it, he had no success. What to do? He would telephone Green Flag. Not to worry, they would send out a serviceman within 30 minutes. The green van arrived at 11.05am, as promised. "I am sorry to tell you sir that your alternator motor has packed up and a new one will cost you £86.99. As your account has expired I will need the money in cash."
Now Mr Fogg did not carry wads of cash on his person so he and the man from Green Flag set off in the van to find an ATM in Streatham. Thirty minutes later the car was fixed, the money paid and the indomitable Phileas could resume the journey. Job done. Destination: 2.5 miles. Expected arrival: 12.01pm.
A ploughman’s lunch of bread, cheese and beer dates back to the 1300s, well before the formation of the Addington cricket club in 1743, and that was the fare served up to our travellers. No Battenberg or Celebration Cake in sight sadly.
Mr Phileas Fogg arrived outside the Picture Gallery at 12.02pm. He had to wait for an old lady and her dog to make their way across a South Circular zebra crossing, delaying his ETA by 60 seconds. Wow, I am on time, thought Phileas. All he had to do was cross the road and on the lush green field opposite would be 10 of his friends waiting for him, surprised by his early arrival. Alas, when he got to the gate there was nobody in sight.
Dave and Olly began our reply and the former’s front-foot drive through cover in the opening over signalled their intent to complete this jaunt in quick time. The pair complement each other well, Dave attacking off the front foot and Olly stepping back with an upright stance to hit the ball at the top of its arc. An edge to Ghulab behind the stumps brought about Dave’s downfall for 12 but with 35 on the board the scene had been set.
Mr Phileas Fogg panicked. Where are they? Have I got the wrong day? He grabbed his phone, flicked through his WhatsApp messages and there it was: From Rob, 12.30pm start at Turney Road. Not to worry it is only around the corner, Phileas assured himself.
Olly was bowled by the useful Amjad but not before he had hit the seamer for six over square leg. A contribution of 26 proving valuable in a low-scoring match. Steven and Matt put on 36 off 35 balls with consummate ease before Steven’s ambitious attempt at a 66-yard sprint with a leg injury found him wanting: run out by one-yard for 17.
Saj is invariably circumspect at the start of his innings but on this occasion attempted an ambitious cut shot and was bowled. The total of 90-4 became 101-5 when Tom fell lbw to the dangerous Miah, a 19-year-old building up a head of steam.
Mr Phileas Fogg arrived at the gates to the Dulwich Sports Ground. They were closed. No parking because of a football tournament, he read. So Phileas reversed his car and went in search of a place to park.
Now Matt’s ancestors were given the perfect moniker of Wood all those years ago. For when our Matt has a plank in his hands he sparkles. He opened his account with his second ball, hitting a sumptuous drive between square leg and mid-wicket for the first of his eight fours. Oh yes, Matt deals primarily in boundaries. He coloured all sectors of his wagon wheel with an innings of 45 off 60 balls. His hour-long tenure in the middle terminated when he holed out to extra cover with only three runs needed for victory.
Nick, commendably putting in a shift despite a debilitating ankle injury, was not too keen on batting this day and James made sure there was no SOS call by getting his blade to a legside delivery that took us to the journey’s end in 191 balls.
Mr Phileas Fogg was not having much luck finding a parking space. In fact the only spare space he could secure was outside the Dulwich Picture Gallery. From there he set out on a long walk back to Turney Road. It was 12.50pm when he arrived at the field. The game was about to start. His journey had taken him three hours and 50 minutes. Then he remembered looking at his Google Map app at 9am that morning. Walking distance: 8.2 miles. Time: 2hr 45min. Expected arrival: 11.45am.
GS (Scribbles by Scrubbers)
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