Under blue skies, our pre-match catching practice was overseen by Dave
doing a very passable impression of Duncan Fletcher. A "catches win matches" comment was quickly dismissed by a confident captain, who declared that our catching had been exemplary all year. Famous
The Carpediems seized this as their day and took full advantage of some crocodilesque attempts to grab the flying cherry. Cunners and Rob bowled good opening spells without reward – Barron and Pengelly going aerial with frustrating regularity – before Tommy and Hugo toiled manfully during the middle overs. At 90-odd without loss at drinks, the oppo looked set for a decent total. However, Hugo nipped out Pengelly, as Dave leapt forward at short extra to take the first of his three catches. After Cunners had pouched their No 3 in Tom’s final over, the Chancellor had Barron (53) stumped off his second delivery, Calders taking stumps and ball in a bundle. Chris and Clayders (6-14), playing his 163rd game to go second ahead of Hugh on the all-time caps list, ran amok through the middle and lower order.
Set 165 to win, Tom and Dave got us off to a solid start, seeing off the accurate Baxter. Dave, the victim of a run out or two this year, made sure people in Crystal Palace could hear his loud, decisive calls. Tommy’s dismissal brought Jack Hearne to the crease, granted licence to act as a pinch hitter. His eventual dismissal for 30, on debut, provided an usual incident. On being given out caught off his glove, Jack stood his ground and waved his right hand furiously at the umpire – was this a friendly Gardener just waving good-bye or confirming to the umpire he’d made an excellent decision in giving him out? Jack’s two female fans were as flummoxed as the rest of us.
Antoni, unusually quiet having declined the chance to buy a club cap (“2009 prices”) off Del Boy Clayders, went in at No 4 and again proved an excellent foil for Dave. With two runs to win, he fell victim to sledging from his own team. Given the option from the boundary of going big or going home, Antoni decided he’d been there too long and went for option two.
Out strode Captain Jamie Elliott – reluctantly, he claimed – to steal the limelight and strike the winning runs with a cover boundary. The star of the innings was Dave. His 63 not out was full of glorious cuts, late cuts and, eventually, drives, and it allowed the other batsmen the freedom to go after the bowling.
The day finished with Clayders, voted MOM, buying a jug for everyone to enjoy in the evening sunshine. Dave bought another. A pleasing victory by seven wickets. HN
As blogged on my iWon’tBeUmpiring smartphone
We play most of our games in Dulwich and net during the winter at The Oval. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Matt Aked (life)
Jamie Elliot (life)
Rob Navratil (life)
Hugo Nisbet (life)
David Woodhouse (life)
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