There has been much consternation over the absence of last week’s match report. Sincere apologies. No, I mean really sincere apologies. How could one pass up on the opportunity to wax lyrical over Wil Barber’s fine century at Preston Park and equally chortle over Jordan’s first over duck against his own team ? But those were essentially the two highlights of a 40-over match that Wanderers lost by 7 wickets. Oh, and Noaksey being told not to bother coming home if he didn’t reach double figures- he did, making 40, but was dropped when he reached 9…….
For anyone wishing to have a fleeting memory of last week’s match. Here’s Wil Barber’s foot. Nice. (EDIT: It’s actually Mr Higgs, but why change the habit of mixing the two up. Although Anthony can’t have Wil’s century…)
Now, as these defective match reports appear to have a global audience, let’s create a fitting picture of Plumpton this Sunday. Not that we need to do much as very little changes. The wicket appeared a lot drier and the forest that the outfield has become appeared to have little loving attention apart from a little pruning by resident rabbits. Not the cricketing type- although plenty were on show.
Wanderers won the toss, an achievement in itself, and Lukey elected to bat against Gully- a team of all abilities and ages from the Seaford area. A timed match was agreed upon (remember those ?). For the author, although part of a minority these days it would seem, Sunday’s are made for such formats. Wanderers had two and half hours to bat. You mustn’t laugh, for as much as the first few overs would support your smug countenance, the remainder will make you realise why Sunday’s are so special to our level of cricket and the environment beyond the scorebook.
Openers Gopul and Deepak created havoc in the Southwick top order. The ball, as usual, kept low. The wicket was uneven and, last but not least, the bowling was accurate with a little late swing. Wanderers, in habit of tradition, lost three early wickets. At 10-3, DJ Dave must have had kittens over his tea preparation for by three ‘o’ clock he could be on the field himself. Both Lukey and our century hero from the cycle track had their stumps disturbed and the returning Rob Black, minus the splendid but poorly Darwin, had snicked one behind. A batting order that looked reasonable on paper had become paper-thin. Our friends from Seaford seemed to sense this and decided that it was time to uphold the Sunday tradition, although perhaps earlier than one would have expected it needed, and let everyone have a go.
Aspiring youngsters were brought into the attack and among them was one of our very own- young master Travers. Josh had insisted on coming to the game despite his 18th birthday celebrations the previous evening. In this interconnected world, news had reach Wanderers Towers that the night had been most heavy. The jollies of events had been top billing in Facebook news. Yet a seemingly unfazed Travers had been picked up in Hassocks looking none the worse for wear. Give it time. The least we could do was hand him to a numbers depleted opposition, make him bowl, bat, and ensure he had time to drop a catch. Mission accomplished.
At numbers four and five came Big Bear Jones and the studious and correct Joe Baker. Joe is the brother of Wil Baker who you may remember from earlier reports as a returning cricketer of much phoenix potential. Gwyllim took the new attack to the sword, whilst Joe played crisply and correctly, accumulating a plethora of singles- mainly because the outfield will not accommodate a perfectly timed straight drive with four-penny worth. Runs came steadily, with a period of aerial routing from The Bear, that afforded him 50 runs from a 63 partnership. When Gywllim departed the score stood at a respectable 73-4, not least thanks to him wielding the bat like an axe and the opposition considerately taking their foot off the bowling gas. I think young Travers may have had a dropped catch in there, but I won’t mention that a second time. On the subject of our Josh, he was kindly allowed to bowl four overs too. Credit here to the opposition for giving their invitee another chance. A theme of sportsmanship you’ll find running through this report.
Now for Johno, bat like a scythe, swing like a golfer with a shot putter’s prep. Coming in at number 6 with Joe still comfortably steadying the batting ship, Mark was his classical self. Boundaries came at impossible angles, and another partnership had been formed. Far from being disheartened, the opposition’s youngsters seemed to enjoy the Johnson Carnival. When Joe, the batsman who had least looked like losing his wicket, namely because he didn’t put it perpetually at risk, was dismissed for 21, Wanderers had passed the hundred mark.
Further support from the author and the resident sledgehammer, or Slaymaker as his ancestry describes him, allowed the score to move to a respectful 146-6 off 42 overs at tea. Johno finished on 44 not out – although he was briefly teased that it was 49. Seemingly unfazed we then told him the truth. He just likes being in the middle- as his chirpy aura shows every time someone joins his encouraging self at the crease.
A full session had been completed. The affording party was not least our opposition. Nine bowlers were used and encouraged. Those who struggled were not despondent. One couldn’t help feeling the social environment as girlfriends, willing or not, canines and a very active chip off the Jonesian block had much enjoyment from the sidelines. As we all enjoyed DJ Dave’s fine effort of a teatime banquet we almost forgot there was another innings. This was to be just as fun with an unexpected, or expected depending on who you talk to, bowling starlet that took to the reins.
|Total||(6 Wickets)||(42 Overs)||146|
|Fall Of Wickets||5,5,10,73,101,135|
Despite the potential threat of rain the clouds stayed pretty high and the temperature kept to jumper level. Openers Raj and Senthil took guard on a typical Plumpton late afternoon scene.
Master Wadey and DJ Dave opened the proceedings. The ever more accomplished Daniel sent down an accurate spell- although the Plumpton pitch aided a wanting length at times. Our Dave’s out swingers seemed to have Point pulling the late string at times as the bat was beaten on more than one occasion. A few of his deliveries fell uncharacteristically short and a leg side clubbing brought up one or two early boundaries.
Opener Senthil’s leg-side pull early on brought a startled Pete S into a ‘do or die’ catching scenario. The red cherry hurtled towards Peter’s nether regions and a relieving catch was held at mid-wicket. Had this not been held the gruff North Yorkshire tones would have been replaced with a low-pitched squeak for a few hours. Wanderers had a wicket and Pete had his dignity in tact…
Wickets soon began to fall steadily. Master Wadey remembered to appeal for a successful LBW, DJ Dave took another wicket, a catch from debutant Baker, and the opening bowlers were then rested. Big Rob, who could easily deputise for Brian Blessed if his stage work becomes too much of a chore, took the Downs End whilst and eager Lee Warnett was thrown the ball at the Racecourse plot. Whilst the author has jokingly referred to or Lee’s bowling as ‘right arm allsorts’ it was today a case of ‘right arm bon-bons’ as the little man found a line and length today that caused much bother to the Gully middle order.
Wickets fell steadily, mostly to Lee- three of which he bowled. One of them was held in the hands of Master Wadey. A quick look at this year’s scorebook reveals that this efficient twosome has had a hand in more than half of the Wanderers wickets this season. No mean effort given their newness to the game. And a product of an inclusive Sunday attitude. Gully fell for 49-9, but the result seems more of a footnote to the overall day itself.
So Wanderers won, although, as said, the day itself seems more significant. It was commented that Gully seemed to play the game in a similar way to us. The desire to make Sunday a social fest being the primary consideration. Luke is the best Sunday captain I have seen in the 27 years I have been associated with SWCC. I don’t know who was the best tactician, possibly Nick Clarke, but that is not how I assess summer Sunday afternoons. This was amplified yesterday when I saw both teams trying to make a day of the affair. As a result there was no unhealthy competition and even less, well no, moaning. It is this type of attitude that has led to the discoveries of Masters Wadey and Warnett, or, more accurately, the chances they have had to develop their game.
Once plentiful handshakes and thanks were issued, and the old place was restored to order, Wanderers retired to The Bull for talk of weddings, birthday lightweights, and huge cricketing heroics of yesteryear.
If you are reading this and not making yourself available for matches then mourn your losses. A match report is no consolation to the fun of the day itself. Make yourself available.
|Raj||c||Wadey (D)||b||Warnett (L)||26|
|Senthil||c||Slaymaker (P)||b||Field (D)||6|
|Dhanesh||c||Baker (J)||b||Field (D)||1|
|Fall Of Wickets||.|
|Venue||Plumpton Agricultural College|
|Result||Southwick Wanderers won by 97 runs||97 runs|