Retraction: The outstanding innings of last weekend´s match against Glenrothes CC was in fact played by visiting batsman Ben Wilkinson, not Ben German as previously stated (and as his twitter name would suggest). A fact of which I was made aware when late last evening I received an angry, threatening and clearly drunken phone call from a gentleman by the name of Ben German, who has apparently this week lost his job in investment banking and been thrown out of his penthouse apartment by his wife-to-be.
Both his boss and his fiancée had been led to believe by Mr. German that he had been away for the weekend looking after his ailing grandmother, and were therefore not best pleased to find out in last week´s report that he had been away on a lads cricket tour of Benidorm (although they were no doubt secretly quite impressed that he had top scored against SACC, as they knew him to have little talent for the game of cricket).
SACC 1st XI vs Appleby Eden CC.
In honour of grandmaster Bobby Fisher, universally famed for his ability to play anything up to 20 chess matches at once purely from memory, so I am once again going to attempt to write this report without the use of our scorebook (slightly less temporarily misplaced than I at first believed).
The week leading up to the match wasn´t quite going to plan for the SACC captain, with a variety of cry offs including Vice-Captain Pennick who was selfishly holidaying in Las Vegas, opening bowler Roper away on a week-long personalised fitness and training regime in La Manga, and number 3 batsman Muñoz, who found a novel way of making himself unavailable by simply posting a sad-faced selfie on Facebook wearing a neck brace. Then on match day wicket keeper Ward (aka “The Gypo”) got his wife to call in sick for him, citing emotional exhaustion due to widespread use of his new nickname.
This left Brook to don the gloves for the first time in many a year, and SACC to field one of the youngest first teams ever seen at the Woodbridge Oval. By mid-afternoon, it had all become too much for all-rounder Crompton; probably suffering from mild heat exhaustion and no longer able to distinguish from his weekly duties as a kindergarten assistant, he could clearly be heard muttering from cover-point to teammates to “stop chewing the crayons” and “make sure you wash your hands after you go pee-pee”.
So the match began, with Appleby Eden CC winning the toss and, unsurprisingly judging by some of the battle-worn faces on display from the previous evening in Benidorm, electing to bat first. 17 year old Jo Davidson began with great style, panache and clearly very little desire to run singles, and proceeded to take his team to 50 from the first 10 overs with a succession of boundaries before the first wicket fell.
The opening bowlers showed plenty of endeavor, but unfortunately the fielding was akin to a pod of seals attempting to catch fish in their front flippers (or possibly sea lions, although Wikipedia doesn´t offer a collective noun for them. A Braithwaite, possibly?). Davidson went on to score 65 before he ran past a googly from Shaz and was stumped beautifully by Brook, who somehow managed to simultaneously look as if he was born to keep wicket and also as if he had never picked up a pair of keeping gloves before in his life. Others chipped in and Appleby finished with a creditable 220/9 from their 40 overs.
In reply SACC began poorly, with both Brook and new player Algar clean bowled in the opening overs. This was the moment the club chairman Laundon chose to remind everyone within earshot that he currently averages 85 as opener. However, it is likely that due to recent surgery his memory has somehow been affected, as the 85 average to which he was referring was in fact at the start of the 1988-89 season, and was due solely to the 85 he scored in his one and only outing as opener of the year, against the Women´s Institute Cupcake Arranging XI.
By all accounts, he was well on his way to a century that day, but unfortunately got over-excited and was clean bowled by Mavis Hogthorne whilst attempting the first ever recorded switch-hit. He is to this day in litigation with KP over copyright infringement.
The moment of the day undoubtably came when overseas member and number 3 bat George Metcalfe, hit on the back leg, decided that although it was going way down legside according to the umpire, the mere fact of missing a full toss was embarrassment enough, and that he had let himself, his whole family and his teammates down, so marched immediately off the pitch even before the bowler had gone up for a half-hearted appeal for lbw.
The bewildered wicket keeper duly removed the bails and ran him out. It must be said that this extreme and bizarre act of sportsmanship was clearly not taught to him by his half-brother and vice-captain Pennick who has to this day never once accepted an lbw decision. Even after having checked every replay, DRS, Snicko, Hotspot, and having each bowler´s action recorded and sent away to Perth for biomechanical testing, he still genuinely believes that he has had the rough end of 2456 umpires decisons to date during his 20 year SACC playing career.
Anyway, back to the match. The middle order scored some runs, wickets were taken, catches were held (and no doubt dropped), heroes were made and dreams were shattered. At the end the visitors ran out clear winners by 63 runs.
Many thanks to Appleby Eden CC for their visit, and hopefully there will be many more to come.
Sporting Alfas Cricket Club.