Category: Match Report

1st XI Match Report

With an average age of 12, shoe size of 6 ½ and merely a handful of GCSEs between us; the new look 1st XI set sail - two from two the destination. Under captain Copeland they seem to have stolen some confidence and appear, I must stress for very short periods of time, unbeatable.

With the new skippers only contribution of both games so far (the toss) out the way, previously also landing tails, Old Pauline were put in to bat against a youthful Wick attack and Sashi.

Browning, having clearly saved his best for this week, hit the spot hard from the off. He soon had his reward, a "nick" behind was plucked like a fine Somerset apple from a tree by the brother in law Lewis Gregory never talks about.  From the other end, Sammy featured and bowled a 900% increase on last week’s overs. The highlight of his early overs being the first in which the ‘opener’ lobbed up a simple catch to the well-rested Michael Wood.

Cue the Captains’ last positive influence on the game… Ball thrown to Blobz.

 

0 W 0 W 0 0

 

Scenes.

 

Within the space of an over, Blobz had changed the game again forcing even Monte to jump from his seat and run to the middle in order to celebrate with the boys. These celebrations were not short lived as the wickets steadily went leaving OPCC in trouble at 109-7. Spin from one end, backed up by some efficient left arm ‘on the monies’ from the more senior Sashi at the other. Mik Hucknall picking up a sneaky one with a questionable LBW. Great stuff.

 

Despite a gamble, forcing the openers out of retirement to use their overs up before the eventual end of the innings, The Wick finished the 50 overs with minimal damage. 185-9. As we gorged on Sandwiches, Pizza slices and unbelievable brownies, (Ken always scores an 8.5) the batsman set their mind on the task at hand.

 

A New look opening partnership of Blobz / Bonay walked out to the middle with one thought runs. It couldn’t have started better as Blobz got off the mark for the season first ball and backed up with a four soon after. Unfortunately, the fairy-tale wasn’t to be and he was soon dismissed (triggered, if you ask him, fairly if you ask anyone else) for a breezy five from 15.

 

Enter Rob. With the uncertainty surrounding his recent contract negotiations (1 pint per 15 runs) signed and settled, Rob walked to the crease, mind free of any troubles. Unfortunately, so free was his mind that he forgot use his bat on a straight one; only offering a pad. 14 from 33, narrowly missing out on the aforementioned ‘free pint’. I’m well informed that he did make up for this through self-purchase method.

 

Big Mike spent most of the morning reassuring those around him that his wrists had been redundant and therefore well rested; one would assume that this would reflect positively in his batting. Never assume – after squirting one through the slips for a well-timed 3, Mike nailed one through to the keeper but stuck around, only to watch the umpire reassure him that he had hit the ball.

 

It was this wicket, unbeknown to us at the time, that wrapped up the game and saw the Wick home. At 60 odd for 3, we required a knock of real maturity from both Bonay and Caleb. Both timed the ball well and made a decent bowling attack look particularly average at times. Well Batted.

 

On to next week, I love winning.

 

HWRCC 2nd XI vs Trinity Mid-Whitgiftians - 18th May 2019

Date:                                 18/05/2019

Opposition:                      Trinity Mid-Whitgiftian CC

Venue:                              @ TMWCC

Scorecard:                        http://hwrcc.play-cricket.com/website/results/3753244

MoM:                                Abdur Rehman

DoD:                                  Phil Linter (honourable mentions to Tom Clements, Keerat Khaira)

As the curtains were drawn early Saturday morning, all eyes were on the sky. Dark clouds hovered over the leafy suburb of Clapham South, leaving this writer feeling rather pessimistic about the prospects of getting a full day’s play in. A match-winners breakfast of a skinny flat white and vegemite on Gail’s bakery sourdough turned the mood around, as it always does, and we were on the road, making the trek away to Trinity Mid-Whitgiftian, which for those not from around here, is South Croydon (ish).

A sizzling hot team on paper was assembled, luckily it came with a pair of Tong’s (lolz, thank you), and we were all set to right the wrongs of week 1. Your scribe was the only one to arrive at the venue at the 10:45am time designated by Captain Linter, with fellow match winner I Collier showing up shortly after, and the rest of the team arriving some 20-30 minutes after this. The arrival of Captain Linter also saw the arrival of half the teams kit, with the selfless-as-always skipper packing his wife’s boot full of bags from various lockers back at HQ. Clemmo, being the good lad that he is offered a helping hand (his kit was also included in this lot), and when questioning if his kit was on the back seat or in the boot, Captain Linter greeted Clemmo with “oh shit, I forgot it”. Lolz, good gag for a Saturday morning thought Clemmo, a little bit of bag trickery, not half bad from the notoriously unfunny skipper. “Give us your keys, I will work it out” Clemmo bellowed. Captain Linter chimed in again “No, I actually forgot it”. It was at this point that Captain Linter knew, he f**ked up. Adding to the misery was the fact that DJ had forgotten his trousers, and Khaira and S Patel had to complete their kit with an impromptu ‘shopping’ visit to Croydon whilst en-route with JPW. Fair to say, the signs were ominous for the all-conquering Wick 2nd XI. With the assistance of Simon Jones (still the undisputed best Jones), 1st XI skipper Copeland, and Ton Ton the Uber driver, remaining goods were en-route and things were looking slightly better.

A decent track was presented to us by the TMW groundsman, and the home skipper had no hesitation in electing to bat upon winning the toss. The aforementioned bag debacle meant that Clemmo and DJ had to take the field looking even more village than usual, Clemmo borrowing Captain Linter’s bright blue trainers (unsurprisingly hideous), and DJ wearing trousers that were both ripped and 4 sizes too big for him (they were youth size 6 I think). But, spirits were still very high and the new rock was thrown to Tong of the I variety. Ambling in off 12 yards, Tong of the I variety made an immediate impact, with the first ball of the day sneaking through the opener and thundering into the base of middle stump. A perfect start for the boys in white (us). Captain Linter partnered Ian from the Northern end with some serious heat (more lolz, obviously not) and the screws were well and truly turned, and after a few overs, the TMW batsmen were struggling to get any momentum. Keeper Khaira, channelling his inner Collier from week 1, managed to shell the un-shellable off the bowling of Captain Linter, but even with this slip-up, the pressure mounted and this ultimately lead to the next breakthrough. Keen to put the foot down, the non-striker tried to sneak a single, got three-quarters of the way down the track, only to be sent back, and some smart work from Khaira, atoning for prior misdemeanours (at least on the pitch), resulted in the run-out at the non-strikers end, 34 for 2 and the Wick were well on top.

Tong of the G variety was next to join the party, ably assisted by Jacob Gillis, and the two went about tightening the screws even further. Unlucky not to get at least one pole, Tong of the G variety bowled beautifully and the pressure he built up ultimately lead to wicket number 3, Gillis getting through the gate with a beauty. By the time S Patel came on at the Southern end to replace Tong of the G variety, the Wick were well and truly on top, and from here a consistent flow of wickets got the scorecard to 94 for 7, including a Collier peach dismissing their opener for a hard-earned 34. Some lower-order hitting from young Hughes batting at 8 got the home side up to a respectable 157, but ultimately a very good performance by us, even if Collier did shell another catch. Yes, you read that correctly. Another one. “It was in!” was the cry from Collier, trying to explain his dropped catch (at least I think he was explaining that).

It wasn’t in. Another regulation chance spilt by Collier**. 158 the target, no real standouts with the ball, an excellent display of team bowling.

As is standard for the athletes of the 2nd XI, the majority of the team scampered off to sneak in a cheeky pre-tea bunga, whilst us non-smokers ducked into the sheds to have first crack at teas. A respectable spread, highlighted by some chicken wings and a little charcuterie number (Blobs, cooked cold meats on a plate), accompanied by your standard quartered sandwiches and some fruit. A decent effort but still not the quality of a Ken special at HQ, 6.5 out of 10.

Once teas were done and dusted, it was time to get down to business. Collier and Khaira strode out to the middle to kick-off our chase. 3 an over was all that we needed, and confidence was very high given the batting line-up assembled. Unfortunately, not long after getting out there Khaira was back in the sheds, having got one that jumped off a length and flicked his glove on the way through to the keeper. What was even more unfortunate for Khaira was the fact that the keeper was not him, as the TMW keeper managed to do what keepers are meant to do, catch the thing. 1 down, 7 on the board. Not too worry, DJ to the crease. DJ and Collier put on 30 and saw off the new ball nicely, before Collier mistimed one and skied it to mid-off. In a scenario mirroring that of his fellow opener, it was unfortunate that Collier himself was not under the high ball, as the TMW fieldsman made no mistake, using his hands instead of his chest to see Collier off. Shortly after this set back, DJ was given out stumped much to disgust, and Clemmo came and went completing a day where again he offered absolutely nothing (apart from copious amounts of brilliant chat in the field) and all of a sudden we were 54 for 4. It was time for a hero. The scene was set. Out came A Rehman, joining Tong of the I variety at the crease.

With the help of some erratic bowling, the pair went about making inroads into what was now a tricky target. The calming head of Tong of the I variety and the strong and somewhat flashy Rehman put on a very solid 68 to put the game beyond doubt, and when Tong of the I variety eventually fell, runs required was under 40, and overs were not an issue. JPW, despite barely troubling the scorer, provided a good foil for Rehman, with the two putting on 27 and the game was all but over. Rehman brought up a thoroughly deserved 50, and celebrated in rather bizarre circumstances, collapsing to the deck and having a quick lie down. When quizzed about this later, Rehman explained “I was so tired, I wanted to go out so I could have a cigarette”. Professionalism personified that. Tong of the G variety replaced JPW and saw us home with a swashbuckling straight drive, and that was that. The 2nd XI on the board for season 2019, as promised by your scribe last week.

An extremely good performance with the ball, with all bowlers playing their part made it difficult to pick a standout. It was Tong of the I variety getting the spoils with 3 wickets on the day, but in truth, any one of them could have hand a handful. With the bat, it was all about Abdur Rehman. A super knock to see the boys home to earn him MoM honours, ably supported by John Sundries (34*) and Tong of the I variety (26). At the other end of the spectrum, unlike last week, this week saw a few contenders for DoD. Khaira putting his hand up with two dropped catches with the gloves and hardly troubling the scorers, Clemmo staked his claim with his pitiful showing (but the scribe’s fondness for this out and out champion will probably see him escape punishment), leaving only one man who could possibly collect DoD this week, Captain Linter. Didn’t offer much with the ball, dragged Collier after a wicket maiden (bringing on himself as the replacement), forgot kit, offered dreadful chat all day, and to top it all off, appeared to again get dressed in the dark post-game with another howler of a T-shirt. Congratulations to both Abdur and Captain Linter.

Next week sees the 2nd XI back at HQ, hosting arch-rivals Ewell. A balcony full of chirpy locals supporting us in our quest to go 2 and 1 would be most welcome. Rally the troops.

Wick 156*

**It was bloody tough, but that fact didn’t suit the scribe and his penchant for witty match reports.

HWRCC 3rd XI vs East Molesey CC - 18th May 2019

They say a picture paints a thousand words and so in place of the usual match report I present the following:

If this still isn’t enough for you I shall describe the first 6 balls of the Wick innings which fairly accurately depict the game:

  • Zubes on strike. Full, straight, out
  • Craig on strike. Length, left, dot
  • Craig on strike. Full, straight, out
  • Ben on strike. Dot ball
  • Dot ball
  • Dot ball

Some small highlights were the bowling of Charlie Higgins for the second week running, alongside a good fast spell by newcomer to the 3s, Jacob Povah.

Hampton Wick 83 All Out (~26 overs) – East Molesey 84-5 (~20 overs)

HWRCC 4th XI vs Valley End CC - 18th May 2019

Match Report – Valley End vs. Wick 4s 18th May 2019

Cole and Kemp lead ‘old school’ 4s to Victory

Valley End is undoubtedly the most picturesque of the grounds that the 4s visit. This season, the players who enjoyed their day out in rural Surrey were rather older than is usually the case for 4s fixtures. In recent seasons the players in the Wick 4s have included between 2 and 6 Colts; a key part of the youth development philosophy of the club. The week, there were no Colts available, due to GCSEs, A Level and school cricket commitments. So the 4s team included the following cricketers (ages in brackets) – Houghton (48), Kemp (52), Weare (57), Higgins (46), Steans (54), Dunmore (48), Cole (47), McMullan (56), Maniyar (28), McMahon (27) and Cathcart (47) – giving an average age of 46.35 years! With no records to the contrary, this is the oldest team that the Wick has ever sent out into League cricket.

In stark contrast to the Wick 4s, Valley End fielded several Colts, alongside two former Kempton players who have moved clubs over the off-season. 4s skipper Dunmore called correctly at the toss and duly inserted Valley End – a decision based upon the fact that the 4s had batting to number 9 and were potentially rather light in the bowling department.

The skipper’s assessment of the 4s bowling resources was to prove to be incorrect, as the bowlers were able to control Valley End from the outset. Aquib Maniyar, in his first spell of the season, bowled 8 overs unchanged and picked up two deserved wickets. Ross Cathcart once again was miserly – 7-1 off 5.3 overs – and stifled any early attempt at run scoring. In his first bowl for the club, Mark Steans produced 4 very tight overs. The bulk of the pressure was applied to the Valley End line-up by Richard Cole and Tim McMullan (combined age 103). Cole hit his line and length immediately and was rewarded with 4 wickets, all of which were bowled. At the other end McMullan collected two wickets, conceding only 13 runs in 7 overs, including an excellent catch by McMahon who clung on to a chance from a fierce cut shot. Cole should have been rewarded with a Michelle (5-fer or Pfeiffer for younger readers and those from overseas territories) but a simple chance was shelled by club Chairman Kemp at cover. McMahon spun the ball and was rewarded with a wicket. During the innings Duncan Higgins, making his first appearance in League cricket, saved several boundaries with excellent fielding in the deep. The nature of the dives that Higgins produced indicated both his level of fitness and flexibility.

The 4s bowled Valley End out for 128 in 36.3 overs. The innings could have finished earlier if catches had been held. Whilst Weare held two opportunities at cover, 4 chances of various degrees of difficulty were shelled. Something to work on for future weeks. Valley End were led by an excellent 64 from their number 3, who played with maturity and skill (4 sixes) to hold the innings together before being last man out. Over an al-fresco tea that included both pork pie and excellent sandwiches, (7/10)  it was announced that it was the young man’s 17th birthday. Well batted indeed.

Kemp dominated the 4s chase, scoring an excellent 67. Batting with complete control, Kemp never looked in trouble, and hit 12 boundaries during his knock. The only slight concerns that the 4s had were when Kemp tried to run out Weare (17) and when he managed to run out Steans (17). These blemishes mattered not to the final result of the match. The 4s reached their target in the 26th over for the loss of 6 wickets; the final two of which had fallen to wonder-catches, as both Kemp and Dunmore (11) were dismissed by superb one-handed grabs.

It had been a lovely day, at a lovely ground. The 4s ‘old school’ team had dominated Valley End and totally deserved their victory. Future weeks will undoubtedly see far younger 4s sides, but the writer of this report feels that the performances of Cole and Kemp will be repeated later in the season by these two protagonists or other member of the older 4s players.

HWRCC 3rd XI vs Beddington - 11th May 2019

And so, it was finally here, that long anticipated day that we’d all been waiting for all these long winter months. All the build up for this one special day in the calendar, the celebration of Blobs and Suggs’ birthdays. Also, some people played cricket.

As the Wick 3rd XI arrived at Beddington CC they were greeted by the imposing sight of their opposition running through their warm-up drills. Angered by the gulf in professionalism, the President proceeded to whip out his trusty tennis ball and began firing some deliveries against a nearby wall; keen on showing the opposition exactly what we’re made of (The jury is still out on whether this display simply gave Beddington more confidence than they had before). Meanwhile having looked at the, let’s say uniquely cut strip, the more senior players in the team were all agreed it looked pretty reasonable and that we should look to bat and set a target. Zubes won the toss, and out the Wick went to field.

Able seaman Will Taylor opened up in partnership with Sarang but both struggled initially to find their rhythm, the Beddington openers built steadily before a charge down the wicket to Taylor saw a skewed drive clung onto at backward point by Suggs and the Wick had their first breakthrough. On came Charlie Higgins keen to exploit this change in the atmosphere and duly delivered taking a salmon-esque leap after his follow through for a caught and bowled of the second opening batsman. A peach of a delivery took the off stump of the incoming bat and catch behind to Chairman Kemp had the Wick firmly on top and in control. It was then that the opposition fought back and despite some tight lines from Charlie and President Smith (in fine form after his intense warm up) they were able to rebuild the score, ably abetted at times by fielding worthy of a Benny Hill sketch. The crucial breakthrough finally came courtesy of the opposition, as their umpire all too readily raised the finger for a snick behind which we all loudly agreed afterward was “clearly thighpad”. With the battle resumed, the opposition tail now came in swinging the bat hard with the Wick doing it’s best to contain. A wicket for the skipper and a few more from Charlie Higgins return saw Beddington bowled out but not before they’d reached a very healthy 202. It would be a tough chase, but this is the new Monty-inspired Wick, and so we walked tall and strode with purpose back to the pavilion for pizza and little sausages. Oh, and a donut - 7/10.

Refreshed, and wearing every piece of clothing we had, the Wick headed out to chase down the runs. Skipper Zubair and newly promoted team mate Tim Sturm with the latter keen to show exactly why he’d earnt the callup to the 3s so many Wick members have dreamed of. With Zubes successfully seeing off the very first ball Tim saw his opening as the second bounced off away from the keeper’s gloves. “Yes!” came the cry as Tim set off. “Oh f***!” came the cry from everyone else, as they watched the ball bounce off the keeper’s gloves, straight to slip, straight back to keeper, straight into the stumps. Tim kept running, he wasn’t seen for some time. As the majority of the Wick sat there in silence, the wind and rain howling around them that 203 target seemed an eternity away, but Craig had other ideas. While Clarence watched on from the sidelines in quiet admiration, Craig and Zubes began to rebuild and as they rebuilt hope sprang anew within the team. It wasn’t until the Wick were 72-1 that the skipper was finally undone by a full ball and had to depart. Abdur Rehman joined Craig at the crease looking to try and build on the work of his forebears and the same lusty blows that saw the run rate increase ultimately proved his downfall as he skied a catch straight up. This meant it was time for the birthday boy, Suggs came to the crease safe in the knowledge that there was no way he could get out following his mammoth 3-hour bowling machine session the previous week. With the slow Beddington bowlers now on the opposition looked to tighten the screws, managing to slow the run rate and apply pressure. As the runs then started to come once again, Craig mistimed a lofted drive and was well taken by the fielder at mid-on shortly before he smashed into the fielder at mid off. With Imran (v2.0) coming to the crease the order of the day was now hard running which both batsman undertook with determination. However, with the asking run rate now up at 6 an over for the remaining 10 overs Suggs embraced his newly assumed invincibility and looked to take the attack to the opposition bowlers. This proved to be slightly short-lived however as a he sliced one up into the air; and as the cover fielder finally took the catch on the third attempt, Suggs departed with his unwarranted air of invincibility shattered like the thinly veiled façade it was. Hope was not lost however as the Wick still had the Navy’s finest to come and sure enough he despatched the first delivery, like one of his beloved torpedoes, through the covers. Together with Imran they ran well between the wickets and it was only a stray foot on Imran’s part that broke their efforts. Imran departed stumped for 16. With the light beginning to fade due to an earlier rain delay, a weary Sam Kemp summoned his remaining strength (having kept wicket for 50 overs) and attempted to bludgeon the ball to boundary but with a number of misses the run rate grew ever steeper. With the eventual fall of Will for 18 the Wick’s hopes look to be fading. Sam fell soon after, bowled for 11. It was left to Sarang and Charlie to achieve the unimaginable and despite a few blows from Sarang, time ran out and the overs were up. A gallant effort for the first game of the season but ultimately the chase was too high on an early May wicket and an unforgiving outfield.

Time for beer pong!

HWRCC 4th XI vs Egham - 11th May 2019

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Match Report - Wick 4s vs. Egham 4s 11th May 2019

Frustration for 4s as Egham Claim Spoils

As the 4s enjoyed one of Ken’s super teas, conversation was jovial. An excellent batting display had accumulated 173 runs after an aggressive/unexpected/unnecessary (delete as applicable) decision by the skipper to bat after winning the toss. The King’s Field wicket had been ‘up and down’ as expected in early May and it was anticipated that the surface would yield further wickets. Two hours later the 4s trudged from the field, having taken 7 Egham wickets, but with the frustration of defeat. It felt like a game that should and could have been won.

The 4s batting effort was based upon a series of partnerships. The 2018 pairing of Houghton and Miles opened proceedings against one lively and one youthful Egham bowler. A stand of 20 was broken when Miles (7) did well to edge a ball that bounced significantly. Dipesh Marjaria entered the fray for his first outing in League cricket for the Wick. A classy left hander, Marjaria (5) looked in complete control during a stand with Houghton of 28 before he too was undone by extra bounce. Houghton, by now in control of the innings and scoring freely when the bowlers were loose, was joined by Steve Weare (9) in a stand of 33 before the latter was deceived by a ball that didn’t bounce. Next man in was Mark Steans, making his debut for the Wick. Steans is a long-standing Wick Colt coach and after a 20-year absence has finally decided to return to the field. After a few deliveries it was obvious to all that these years had left in place considerable batting talents. After a stand of 38 Houghton was unluckily dismissed for an excellent 49, run out at the bowlers’ end backing up, when the bowler deflected a well struck Steans drive onto the stumps. Houghton’s innings had spanned nearly 30 of the 40 available overs and had provided a perfect platform. Skipper Dunmore joined Steans and provided some acceleration to the scoring rate, though the pair were slightly hampered as Steans had tweaked a hamstring. A stand of 46 was broken when Dunmore (17) was bowled by a delivery that didn’t bounce. Steans, in partnership with Mandeep Singh (0) and Jacob Povah (1*), took the total to 173, and finished with an excellent 42*.

Ross Cathcart and Jacob Povah took the new ball for the 4s. Povah bowled fast and with far greater threat than during 2018; whilst Cathcart bowled with unwavering accuracy at off stump. Cathcart picked up the first wicket of the innings LBW, and then proceeded to beat the bat more than the Egham batters managed to lay bat on ball. At the other end, Povah also beat the batters with pace, and was unlucky when a sharp catch behind was spilled. After 10 overs the openers took a rest and the feeling was that the 4s were in control despite only picking up one wicket. Ollie Marjaria and Mandeep Singh took up the attack. Marjaria bowled 8 excellent overs of off spin; beating the bat with turn and bounce and only bowling two poor deliveries. His final figures of 36-1 did not do justice to his bowling. At the other end Singh bowled his away swingers, which seamed but didn’t swing. In the 20th over of the innings, Singh picked up wickets from consecutive balls from excellent catches – Cathcart took a high swirling chance running around from deep cover, then Dunmore dived at square leg for a one-handed grab from a full-blooded pull stroke. Egham were 65-4 from 20 overs and the 4s were bowling well, but with no luck.

The next passage of play saw Egham take the game away from the 4s, and frustration slowly took hold as the primary emotion. Tom McMahon entered the attack; Povah, Singh (bowling leg spin) and Cathcart had second spells as the 4s hunted wickets. The Egham batters began to play more shots and the ball went in the air; sometimes to the boundary, but also near to the fielders. The 4s bowlers continued to create chances – Cathcart (14-1) beating the edge repeatedly; McMahon (44-1) deceiving with flight, spin and change of pace; Singh (37-4) producing prodigious turning leggies; Povah (38-0) bowling straight and full. Fielders did not drop any clear-cut chances, but 4/5/6 half chances were created as balls dropped just over or just in front of fielders. If any one of these chances had been taken, the result could have been different. Equally, it is unlikely that the ball will pass the outside edge as many times in a 4s game this season.

Egham reached their target with 5 overs to spare and 3 wickets in hand. On the balance of the match, Egham deserved to win, but the nagging frustrations remained for the 4s.

Next week the 4s travel to picturesque Valley End.

 

 

 

HWRCC 1st XI vs Trinity Mid Whitgiftians - 11th May 2019

Wick 1s beat Trinity 1s 

May 11th, 2019

Rain is a bitch. It makes my toes wet. It makes my hands cold. And it makes my nipples chafe (and I’ve got some nipples). It also can lead to some interesting games of cricket. My favourite was the game v Merrow a couple years back when Riley brought us off because the game – delayed by rain – just had to finish as the light faded away. Chasing (not chafing) a revised target of half what we conceded, we were one run behind yet 9 down. Lost. Only to see the result on Monday morning that their scorer had it wrong and we were actually one run ahead and we had won. As per dis. Merrow town centre must have been carnage that night as it all kicked off.

Back to 2019. Congratulations to Harry for deciding to play cricket this year. An able replacement for the ever-aloof Caldwell if ever there wasn’t. However, one finger down (the important one), he won a toss second only in vitality to my vitality life insurance. The pitch was a bit green and the outfield was very green, but it was May 11th in the Surrey Hills.

A youthful looking Wick XI decided to risk life and limb by playing skid footfall as a warmup. It certainly brought us together – literally on occasion. And that positivity carried through to the opening exchanges which whilst punctured by Trinity’s overseas saffa teeing off as is his want, did lead to successes in difficult conditions. Browning went for a few, butdid twice as well as last year’s openers’ managed so no disgrace. In contrast Sam Jones took a more direct approach to bowling-figure-management and having bowled a single over had the wisdom to scramble around the boundary like a hare and seek to turn an easy three into a slightly easier three and pulled his hamstring.

Caleb Bate, replacing Jones, induced an edge from the saffaoff a rank one that Jones, perched on a stool at first slip, allowed to hit him in the chest and fumble to the ground. Was this the moment? No. maybe 10 runs later he leathered one straight to Browning at long-off who appeared to bottle it, only to be confronted by a ball that actually carried – and he then grabbed it like Gazza grabbed Dennis Wise’ nuts in the eighties. Big hand. Big grab. Cue shrills of delight and little skips as we all descended on Nick like a girls hockey team may celebrate a short corner drill working out.

Blanchard joined the party – an inspired choice by the young Anakin. Genuine loop and guile from the middle-earther consistently proving too much for a procession of middle-aged middle-order Trinity batsmen out in the middle. Germain got a snaffle with the gloves, and can claim two assists to Jones (perched at goolie) and myself wedged at slip. Caleb also got an easy grab at mid-on.

Mik had a go. As a leggie he needs a big warm wrist to do his thing….behave… In tough conditions he stuck at his game and got reward with some wickets towards the end.

But then debutant Harry Fitzgerald came to the party. Starting his wick career with a double wicket maiden is not-oft done. One jabbing back and the other a searing yorker. Harry (Anakin) advised that Harry bowled like a drunken ostrich on roller-skates. He’s not wrong – but there is certainly an element of Steve Harmison about him. Having forgotten the name of the ventriloquist and his puppet which is an emu(later revealed to be Emu…and Rod Hull), Anakin and I settled on Orvill as the nickname of choice. Well bowled sir.

149ao did contain 20 wides and far too many full tosses, but the rules go out the window on days like these. The word is dank. Good enough bowling and excellent fielding all round.

This is where the rain comes in. We’d come off once earlier, and during our reply we came off twice more. Our eventual target became 138 off 41 using D/L method. That’s Duckworth/Lewis, not Delboy/Linter. But whatever it was, it was to score at about 3s for about 2 hours.

Blanchard and Davis opened up. Blanchard buoyed by his 4-wickets on his birthday allowed himself to miss a yorker and then smashed the deck in disgust on A length. Not ideal as the rain fell. Robbie and new man Woody were similarly lazy when doggedness was needed. 29-3.

Davies – taking blows (…behave…) on the head and wrist (...OH GROW UP…) was joined by Caleb who together doubled the score at about 3s. When set Davies also got yorked, leaving Garmain to join in the fun. Having seen off the testing seam attack, both bruisers set about the non-turning slower stuff and moved the score along quickly to well beyond the ton. With 20 left Germain fell, but the skipper joined Caleb who fell right at the last to an excellent 66. Harry then won it leaving a few wides – a fitting end to a game that lacked any real pazzaz, but somehow remained interesting and engaging throughout. Harry did also manage to get in a leave to the left arm spinner to bowled a straight one that didn’t turn (like all the other ones) only to see the umpire decide that the middle stump didn’t count and the ball would have missed leg and off, so was Not Out.

In all seriousness, this was a potential banana-skin avoided. Difficult conditions were met with enthusiasm and commitment, some strong decisions, faultless fielding (Jones aside) and some intelligent batting. Certainly bigger tests ahead but an important first win.

A final mention to Coaches Ali and Lynch who braved the journey, and to Delboy and Claire who took the bus up the road. Del provide wisdom and experience to a side often unaware of who he was (Wick Legend). In the noisy bar after:

Delboy, bottle in right hand, left hand in teapot mode: ‘Hello son, what your name?’

Caleb: ‘Caleb’

Delboy: ‘Helen?’

Caleb: ‘Caleb’

Delboy: Kevin?

Caleb: ‘CALEB!’

Delboy: Caleb? What does that mean?

 

20 points, Job Done.

 

Scorecard

 

HWRCC 2nd XI vs Streatham & Marlborough CC - 11th May 2019

Opposition:                     Streatham & Marlborough

Date:                                 11/05/2019

Venue:                              HQ

Scorecard:                        http://hwrcc.play-cricket.com/website/results/3753132

MoM:                               Jacob Gillis

DoD:                                  Ian Collier

 

Saturday the 11th May. The day had finally come for the all-conquering Wick 2s. After cruising to promotion into Division 3 on the back of a marvellous 2018 campaign which included several match-winning performances (none by Dom Jones), spirits were high heading into the opening game of the season. Despite a few new faces, captain Linter was unusually brief in his pre-match message but still full of confidence, and there was an energy in the air as we rolled up to the hallowed Bushy Park turf at 10:45am. The off-season had clearly done some damage to some, with captain Linter and #3 Dom Jones both carrying a few extra winter pounds, but thankfully this was offset by the shredded rigs of Ian Collier and yours truly, so we were collectively fit and firing on all cylinders.

 

In a change of pace for this year, the club coach actually had some wise words pre-game. Buoyed by this, we attacked the warm-up with an unusual vigour, looking lively despite the inclement weather. Let’s face it, we looked shit-hot, with the exception of new gloveman Keerat, who couldn’t catch a cold, let alone a T Clements rocket. Despite this ominous start from Kingston’s most wanted criminal, the fielding drills looked slick, captain Linter won the toss, and we sent Streatham into have first crack on a decent looking track given the amount of rain in the lead-up. Taking the new rock from the Southern end was Chris Cole, joining captain Linter in what was a combination that was surely going to deliver a few early poles for the boys in white (us). After a steady start from the Streatham openers, they began to build some momentum, and had quickly raced to 50 for no loss, this despite one of their openers, young Christopher Hobbis, looking like it was the first time he had participated in a game of competitive sport, let alone graced the Wick with his presence. His partner in crime looked a lot more composed, before they noticed that their run rate was about as fast as Ian Collier in a marathon, and decided they needed to up it a bit. A lovely little segue that, because with this, came the first chance of the match. The old boy skied one to mid-off, where Ian Collier found himself parked under a regulation opportunity. This was it. The breakthrough. The danger man gone. Into their middle order. Things were looking up and spirits were…. Collier shelled it. Remarkably, Colly had a brainfart and did his best Herschelle Gibbs impersonation and the chance went begging.

 

Never fear, opportunities were now starting to come. Before long, the old boy presented us with another one. Arguably, easier than the first. Straight up, to mid-off again. As they say, you cannot buy experience, and Ian Collier has that in spades. He won’t make the same mistake twice. First wicket down, giving the boys the lift they need as we headed for a well-earned drink. One brings two, and two brings… Colly shelled it. Again. True scenes on the top oval, hands were met with bowed heads from all over Bushy Park in a staggering turn of events. After this, club coach Monty had seen enough, storming off not to be seen for the rest of the day, and who could blame him. All of a sudden, Streatham had upped their rate, and were 80 for no loss on the verge of drinks. Enter T Clements. After the captain had shelled the 3rd of the day, the team needed a hero, and Clemmo duly obliged. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the old-timer who was going along nicely, but his deputy who somehow had scratched his way to 30. But going for one too many off Gillis, skied one to mid-on, where Clemmo parked his new rig under the high ball, and with the safest of hands, took the catch to deliver the first of the day. Off to drinks with a bit of momentum, the boys were getting back into this one.

 

Post drinks, Sunny Patel got in on the act with his first of 3 on the day, removing the old-timer for a lucky 57, a sharp catch taken by Boom Boom at first slip, and we were away again. Sunny continued to apply the pressure from the Northern end, combining well with Gillis to squeeze the Streatham middle order to some extent. However, despite a relatively constant flow of wickets, Streatham were boosted by some late lower-order hitting from a lad wider than he was tall, and they scrounged their way to 237, a respectable score on that pitch, but definitely more than what they should have got to, ably assisted by my previously highlighted fielding efforts.

 

Much to the delight of the slightly rotund Jones and equally voluptuous captain Linter, Ken turned on another 5 star spread, the boys loaded up, and we were not daunted by the 238 target. If anything, we were focused on the task at hand, and after annihilating a few too many pizzas, captain Linter delivered the final words before the opening pair of Collier and Abid ambled their way to the centre of the sporting amphitheatre that is the Wick. “Boys, heads down, bat until you both reach your age in runs, and we will win by 10 wickets” was echoed by the young bucks in the shed, and after seeing off the first ball of the innings, the boys mused that today it would be a Collier day. A green track, ball doing a bit, soap mitts in the field yes, but we were backing Collier. He will probably put this next one through cover for four, or a delightful cut shot behind… Out. 2nd ball. Just like that. Given the umpire was of same vintage as Collier, you’d have thought he would give him the benefit of the doubt. But no, plum. The digit was up quicker than captain Linters wedding night, and we were one down, for no runs. Still, the boys were confident, with Dom Jones strolling out to join Abid in the centre. Desperate for some attention, if ever the pocket-rocket was going to join the MW club, today presented him with a golden opportunity. Unfortunately, the partnership resembled DJ, short, as both chaps fell in quick succession, leaving the task to the future of the Wick Chris Cole, and the current of the Wick, T Clements. After some wise words in the ear of young Cole, Clements set about hogging the strike with perfectly placed singles off the final balls of each over. It was looking like a day when the co-chairman of the MW club was going to do an Ian Poulter, and deliver again.

 

Just as the crowd were settling in for another Aussie masterclass, Clements decided to chase a slightly slower one, causing his middled cover drive to be slightly uppish, and duly accepted by the chubbster at cover, taking a sharp catch low to his right. We were in more trouble than Keerat with the rozzers after a few five-finger discounts from Bentalls, and things quickly went from bad to worse with Chris Cole succumbing shortly after, and Keerat Khaira sticking true to recent form and coming back to the shed without troubling the scorer. Youngster Zain Ikram who had shown plenty with the ball unfortunately came and went, leaving captain Linter to try and salvage something from what looked a lost cause. A solid partnership from 2 elder statesmen of the wick frustrated Streatham for a little while longer, including a monster six from the bat of Boom, but it was all to no avail, Wick 2s being rolled for 111 to fall 126 runs short. Encapsulating their name rather well, S&M had well and truly bent us over.

 

In what was a pretty dirty day out for the Wick 2s, Jacob Gillis showed plenty with his 10 overs on the bounce to seal a well-deserved MoM, whilst Teflon Collier was the standout candidate for DoD.

 

Memories of the day were quickly banished as Fresher’s night kicked off, with pints consumed vastly exceeding runs scored off the Wick bat. Some beer pong was played, ciggies were both stolen and smoked, and we quickly moved on to the job at hand next week, away to Trinity Mid-Whitgiftian.  

 

Wick 2s will be 1 and 1 by close of play Saturday. Mark my words.

 

Wick 156*