HUNG DRAWN AND FIVE-FOR’ED – The most devastating Scottish attack towards the English since William Wallace in the 1300’s. 

Date: 22/05/2021
Opposition: Kempton CC
Venue: The Kempton Ground
Man of the match: Christopher Cole
Prat of the match: Christopher Cole

Volunteering to write the match report for the 1’s, was in truth, a bold and reckless decision. Being told by 3 different people in 3 different age demographics, that not only are you a worse bloke than Clemmo but you will never be able to write like him either. With these completely factual statements absorbed and more notes jotted down for this than any previous school or university exam, I give you Garth Crooks’ MPG’s Team of the Week. 

I feel like if you looked up the term ‘Weekend Warrior’ in the dictionary, this picture would likely be the only thing accompanying it. 11 men, all awake earlier than they would be on a working weekday, descending on HQ in what can only be described as the 3rd November Saturday of May 2021; damp, cold, windy and in no way a cricketing day, let alone a bat first day. The customary pre journey cigarette and Tesco meal deals consumed, the 10:12 from Hampton Wick Station beckoned. 

Met with a “G’day” by the ever-present Connor who I can only assume Dean had dropped off 2 hours early in an attempt to have just one morning this week with a bit of peace and quiet. Satro threatened to derail the timely nature of our departure by taking the 10:12 departure time as literally as possible and arriving on the platform on the dot, as opposed to the British standard of 5/10 minutes before. You get the impression that had it been any other, less skilled, member of the XI, the worry and panic would have been less noticeable. Like a leprechaun in a pot of gold, Jones Jr was found already on board dressed as if he was on his way to meet Quinton and Reginald for some IPAs in a bougee Clapham taphouse, rather than Div 4 battle of bat and ball. 

One more pitstop at BP for some ‘essentials’ and we had arrived at a relatively sodden Kempton. A snug and damp squeeze didn’t ruin the joy of being back in changing rooms after 18 months, but what did, was Chris Cole announcing that his little brother had stolen his speaker that morning rendering his ‘Love Songs for Satro’ playlist un played for another week. Talby going into detail about his usual thumb related Friday evening activities and the announcement that Connor was now adding ‘1st XI Wicket keeping coach’ to his CV, were the only rumblings of an otherwise very sharp warm up. 

Despite declaring last week that ‘tossing’ is the strongest part of his game, Harry promptly lost the toss and we were stuck in on a green top with H and DJ at the helm. It wouldn’t be Hampton Wick if we didn’t have at least one top order collapse before June. And that is exactly what occurred. Harry and Dom gritted out 11 overs in tricky conditions before both making their way back to the changing room for an early tea. At least Harry was met at the boundary with positive news that Brentford’s pursuit of the Premier League was going much like our innings. After Mikey and Robbie fell, Talby’s pursuit of 250 was looking ambitious, whilst sat at 45-4 with MPG and Satro at the crease. With little value for shots on a long outfield, Satro chose the aerial route dispatching a long hop into the neighbouring gardens for 6 on his way to 47. Having been dropped 3 times and been told by their No11 that he could bat better without a bat, MPG departed in typical MPG fashion for 25, followed 7 runs later by Satro in what was a ship stabling 55 run partnership. Much like Brentford’s turnaround, Chris Cole and Caldwell continued to rally and creep the score up to a defendable total. But with wickets continuing to fall at regular intervals and Wylie obliterating a boundary flag on his way back to the pavilion, we finished all out for 162. An underwhelming, but entirely defendable score in the conditions. (The top innings score at Kempton this season) 

A tea-less tea break and a lot of top order sulking later, the troops rallied behind their missile launchers, knowing a few early wickets would very quickly see us on top of the game. Buoyed by Dom Jones’ ability to never shut up, 2 quick wickets arrived on cue. One each for Cole and Caldwell, with the latter’s victim giving a Blobz-esque complaint to the umpire…to no avail. 15-2 after 5. One rain delay later and some very tidy bowling from Sunny and Caldwell put us right in the driving seat, despite Dom Jones volleying the ball over the boundary for 4 and Sammy J doing his absolute best to give free hits to a man who can only be described as having Chris Gayle’s batting style with Stevie Wonders hand eye. Alas, damage limitation was achieved and the oppo were 97-6 and running out of both time and partners. 

With the win in site and the closet door firmly shut behind him, Coley had the chance to impress his new idol, Satro, who despite being a man of few words, simply yelled profanities from deep mid-wicket back at him. Full, fast rockets was the instruction from the cordon, and full, fast rockets is what he delivered. A spell of bowling that anyone 10 years his senior would be proud of. Chris dismantled the tail, taking the score from 97-6 to 102 all out, giving Harry his second comeback win of the day with the boys heading back to HQ (joint) top of the league. 

Player Ratings 

Dom Jones – 12 off 37 balls. 5/10 

Despite his morning dress being more ‘Made in Chelsea’ than ‘Smoking area of O’Neill’s’, and despite not finding the middle of his bat until the 11th over, Dom gritted out the new ball and undoubtedly made it easier for the rest. The non-stop chat in the field kept morale high but lead to complaints from first slip who was quoted: “I think I’ve slept with women who are less annoying than Dom at gully”. 

Harry Copeland (C) – 5 from 15 balls. 5/10 

A point for every run, minus 1 for losing the toss and therefore giving himself the trickiest period to bat. Reliable as ever with his bowling changes but did move Mikey from first slip to gully before watching the batsmen edge one to first slip the next ball. Mood throughout the day was completely influenced by Bournemouth getting an early red card. 

Robbie Oliver – 7 from 22 balls. 5/10 

Even Lionel Messi misses penalties. Dropped twice during his 7 but felt like going for a 3rd, caught at mid-on. Took a good low catch to give Chris his 4th and will no doubt be back to his best when we move back to a proper cricket pitch. 

Michael Wood – 6 from 21 balls. 4/10 

A day dominated by some classic Wood extra curriculars, rather than his usual cricketing prowess. Washing his whites with a pack of cigarettes in the pocket, leading to a South American rendition of Hansel and Gretel following breadcrumbs, except its Michael and Wylie following tobacco flakes. As well as having a large half time sulk and doing the maths on how many cigarettes he could smoke to kill himself, he promptly took himself home early with the promise of ‘scoring some runs’ with a lady friend. Safe to say that Mikey finished the day with only the 6 runs he scored at the cricket… 

Satro Rambaran – 47 from 61 balls. 0-19 from 6 overs. 8/10 

A true all-rounder, backing up last weeks debut 4-for with a score today and a much-needed partnership in the middle. Innings marred very slightly by asking for a drink 3 balls before drinks and the 10-minute break looking for the ball he hit for six which apparently caused Mikey to be bowled the ball after. Most likely filing a restraining order against some of the younger members of the team. 

Max Germain (+) – 25 from 37 balls. 2 catches/0 byes. 6/10 

Being moved from No.3 to No.6 via one golden duck is no mean feat, however, the ‘cat with nine lives’ is how this 25 could be described. Dropped 3 times, couldn’t find the middle, sweeping on middle stump, being sledged by No11’s and helpfully being told by Satro in between overs; ‘You would probably hit it better if you used a straight bat’. Not awful behind the sticks, taking his first two dismissals of the season and keeping extras to a minimum. 

James Caldwell – 18 from 27 balls. 2-20 from 10 overs. 7/10 

Mr. Reliable! Did the job upfront with the new ball and kept the runs scored to a minimum. Put on useful runs with CC towards the back end of the innings to give himself a target to bowl at. Loses a point for claiming that throwing kit around after getting out is poor form despite being sat next to two regular post wicket tantrum havers. 

Jack Wylie – 5 from 10 balls. 0-2 from 1 over. 4/10 

Holmes and Watson. Laurel and Hardy. Frodo and Sam…Wylie and Michael. Another one who’s extra curriculars take the headlines. A Friday night spicy pizza meant Wylie’s morning was pre-occupied by his bowel movements (3 before 12pm...), and if his batting was anything to go by, you could argue it was 4 before 3pm. Skying one to cover before finally finding the middle of his bat as he connected with and vapourised a boundary flag bringing a short and sweet cameo to an end. Somehow ended up as the most economical bowler though, which he was eager to remind me about. Like Michael, he did not add to his score in the second innings on Teddington High Street that evening as Michael’s plus one to a double date. 

Chris Cole – 29 from 39 balls. 5-18 from 7.4 overs. 9/10 

No such thing as a 10/10 and for all his quality, there was plenty to down grade Chris on this week. Useful and mature with the bat and brilliant with the ball, taking his first (of many) senior 5-fors for the Wick. However… his behaviour mid-week by googling ‘Pictures of Satro Rambaran’ at 10:30 on a Wednesday night and then posting the evidence on WhatsApp was only ever going to be met with one outcome… a barrage of abuse from Satro and parental blocks on the Wi-Fi from Richard. With confidence clearly flowing in young Christopher, he volunteered to be changing room DJ (sorry Dom) and then promptly left the speaker behind, shifting the blame onto his younger brother. 

Sam Jones – 0 from 7 balls. 0-17 from 6 overs. 6/10 

Somehow got himself in at No.10, despite Sunny hitting a 50 less than 10 days ago. Promptly got out to THE softest caught and bowled you’ll ever see. The heights of No.10 were clearly dizzying. Despite the previously mentioned (and unpunished) free hits, he bowled very tidily and kept the middle order in check. 

Sunny Patel – 2 from 5 balls. 3-25 from 9 overs. 8/10 

Very good again with the ball. Took the key wicket of their top scoring batsmen thereby allowing CC to mop up the tail. Bit of an unsung performance this week but vital as per usual. 

MAN OF THE MATCH 

Chris Cole – Speaks for itself. Much needed runs for the team at the end of the innings before scooping up his first 5 for. 

D*CK OF THE DAY 

…Chris Cole – More ‘D*ck of the Week’ in this instance due to his pre match internet searching followed by the last 3 days of quipping the other bowlers about how many wickets they didn’t get this week. Chris, I will leave you with this quote; “Be great enough for Man of the Match and humble enough to not be D*ck of the Day” – Abraham Lincoln (probably)