Dee-light for the all-conquering 2nd XI as Matty puts on a clinic
|Man of the match:||Matty Davies|
|Prat of the match:||Phil Linter|
Weather was overcast. Skies were grey. Head was sore. Trains were cooked. It could mean only one thing. It was Saturday. And Saturday means only one thing.
Regardless of the weather, the trains having more problems than Jason Roy, Uber surging at 2.8x making your scribes travels to HQ more expensive than a flight back to his country of birth, a Saturday spent gracing the top oval of HQ was enough to turn any frown upside down. And this, ladies and gentlemen, would be no ordinary day at HQ. This was a must-win clash to try and keep the season alive, one that has been interrupted by inconsistency in both form and availability. What would follow the arrival of our eleven warriors for the day would go down in Wick folklore.
After some poor availability from the previous couple of weeks, the club selection panel had wielded the Wick axe. As a result, there was plenty to like about the all-conquering Wick 2nd XI that would take the field against a good Egham outfit. Club legends such as Davies, Goodwin, O’Mahoney and Clements would be gracing the all-conquering 2nd XI outfit with their years of expertise, delightful silver locks, copious amounts of skill, and striking good looks (in that order). Captain Linter assembled the troops for what was another warm-up that had all the organisation of Fyre Festival, and before long, thankfully, it was gametime. The aforementioned captain went and tossed, and in scenes unfamiliar to many involved, we were sent in to have a bat by the Egham skipper, Captain Hook. Opening up would be a combination that would not be out of place opening in the Ashes for this great nation at the minute in Davies and O’Mahoney. After a few overs where both our men played cautiously getting themselves in, it was Matty D who became the aggressor, racing into the 20’s before O’Mahoney had registered a run. However, not to be outdone, O’Mahoney quickly got in on the act and with a couple of glorious clips off the pads, the score had quickly raced to 50 without loss. This was a delightful start for the good guys, and as the opposition rolled through the bowling options, it was becoming increasingly evident that this could well be the DOM show. No, not the Dom Jones show (if you were thinking that, rookie), I am of course referring to the Davies O Mahoney show. With both lads edging closer to their half century milestones, disaster. O’Mahoney, who by this stage was in a different suburb to his batting crease with a ball pitching halfway down the deck, was somehow given out, adjudged LBW, much to the bemusement of those watching. However, the platform was laid, the opposition were already finding it tough, and as Robbie Oliver strode to the crease, we were confident these two could continue the momentum.
As the bowlers continued to tire, and the fielders making all the noise of a dead church mouse, Robbie and Matty D feasted. The runs were flowing and the strokeplay was poetry in motion. As the score crept towards 200, all eyes were on the Godfather, Matty D. His chance-less innings deserved to be capped off with reaching triple figures, and the growing crowd didn’t have to wait too long. Wick century number 736 for Matty D, and what a time to produce such a knock. With the top 3 doing the heavy lifting, there wasn’t much left for the rest to do, so sensing the opportunity to go for the kill, Captain Linter turned to Boom-Boom at #4 in search for quick runs. Makes perfect sense to be sending out an MW to keep the runs flowing. It was shortly after that Matty D’s epic innings came to an end on 124. This was batting of the highest-class readers, make no mistake. With Matty D departing, it was Clements who would be making his way to the middle at his customary #5 spot. However, Captain Linter had other ideas, much to the bemusement of the onlookers;
“Has Linter been on the sauce again?” shrieked Ken.
“Not sending in the club’s leading #5, Linter should be sacked” groaned Mrs O’Mahoney.
“And it is Dom Jones going in instead! This is utter madness” - Anna Jones.
So it would be DJ marching out at #5 as we eyed off a 300 target. It wasn’t long before Clements would indeed join his protégé in Dom Jones, and the moment the two teamed up, Clements cleverly farmed the strike and made the most of his few overs, scoring a rapid fire and entertaining 24 off 10 balls. The speedy partnership were rapid between the crease too, no shocks there for two lads in such good condition, and they took every opportunity to turn ones into threes. The innings would eventually close at the 50 over mark with the score reading a monumental 293, with Matty D’s 124 supported by a pair of 46’s from O’Mahoney and Oliver, and the previously mentioned flair knock of 24 not out from Clements. If Egham were to chase this, they’d need to climb a Kilimanjaro sized mountain to do so.
As we walked off, we were extremely content, but knew that we still had to apply ourselves for 50 overs to guarantee victory, and it would take all eleven of us to knuckle down and deliver us the winning result**.
First, we would be treated with a Ken special. Once again, Ken was bombarded by 66 cricketers all wanting to dive into lunch at the same time. As always, this proved no trouble for Kenneth, delivering another splendid spread with the usual goodies your scribe has mentioned so many times before. Jesus it is good. 10 out of 10. Bloody marvellous stuff.
Once seconds and thirds were consumed by your usual suspects (Linter, go easy champ, getting a bit jiggly Kaaaatie tells me), we were back out on the hollowed turf ready to skittle through Egham. The skies were growing increasingly threatening, but that didn’t stop us commencing the innings, with an early pole to Fitz, beating their opener with sheer pace to rattle the stumps. At 10 for 1, spirits were high and we were ready to make it rain wickets. Unfortunately for us, the rain that came was rain, like actual rain, and we were off. This would be an injustice of the highest order if it were to be abandoned due to inclement weather, even by Captain Hook’s own admission. Watching Captain Linter and Umpire Riley try to work out how many overs were lost, not to mention a Duckworth Lewis target, was vintage comedy. Just as the comedy styling of Linter and Riley was getting good, the rain cleared, and we were back out there. With a clearer outlook, it would look as though we would get the full 50 overs in, because we were only off for 18 minutes and 26 seconds, then we carried the one, subtracted the previous week’s overs bowled, multiplied that by 7.8 minutes, and all of a sudden, we needed 9 more wickets. Simple.
After the restart, the Egham pair were going along OK and despite being behind the required rate, we were struggling to find wickets. Thankfully, the almighty HWRCC 1st XI had arrived back from their debacle of a match away at Oxshott, and they gave the 2nd XI the boost they needed. And who else, but crowd favourites Goodwin and Clements to deliver wicket #2. It was Vintage Teddy bru, a ferocious spell of bowling culminating in an intriguing battle with the Egham opening batsman. With each ball came a Goodwin stare that would genuinely wake the dead, and after annoying Goodwin one too many times, he offered up a rocket to Clements at Short mid-on. The ball shot off the middle of the bat, but the nimble Clements sprinted to his right, dived full stretch, and took an absolute corker. It was the liiiiiift the 2nd XI needed. Before long, Teddy had his 2nd and the Wick’s 3rd, another one squeezing through the gap and finding the pegs. The scorecard tells me that Captain Linter bowled 2 overs prior to our spin trio, but I genuinely do not remember them. They went for 17 for those playing at home.
The ball wasn’t doing much for the quickies as it grew old, so the ball was thrown to the dynamic spin duo of Patel and Horvath, and these two set about dismantling the Egham middle and lower order. These two bowled superbly in tandem, and took 5 wickets in 19 overs to leave the visitors cast. As Horvath was bowled out, the Captain again made the decision to overlook Clements in favour of D. Jones.
“Is Dom Jones paying Linter? Spin king Clements surely!” – Max Germain
“Linter a propah village as skipper and that”- Blobz
“How good is Clemmo”- H Copeland
So it was, Dominic would be left to try and pick up the final two wickets with his agricultural leg spin bowling. It did indeed turn out (lol) to be the right decision, as Dom took the final two wickets of the match, and that was all she wrote. A comfortable 143 run victory for your home side, in what will be remembered as a day where Matty D’s star shone ever so bright, and added to his rich Wick folklore tapestry. It goes without saying that Man of the Match was indeed Matty D for his stupendous knock, and Prat of the Match awarded, unanimously, to Captain Linter for his 2 overs for 17, and not giving the baying fans what they wanted.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is merely part I of the story, stay tuned for part II next week which will be even bigger and better. Our final game of the season sees us travel to Old Wimbledonians (revisit the home encounter match report if you like, it is a smash hit (lol)). This game will decide who remains in Division 3 of 2nd XI Surrey cricket. It will probably be raining in Manchester tomorrow so there will be nothing on TV worthy of watching, so get yourselves down to SW20, and support the boys on the march to survival.
We bloody love Matty D, we bloody love winning, and we bloody love the Wick!!
**Captain Linter asked me to put that line in. Truth be told, we walked off knowing we had done a number on the opposition, and most of us were already thinking about celebratory shower beers, the standard balcony chat telling each other how great we are, and frivolous man love. How good is the Wick!