Date: 27/08/2020
Opposition: Valley End CC 5TH XI
Venue: Hampton Wick Royal Cricket Club King's Field
Man of the match: Ollie Morjaria
Prat of the match: Zak Collier

Picture the scene. August 27th 2020. The world is very much still in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, the majority of Europe is experiencing both a heatwave and a significant increase in the levels of delinquent British tourists gracing its shores (coincidence?), and England is gripped by heavy rain. A trademark British summer at best. Despite Oliver Dowden’s good work at DCMS (children – go and do some homework) to get the good guys at the Wick playing cricket this summer, Mother Nature was trying to ruin the fun. This did not stop the Houghton Xi from taking on Valley End CC as part of the Wick’s Cricket Festival. The Side was a very young one, with ages ranging from 14 to slightly older, with levels of good chat variable across the side. Captain, head groundsman and Jos Buttler impersonator W.B. Houghton won the toss and elected to bat in a shortened 30 over format, and sent in Depeche Mode Morjaria and Zak Collier into open our innings. Morjaria Sr appeared to be Enjoying The Silence (don’t say I don’t treat you with this) in the middle to escape the dodgy chat from the dug out, but clearly Just [couldn’t] Get Enough (stop it) of it, as he inside edged a ball early in his innings into his off pole, and left the debate as to who is the best Morjaria wide open. This brought Morjaria.O to the crease, who combined well with Collier to put on the first of two consecutive 38 run partnerships. Collier’s efforts in the nets looked to be paying off before chipping a ball which stopped on him back to the bowler for a tidy 20. C.J. Hewitt joined Morjaria at the crease and unfurled some attacking shots on both sides of the wicket, including a punched six over mid on, before playing a horrific shot to a straight ball and falling for 29. He still owes the Club’s Barrister £10 for not hitting a six first ball. Morjaria meanwhile went about his work doggedly and Got The Balance (I will stop now) right between defense and attack, running particularly hard between the wickets. P.Miles looked in good touch and belted a couple of four’s through mid wicket before middling a full toss to mid off for a classy 15, which saw Tim Jones winched to the crease. Brother to Sam and Dom, Son of Simon and Anna, Tim was clearly still celebrating both his place at Bath University (well done Tim) and not being messed about by Dickhead Johnson and Complete and Utter Troglodyte Williamson’s utterly inept algorithm, as he batted for approximately four minutes and scored a total 25% of his total time at the crease, but I am sure that this was done to bring W.B. Houghton to the crease. Continuing his Jos Buttler impression from last week, Ben smacked a quick 24* at an estimated strike rate of 123.456789 to crank the score up. Ben played the perfect foil to Morjaria, who hit his maiden half century for the Wick. Despite the slightly weird celebration, Ollie batted brilliant to finish 61* and to see the boys through to 173-5, a good effort against what was a good Valley End bowling and fielding effort.

Charged up by tea, the new ball was handed to Sonny Bill Longhurst and Jack Le Feuvre QC (bribery was involved). Longhurst stuck early, but that was the only break through as the Valley End No.1 proved to be a very good bat and up to the challenge posed by the Wick. Longhurst was replaced by Morjaria.L, who threw his hat into the ring for Best Morjaria member with a strong spell, and should have been rewarded with a wicket but a simple chance went down behind the stumps. The rain decided to ruin the game here and we were forced into a long rain delay, broken up by a game of 1 hand 1 bounce cricket on the outfield by the majority of the Wick team, which was very entertaining for the Wick supporters and those of the team who showed enough maturity to not join in, and equally drew plenty of scepticism from Valley End. The rain finally stopped this impromptu game to allow the actual game to resume, with Connor and Ecoli introduced into the attack. Euan struck straight away bowling their Number 2 and should have had a second but Zak Collier shelled an absolute sitter. Connor hammered away from the Northern End and produced some good gas and carry but was unable to make a breakthrough. Collier was then thrown the ball as Valley End made good progress towards the target before Mother Nature stepped in with thunder and lightning, and a sensible draw was agreed, with both sides shaking hands at the end of an enjoyable encounter.

Post match debate was particularly insightful and enlightened. Debate focused on whether Morjaria’s 50 actually counted given the abandonment of the game (jury is very much still out on this), and the use of his student finance to buy a jug (which his dad then promptly bought). The Wick Parliament decreed Zak Collier as Dick of the Day, with honourable mentions for Ben’s dropped catch and Dipesh falling over his own feet whilst trying to field a ball, and your scribe decreed O.Morjaria as Man of the Match on the basis of his maiden 50 for the Wick, with Euan Cole receiving an honourable mention.

Thanks to all involved for a bloody great day out. What a club. UTW.