You don’t often see the simile “like a panther decapitating a monkey” in a cricket report, but this is no ordinary cricket club… and no ordinary 5th X1 captain… Enjoy.
Gemma De Ruyter
It will be Gemma’s (our bar manager) last weekend at the club before she goes off to work in sunnier climes in Turkey. We wish her well and thank her for running the bar over the last year. If anyone is able to assist with the running of the bar from now on, please let a member of the Executive Committee know.
As I’m sure you are aware, we are chronically short of garden furniture to use whilst watching the home games. As a result, the green chairs are being brought out and are often broken as they are pulled from the ground. If anyone has any benches at home, or are aware of anywhere we can get a job lot of plastic garden chairs, please contact me asap!
Last weekend’s results:
SMCC entertained second placed Old Hamptonians in a match which SMCC needed to win to close the gap on the leading group. With some rain in the week, the pitch was green and OH looked to exploit those conditions after winning the toss and electing to field. Things started poorly for the 1s and they again found themselves in a hole as the OH opening attack found pace and movement in the surface. At 34-4, with Ellis, Benge and both Hassan’s back in the pavilion / moping around the boundary, SMCC need a partnership. De Ruyter and Dias saw off the rest of the seam attack and were faced with some tight spin. They bided their time and played the situation accordingly, Dias the aggressor to loosen the shackles. De Ruyter fell with the score on 75-5, but the depth of the SMCC batting showed through as Fuller and Dias moved the score to 115 before the Sri Lankan fell LBW soon after reaching 50. Little and McGill came and went to leave SMCC back in the mire at 124-8. Enter the mad Afghan… Fuller tried to calm him down with the advice of “let’s get through 5 overs, then you can do whatever you want”. 20 runs from 11 balls, including a six over long on and a reverse sweep off the OH pace bowler and the two batsmen convened once again – “can I smash it now?” came the question from young Sarwar… SMCC’s last two wickets had put on 50 runs and had changed the momentum. SMCC knew that early wickets would be crucial with the pitch seaming around for the quicks and they got their reward in the first over as Dias took a fine low catch off McGill. Kash Hassan took a sharp catch at cover before McGill (6-29) soon trapped their no.3 in front and no.5 caught behind. Sarwar (3-15) continued the apply the pressure and tempted Morris into a loose shot, snaffled at second slip by Ellis. 24-5 and OH’s top order had been blown away. Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals with a last wicket partnership taking the score up to 68. Again, great fight from SMCC to recover from 34-4 to give themselves a chance. From there, the bowlers stuck to their lines and the fielders did a fine job in backing them up. (D Ellis)
1st X1 League position – 4th / 9
A good start was made by the 2’s after winning the toss and bowling on a damp pitch at the league leaders, reducing the oppo to 20-3. 2 wickets for Harris. A mixture of good fortune and woeful fielding then allowed Woking to get two telling partnerships. S&M failing to build any real pressure in the field throughout and Woking finishing on 199-9. Again a promising start to the next innings led to a dismal finish. 50-1, with JT scoring 32, quickly became 63-5 at drinks and 85 all out. An under strength 2’s came up well short against a confident outfit. The only positive being other results in the league leaving the 2nd promotion place still attainable, but only if performances and consistency improve quickly. (P Corns)
2nd X1 League position – 7th / 10
A disappointing result for the 3s which goes to prove to the mantra that catches win matches. To drop 5 relatively simple classes in a defeat by 2 wickets tells its own story. There were some decent performances with both bat and ball, but if promotion if promotion is to be achieved in a clustered division, all 3 skills have to be implemented well. (C Sowton)
3rd X1 League position – 6th / 18
A local derby against the high flying Dulwich meant another stern test for the 4th eleven. Losing the toss is never the best start and the Dulwich bowlers bowled tightly and with pace and runs were hard to come by. Not helped by some overly generous umpiring decisions (we really need to realise that we seem to be the only team who give lbw decisions against our own players) the 4s struggled to 100 all out. Dulwich set about the target with aggression and ended up reaching the target for the loss of just one wicket. The message of the day is very similar to the skippers team talk but with less profanity, we need to score more runs or we will be out of this league in no time. (D Gladstone)
4th X1 League Position – 9th / 10
A miserable day for cricket with rain and cloud, a damp pitch with some variable bounce etc. I was glad of two sweaters. We make the short journey to Footscray Rugby Club to take on Mottingham who turn out to be another fine bunch of gentlemen. What a civilised division this is. I lose the toss again. Curses. We have to bat. We have shown some resilience with the bat in recent games and so it proves again. Tejus Dasandi (62) batted with skill and grace on a difficult track. It is true that the powerful opener was dropped twice but given variable bounce, the odd one jumping or sticking and the slowness of the outfield Tejus did a fine job and there were many fine shots to admire (9 boundaries. I had a grandstand seat as the boys thought it suitable punishment for me to umpire for 35 overs after being caught behind. Paul Henly (6) and Barrington Wilks (10) offered Tejus some support. Stan Barrett-Johnston (4) was bowled by a shooter and Ryan Willmott(1) off his pads. Mike Nicholas (15 not out) strode out and batted with cool authority to marshal the tail and get our total up to a respectable score. 121 all out was not a bad total on this ground and we set about the task with some confidence. Jamie Davorn (9.5-3-11-2) bowled very well again with accuracy and movement. The young lad is becoming a good league bowler which is great for those of us who have watched him through his colts years and always thought he had the makings of a very decent cricketer. Still not convinced about his batting. Barrington bowled with his usual mixture of violence and cunning and was unlucky not to claim a victim. Paul Henly (12-1-33-4) bowled beautifully again backed up by some fine fielding and catching. Stan Barrett-Johnston took another good hard catch at cover and Ryan Willmott ran J. Hartman out with a breathtaking piece of fielding. The ball was slapped hard to point and seemed to have gone past the young tyro. Not so, our hero slid, gathered and threw – all in one lightning, fluid movement – like to a panther decapitating a monkey. Mark Franklin had time to turn around twice and light a pipe before removing the bails. It is a great thing to have Stan at cover, Ryan at point and Elliott at midwicket. I think it was Mike Nicholas who pointed out that there was more hair on display between cover and point than anywhere else on the ground. Mike Nicholas then added to his great day by reminding us he can bowl with venom and skill. Using the conditions well Mike ripped out three batsmen who had looked set – bowling all three. A very impressive display from the tall all-rounder. When this is added to his knowledge of Greek Tragedy then you have a cricketer who is hard to ignore. A brave captain then, who took him off to bring young Davorn back. The sharp catch held from a lifter to end the game in our favour will live long in my memory. Wise advice from Tejus and Barrington much appreciated throughout the game. Mark Franklin kept well on a difficult track and backed the bowlers up. The feeling of having won a tight encounter over good and civilised opponents is hard to describe, after so long. It’s a whole lot better than losing though. (L Johnston)
5th X1 League position – 9th / 10
Rain prevented play.
Ladies 1st X1 League position – 1st / 6
This weekend’s games:
1st X1 away to Old Rutlishians
2nd X1 home to Pyrford
3rd X1 home to Merstham
4th X1 away to Malden Wanderers
5th X1 away to Dartfordians
Development away to Old Rutlishians
1st X1 away to Oakhill Taverners
2nd X1 away to Petts Wood CC
Ladies 1st X1 away to Oxted & Limpsfield
Best of luck to all the sides.