TMG vs. Streat & Westmeston CC Sunday XI
Streat won the toss and decided to field. TMG 201 for 9 (45 overs). Streat 203 for 8 (43 overs). TMG lost by two wickets.
Abbreviations and acronyms
CC Cricket Club
EO Mr Ian Sewell
PSM Party Seven Moment
QB Quiet Ben
TMG The Mighty Greys
Background to consultant’s report
The Mighty Greys (TMG) has evolved from a pub team into a way of life. Although an anthropological study is required, the captain recruited a veterinary consultant for this review. On Sunday, 06 June 2014, the consultant returned from his previous assignment in Serbia and met Mighty Greysmen in the Constant Service: they had just beaten Lindfield CC.
The consultant was offered a new mission with the Greysmen starting 13 June 2014 at Lindfield. The contract was extended to cover field work in Streat the following week. Here a ‘Party Seven moment’ (PSM) occurred – see below. This event triggered submission of the consultant’s report.
The Streat field work builds on data gathered in Lindfield, but the report refers primarily to the Streat case study. Data were derived from mixed sources, including (i) Direct observation, (ii) Embedding in the field with Greysmen, and (iii) Focus Group Discussion.
Data were cross-checked with official match records in the Scorer’s Book and the Streat & Westmeaston Cricket Club (2014 Season) Fixture List & Handbook. In addition, photographic evidence was gathered showing the consultant with the PSM trophy on his head.
Spirits were high after Lindfield. Chiefy had taken 3 for 20 odd, including most of the top order. Guy took a stunning 4 for no runs that left him on a hat trick for the second time in the match. Jerry and Biff polished off the target with loads of overs and time to spare. Greysmen were back in the Constant by 7pm.
A week later, in the Constant again before the Streat game, Stan’s high, slow, looping bowling was discussed. Alex had a plan: down the wicket every time and nudge it into gaps for a single. Stan always sets the field back for catches, he said.
And so to Streat. Ah, green and pleasant land. The steam-roller was out making a flat-looking wicket flatter. It looked good for batting.
In hot, sultry conditions TMG’s opening pair rapidly built the score to over 40 off five overs. Great start. Both middling the ball and looking invincible. Then, in the seventh over, Cap’n Biff called for a run that wasn’t really there. Jerry didn’t go. The throw was good, Biff did not get back and was soon blaspheming in the changing room.
Jerry carried on positively including a fine six (parp). Guy started in his characteristic, hard-hitting style striking 12 runs off the first four balls faced. The good run rate continued up to 75 in the eleventh when “trigger finger Alex” [according to Jerry] gave Jerry out lbw to Forster for 29.
Wig, benefitting from the runs on the board, sagely played himself in before demonstrating fine shots all around the ground. As the innings progressed so did his limp. It looked like Long John Silver was batting out there.
Guy struck a fine, one bounce four over mid-on, and got his 50 (parp) quick time. But soon after Forster bowled him for 55.
Cue the consultant to join the bat fest. Given that Wig could barely walk by now we agreed calls and agreed to go easy on the running. Just to be safe, like.
Wig drove the ball to deep mid-on. An easy run. Don’t push Wig. What? Called back for a second. Turn and – oh no – sharp throw – bales removed – Alan, ump at square leg, spotted raised bat – the consultant out with no balls faced. The bat was over the line but not grounded: schoolboy error (except the consultant never actually played cricket at school or anywhere else, journeying from occasional-of-last-resort through TMG’s Youth Academy, before graduating as Greys’ Oldest Man).
On the walk of shame back, Hat Rick asked for my bat. “Make more use of it than I did” said the consultant. TMG now on 150, but 28 overs gone. Hatrick smacked a four, but was out for five to a sharp catch at point.
In comes Alex with Stan Spiegel introduced into the attack. No problems there. Down the wicket, watch the ball, Wig backs up, and through for that easy single. And again. And again. Haha, Greysmen have got this bowler sussed.
Was it all that running? Wig decided to whack Stan and, oops, straight into safe hands at square leg. Alex continued pushing singles but Stan brought the field in. So he decided to whack Stan and, oops, straight into safe hands at square leg. What was that you were saying in the pub??
The team needed runs. Ben and Chiefy took charge. Chiefy, not known to hang about, decided to whack Stan and, oops, straight into safe hands at square leg.
90 overs is what they play in a day in a Test Match. 90 overs is what they play on a Sunday in Streat. The similarities between international cricketers and Greysmen are uncanny.
Jonathan Agnew, 21 July 2014 report, (final day, 2nd Test, England vs. India) BBC website: “You really do have to wonder what on earth was going on in the minds of the England batsmen as they planted pull shot after pull shot straight into the hands of fielders who had been pushed back to take those catches.”
David Hadrill, 20 July 2014 report (TMG vs. Streat) TMG website: You really do have to wonder what on earth was going on in the minds of TMG batsmen as they planted pull shot after pull shot straight into the hands of square leg who had been put there to take those catches.
So all set up for EO to hit some runs with QB. Ian was not going to be tied down by Stan. Walking down the wicket – good idea to hit the ball early – no! – missed it – will be stumped – what’s this? – bowled !! It all seemed to happen in slow motion.
So Alan comes in 44th over. Alan can strike a cricket ball, get quick runs. But for some reason he decided to be night watchman. Maybe the game went on so long and he thought he was in the Test Match. 5pm and still not tea. QB grafted useful runs, perspiring like a Brighton party animal carrying on from the night before. But the Greys’ innings was over at 201 for 9.
Stan finished with 6 overs, one maiden, four wickets for 16. Glad we worked him out before the game then!
It felt like time to go to the pub, but it was only tea. 201 to defend and dozens of overs for them to get them in. We’d need wickets.
Double D (shoulder) was joy-riding in his cab (with the consultant’s missus, actually). Robbie (hamstring) was sitting outside the pavilion with the score book. Ricky (wrist) also out. Terry (uninjured) in Spain. But EO and QB back in the side. Alan, Chiefy and Guy, who had destroyed Lindfield the week before, were there. Biffolini and Alex also ready to bowl.
QB and Alan were going well: only ten off the first four overs. An edge from Vander was put down at slip. Scoring was slow, but these two openers were getting themselves in.
In the fifth, Mansfield went for a cut. The ball top-edged over keeper and slip. The consultant ran from gully round the back and dived, just reaching the ball, left-handed, about a foot above the ground. It stuck. PSM.
10-1. Not bad. Finely poised.
Vander and no. 3 Baxter got in. Vander was starting to score more freely. The score moved up to 60 odd. Change of bowlers.
Chiefy bowled a beauty that cut back in and clattered Baxter’s stumps. 61-2. Vander was building his innings, despite plays-and-misses, now supported well by no.4 Davison.
EO then found the edge to give slip another chance at Vander who was on 53.
Now, an objective consultant does not do regional stereotypes and nor does Wig’s whippet. But EO’s Scouse delivery shot off Vander’s outside edge to Wig in t’ slips like a ferret up his trouser leg: taken above his head like a pigeon mid-flight to the loft. What a catch! 93-3.
The game entered a phase where it seemed to be going on and on and on . . . a bit like the consultant’s report. Alan got interested in a possible queen ant that alighted on his shirt. Alex’s hamstring tightened. There was thunder and lightning behind the Downs. Lots of overs left. Some of the fielding was sharp: HatRick saved plenty of runs. Some of it was mediocre: two catches spilled. Why did we only catch the difficult ones? Alex bowled a couple, but didn’t stem the flow of runs. EO finished his nine-over spell.
Change of bowling. Biff straight in with a wicket first ball, bowling M Porter who was scoring fast and had clattered the club house door with a six. 148-4.
Guy then got Davison lbw, straight and low. 166-5. Guy bowled a wide ball that went for four byes. Shaw, fooled by this psychological ploy, relaxed and was bowled next ball. 172-6. Biff from the other end took a sharp c&b to send Brand back without scoring. 172-7.
This is getting interesting. We can win this! In the 41st over, Biff got Hawkins lbw. 179-8. Ooh, just two wickets needed now.
But it was not to be. Streat’s nos. 8 & 10 batted out the game, with the winning runs coming as four byes/wides off the last ball. Anticlimactic.
The Streat Fixture List & Handbook gives their 2013 bowling averages. The bowler who took most wickets (all teams) last year? Stan Spiegel, with 59 wickets for an average just under 25. It seems Greysmen are not the only victims.
This was a good, close game. Streat took all their catches, we didn’t. But, hey, if we won every single game in the season we’d probably be playing at the wrong level.
A 90-over match lets the side batting second complete a run chase, but the game drags. TMG injury list is a concern.
- A health consultant should be hired next to address injury issues and preventive measures.
- Meanwhile, stable rest is recommended for DD and Ricky, then put out to pasture. Light work from three weeks post-injury. Diet of fibrous hay only. Strictly no oats.