1st xI start the season with a brace of wins
M ay the 3rd is already a notable date for many reasons; the sending of the first spam email (1978); the birth of Meagan Tandy (1985), see below for reference; and the death of Godfrey Evans (1999), described by Wisden as “Arguably the best wicket keeper the game has ever seen” - a comment the great men of the famous almanack may have chosen to reconsider, had they been present in Sheldon Sports Hall this Winter to witness the exploits of one Andrew Wills…
Whether in years to come, May the 3rd 2014 will be remembered as they day on which Marshfield’s 1st XI embarked on an undefeated season, culminating in Wiltshire League glory and a VK victory at Lords remains to be seen; however I’m delighted to report that at the time of writing, the dream is very much still alive! A decent first showing against Winsley on Saturday saw a total of 175 chased down for the loss of 5 wickets in just shy of 35 overs, and a slightly less demanding VK fixture on Sunday resulted in a winning margin of 300 runs.
The usual questions around batting orders, opening bowlers, preferred fielding positions, etc. are yet to be fully answered following the weekend’s fixtures, but one thing is now certain beyond any doubt; Jeremy Bond has cemented his reputation as the most ridiculously dressed man at the MCC - His outfit of 3/4 length skinny jeans, un-ironed Ralph Lauren shirt complete with upturned collar and blue deck shoes will live long in the memory of those lucky hough to see it.
Luckily for Jeremy, he tends to be excused for these, frankly outrageous wardrobe malfunctions, by virtue of the fact he can hit a cricket ball a remarkably long way when he wants to, as he demonstrated on Sunday. It’s safe to say it wasn’t the most challenging attack, but a hundred is still a hundred and watching him maim the semi-drunk bowling attack of Leonard Stanley was still quite funny. On a more serious note we would like to wish the unfortunate member of the opposition that was daft enough to put a foot on the end of one of Jeremy’s straight drives, a speedy recovery.
His weekend performance was overshadowed though by another member of the MCC youth production line, Calum Burnstone… Introduced into the attack on Saturday at a fairly tricky time and with Winsley looking to up the run rate with wickets in hand, the young Ron Weasley lookalike produced 9 very good overs of leg spin and was justly rewarded with 3 wickets. He then backed up his own claims for all rounder status with 90 runs on Sunday, admirably showing considerable mercy to a clearly weaker opposition, by continually hitting the ball to the fielders rather than the boundary. Very noble, I’m sure you’ll all agree.
With Saturday’s run chase of 175, on a slightly less than firm track, probably being 30 more than we would have liked, it was always going to need someone to put together a reasonable score to see us over the line. Promoted to his new number 3 spot, the returning Dave Jenkins duly obliged, bludgeoning 5 maximums on his way to a rapid 79; an innings that reportedly led to him claiming, “I just can’t see how I won’t score 1,500 runs this year, they may as well put my name on that board now.” - A bold statement indeed David.
With the majority of the plaudits being taken by the products of the club’s youth system this weekend, a final mention should go to the evergreen Millennium Man, James Creed. Anybody foolish enough to question the gnarled old warrior’s hunger for wickets, need only have paid a visit to the club for the second innings of Sunday’s VK clash, where those in attendance were treated to a lesson in rabbit hunting that was as masterful as it was shameless. Just as a hundred is still a hundred, a wicket is still a wicket, as Jim will be only too quick to tell you should you ask him about any one of his 4 victims on Sunday afternoon.
All joking aside, while not perfect by any stretch and despite a few Creases still to be ironed out (get it Jim?), it was still a fairly impressive start to what promises to be an exciting season. Fingers crossed next weeks report will be as encouraging, with another double header of league and VK fixtures to negotiate.
Your reporter, James Williams, took a nasty knock with a ball to the mouth on Saturday, requiring Super Glue to mend the cut, some wag suggested not enough was used....
Marshfield CC - 1st XI vs Winsley CC - 1st XI Scorecard