Cricket on the San Andreas fault
Still smarting from our first defeat of the season, the 3rd XI wended its way to the hamlet of Lydiard Millicent to take on Swindon B in what appeared, based on results to-date, a potentially testing afternoon. The 3rd XI showed 4 changes from the losing side at Chippenham: gone were Hendy Snr (back in the 2’s – go figure…), Tim Wooman (preferring to woo students to Bath University rather than play cricket – go figure…), Ellsy - last week’s MoM (who knows?), and the mighty Dicko, suffering from bruised/broken ribs apparently inflicted by an incensed Mrs. D armed with no more than a rounders’ bat (or so I’m told); coming in were debutants Nelson Reynolds and Malcolm Miller, old lag Keith Pullin, and Princess George Pollitt, who had finished his finals at Uni the day before.
That latter fact meant, of course, that Her Royal Highness was in no fit state to take the field at 1 p.m., at which moment he was instead “fertilising” the shrubbery with the dubious contents of his gastrointestinal tract and looking – as his Mother might say – quite poorly. Thank goodness Uncle Gary was away in the 2nd’s or there would, no doubt, have been words. Mini-Chopper also had a distinctly pasty complexion connected, I believe, to having finished his A levels and having celebrated in a manner completely unbecoming to such an upstanding young fellow (sic).
Upon arriving at the ground, your correspondent was immediately informed by Boop that he had never seen a wicket like the one that awaited us, that the game could be over in a very short period of time, and did I have a helmet he could borrow in case he had to bat? [Note to readers: for your information, I’ve considerably shortened Boop’s speech by leaving out all the words he used beginning with ‘f’]. Before I could muster a response, Jim had turned up, wandered out to the middle, won the toss, and decided to bat. Boop thought this was quite funny (not), George went off to vomit again, and Olly and I strapped on our protective equipment.
The wicket lived up to its billing, resembling a road above the San Andreas fault shortly after the tectonic plates had shifted. Without doubt, the streets of San Francisco looked worse in 1906 but no-one there, at that time, was suggesting that it was the perfect opportunity for a quick game of cricket. Ball 1 of the first over pitched shortish outside off-stump and then took a right turn away from the batsman and settled nicely into the hands of first slip. Ball 3 landed in a similar area and never left the ground thereafter. Ball 5, remarkably, also pitched on approximately the same line and length, but this time turned left and flew over your unducking scribe’s head by a good foot or two. Smiles all round, a wander down the wicket to encourage young Hendy, fist pump, father-son-and-holy ghost, and over 2 got underway. Not quite so dramatic, but one delivery pitched on a length, Olly came forward correctly and then felt something hard whack him in the ribs – not a rounders’ bat wielded by a woman who could take no more, but instead a shiny new ball recently scuffed by landing in one of the not insubstantial cracks that crazy-paved the wicket.
Thus, an afternoon of attritional cricket began. Progress was slow as the extravagant behaviour of the ball made hitting it quite difficult. Olly succumbed quite soon and George staggered to the wicket where, between intermissions to take on water and dispose of some bile acids (delicately expectorated over the boundary line), he managed to bat like a man blindfolded. One ball post-drinks, a big yahoo to the opposition’s decent slow left-armer saw his timbers re-arranged and he slunk away for a lie-down in a darkened room. Callum Buckets also went cheaply to the same bowler unwisely playing back to a full ball that had clattered into his stumps before he knew it. At 52-3 with 20+ overs used up, any score over 100 seemed defendable. Chris Ruddell arrived at the crease and was not impressed by his initial experience of cricketing roulette but he soon got the hang of being hit here and there, laughing maniacally and carrying on.
By the 35th over, the score had crept into the 90s when a juggled catch at slip saw the 4th wicket go down. Boop joined Rudds and together they added a crucial 44 at a run a ball mixing some ball-thumping with an improvised rendition of that old favourite, “running between the wickets”. After Boop fell for an invaluable 36, Nelson scampered valiantly to help Chris add another 20 or so to the total. It looked like they would see the innings to its end but, having run a single, Nelson made his ground at the bowler’s end but then - as the ball came in to the bowler - he decided to go for a little stroll down the wicket. The bowler, a sharp young lad of 12, immediately threw down the stumps and claimed one of the oddest dismissals I’ve seen in a while. Just time for Malcolm to watch a couple of extras added to the score and our 45 was done at 161-6, a total that looked more than half decent in the circumstances.
And so it proved. After an enjoyable tea and another memorable huddle (thinking of Jim’s words again just chokes me up), we opened the bowling with Callum and Harvey Vellacott. To be fair, the callow Swindon openers batted very sensibly, and the now soft and completely shineless ball behaved slightly better, such that the score had reached 35 before Buckets made the breakthrough finding the thinnest of edges through to Olly who took a routine catch. Full credit here to the young Swindon number 1, who walked immediately as the appeal went up. After Harvey had completed 6 tidy overs, Rudds came on for his first bowl in a while and soon trapped the other opener lbw. Callum meanwhile disposed of batters 4 and 5 in quick succession and finished an excellent spell of 9-1-23-3.
Will Christie took over and, despite having to mostly bowl at probably Swindon’s best batsman, he eventually got his man with a non-bouncing long hop, followed by another wicket the next ball smartly caught by Harvey. The hat-trick did not materialise, but Rudds then got his second wicket, caught and bowled, to finish his 9-over spell with respectable 2-32. George (with finally a bit of colour in his cherubic cheeks) bowled an over and grabbed another wicket that reduced Swindon to 90-8. This quickly became 91-9 as Will claimed his third of the day (caught by Ruddell – the man was everywhere!) and the innings finished on 97 when Harvey bowled the opposition skipper with another ball that obligingly refused to bounce.
A comfortable 64 run victory then with extra bowling points for dismissing Swindon for less than 100 and a surprising 4 batting points too. As Chippenham lost, the win pushes us back into second place in the Division, but there’s still a way to go. Overall, then, a very good performance, with some sensible batting in difficult conditions, followed by a generally tight bowling performance backed up by enthusiastic fielding. Man-of-the-match must go to Chris Ruddell for his all-round performance: his best ever score for the club with the bat, a tidy bowling spell with a couple of wickets, and two catches! Special mentions to Callum and Will who each picked up three wickets, Mini’s figures an impressively Dixon-esque 7-3-8-3! Next week, home to Westbury as we complete the first half of the season.
|Type :||League: Wiltshire County Cricket League - Division 8 2018||Date :||Saturday 23rd June 2018|
|Toss:||Marshfield CC - 3rd XI won the toss and elected to bat||Start Time:||13:00|
|Ground:||Lydiard Millicent||Rules Type:||Standard|
Marshfield: R.Guy 53, W.Christie 7-3-8-3 Swindon: R.Roze 9-2-10-2
Result: Marshfield CC - 3rd XI - Won by 64 runs
|Swindon CC, Wilts - B XI||Marshfield CC - 3rd XI|
|Score||97 all out (33.5 overs)||161 for 6 (45 overs) 'b' 't'|
|1||Richard Guy||ct Randy Roze||b George Tweedale||53||10||0||0|
|2||Oliver Hendy†||ct Unsure||b Harmandeep Singh||0||0||0||0|
|3||George Pollitt||b Randy Roze||8||2||0||0|
|4||Callum Duckett||b Randy Roze||2||0||0||0|
|5||Chris Ruddell||not out||31||4||0||0|
|6||Keith Pullin||b Harmandeep Singh||36||5||1||0|
|7||Nelson Reynolds||run out (Bruno Tweedale)||5||0||0||0|
|8||Malcolm Miller||not out||0||0||0||0|
|9||Jim Creed*||did not bat|
|10||Will Christie||did not bat|
|11||Harvey Vellacott||did not bat|
|Extras b (13), lb (3), w (8), nb (2)||26|
* = Captain, † = Wicket Keeper
Fall of Wickets
17-1 Oliver Hendy (Richard Guy-0*); 44-2 George Pollitt (Richard Guy-0*); 52-3 Callum Duckett (Richard Guy-0*); 95-4 Richard Guy (Chris Ruddell-0*); 139-5 Keith Pullin (Chris Ruddell-0*); 158-6 Nelson Reynolds (Chris Ruddell-0*);
* = not out batsman
|Amanveer Singh Jagdey||2||0||10||0||0||0|
|Fielding Extras/Non-bowler wickets||16||1|
|1||Oliver Gabb||ct Oliver Hendy||b Callum Duckett||22||3||0||0|
|2||Nicolas Viljoen||lbw||b Chris Ruddell||5||1||0||0|
|3||Harminder Jagdey||b Will Christie||25||5||0||0|
|4||James Pitman†||ct Richard Guy||b Callum Duckett||5||1||0||0|
|5||Amanveer Singh Jagdey||b Callum Duckett||1||0||0||0|
|6||Martyn Gabb||not out||12||2||0||0|
|7||Harmandeep Singh||ct Harvey Vellacott||b Will Christie||0||0||0||0|
|8||George Tweedale||ct & b Chris Ruddell||0||0||0||0|
|9||Bruno Tweedale||ct Richard Guy||b George Pollitt||1||0||0||0|
|10||P Pitman||ct Chris Ruddell||b Will Christie||0||0||0||0|
|11||Randy Roze*||b Harvey Vellacott||5||1||0||0|
|Extras b (8), w (10), nb (3)||21|
* = Captain, † = Wicket Keeper
Fall of Wickets
35-1 Oliver Gabb (Nicolas Viljoen-0*); 41-2 Nicolas Viljoen (Harminder Jagdey-0*); 49-3 James Pitman (Harminder Jagdey-0*); 60-4 Amanveer Singh Jagdey (Harminder Jagdey-0*); 75-5 Harminder Jagdey (Martyn Gabb-0*); 75-6 Harmandeep Singh (Martyn Gabb-0*); 76-7 George Tweedale (Martyn Gabb-0*); 90-8 Bruno Tweedale (Martyn Gabb-0*); 91-9 P Pitman (Martyn Gabb-0*); 97-10 Randy Roze (Martyn Gabb-0*);
* = not out batsman
|Fielding Extras/Non-bowler wickets||8||0|