2013 Match Reports
Carry on 'Round the Wicket' - Isle of Wight Tour 2013
Perton.W reclined on a camping bed in The Spyglass Inn’s likely now notorious Apartment 3.
“Oh wait, yes I did”
“Yes you did,” confirmed Tweaker, as Perton.W dragged the damp duvet over his pristine sportsman’s chassis, a chassis that would be on display all too often over the weekend.
Tweaker’s arrival onto the Vagabonds 2013 Isle of Wight Tour (which the world’s sporting press have already labeled “The Gayest Tour”) was somewhat delayed, and offered him a unique perspective on the effects of a whole day of drinking on eight Vags. A hair-raising-aquaplaning eight-hour carriage ride from Birmingham (with Kennedy.B on the Oxfordshire leg and Scott.E thereafter) had not blunted his journalistic instincts. On a side note, Kennedy.B has been dispatched to Malaysia to put down a minor rebellion. Let’s hope he goes about it in the same fashion as fellow Vagabonds expat Henderson.M, who’s stint as chief of the Singapore Police has been so brutal and uncompromising as to earn him the legend “White Death” amongst locals.
With the main Vagabonds party having taken the QE2 once again, Tweaker and Scott.E were transported across the channel by local Junk, the particular vessel having been painted pink and red by the primitive inhabitants of Southampton. Scott.E, an expert on early humans, was able to engage in limited communications with a toothless and diseased Shaman and deduced that they appear to have adopted some kind of quaint Vagabonds cargo cult as their religion, with Nokes.P as the “Eternal Being of Light”. Davidson.S’s best carrier pigeon “Nokia” delivered a message during the voyage. It appeared that two Vagabonds were not the men they claimed to be. Hyde.S has always painted himself as an international photographer, but under Chinese alcohol torture he let slip that this was only a cover story – for 18 years he was Bill Clinton’s body double. Perhaps more sinisterly we learned that Gale.M was in fact Arturo Miguel Gale, a notorious South American gangster famed for having the hardest hands in Columbia.
These revelations were the result of an expedition around Ventnor, which took in the local EDL pub, Perkies as well as The Dog & Hammer, a pub that contained no customers except for three-dozen flies. Arturo quipped that the barmen should pay the Vagabonds for bringing some atmosphere. Any thoughts of a violent response to this were subdued by a quick glance at Arturo’s concrete palms. The Vags also took in a curry. Hyde.S enjoyed the rich texture and aroma of his Tandoori chicken so much that regurgitated it later in order to feed his young. This was on the advice of Davidson.S and Perton.W, the Vagabonds Tour Spewing consultants.
It was at midnight that Tweaker and Scott.E entered the fray. Several unhelpful phonecalls appeared to have consigned them to a glass of Laudanum and bed, but for the skillful acts of the residents of the St. Andrews guesthouse up the hill. Having realised that Perton.W was in an incomparable state of inebriation, they had sportingly locked him out. Say what you like about the Vagabonds – they know how to stick together in a crisis. Perton.W thus burst into Apartment 3 at 1.30am. Aware that the walls between Apartments 2 & 3 were paper thin, he ensured that his loudness was deafening. I have never heard a camping bed deployed with such audible ferocity. Having “settled”, Perton.W then conducted a lewd telephone conversation and hour-long act of self-pollution. Tweaker does not make it his business to listen to other men engage in “Cabinet Reshuffles” (although Perton.W does, being as he is in the employ of the interactive flesh industry). It was, stunning. That wrist must be worth 10mph to his bowling (Davidson.S, take note please).
In the morning, the smoldering wreckage of a cricket team travelled north to play Cowes. Hyde.S had thoughtfully engineered the itinerary in order to allow us to see as much of the island as possible, often the same bit multiple times. At the ground we encountered Commodore Harding. He had engaged Perton.W to obtain a can of Chris Lewis own brand peaches some weeks before and was disappointed but not surprised to learn that Perton.W had consumed most of the Peaches the night before. It was reassuring to see the opposition combing the outfield for canine manure prior to the game. Reassuring because it a) reduced the likelihood of falling in a jobby and b) suggested that the quality of the cricket would not be particularly taxing. On reflection, it probably would have been better to leave the turds out there, because they would have fielded better than us. The highlight of the innings was Arturo’s down-on-both-knees plead for an LBW, which rivaled Kanji.A’s inertia-defying reverse and point at Brook for appeal of the season.
“That’s right boys, keep the ball dry” was the response to yet another Vags full toss from Tristram at mid-on – a bearded foundry worker and keen new Vagabond who has starred in several Hollywood movies. The response of Cowes opening batsman was to flick the ball to the boundary. Several overs later it was recovered and switched back with the interim replacement. “Oh good, it’s our lucky ball back” stated the Commodore. The ball was actually nearly destroyed some time later. Cowes’ number 1 struck it to mid-off, where Arturo waited. He smashed it out of the air like King Kong swatting a biplane. “It went in and then came straight out” he exclaimed. Yes, we all saw that. The family of the ball are now in hiding fearing a vicious reprisal in the form of favela-style street justice.
A late come back from the Vags restricted Cowes to 144 from 30 overs. Howard.R was the first man back to the changing room as he was hoping to run into his new friends from the special needs indoor bowls club who had invaded our changing room prior to the game. It appeared that they had quite understandably mistaken us for new members. We did little to dispel this illusion with the bat. The main problem was that we kept getting out and we ended up 8 runs short against only nine men (and several dog turds).
The evening was, by all accounts, much more restrained than the previous. We returned to the Tapas bar and then headed off to the Crab & Lobster bar – the best place to catch crabs in Ventnor. By the time Tweaker retired, it appeared that the Vagabonds had perhaps turned a corner towards increased civility. However, in the morning it emerged that this was not the case. The internet was abuzz with illegal images of Perton.W and tales of bed destroying antics in Arturo’s apartment. Some of the younger members of the squad had acquired distant expressions. Boote.R and Davidson.S appeared…renewed. Hyde.S was talking about animals again. Howard.R and the Commodore looked as if they had seen it all before.
The quick hop over to Ventnor’s ground was silent. This energy, however, did wonders for the Vags performance. A magnificent bowling and fielding performance restricted Ventnor to 130. What was most spectacular was the unique throwing action of Hyndman.R, who was raised on a Midwestern cattle ranch. His rope-swinging style and predilection for tight denim has earned him the name “Lasso Jeggings”. With the rain closing in, the Vags went out to bat. Unfortunately, at 7-0 the heavens opened, and we were forced to settle for a Duckworth-Lewis victory (Boote.R on the calculations). With the match abandoned, the Vags headed upstairs for a team shower whilst Jeggings filmed proceedings from the viewing chair. DVD’s available for £9.99 from the Vagabonds online store.
As we headed to the ferry port, Perton.W appeared distracted. “What’s up?” inquired Tweaker. “You remember that half Viagra…” he replied. Tweaker did indeed remember the half Viagra. “Why”, he thought to himself, “would Perton.W bring a half Viagra to an island with NO WOMEN?” as he dropped it on the side board of Apartment 3. Tweaker gazed skywards as he remembered the enormous ructions in the middle of the night, the pornographic conversations. He envisioned the neighbors complaining to the staff about the two men next door. He imagined the staff creeping into into Apartment 3 to find empty cans of lager, various paraphernalia, a sweaty camp bed and half a Viagra on the side. “Thank God” he thought to himself, “were not going back there again”.
Next Year: FRANCE
Post Script: The Vagabonds new ringtone, recorded on tour by Sir Stuart Davidson can be found here
See Tour Photos here
Grouse & Label 1 September 2013 Home - LOST
The Vags, batting first, made an excellent start with Howard.R
looking increasingly good before falling in glorious fashion. A
straight long hop kept low, trapping him plumb in front. As the G&L
appealed, Howard.R was more concerned about the fact that the ball
had looped up and appeared to be heading for the wicket. He
attempted to spin and volley the ball to safety but only succeeded
in kicking the off stump over, returning to his original position
to be greeted with the Chairman’s finger.
After this, Boote.R and Tweaker scored half centuries, taking the
score to 124-1, but both fell inside three overs alongside
Willings.T, another victim of the low long hop or “Shin Music”.
Tris and Gale.M did an excellent rebuilding job, both making scores
in the 20’s before Richie Hill came in a closed the innings with
some strong hitting. 221.
A magical start to the G&L innings had them 1-3, Perton.W and
Hyde.S doing the damage. This however brought Aman to the crease.
He followed up his 130* from last week with 158*. He has not been
dismissed in his previous seven innings. So G&L reached the total
with 8 overs to spare. Richie Hill bowled one of the best spells
all year, eventually claiming a wicket and at one point was
operating in tandem with Boote.R, meaning that we had Dicks at both
ends – a “Vagabonds Spitroast”. As ever, we massively enjoyed
hosting the Grouse & Label at the Sun Inn afterwards.
Grouse & Label F/15 (like T/20 Geddit?) 25 Aug 2013 Away - LOST
finally had to be replaced. It was a terrible thing for the crowd
to witness a man who once boasted a 100% win record see it reduced
by a percentage of 76.77 recurring in the space of 6 hours. But the
fields of Bentworth will forever echo with chants of “Your just a
gay Freddie Mercury”.
The Vags were bolstered by recruits old and new – Tim, Tom &
Tristram, two of whom brought serious facial hair to the outfield.
Imagine if everyone in the Vags had a moustache. Think about that
for a minute.
So what happened then? We got beaten twice, but as ever, that was
completely irrelevant. The fifteen 8 ball over format caused superb
confusion – at one stage both umpires were playing a different set
of rules for wides and no balls whilst a man attempting to score on
an iPad almost cried. On field performance was good from everyone,
but the opposition were a cut above (and weren’t for example all
standing at the bar impatiently at 11am watching a man put the
nozzles on the taps). The G&L F/15 is all about “Cricket in the
true spirit” as goes the motto of our excellent hosts.
The Vags, as usual, brought plenty of spirit. Today there was no roasting, but
there was spicy lamb chops and the G&L soundsystem, which is the
envy of junior event The Notting Hill Carnival.
Not the MCC 18 August 2013 Home - WON
What leads a man to run from his own civil partnership and come to
the Sun Inn? The answer? – a new phenomenon – ROAST PRESSURE. This
has been keenly felt by Davidson.S and Boote.R in the last two
weeks, neither is willing to submit in the battle for roast
supremacy. Not the MCC was the fixture and the pitch was slippery,
sticky and dangerous, much like Perton.W’s place of employment.
Tweaker, filling in for the temporarily absent Boote.R, won the
toss and bowled. Well done Tweaker. Kennedy.B was unplayable. It is
hard to believe that he is only eight years old when his physique
so closely resembles Krang’s automatic host from the 90’s animated
TV show “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”. He finished 6 for 20 odd
and scared the bejesus out of everyone in the vicinity, Chairman
taking a series of excellent catches behind the stumps and Rosco pouching
a brace in the gully. The other wicket takers were
Davidson.S (2), making fine use of his 35mph quicker one and
Harding.L (2), who coped well with a slippery ball. And also bowled
quite well. Nelson.PK was very unlucky, finding a good line and
length that frequently beat the outside edge and Paul “THE
INHIBITOR” Hibbert tied up an end whilst Kennedy.B assassinated the
lower order with his second spell.
The total of roughly 130 was competitive on a track that resembled
a rugby pitch after one innings, but the Vags were equal to the
task. In a vaguely thrilling finish, Chairman steered us home after
a solid start from the likes of Gale.M and Scott.E. It was, to be
honest, pretty dour stuff, but that didn’t bother Tweaker, who
immediately shot to the top of the all time Vags captaincy list
with a stunning win percentage of 100%.
Eversley CC 11th August 2013 Home - DRAWN
I’m afraid it’s back to me doing the match report this week. It’s genuinely tough doing it every week so a huge thanks to Tom H and Rob H who have both stepped up to the plate over recent weeks!
No rhyming verse here sadly, I’m just not that talented!
Skip won the toss and chose to bat first on a dry wicket under blue sky. The opening pair of Tom H and Alan Whitman (making his season debut for us) started very well, both looked to put away anything loose and they put on a solid 34 for the first wicket before Alan got caught out by a ball that stopped a little and he was caught at Mid On. If he had gone through with the shot it would probably have gone into the next field! The Skip joined Tom in the middle and they moved the score onto 59 before Tom (25 runs) was undone by a big inswinger that bowled him. The ball was hooping around all over the place and it was proving a little tricky to build an innings. Skip was beginning to find his feet though and dispatched a couple of lovely drives to the boundary to ease the pressure. He had been joined by Elliot Scott in the middle and Elliot started his innings well, dispatching the ball with a firm back foot punch. Unfortunately he very quickly got a great inswinging Yorker that would have accounted for most people. With the Skip looking comfortable at one end he was now joined by Mike Gale. After a few initial balls that Mike struggled with (it was swinging all over the place!) Mike settled in nicely and the pair of them built a great partnership. Mike rotating the strike perfectly and the Skip with a mixture of big blows and well timed clips put on 100 for the 3 wicket. The skipper bringing up his 50 with a big back foot drive then taking his score onto 80 before mistiming a shot and getting caught. Another great knock from the Skip. Luke H came out to join Mike Gale with approx 5 overs in the innings remaining. Mike went soon after trying to get move the score along. It was only a knock of 17 but he played the perfect foil to The Skip. Excellent effort! Luke and Bertie K then moved the score onto 209 at tea. Luke hitting 30* and dispatching the last ball of the innings for a 6 that felt really nice!
So, 209 for 5 was our end result. A very good effort on a pitch that was doing something all the time and against an attack that was one of the better ones we have faced this season.
After the usual fine tea supplied by Gareth we took to the field confident that we could run Eversley very close and maybe even sneak a win.
Our opening pair of Bertie K and Phil K both took little time to get into a rhythm. Bertie bowling at good pace and making the ball nibble around off the seam and Phil bowling huge inswingers that caused both the batsmen lots of trouble. The first wicket didn’t take long to arrive. Bertie going for the old slower ball bouncer routine and getting their solid looking opener to hit it straight to Tom H in the covers. Phil followed soon afterwards accounting for the other opener with a great inswinger that went between bat and pad and hit middle and leg. It was a good, tight start and the bowlers were being ably backed up by the fielders. This was shown up perfectly when A Whitman took a stunner at mid wicket. A full toss was slapped towards the boundary and Alan rose, plucked it out of the air with one hand and gathered it in whilst moving sharply to his right. There was a slight suggestion of a no ball (based on height) but the decision stood. An excellent catch.
Phil ended his spell with 3-33 off 7, Bertie with 1-35 (including a properly fast bouncer that was given as a no ball for height!)
Paul ‘the inhibitor’ Hibbert came on and immediately found his line and length. He bowled beautifully and deserved a lot more than his single wicket (1-24) he kept things very tight and helped build the pressure on the Eversley side. The Skip at the other end joined him and they both wheeled away for a number of overs. The Skip himself unlucky not to take a wicket. Alan Whitman came on to replace the Skip and Tom H to replace Skip and they very nearly won it for us. Al with 2-17 and Tom with 2-20 taking us to the brink of an excellent win. Eversley ended the game on 192 for 9. Al seeing one of his final balls of the game missing the top of middle stump by literally milimetres! All credit should go to Eversley though as they continued to chase for a victory right up until the last couple of overs.
Special mention should go to The Chairman for some excellent keeping made even more impressive with the ball both seaming, swinging and bouncing all over the place and to the great catch taken by M Gale in the outfield. Running in a good 20 yards and taking a steepler to further enhance our push for victory.
An excellent game all around. Great performances from all in the Vags side and so nearly a great victory!
Portchester CC 4th August 2013 Home - LOST
of the “Roasting Society” is now in it’s third month. Pork is
currently leading Beef with Lamb a distant third and Chicken so far
failing to bother the scorers. Davidson.S missed out this week and
it remains to be seen how it will affect his bid to be the first
Vagabond to 400 roasts.
The pre-game warm up was positively Bacchanalian as well – Gale.M,
sporting blue toenails, installed a cool box full of expensive champagne drink in the
changing room which, together with the Pink&Red striped blazers
cemented our reputation as working class heroes of the game.
So what happened in the game then? Well we lost. I attribute this
to the fact that they scored more runs than us. In the last five
weeks we have scored more runs than the opposition and in
hindsight, it was a mistake not to continue such a successful
tactic. We also dropped a lot of catches, but then we always do
Kennedy.B sent down some vectored stump threateners, indeed
knocking one out of the ground. Nelson.PK was back to the sort of
form we’ve been looking forward to all year, bowling a lovely
length and using calculus to describe swing-movement on a three
dimensional plane. Boote.R attempted to kill the opposition.
The batting was medium. It would have been a very good innings had
the opposition hadn’t caught EVERYTHING. We should have given them
the champagne drink. I will single out Scott.E for a very composed
knock on debut, but unfortunately no-one went on
to play a match winning innings. However, we did make 180 odd against a very good
side and it is reflective of our improvement this year that we are
disappointed with that.
Royal Hants County Hospital CC 28 July 2013 Home - WON
Vagabonds versus Royal Hampshire Hospital: 11 go to Bentworth.
They sat there, waiting. The self christened ‘Roasters’, on account of their need for pre and post cricket roast dinners, were awaiting the return of Hendo. ‘Cripes’ muttered Scottie under his breath. Dickie Boote looked up, and his jaw went slack. Meandering around the corner was their long awaited comrade Hendo, fresh from travels in the colonies, and in his hand was a full, fresh 20 pack of Marlboros. Never before had they seen such a sight, but there hearts missed a beat with joy!
‘Barmaid’ called tweaker ‘lashings of ginger beer and lemonade for myself and my chums’. The petite blonde girls scurried into the back to bring back such delights.
Slowly, other members of the Vagabonds dripped by in ones and twos. Big Willie smith arrived with Little Wille perton, the Harding boys appeared, resplendently in their pink and red striped blazers. Tommy Willings ambled over Wee Robbie Hyndman and BB Kennedy (Big Bertie). Finally, the stalwart of the team, Mr Hibbs turned up. They were ready, a gay day of hi jinxes and shenanigans awaited them, so they trudged to the pavillion.
As they arrived, a selection of Doctors, nurses (unfortunately male) and other health care professionals from the Royal Hampshire Hospital were waiting. ‘golly, what an intimidating opposition we have this week’ cried a terrified Scottie. The rest of the gang swallowed hard and stepped forward to meet their fate…
In the field the group of pals had a spiffing time. There was some Some splendid bowling from Hibbs, edging 4 wickets closer to his quin-century, BBK and Scottie (who at one point had be reigned in by the skipper due to his blue language while bowling. He had been heard to exclaim ‘Fudge, another blasted wide’. I apologise to any lady readers who may be shocked to read such blue and un-gentlemanly remarks, but in the interests of journalistic accuracy it must be included). the returning Hendo, along with some spiffing efforts in chasing, throwing and catching the ball by all the players resulted in the ‘doctors’ being restricted to a total a little over 100 and an early tea.
Tea was as ever a joy, towers of Sandwiches, light fluffy cakes and sausage rolls. All washed down with Lashings of ginger beer and lemonade.
As Tweaker and Willings skipped out to fight back batting, hopes and spirits were high (the highness was nothing to do with anything that Mr Hibbs had smuggled through customs on his latest South American ‘business trip’).
Sadly, Willings fell after a dozen or so runs and Dickie had to fulfil his duties as captain and go out and have a good crack at it! As the chaps trundled past 50, then 60 and 70, tweaker reached a well deserved half century.
The score was approaching 100 when Dickie the skip was sadly ousted from the wicket. In strolled Robbie who hit a few fours and a six to see the Vagabonds home.
The gang then wandered back to the pub. A spiffing day had been had against a cracking opposition and the victory was well deserved. As the roasters enjoyed their second dinner, the chaps discussed every subject under the sun and set the world to rights. All of this was, of course, washed down with lashings of lemonade and ginger beer.
All the best,
Valley End CC 21st July 2013 (in the style of Dr Seuss) -DRAWN
The sun scorched over-head,
Wearily we all got out of bed,
To Bentworth we trudged,
To play Cricket and eat lunch.
Valley end we were to play,
For they were the enemy that day,
11 Vags met down the sun,
In eager anticipation of a full day of fun.
The coin was tossed,
Valley End promptly lost,
So we stepped out to field,
Knowing full well that are foes were sure to yield.
Young Master Perton started from one end,
With a loop and hoop the ball did he send,
Some edges were dropped,
With a flip and a flap and on the ground did they plop.
At last a breakthrough was had,
Bertie Kennedy, an excellent lad,
Sent a ball down with vicious venom and sting,
Clattered down the stumps with unplayable swing.
There number 2 made a good effort to bat,
With a twonk, a wonk and a edge ever so fat,
He was out! He was gone,
This was a match that could be won!
With wickets for Davidson, Kennedy and Hibbert,
Not forgetting Harding, to complete our wicket shipment,
Valley end were kept to just 1-6-9,
After some specialist fielding (especially mine).
Tea was a delight,
With cupcakes so light,
Strawberries so sweet,
And sausage rolls filled with meat.
Our openers stepped out,
A good looking pair with a smile and a pout,
It was Budgie and Jack,
And they gave it a good crack.
Sadly Jack was out too soon,
Out went Skip, grinning like a full moon,
With a biff and a baff and an almighty heave ho,
He tried his hardest, all his skills were on show!
But it was not to last,
In the pavilion we all gasped,
As he was bowled centre stump,
Off walked Boote with a humph.
In walked your writer,
Wishing to show he was a fighter,
But after a handful of fours,
He walked back through the pavilion doors.
And so it was Will Smith,
With his perfectly made quiff,
Who went into the mix,
With one sole intention…hit it for six!
And so he went and did it,
He hit them all over the wicket,
Young Will hit sixty-four,
But after 8 sixes he was no more.
The lads continued the fight,
As the bright day faded to night,
But as the last ball was bowled we were 4 runs too short,
And so it was a draw for our dashing young cohort.
And so that brings an end to this tale of cricket,
Of 22 men running about on a wicket.
So down the pub we raised our glasses in the air,
To the hard hitting Will Smith and his fantastic hair.
The draw was hard fought,
Although we failed to get the victory we sought,
So I end this report,
With one last thing, the tiniest of a thought,
We should be grateful for cricket and friends, and for the bar,
So I will end as I started with one last huzzah!
Crondall CC 14 July 2013 Away - WON
information (skipper having forgotten it AGAIN). Anyway, this is
unimportant, as the story of the day was Paul Hibbert taking his
400th club wicket. The England Cricket team have posted a
congratulatory video on Youtube which can be viewed here:
The game itself was brilliant. The opposition are a lovely set of
chaps (and this time they didn’t have any of the Thorpe clan in the
lineup). The opening spells from Perton.W and Bertie “BK Whopper”
Kennedy were tighter than a turtleneck sweater which had been
washed at a temperature far in excess of the value recommended on
the label. Perton.W continued his fine run of having virtually
every opening batsmen he bowls at dropped – this time Tweaker the
culprit, nearly dislocating his spine as he reached in vain to grab
one which must have been at least several feet off the ground.
The fielding was again pretty good, both Berties taking catches.
Everyone who bowled chipped in – Hibbs, Bootes and specialist
partnership breaker Stu Davidson – The West Lothian Rail
Replacement Service. We also had new recruit Freddie, who claimed a
brace and also brought FANS to witness the athletic spectacle of
men smoking in white clothes.
1) Hot sausage rolls.
2) Triple-threat Bakewell tarts featuring vanilla, sprinkles and
As the Vagabonds prepared to bat, Stu Davidson and BK donned the
umpiring jackets in scenes reminiscent of what it would look like
if two incredible hulks officiated a cricket match. It is theorised
that they had both been given out by a radioactive Steve Bucknor as
The batting was crowd friendly. A solid start was followed by a
late innings wobble. Gale Force Mike Gale looks increasingly
assured at the top of the order and also looks increasingly bruised
when he takes his shirt off, having as he does something of
a penchant for wearing the short ball. Tweaker and Skip both got
started but didn’t go on; Bertie Clay has added a touch of extra
discretion to his usual array of massive sixes, having recently
realised that he is ahead of his brother in the batting averages!
New recruit Will Smith brought another session of hockey related
madness and manic laughter to the crease and the Chairman saw us
All in all a top performance, and a third consecutive win.
Odiham & Greywell CC 7th July 2013 Home - WON
A burley set of strangers from Odiham and Greywell were awaiting, and the result of the toss purely trivial as the Vags wandered out in their freshly pressed flannels to field (apart from Mr Perton, who elected to sport a garish pair of ‘cargo shorts’). Another hasty call to Mr Hyndman was made before the first over was sent down, who recalculated his position using a compass and gave a more accurate location of being in the vicinity of Aldershot, but that he was confident he would be there shortly.
With Mr Perton and Mr Davidson opening the bowling, the first few batsmen began to tumble. Mr Harding, an ever present threat behind the stumps, snagging the oppositions no.2 off of the bowling of the big Scotsman. Only the oppositions number 5 made any vague attempt at defence with a solid 79. I am assured that the vags fielding was particularly sharp, particularly being one man down. After another call from Mr Walshe, the intrepid explorer Mr. Hyndman had recalibrated himself using the sun and prevailing winds as guidance and had concluded he was in Rickmansworth. Mr Walshe seemed placated that he would be presently be joining the rest of the gang.
With some impressive figures from both Mr Kenelly and Mr Hibbert, who both managed 4 wickets a piece, the beleaguered opposition were all out for 139. A very impressive display the boys in red and pink to limit them to a sub-150 score given the heat and the lack of player (who, having got a tiny bit lost found himself on the M1 towards Sheffield). Due to the early finish of play, tea was not yet ready so the chaps marched back to the changing rooms for cigars, brandy and beer, in order to replenish salt levels.
Eventually Mr. Hyndman arrived with perfect timing, as tea was ready. This was enjoyed on the outfield while reclining in the sun. As Mr Gale and Mr Humphrey walked out to start the offensive, the mood in the camp was one of cautious optimism. The details are a little hazy as your correspondent was watching the tennis, but the two openers both made valuable scores of 19. Mr Boote could not continue his very impressive form of late as he was expertly caught and bowled. Mr Hyndman managed to continue his very poor form of late getting caught very early on, but this surprised nobody. A Vagabond virgin, and a man who had not played cricket since he was in short shorts and running about the playground then to the crease. His first ball was dutifully discarded for six. As was his second. This time a six so huge that the ball is still missing in action. The first none-six for Mr Smith was his forth scoring ball. In all, he lost 3 balls (invoice in the post). One of the better first impressions a new vag has made before being bowled out for 30-odd. As the team focused on Wimbledon, Mr Harding and Mr Davidson hobbled over the line to win by 2 wickets. A cracking victory against another league side.
With the customary post match analysis and high-level performance discussions taking place as the Sun set over the hills of Hampshire, the Vagabonds contemplated some of life’s deeper questions (such as is it acceptable to smoke Benson and Hedges or Menthol light cigarettes), enjoyed lashings of cheesy chips provided by Mr Jayalath and jugs of beer provided by Mr Hyndman (as a fine for being more than 2 hours late) and Mr Kennelly (as a fine for selecting to play one of the worst shots in the history of Cricket, which resembled a flaccid, sprawling, mating jellyfish, and resulted in being clean bowled). All was good in the world.
Until next week, Rob Hyndman
Mortimer CC 30 June 2013 Home - WON
The toss was taken and it was decided that we would bowl first. I think
the skip won and made this decision but, honestly, I wasn’t paying
attention. B Clay having bought a coolbox stacked with beer! Thanks Bertie!
We took to the field with an opening attack made up of R Hill and P
Kennelly. Richard settled in well, bowling an excellent line and length
and getting a touch of movement from what seemed a very flat pitch. Phil
struggled early on to settle into his rhythm but his spell was still
punctuated with the odd jaffa that had the Mortimer opening pair playing
R Hill soon claimed the first wicket with a good ball that deceived
their No 1 and was hit straight to T Willings. Probably the worst player
on the field to hit a catch too! 1 down with little more than 10 runs on
the board. Changes followed at both ends as their no’s 2 and 3 settled
into their innings with the Skip bringing himself on for R Hill and Hibs
at the other end. Both bowled beautifully. The skip with
lots of bounce and the odd ball turning and Paul with subtle variations
of flight and pace. It made runs harder to come by and put the pressure
back on the batsman. They moved the score onto 60 odd runs before The
Skip struck. The batsman pulling the ball to S Davidson at Square leg
who took a sharp chance. The Skip then struck again, deceiving their No
4 with a well flighted delivery that the batsman struck straight up into
the air. R Hill took an excellent catch running backwards made all the
better because L Harding decided to go for the ball (half heartedly) and
only succeeded in getting in his way! 70 odd for 3 and we were doing
well. The outfield was fast and the pitch was flat so this represented a
good start from the 15 odd overs we had bowled. Paul H then bowled a
beauty to dislodge the bails of the No 3 with a great ball that
completely deceived him. 80 something for 4 (has anyone noticed I
the full details of the scorecard yet?)
The fall of this wicket bought together there No’s 5 and 6. They noth
batted very well, puutting away the bad balls very well and running very
well between the wickets. They moved the score on very briskly to 150 or
so before L Harding bowled their No 6 for 36 runs. T Humphrey had
settled into a good spell from the other end and started to put the
brakes on their scoring now. The skip chose some very inventive field
positions and all in all our fielding was pretty good. Tom ended with 2
wickets. Both stumpings. An excellent ball, well taken by the Chairman
that beat their No 5 and Chair whipped off the bails quick as a flash.
The second wicket was that of a young lady batsman (batswoman?) who
displayed excellent technique. She was very correct and proved hard to
dislodge although the Chairman, quick as a flash managed to snaffle her
wicket after she overbalanced going after a very well flighted Humphreys
on 219 for 7 from there 38 or so overs. A very good score
but taking into account the conditions we all felt that given a good
start we could chase it down.
Tea was taken, another superb effort from Gareth and we all sat about
enjoying the sun and looking forward to going to The Sun.
Our opening pair was T Willings and T Humphreys. They marched out and
made exactly the start we were after. Cautious at first but putting away
anything bad they built a solid platform for the rest of the team. TH
particularly brutal with anything short and TW striking the short ball
extremely well. It should be said that another young lady, a Berkshire
under 18 player by all accounts, had opened the bowling from one end and
she bowled extremely well. Great line and length and only the odd
hittable ball. Tom W had moved his score onto a good 30 before smacking
a ball to midwicket where it was snaffled. 60 or so for 1 and a solid
start. The Skip joined TH at the wicket and they both moved
on quickly. Tom continuing to pounce on anything with width, striking a
few fine stroke through the covers and the skipper with his usual
combination of drives off the front foot and smashes off the back. They
had taken the score to 100 or so before Tom fell , well caught at Mid on
by one of the two young ladies playing for Mortimer. B Clay joined the
Skip and they continued putting away the bad ball. The skip striking a
huge 6 off their leg spinner and Bertie, playing around him.
The skip soon bought up his 50 but was gone shortly afterwards as he was
caught behind. Another great innings from him. This is probably his best
season for us with the bat and the confidence it has given everyone else
in the line up seems to be working wonders with the usually fragile Vags
batting. Luke H came out to join B Clay in the middle and approx 80 was
needed from the final 14 overs. Bertie and Luke got settled in Bertie
finding his timing and dispathching the ball to all
parts and Luke
striking the ball well . They had taken the score to 185 with 8 overs to
go when Bertie danced down the trck to the leggie and was bowled. This
bought M Gale to the crease and his innings looked to be starting off
well before he was caught full on the boot by a flighted delivery and
was out LBW. The chairman came but went immediately getting an excellent
ball first up that would have accounted for most batsman. A mini
collapse was happening! The ever cool R Hill came out and with a little
help from Luke saw the Vags home. Richard striking a couple of fine
boundaries in the 3rd to last over (one of which a perfectly timed
straight drive that seemed to accelerate all the way to the boundary) to
really take the pressure off, then striking the winning runs in the
penultimate over with a fine straight drive that shot to the boundary.
Vags had chased down 219 with about 8 balls to spare. It was well paced
all the way through the innings and I think we just
about deserved it.
Brook CC 23rd June 2013 Away - LOST
provided some much need fitness training to most of the squad. As
it was, we were bolstered by the arrival of JB2 (JB1 being in the
team as well), a friend of Boote.R’s. Once again, the Vags would
rehabilitate a lapsed cricketer.
The toss was won by one of the teams, can’t remember which, but it
didn’t matter, we were bowling, which was the plan all along.
Perton.W produced his first proper spell of bowling this season. It
was terrifying from the slip region. The ball was moving all over
the place and any sort of edge could have been fatal. At the other
end “Nelson” PK struggled to find his line but produced some
encouraging jaffas. Whilst the ground fielding was pretty good,
particularly from JB2, who wore some stinging drives in the covers
manfully, our catching was dreadful. I believe 4 went down. “Gale
Force” Mike Gale had his first bowl for the Vags – Left Arm Intense.
He was very unlucky not to claim a scalp in his first over,
and eventually picked up his first club wicket with a real beauty
that came back in. Skipper picked up a couple of wickets and did
well to restrict the run rate with a short boundary at cow. A lack
of catching and an eleventh man plus the extra overs afforded by
the all day nature of the game meant the opposition scored 263.
The vags batting yet again just fell short of potential. JB1 got a
horrible looping full toss that bamboozled and pretty much landed
on top of off stump. Skipper was undone by a good yorker Saman
again showed potential and Bertie Clay smashed an exhilarating 49.
He also managed to damage his own car with an enormous six over the
pavilion. He had parked his car there in order to shield it from
medium sized sixes. In the end everyone contributed but no-one went
on to make a match winning innings. The vags were all out for 215,
choosing to chase victory rather than play for the draw.
Washington CC 2nd June 2013 Home - LOST
warm-up. A few pints sunk quickly and then straight up to the ground to
open up the pavillion and await the arrival of the opposition. Of
course, they were already there and warming up quite vigorously……not
a good sign!
The Skip walked to the middle with his opposite number and duly won the
toss and elected to field first. His thinking being that our batting
looked fairly strong and that we had been struggling to bowl teams out
this season so let’s let them set us a target to chase.
We had a new look opening attack in Steve Hyde and Phil Kennelly and
they started off beautifully. Steve swinging the ball away and getting
some big movement off the seam and Phil swinging the ball both in and
away seemingly at will. It was a hugely impressive opening spell from
both bowlers. Steve soon removed their No 2 with a ball that left him
slightly and found a thickish edge that was gratefully snapped up at
point by John Bulford with a good low catch. Phil continued to beat the
bat regularly and soon had his first wicket with a ball that held up
slightly and was taken well at Mid On by Jack B who was making his
season debut for us.The score was 42 for 2. Steve then removed their No
4 with a superb ball that pitched on leg stump and hit the top of off
stump. Genuinely unplayable! Phil then took the wicket of their hard
hitting South African opener with a straight, fullish delivery that hit
him in front and was adjudged LBW. He, being of that type, was fairly
unhappy about this but you could see why it was given being infont of
middle and hitting him little higher than his ankle although he had got
a big stride in. 78 for 4.
Paul H was now bought on and struck almost immediately, knocking over
there No 6 LBW with a great ball that turned just enough. At the other
end the imposing figure of Stuart Davidson was thrown the ball. To say he
eased himself into his spell is probably fair. Keeper and first slip
were heard asking each other whether the ball had enough momentum to
remove the bails should it hit the stumps but he was just lulling the
batsman into a false sense of security as he soon built his pace up and
started to extract some nice lift. Being 6ft 5in probably helps of
course! Paul then struck again at the other end with a really key
wicket. Paul bowled a beautifully flighted delivery that turned enough
to beat the outside edge and Tom Willings (standing in for the Chairman)
whipped the bails off quick as a flash. their No 5, a very decent
player, was out! He’s scored so many runs against us in the past that it
gave all of us a lift. It was a great piece of cricket all around. It
was now 96 for 6 and we felt well on top. Stuart D was really beginning
to find his line and length and soon enough he claimed his first wicket,
the ball moving off the pitch slightly and clipping the bail before
smacking into Tom W’s helmet! 119 for 7. Stuart followed this up with 2
wickets in two balls. The first a great full ball that hit the batsman
in front and was given LBW and the second a swinging yorker that crashed
into the base of the stumps. Terry the ex-landlord of the Washington
came out to face the hat-trick ball and kept it out well. A great over
though. Their last pair put on a decent little stand at the end with a
few big shots but it was Stuart D again who came back to claim the last
wicxket and wrap up their innings for 153 all out. Bowling figures as
follows : Hyde 11-0-38-2, Kennelly 9-0-52-2, Hibbert 7-1-40-2 and
Davidson 5.1-1-25-4. A great display by all the bowlers and well backed
up in the field. Jack Bruck and Mike Gale both distinguishing themselves.
Gareth laid on the finest of teas and we lazed happily in the sunshine
confident that we were in with a good chance should we bat well.
Opening the innings for us was J Bulford and T Humphrey. We made a
sparkiling start JB timing the ball really well through the covers and
hooking a huge 6 over fine leg that was still going up when it hit a
tree and TH at the other end playing a succession of off and straight
drives including another maximum. they had moved the score onto 45
before JB fell LBW. It was a very promising innings from John and we
hope to see a lot more of that kind of thing for the rest of the season.
TH was joined by the Skip but he didn’t last long. One crashing straight
drive and one off drive the sum total of his efforts before he was
undone by a very good outswinging yorker. Luke H joine Tom and hit a
couple of boundaries but was bowled by a ball that cut back
significantly. If you’ve got to get out it’s easier to live withwhen you
know the ball is a very, very good one! the score was about 70 odd for 4
so we were still very much in the game and up with the rate. Into the
last 20 overs and 80 or so to win. Plenty of time. Unfortunately for us
Washington had decided to employ the tactic of “we’ve got two great
bowlers so we’ll let them bowl all the overs” and Kloss and Hill both
kept chipping away with wickets. Jack B going LBW after a couple of
great shots and Tom W getting out caught at point. This bought M Gale to
the wicket and he settled in nicely alongside the still present Tom H.
They nudged, nurdled and smashed the ball around and when Tom H departed
for a very good 40 runs we needed 30 runs from 8 overs. Mike was joined
by Paul H who only lasted a couple of balls as his stumps were
re-arranged by the chippy South African. Cometh the hour and all that
but out strode Steve H. Steve dispatched the ball to all parts, straight
drives, off drives, pulls, clips off his legs. It was excellent stuff
and with Mike at the other end dispatching the bad ball very well we
edged closer to our target. Sadly Mike fell with the score on 144 and it
was up to Stuart D to save the day. He couldn’t manage it! He lasted a
few balls but ended up getting another great ball and didn’t really have
much of a chance. Not his fault, he did his job with the ball. Sadly our
front line batsmen (with the exception of JB and Tom H) didn’t have the
best of days and we ended up 9 runs short. Washington had bowled
extremely well. Most of our side could look back on receiving decent
balls that would probably have got us out on any other day!
So, a win for Washington and fully deserved. Needless to say we all went
to the pub together and sat in the sun at The Sun. It was the perfect
day for a spot of village cricket. The beer went down very easily
afterwards and everyone could look back on a game in which the result
wasn’t sure right up to the last ball. Excellent stuff!
Waverley CC 26th May 2013 Home - DRAWN
Captain Boote.R was late for this match, having neglected to bring
either the ball or the scorebook with him, something which he only
realised whilst half a pint down at the Sun. One must surely be
concerned when alcohol actually improves one’s memory. As VC
Tweaker strolled out to the middle to perform Captain’s duties he
pondered the consequences of a match conducted without ball or
scorebook and concluded it would be an entirely new form of the
game called Meta-Cricket which could surely rival the IPL in terms
of excitement. We did not win the toss.
Chairman and Tweaker opened for the Vags, facing some very
consistent seam from the bottom of the hill and accurate and
confusing wobblers from the other end. Chairman, in his first
serious knock of the season took a little time to get his feet
moving and then began to hit the ball very cleanly back over the
bowler’s head whilst Tweaker offered fielding practice to the man
at extra cover. Chairman was eventually out for an excellent 38,
bringing Captain Boote.R to the crease. After a circumspect start
he really began to climb into the Waverley attack. With Tweaker out
in the 23rd over he lost an important calming moral influence and
conducted a malicious assault against an 8 year old bowler, one
shot striking a sleeping dog in the groin. I must refer to
Harding.L’s match report from last week, as I cannot put it any
better myself. It was yet another disgraceful episode.
Boote.R made 104, his second century for the Vags. Congratulations
all round (details have been passed the the NSPCC, the RSPCA, the
RAC and the NPL Teddington). Support came from Howard.R, driving
the ball crisply off the back foot and not once injuring an animal
or a child. A late flurry of wickets brought Harding.L to the
crease to face the final delivery – a hat-trick ball. Instead of
going for the customary forward defence he attempted to mow it to
cow – and did a pretty good job of it.
This week we had tea from the Sun Inn which was both fantastic and
a challenge, having evidently been clingfilmed with some sort of
machine that is designed to put clingfilm on spacecraft to protect
them on re-entry into the atmosphere. The sight of four Vagabonds
trying to access the cakes and sandwiches resembled some sort of
experiment on chimpanzees which the chimpanzees weren’t doing very
well at. Our tea lady for the day, Stella – a six foot five
Scotsman who had drunk half a bottle of whisky, was unsympathetic.
Waverley’s innings began well, both openers playing unfamiliar
cricket shots that went through the off side and along the ground
at high speed. Reid.T and Perton.W had no luck and so Tweaker,
drunk on power after doing the toss earlier recommended switching
Perton.W to the other end and nominated himself to bowl the interim
over. First Delivery – LBW. Double wicket maiden. Great captaincy
Tweaker, take a blow there. (I must mention this here because I
only brought it up four or five times on the day).
Hibbert.P bowled an exceptional spell from one end, and Skip
constantly shuffled the goalposts at the other as the Vags hunted
for the key wicket of opener No.2, who was playing a potentially
match winning innings. Eventually Skipper himself had the man
caught sharply down the legside by Chairman. It was the product of
a real team effort by the Vags. It is not easy to come on and bowl
a couple of overs at someone as well set as their opener was, but
the worst thing we could have done is let the game drift with him
settled. Hyde.S, Hill.R both did a great job from the bottom of the
hill and were supported by another good fielding performance;
Gayle.M missed out with the bat but brought fantastic energy into
the covers yet again. Harding.L ran out the opposition captain with
a collect and direct hit off his own bowling. Perton.W tried to
vault the fence having retrieved a ball hit for six. The fence
obviously collapsed, leading to a hilarious “faceplant”. Once again
we couldn’t quite get over the line for the win, Waverley ending up
8 down, but at least Perton.W appears to have this season’s
“champagne moment” award sown up already.
Editor’s note: Waverley were so impressed with Pert’s faceplant, that they awarded him their “Pink T Shirt’ Award
(yes, I know it’s not pink, but apparently it spells ‘Pink T Shirt’ in Klingon, or something), a rare honour usually reserved only for great achievements made by their players
Newport Inn CC 19th May 2013 Home - WON
The Skipper won the toss and elected to field first. The pitch looked
very green and with our first choice opening attack of Will P and Tony R
fit and ready to go early wickets were what we were after.
The chances soon started coming with both opening bowlers getting some
good movement both in the air and off the pitch. Will beating the bat
regularly and Tony, initially struggling for line, making the ball cut
about alarmingly. The first wicket soon fell as their No1 batsman nicked
a beauty of an outswinger to the Chairman behind the stumps who took a
good low down catch to his right. The second followed soon after with
Will accounting for their No. 3 with another great outswinger that took
an edge and was sharply taken by L Harding at 1st slip. Soon after
bowling changes were made at both ends with Paul H coming on for Will P
and Steve H replacing Tony R. Steve didn’t take long to get through
their No. 4 with a lovely swinging yorker that hit the base of leg
stump. Practically unplayable and not a nice ball to get so early in an
innings. Paul kept things tight at the other end, mixing things up
nicely and beating the bat often. The pair of them bowled particularly
well in tandem. By now the score was 60 for 3 after 19 or so overs so we
had kept their scoring rate down very well. The Skipper bought himself
on for Steve Hyde and soon had their No 5 caught very well by Mike G at
point. The ball going high off a top edge and spinning nastily. A very
good catch! Paul H then had their No 2 (who had just reached his 50)
taken very well by the Chairman behind the stumps. The batsman going
for a square cut, getting a faint top edge and the Chair sanpping it up
stood up to the wicket. Test match stuff! Will P then took a wicket with
his patented fast off spinner that completely deceived the batsman who
tamely hit it straight back to him. An excellent ball!
Newport had slipped to 90 odd for 5 and it looked like we could restrict
them to around the 150 so things were going well on a pitch that seemed
to be improving all the time. L Harding came on for Paul H and did ok,
Paul H swapping ends and the two left arm spinners then bowled in
tandem. Newport’s captain J Light had arrived at the crease and started
to hit the ball extremely well. Try as they might neither Paul nor Luke
could restrict his scoring and the runs started to flow. With the tea
break approaching and the score on 130 for 6 we were still happy but the
last 4/5 overs went for a lot! The Newport skipper hitting the ball a
long way and proving difficult to contain. On the back of this fine
innings Newport lifted their score to an extremely competitive 197 for 6
at the innings break. J Light ending on 73 not out off about 30 balls!
Pick of our bowlers were the seamers. Will P ending with 3-41, Steve H
1-16 and Tony R 0-14 off 5 overs.
So, we had a game on!
198 to win in an hour +20 overs.
As we ate the very fine tea (thank you Gareth!) the skipper hatched a
plan. Saman our very own Arjuna Ranatunga would open the innings with
Tom H. Tom’s good technique allied to Saman’s more attacking style might
give us the start that we needed if we were to chase down this total.
And that is how it played out. Tom and Saman both playing the early
overs very well. Tom knocking the ball about for plenty of singles and
Saman dispatching anything short or over pitched. It was sad to see
Saman depart for a quick 14 but it was a good ball he got and he had got
the innings off to a brisk start. The Skipper now came out to join Tom
and they began to set a platform. The pair put on 77 for the second
wicket. The Skipper with a mixture of bludgeoning drives down the ground
and Tom, all timing, clipping the ball beautifully off his toes and
through the off side meaning they kept up with the required rate. The
score had reached 96 when a disgraceful episode occured. The Skipper,
obviously jealous of the fine strokeplay of his opposite number took the
beastly decision to run him out. Tom having hit the ball straight to
first slip along the ground and the Skipper calling him through for a
run then sending him back. The second wicket had fallen. Tom H out for
an excellent 32. To the middle came Tom P and, ably abetted by the
Skipper, they moved the score onto 143. Tom P hitting a number of
boundaries square of the wicket and the Skipper still hitting the ball
very strongly down the ground. Tom P was out caught for a brisk 17 and
the Skip was joined by Mike G. Mike looking to follow up his impressive
debut with a another good knock. Sadly it wasn’t to be as he was trapped
LBW very early on. By all accounts it was a good ball! Mike out for 2.
The score was now 145 for 4 with approx 10 overs left and 53 needed for
victory. Luke H joined the Skip and soon set about the Newport bowling.
He hit a quickfire 26 that contained 6 x 4’s which eased any worries
there may have been about keeping up with the rate. This also meant that
the Skipper was now unlikely to go on to a ton so…………..job done!
Luke finally managed to run himself out with 1 run needed for victory.
The Chairman holding up an end whilst the Skip hit the winnings runs
through mid on.
So, the Vags had chased down 197 and for the loss of only 5 wickets. A
very, very good performance. The Skipper ended up with a very fine 83
not out that contained 16 x 4’s and 1 x 6’s. Everyone in the side
contributed fully to this victory, no weak links at all so everyone can
take equal credit for this victory. It was a great team effort. As a
side note, our victory was made all the more impressive as we had
compiled our score from just 33 overs whilst we had bowled 39 overs at
A huge thanks as always to The Newport Inn for being such great
opposition. They played very well and congratulations to James Light for
a very fine innings that probably would have won a great many games in
Broadhalfpenny Down CC 12th May 2013 Away - TEA STOPPED PLAY
which does not suit me.
The Vags were rightly optimistic about this fixture, deploying a
very capable side. Perhaps more importantly the opposition were
down to nine men. We did not provide fielders. Unfortunately the
glorious sunshine of the morning was replaced by persistent drizzle
around 3 o’ clock and the match was abandoned with the Vags 65-1,
JB having made a composed 15 before being adjudged LBW and Bootes
and Tweaker setting a platform, Bootes in particular playing some
lovely strokes (including his trademark tennis shot to mid-off
which has killed 7 this year alone)
The reaction to tea bordered on the erotic. Harding.L in particular
appeared to be approaching some sort of mania. Davidson.S and
Reid.T provided more rustic opinions.
Those tea results in full:
Rice Crispy Cake 112*
Cheese & Tomato Sandwich 6-48
Savoury: 265 all out
Pickle Sandwich 126
Egg & Cress Sandwich 58
Raspberry Brownie 5-16
Apple Cake 4-68
Hammonds Wallys CC 5th May 2013 Home - DRAWN
My first report of the season, myself and Mr Humphrey are going to share out the duties this season. Great news for all as this means we can get the rambling musings of his damaged mind at least twice a month! In the meantime you’ll have to make do with my, more traditional offerings!
A fine day, a few beers at The Sun and then off to the ground where the Chairman had got practically everything ready! It’s nice that he does this for us but a few more bodies maybe 10 mins earlier might mean he has to do a little less! Anyone? Especially as he is usually the last to leave the ground and lock up too…….
Our opposition arrived in good time and after a brief conflab in the middle it was ‘arranged’ that they would field first for fear of being caught in the eye of the Vagabonds hurricane. Their being knocked over for 35 last time around fresh in their minds!
The Chairman and Tom H opened for us and proceeded to get a ridiculous ball second up which pitched a foot outside off cut back and shot and nicked his off stump. He did well to get a little inside edge on it but I think it would definitely have accounted for most players so early on in an innings. This bought the Skipper to the crease, his crumpled whites, helmet held together with electrical tape and pad 3 sizes too small making him look like Jack Russell with gigantism. Both he and Tom got their heads down and had to battle for a long period in the face of very accurate bowling. With Hammond’s 1 quick toiling away unchanged for 10+ overs at one end and the cunning flight of their rather more senior ‘Ledge’ at the other scoring was hard. If you put the ball in the right place it simply had to be defended. It took Tom 8 overs to get off the mark whilst the Skip was far more circumspect than we are used to seeing from him and left the ball extremely well at the start of his over. The plan was to ‘build a platform’ from which we could attack later in the game and this is what the chaps did very well. Moving the score on to 34 before The skipper succumbed to a long hop he smashed straight back at the bowler! 17 overs had passed by now so the scoring rate was slow, but the pitch was tricky.
This bought T Willings to the crease and immediately the runs started coming a little quicker. A combination of tiring bowlers and good strokeplay saw Mr Willings move the score along steadily, ably abetted by Mr Humphrey at the other end who had started to strike some lovely cover/off drives and had started to nudge the ball into the gaps nicely to keep rotating the strike. Tom H eventually succumbing in exactly the same method as The Skip, smashing a long hop back at the bowler. By this time the score had moved on to 80 off approx. 25 overs. Still slow going but Tom W was starting to hit the ball very cleanly, especially off the back foot as the oppo’s bowlers began to drop the ball shorter and shorter. With debutant Mike Gayle joining Tom W the acceleration continued. Tom W striking a number of boundaries and reaching his fifty in style with a lovely cut shot. He too didn’t last much longer, also going the way of Tom H and The Skip, smashing the ball straight back to the bowler. A fine innings of 56 and exactly what the side needed. We now had approx. 45 mins to go to tea and 109 on the board.
Luke H now joined Mike G and they moved the score on nicely. Mike striking a couple of lovely back foot drives and Luke pouncing on anything short. They moved the score onto 155 before Mike was out caught for a good 14. A solid enough start! Luke kept going and finally went for a quick-fire 47, the score standing at 171 with a couple of overs to go before tea. Rob H and Will P taking the score on to a total of 178 that we felt was very competitive on this track. Testament to the patience shown by our top 3 in seeing off the hard early overs. Mention should be made of Hammond’s opening bowler Yuri who worked his way through 18 overs taking 3-41. Good stamina!!
Tea was a treat as ever. Some new sandwiches appearing this year. Crab went down rather well as did the homemade fairy cakes and the Coronation chicken! Thanks Gareth, you’re a star!
We took to the field, bellies full, to try to knock over the opposition knowing that the pitch was tricky to bat on but that runs could be scored. Our now standard opening pair of Tony R and Will P both starting off searching for the correct line as the ball was swinging all over the place but strangely not every ball. Some went and some didn’t! It wasn’t long before Tony R struck. A good pitched up ball that moved a lot trapping their opener in front. 2-1 and a solid start. The next wicket went down with 8 on the board Tom H taking a good catch at point off the bowling of Will P who had been making both batsmen play and miss regularly.
The skip then bought on Paul H for his first bowl of the season. Instant success followed as their No4 batsman was trapped plumb in front from his first ball. It was a bit quicker than the batsman though and he never got close to it. This bought out their Number 5 who smashed his first ball for a straight 6! A good shot and a very exciting start to Paul’s season!
There No 1 bat was still at the crease, taking 10 overs to get off the mark and steadily moving along. There didn’t seem to be too much intent from him to chase down the score, he seemed happy blocking out practically everything and showed only occasional flashes of aggression (Very occasional!) However, he was still there! The score was 22 for 3 after 15 overs or so. Will P came back on from the other end and soon had their No 5 very well caught by M Gayle at Mid On. The ball was well pitched up and well struck and taken very low down by Mike after seemingly standing there for an age deciding whether or not to get his whites dirty! Showing the athleticism of a small car he eventually sprung forward and pouched a good one. It should be noted that the fielding of the whole of this Vags side had been exceptional all the way through this game. Mike and the ever reliable Tom W leading from the front. It was now 59 for 4 after 18 or so overs and a win was a possibility. Their captain came to the crease and hit the ball very hard off the back foot. Striking everything straight! Not pretty but very effective. Steve H suffering a little at his hands but still managing to bowl a few beauties that had both batsmen in trouble. Luke H had come on for Paul and got both players in trouble but couldn’t quite get it right and soon it was changes at both ends with Paul H coming back on for Luke and Tom H replacing Steve H. Tom eventually removed their opener for a good, if unspectacular, 53. The ball turning back through the gate and trapping him lbw. He followed this up by claiming the wicket of their captain for an aggressive 32, well pouched by Steve H in the covers. By this time the overs had ticked down and we were left with the prospect of taking 4 wickets in 4 balls to claim a win. It didn’t happen!
A draw, but a winning one so no disgrace there. MoM goes to Tom W for a fine innings but everyone contributed. It was a good all-around display. Based on this we actually seem to be getting a little better…although I probably shouldn’t tempt fate with the game against the Brigands coming up next weekend at Broad Halfpenny Down.
Great game, good fun, thanks to all involved! Hammonds Wally’s all came down to the pub afterwards and stayed into the evening. A good bunch and we look forward to playing them next season.
Dogmersfield CC 28th April 2013 Away - DRAWN
Vagabonds: 170/2 (38 overs)
The Vagabonds nearly began the game one man short, Howard.R faxing the Chairman early in the morning complaining of an injury. In an attempt to subdue his ravenous libido, Howard.R has taken to throwing sacks of concrete around his back garden. He had, apparently, strained one of the components in his back. Chairman reminded Howard.R that this was a Vagabonds match and that activities such as running and bending were, as ever, optional. The Dogmersfield ground is mainly surrounded by horses, thousands of horses. Prior to his opening spell, Hyde.S could be seen attempting to communicate with the animals, believing he could induce them into moving suddenly behind the bowler’s arm. Perton.W demonstrated no such foresight. It wasn’t entirely clear what he had got up to the night before, but it had obviously changed him.
The opening exchanges were tense. The topography of the wicket was complex and it offered something for everyone, including the odd bit of unusual bounce (which Chairman enjoyed behind the stumps) – Hyde.S took an early wicket with one of his boomerangs and Perton.W, playing entirely on instinct, beat the outside edge repeatedly, moving the ball up the slope and away from the right-hander. After 12 overs, Boote.R brought on Davidson.S and Tweaker. The Vags fielding was, to begin with, generous. A number of regulation chances went begging from: Tweaker (distracted by a horse), Hyndman.R (distracted by a horse) and Perton.W (unwell, unwell, distracted by a horse). Out on the boundary, Hyde.S demonstrated some nifty footwork, kicking the ball over the ropes twice with real panache (attempting to impress a horse). This was all very important as we had two new recruits in the field – the exciting father & son partnership of Merrimans S and B
Davison.S took the second wicket. After initial fielding blunders, The Vags managed to build up some pressure with some tight bowling, great fields from the skipper and enthusiastic work square of the wicket from Merriman.B and Panther Jack. Davidson.S got the batsman to flash at one that moved away from him and “The Concrete Duke” snaffled an excellent catch in the gully. Dogmersfield then put together some important partnerships – the No.3 making an lovely century with good support from the rest of the middle order. But the Vags hung in there with an excellent first spell from Merriman.S who could easily have taken several wickets. As it was though, Perton.W, who none of the Dogmersfield batsmen could get anywhere near, wrapped up the tail with Tweaker.
Tea featured exotic Kit-Kats, miniature pasties, Rothman’s Superkings branded mugs and a most unsavoury conversation about certain videos involving horses which cannot be repeated here. With Perton.W clearly struggling and needing to leave early it was decided that it would be a good idea for him to open the batting without his glasses and with the ball moving around. At the end of the first over it was 1/1, Boote.R joining Tweaker at the crease. It seemed to stay 1/1 for about 10 overs, with the Dogmersfield openers making scoring virtually impossible. With the new ball seen off, the Vags scoring rate was upped. A strong platform was set for an assault in the last 10 overs but with Tweaker nibbling at a wide one and some sharp fielding, the chance of a win slipped away, despite some lovely strokeplay from Boote.R who just missed out on a ton. All in all though it was an excellent start to the season and we very much enjoyed the company of our hosts who we look forward to welcoming to Bentworth next year.