2019 Match Reports
Not the MCC 11th August 2019 Home - Draw
Skip either won or lost the toss and we batted first. A rarity for Vags these days but it made for a nice change. Tris and the Chairman strode to the wicket and sadly the Chairman strode back to the pavilion 2 balls later. Having narrowly survived a close LBW first ball he mistimed a pull shot next ball and stuck it straight into the hands of the fielder at square leg! Not the best of starts for Vags and most unlike the Chairman. 0 for 1! This bought the Skip to the crease and from this moment onwards the 3rd ball of the game!) the momentum swung solidly towards the home side. Alongside Trius at the other end they flayed the bowling to all parts. Skip with some big back foot drives and straight drives off the front foot anf Trius with his nudges and nurdles and occasional clip to the boundary. Before long Vags had reached there 100 (from 15 overs) and the pace of the innings showed no signs of slowing. They both continued to smash the bowling to all parts and soon enough the Skip reached his century from 52 balls. Trius wasn’t as quick but was providing sterling assistance and they continued to move the score along. The skip finally succumbed when he was caught off the bowling of Bal for a very fine 127 (18 x 4, 3 x 6). Trius and Skip had put on 223 for the 2nd wicket which I believe is a record? Trius was well into the 80’s himself and aided by some quick runs from B Clay, A Whitman and T Edwards he finally reached 3 figures with a single into the covers. The Vags finished on 274 for 4 with Trius 101 not out (120 balls 14 x 4). Excellent from our top order as usual. Well done boys. Top stuff.
So, Vags had a big total to defend but the pitch was flat so we would have to work hard for our wickets. Perts and PK opened up for us and soon had their openers playing and missing. The ball wasn’t doing a lot but there was a bit of uneven bounce. Perts soon managed to use this extra bounce to remove their no 2 with a really good ball that pitched on middle, took off, flicked his glove/handle and was taken at first slip by Luke. A stunning catch if I do say so myself given the speed it was travelling at and that I was in the middle of a conversation with Stuey. This bought their No 3 out and Perts found his edge first ball. Sadly it didn’t go to hand but it was a tricky chance so no real blame can be apportioned! (Stuey)
Their batsmen wasted no time in getting settled and the pattern of the game seemed set after our early wicket. Luke H struck to remove their No3 LBW for 48 but there No 1 Laino and there No 4 Mirza batted really well, repelling everything thrown at them . With a few overs remaining they were still only 2 down thanks to some excellent batting and some really poor fielding (it was either 5 or 7 dropped catches!!) Laino eventually perished for 87 caught on the boundary by Luke off the bowling of Skip and Trev removed Mirza with a great flighted delivery that enabled the Chair to whip the bails off . The final over of the game was bowled by Sammy Jim Jams who surprised everyone with a really good over! Certainly no worse than anyone else had delivered in our innings!! Not the MCC ended on 231 for 4
So, all in all and good day on a flat pitch where wickets were hard to get. Well done to Tris and Skip for their record breaking efforts and I hope they can maintain this form through to the end of the season.
All the best
Ancient Mariners CC 4th August 2019 Home - Won
Perton used the elements well causing their openers real difficulties in their scoring endeavours, whilst at other end Anderson provided some variation, throwing up a few chances in field. Perton’s 2 for 13 was a fine spell, but the prospect of bowling out a team that could clearly bat, would require our other bowlers to show up as well; they did not disappoint! Al Whiteman frustrated the batsman further with precision bowling (1 for 6), and took a beautiful catch off his own bowling, which he would gladly have gotten out of the way of he could. Mikey floated a few nice deliveries, Boote took 3 wickets, meriting a jug at sun, as did Luke who made sure that there was no tail wagging from the opposition. Dismissing the the Ancient Mariners (a decent batting side), for a mere 140 runs, was indeed one of our finest performances of the season and our bowlers and fielders deserved a big pat on the back. Noteworthy field performances includes Davis’ amazing throwing arm , Perton’s enthusiast chase and slide pick ups and Barry’s parking abilities under pressure – only halting play for 2 or 3 minutes.
After a brief interlude for tea, our opening pair Tris and Chair proceeded with merciless intent to better our previous week’s half five finish and hit the bar early. An opening partnership of 55 steadied the ship nicely opening the way for Boote to rattle off the rest of the runs with a characteristically brutal batting performance, earning him a quick 60 without breaking a sweat I.e preferring boundaries to running between wickets .
In short, good weather, great cricket, good company (ancient mariners included), and early pub. What more can one ask for?
Racqueteers CC 28th July 2019 Home- Won
“For three long years had the intrepid Tweaker journeyed through the South American jungle, alone but for his faithful Jamboy, Jeggings – who’s naked body was so comprehensively covered with large insect bites that he resembled a typical sunday pitch in Hampshire. “Jeggings, you really are a sticky wicket” announced Tweaker as they stumbled through the undergrowth, parched, with a cloud of ferocious mosquitos swarming the younger man. Tripping over a root, Jeggings disturbed the foliage of a large shrub and revealed a clearing. “Get out of the way!” bellowed Tweaker, cuffing his Jamboy about the buttocks with a short handle Duncan Fearnly Run Reaper, modified for jungle conditions. He pushed gingerly through the foliage, and there it was – El Bentwortho – The Lost City of Golden Ducks…”
Raqueteers 159 – 7
Vagabonds 160 – 0
What an absolute disaster. Just look at that score. How are we supposed to take the piss out of anyone? Barring a couple of tricky dropped catches and Emily somehow throwing the ball into a tree that was approximately 13cm in front of him, there is almost no material to work with. It was a distressingly complete performance from the Vags which fell far short of our normal standards. The only real highlight was Stu Davidson’s ostentatious white “Sports Utility Vehicle” taking a firm blow (from the ball, not Blackers), and receiving a cracked brakelight.
But it was a glorious day. The sun shone through the clouds, gliders spiralled overhead. Beyond the boundary young children played in the dappled sunlight – watchful mothers keeping a sensible distance from the strange men in loud blazers, blazers which positively scream “1970’s BBC Childrens Programming”.
The Raqueteers were to bat first, and despite some exaggerated seam movement and occasional uneven bounce, their top order saw off a hostile opening spell from “Horatio-Nelson-Piquet-PK-Phil Kennely” and THE PERTON. Tight bowling and fielding throughout the innings meant that the Raqueteers were never quite able to cut loose and set the kind of total that their initial foundation deserved. Particular credit goes to there number three who made a very composed half century. The Vagabonds used eight bowlers in the innings, mainly due to laziness, and the wickets were distributed amongst six of them, mainly due to the club’s firmly Marxist ethos. The one we will all remember is the fearsome bumper that Stu (the West Lothian Rail Replacement Service) deployed to extract a well set number eight batsman for one. It was a masterpiece of pace and aggression of the sort that can only be found amongst the wildlings, north of the wall.
It looked like a chaseable total, and we sent out the Chairman and Hamish – our man from the colonies, who appeared still to be attempting to win the World Cup super-over, such was the vigour of his stroke making. The ball went to all parts. Some good early running between the wickets eventually going out of fashion as the total came into sight. We navigated a potentially treacherous change of umpires and then it was all over, Hamish taking a much deserved man of the match award with a wicket, two catches and 94 not out. The Chairman was roundly humiliated with his unbeaten half century making him the lowest scorer of the innings.
Valley End CC 21st July 2019 Home- Won
As many league games were rained off on the Saturday, it was with trepidation that I awaited the “green light” ahead of a home tie with Valley End CC. After a great, tight defeat (followed by BBQ) last summer away, all were happy to receive the news that the game was on.
Willy P, Billy C and I were joined by other Vags at The Sun for a couple of pre-match drinks and the collection of tea. Once again we ran slightly over, and the skippers walked out to the middle just after the 1pm scheduled start. We looked out to see Boote victoriously miming a bowling action as clouds loomed overhead; proving – once again – he really is king of the tossers.
Seamers William Perton and Charlie Preston opened things up, and really ‘did bits’ – the ball hooping around, beating the edge of two decent looking Valley End openers with regularity.
Eventually something had to give and Mr Preston managed to tempt Ferris into a drive, only for it to be snaffled by Trius Hutchins who – in between gummy snacks – caught well. Fellow opener Arscott was then brilliantly caught by Skip at 3rd slip off Perts’ bowling. Will then bowled an absolute jaff to collect his second, before the pair were relieved by Stevie and myself.
Stevie bowled steadily and accurately, collecting a wicket whilst I took the phrase “bad balls get wickets” rather too seriously – ending up being the only wicketless Vag – and was quite rightly replaced by Luke.
Al replaced Stevie, and a neat partnership began to form between their no. 6 & 7. After Al was slog swept beautifully for 6, he opened up his box of tricks to remove both of the aforementioned batsmen and (no. 10) Wunderley. Luke bowled the Kerr brothers (one at a time – obv), bringing the Valley End innings to a close at 132.
Tea was had, the sun came out.
In strode Messrs Harding and Hutchins – both of whom watched a couple before tucking into their batting. Fun fact, over 70% of both openers’ runs came from 4s. Tris was then well bowled by the useful Breakwell for 11. Boote came out to join Chair, both batting fluidly, before Chair broke the spell middling a full toss to mid off and trudged off for 27, cursing his misfortune.
Al (donning perfectly self-dyed pink floppy; seriously is there anything this man can’t do?) decided selflessly to be bad at cricket for once, and was bowled for 1. Saman came in and played some nice shots, before mistiming a drive to a fielder at midwicket, ending his cameo, for 11.
Lukey H then showed cricketers all around the world how an all rounder bats at no.6, (having collected two wickets as mentioned), highlight being a glorious 6. With the game almost won, Luke went for the jugular and inside edged it onto his own stumps.
Paul A strode out to hit the winning runs and was unlucky as he was stumped off the bowling of Wunderley. With Boote needing a 4 for an unbeaten 50, and me on strike with 2 to win, Skip wondered if he’d be denied another landmark. Fortuitously, me being unable to get the ball off the square worked out well – with Boote getting that 50*.
A really enjoyable match against a really lovely team – we look forward to seeing their new pavilion next year. Cue trip to The Sun, roast beef/burgers being ordered, teams mixing and drinks being drunk. (It was actually super nice, you know what I mean? Like organic or something – yah, you know what I mean? Like really just genuinely nice, yah – totes).
On the way home in the Clinton-mobile, a tuckered William Perton sat in the back, his eyes closed, head tilted back, asleep. Bless. Stevie and I had a good chat about what a brilliant afternoon it had been. Really lovely time (as per with the Vags), thoroughly enjoyed by all no doubt.
Match report by Rik W-D
Hook & Southborough CC 14th July 2019 Home - Won
Dedication to a team and a game is something present in all the great teams of past and present. It was something very much on show on Sunday 14th July 2019 when the Vags and H&S rocked up at Bentworth to play a game of Sunday cricket whilst Eoin Morgan led his leprechauns out in the World Cup final. The Bentworth hut was duly dragged into the 21st century with a functioning aerial and television to show the big game. The Skip did something with his fingers and thumb in the middle with the H&S captain and came back to say we were batting. Chair and the Weird One padded up. 8 Vags crowded around a television. Ruth Davidson positioned the scorer’s table to have the best seat in the hut to watch the final whilst ensuring he could just about see both umpires.
Chair and Trius set to work and started showing Lord’s what it was missing- both slapping balls away for boundaries at a decent rate to see the scoreboard look rather attractive after 10 overs. Both openers raced to their half centuries, feats quickly applauded by the team before turning back to see what Woakes was doing with the ball. Both fell in quick succession post-50, a real shame as there was a real feel that at least one of them would be raising bat and helmet for hitting triple figures. A solid start. The skipper entered and left 11 balls later, quickly allowing himself to be bowled in order to get back to watching the final. The returning Bruckmaster Flex returned to the Bentworth crease and let himself settle in before being caught LBW. Another plum decision given by a big-nosed weirdo. Another Vagabond that questions whether said weirdo understands how LBW works. Plum.
Trey and Luca Toni were soon at the crease, keeping the run rate going with some cracking shots before the big man (not you Trev) was caught off a shot that was heaved towards the road and looked every bit like it would clear the rope by a mile. Luke was caught 5 paces short of the boundary. Enter T. Nokes (OH ISN’T TOM GREAT LOOK AT TOM BAT SO WELL WE LOVE TOM BLAH BLAH BLAH) and soon struck up a partnership with Trevor that would not be broken. Some spanks over the short boundary saw Lord Nokesington of Stockwell on 46 with one ball to go. Ruth duly shouted this out to the fielding honey badger who went big and was unfortunately caught. 251 up for the our band of merry men, a total that could not even be matched by the current World champions…
Trius Bundy 59
After a tea huddled around the screen the Vags stepped out knowing what must be done- win or lose quickly. Get back to TV. Dick Mountain Jnr took a break from explaining the rules of cricket to my dad and Bill took a break from not having sexual relations with that woman and opened the bowling. Maximus in particular assaulted the off stump as if it were a Gallic settlement, being rewarded with a wicket that could have quite easily been five or six. Harding, L and Davidson, R relieved the openers, carrying on where the commander of the armies of the North and POTUS left off, both bowling superbly. The Glaswegian Sheffield man, the King of both Steel and Steal bowling maiden after maiden, Lucas making the ball do big things. The first wicket in particular turning a mile, which was greeted with high appreciation from Vags, umpire and dismissed batsman.
Nokesington (OH TOM IS SO GOOD ISN’T HE, LOOK AT HIM BOWL REALLY WELL AND FIELD REALLY WELL BLAH BLAH BLAH) mopped up the H&S tailenders well with Skip stepping in to take the final wicket for a very solid win for the Vags. Formalities were delayed post-match for both sides to pile into the hut to see Captain Morgan’s men be crowned World Champs in the most tense of scenarios. Celebrating a World Cup win with my cricket a terrific personal memory for the author, even if the first embrace of celebration was with a Scotsman.
Hyde 6 0 32 1
Hill 5 1 11 1
Harding 9 1 32 3
Davidson 7 3 20 1
Anderson 4 0 25 0
Nokes 3 0 9 3
Boote 0.4 0 2 1
Great performances all round from the Vags. Special mention to Nokesy who cycled 15 miles pre-match, scored a cracking 46, took 3 wickets and ordered me a burger before the Sun’s kitchen closed. If you feel that needs rewarding, the honey badger has been doing a charity bike ride to raise money for Mind, a terrific charity raising awareness around mental health. I’m sure he will appreciate any donations , if not already done.
Kensington CC 7th July 2019 Home - Drawn
As our original opponents Crondall had decided to cry off earlier in the week we fortunately found ourselves pitted against Kensington. Things started off very promisingly as we met a few of their chaps in The Sun before the game and they were very keen to establish some early ground rules on drinking. Ie lets all drink as much as we can now and continually through the day. By the way, we’ve bought you guys a couple of cases of beer as well……Class!
Anyway Skip won the toss and he didn’t know what to do so he fielded first. Making his debut for us was Max Hill, Dick Mountains son, and he opened the bowling with Perton W. Both started very, very well. Will getting a lot of seam movement and Max with a huge amount of inswing. Wickets soon began to fall with Will P bowling their No2 with an excellent away swinger that just clipped the base of the off stump. At the other end Max was bowling a fine spell. His big inswingers causing no end of problems when he got his line right. First he accounted for their No1 with a ball that really tucked their batsman up and bowled him off his legs, then after bowling their No3 in a similar manner he got their No5 with a beautiful inswinging Yorker . Excellent bowling and a great debut.
By this time Kensington were around 40 for the loss of 4 wickets and changes at both ends kept up the pressure. T Nokes at one end and M Gayle at the other. Both bowled beautifully again. They made full use of the helpful conditions and soon Kensington were 60 for 6 and we felt very in control. With Mike and Tom wheeling away Kensington started to put together a decent partnership and soon managed to get past 100 with no more loss of wickets. It was extremely slow going but , on reflection, very sensible batting. They took very few risks and ended posting a score of 171 for 7. A good comeback from them and a big ask on this pitch that was still doing a bit.
Tea was excellent, beers were excellent.
Our batting wasn’t great! Chair top scored with 21 closely followed by Perts with 18 and Luke with 17. Only Trius of the rest managed double figures. We did however bat out the draw comfortably which was a decent performance given the quality of their bowling. Decent pace, lots of movement and most of all great control. To be fair they deserved to win the game so for us to achieve a draw is the equivalent of a win for us. So well done lads, we won. Excellent work all around. Yay.
A quick mention regarding Kensington CC. To say that they ‘got it’ is probably an understatement really. A genuinely likeable bunch of talented cricketers who were out to win a match but have fun doing it. They all proved great company both prior, during and after the game. I hope we can make this a regular fixture as not only are they n excellent test for us as a side but they are also sponsored by Diageo the worlds largest suppliers of drinks! So not only did they leave us with great memories from a most enjoyable game but also with a bottle of Johnny Walker Gold Label for the club and a bottle for Mikey Gale who they adjudged their man of the match on our side. Quality stuff all around. Top guys. We look forward to welcoming them again. Special mention to W Tahir (not that one) who ended with 4-24 and bowled excellently with a broad smile on his face all the time!
To the next one
Binsted CC 30th June2019 Away - Lost
Vags 124 all out
B Clay 61
Binstead 125/4 off 27 overs
Al Whitman 2/34
We made the short journey to Binsted CC and for some only (Skip) 1.8 miles as the crow flies! A beautiful ground awaited with lovely views of the rolling hills in North East Hants. Thankfully Sunday’s weather was a little cooler after the sweltering Saturday we had. What did await us though was a bucket of beers from BCC very generous hosts and a great tea also!
The wicket was used but still looked like a decent track and unusually I am told, we batted first. With Trius of St Mary Bourne away trying to enlarge his ginger foundry worker appreciation society, we started off with Al and Chair. It was going so well until the 3rd over started when the lippy Saffer who was steaming in down the hill cleaned up Al’s furniture with a nip backer. Skipper joined Chair and did not fair too much better, the three balls he faced from the other opener any could have got me out but 3rd was a peach. Last week’s Centurion Bez settled into a partnership with Chair but this was clearly not the batting road we thought! Chair who does like a boundary or 2 was starved of anything lose and decided occupation was the name of the game. Bez timed a couple of nice boundaries before being plumb LBW given by our very own Jim Jams who I think beat the bowlers appeal and fingered Bez. Even though the wickets was stopping, gripping and not really bouncing much Bertie Clay made light of all of this with the innings of the day. Clubbing boundaries when the opportunity arose and good running between the wickets kept the Vags score increasing steadily if only someone could stay with him! Chair was eventually caught for 20 off 70 balls which was worth a good few more on a better wicket. We then proceeded to have a bit of a collapse – rabbit in headlights come to mind! Bertie was doing his best to get our total up with a couple of lovely 6’s before running himself out for a very mature innings of 61. We ended up on 124 all out which was probably 30 runs shy of being a competitive total.
Tea was lovely a spicy coronation chicken sandwich and scone with cream and jam the highlight for me.
With a small total to defend we needed to keep the runs down with disciplined bowling and fielding. With the pitch not going to get any better if we could pick up a few wickets the game would be a tight that we might just nick. PK and Mike opened up for us and did just that for the first few overs with the ball beating the bat on numerous occasions. We just couldn’t get the wicket out bowling and fielding early on deserved. Their skipper decided that a ball was going to have his name on it so he decided to bat by numbers, with some big sixes. Skip replaced Cementos and after a few shaky overs started to enjoy bowling on this low turning pitch. Slim came on to replace PK an over later and started off nicely. With pressure building on the openers Al got us an opening at one end which was quickly followed in the next over with a bit of skip on skip action with a clean bowled dismissal. We were buzzing now and had another wicket in our sites unfortunately all of us except Concretos who didn’t seem so keen when the ball was hit straight to him……we continue to toil hard but unfortunately did not have enough runs on the board. A good game nonetheless and the oppo were great hosts. Bring on the return fixture next year.
Droxford CC 23rd June2019 Home - Drawn
For the first time in their illustrious history the Vags lined up to take on Droxford CC, with Bentworth hosting the occasion on an overcast but warm June afternoon.
Skipper won the toss and opted to bat, perhaps influenced by the fact that opening bowler and angel of the north, Jack Anderson, had only just been awoken from his south London pit of sodomy by the skippers phone call, as he waited to collect him at Alton train station!!
Bat we were asked, so bat we did, well some folk did. With regular openers Trius and Chair both still sunning themselves on a romantic weekend together in Bognor Regis, out strode big Al ‘slim’ Whitman along with debutant Jimmy Allen, fruit of the loins of Basingstoke’s fabrication tycoon Si Allen. The bronzed Adonis Al faced the first few balls with his usual laid back style, looking comfortable, before inadvertently slapping the 4th ball of the over to mid off for a relatively straightforward catch for a 4 ball duck. Out strode the skipper to assert some authority and stabilise the innings. In strode the skipper having failed to do either, bowled first ball… a double wicket maiden for their opening bowler C. Potter. Next in was Steve Berryman, although he shortly lost his partner Jimmy Allen, who was clean bowled by their other opener Z. Sadiqi, having at least troubled the scorers to the tune of 1 run. By the end of the 4th over we were 2-3, it was time to call for Tom Tommy Thomas Postle… Steve and Tom settled into a bit of rhythm and got the scoreboard ticking, a bit, before Tom was caught at mid on (possibly!) for a hard fought 5 runs. Next in was Trevor Edwards, looking to build an urgently needed partnership with Steve, the short and short of it being they did just that, before Trevor was caught, perhaps at long on, for a well constructed 39. Next in, having decided to promote himself up the order, ahead of Steel baron Si Allen, was Pip ‘Horatio’ Kennelly, playing some lovely shots before being bowled for 26. All the while Steve was playing a cracking knock at the other end, giving the Vags a chance of having a total we could defend. Having decided he didn’t want to play after Pips act of treason, Si elected to undress and send in S. Davidson instead with around 10 balls left in the innings. He managed to accumulate 5 runs in that time, including a very classy boundary off the outside edge of his bat and through the keepers gloves! With Steve finishing his quality knock off in style with some lusty blows into the nether regions of the neighbouring Dick Mountain estate for an unbeaten 117, which took the Vags to 203-6.
Tea was taken, it was nice. Jack turned up, which was also nice.
Pip, the king of swing, and Jack, the king of effort, opened the bowling. Si Allen and STD replaced each of them respectively, none of whom managed to make the breakthrough. Bootes and Big Al then had a pop, with more success, indeed Al bowled magnificently well, putting us in a position where we had an outside chance of a win. Adam Rik Waller-Davies replaced the skipper and also bowled well too, but the Droxford tail managed to hold out for a draw as we managed to suppress the runs to avoid defeat, so an exciting climax…
PK – 8, 1, 24, 0
Jack – 3, 0, 20, 0
STD – 5, 0, 27, 0
Si – 5, 0, 34, 0
Skip – 4, 0, 23, 1
Al – 8, 0, 28, 5
Rik – 6, 0, 30, 1
Sorry the second innings is less detailed, but my trains just arriving into Durham for the cricket….
Ripley CC 16th June2019 Away - Won
After a squally week weather-wise there was an unprecedented volume of Whatsapp traffic concerning the likelihood of the game being on. Chair imperiously informed us that the forecast was favourable with a fair drying wind, also the wicket was covered so game on. Cue blind panic by the majority of Vags who had already begun making plans for a cricket less Sunday; except for young Jeggings who had come down the night before to a local hostelry and was leisurely enjoying his garlic mushroom breakfast. Eagle eyed Chair, skipper for the day, noticed that the track was extremely green and slightly softer than expected for a covered wicket. This was in contrast to a bone dry, straw coloured deck two strips along with some curious hieroglyphics loosely translating as “Sat/Sun”!!!???. After a few minutes of talking rubbish Chair returned from the middle to announce that he was a better tosser than that tosser Boot and that we were going to have a bowl in a 35 over a-side match.
Jack looked extremely puzzled as he ran in to deliver the opening salvo from the pavilion end with the wind behind him; it soon became apparent that he was struggling to identify which track he should be bowling on. He had a point, as there was no discernable difference between square and wicket such was the verdant greenness. At one moment he nearly damaged his own toe with one of his shorter deliveries. However, the gritty northern lad did not buckle under the heckling from his fellow Vags and managed to entice the opener to reach way across to the off side and snick one to Al Whitman at second slip. At 42 for 1 after 6 we thought this may be a large total amassing. Meanwhile, father to be Perts, manfully bowled in to the wind for a strong five over spell with no reward, but only going for 16 runs. Charlie Preston took over from a bemused and apologetic Jack (1-30 from 3) and began with some really filthy deliveries, these yielded two wickets as both victims topped edged the long hops to Elliot and Jack respectively, both very good catches in the gusty breeze. Elliot (1-17 from 6), replaced Perts and bowled with some real zip and movement, he claimed one victim, snicked behind to Luke. This a surprise to all, the catch not the fact that Elliot was bowling well, as only a few overs before that Luke was seen to taking evasive action whilst squealing girlishly as a ball bobbled its way towards him. Charlie had hit his straps by now and was proving to be a real handful, his bowling was quite useful as well as he claimed a third victim caught by Jack. Charlie took 3-20 from his 7 overs, including two in two balls and not quite getting the deserved hat trick. At this point in proceedings tea was being eagerly discussed in the slip cordon ( and you thought it was all tactics and batsman analysis!); Chair expressing a penchant for the breadsticks and dips that were proffered last season whilst Luke and Al agreed that melons were always a welcome addition to any tea table. Young Jeggings continued to impress in the field, chasing hard and employing graceful slide stops all with the air of a chap who had benefitted from a fine breakfast of his favourite garlic mushrooms. Spinners Luke and Al came on to make use of a very helpful deck; Luke lured one victim out of his crease and turned the ball past the outside edge for Chair to complete the stumping, maintaining that strong sibling respect and admiration with a synchronised “well played Bruv” salute. Al couldn’t get out of the way of one that was hammered straight back at him off his own bowling so did the decent thing and caught it. Al then picked up three more wickets, including a great boundary catch by Charlie, to finish with 4-5 as Ripley were bowled out for 111 in 27 overs.
Chair raced off for tea and the much anticipated breadsticks and accompanying dips only to discover there were none. Cue massive sulk, however the very moist date and walnut cake soon put a bounce back into his step. Debutant Jamie Daniel opened with Chair and both looked pretty comfortable until Chair received a real snorter that hit him flush on the forearm. Two balls later he got another short one and as images of the date and walnut cake flashed before him he guided it to second slip and departed not too unhappy. Emily strode in and steadily dismantled the Ripley attack constructing a classy half century, aided by Jamie they took the score into the eighties. Jamie snicked off to the keeper for 24, Al came and went for 13. Si Allen, Jeggings and Mikey Gale amassed two runs between them, all being bowled by the wily off spinner. It was left to Charlie Preston and Luke to finish the run chase inside 26 overs, a great effort by all Vags on a tricky deck.
Pyestock CC 9 June 2019 Home - Drawn
I apologise for the tardiness of this match report, no excuses!
Sunday the 9th of June is well into summer and so we were expecting a downpour but it never came. We were blessed with a rather lovely afternoon with only a slight breeze and a 5 minute ‘spitting’ that was blown away as quickly as it arrived.
I assume Boote won the toss as bowling first is nearly always prefered when we’re playing to win.
Only four Vags bowlers were required that day as each of them were knocked about a bit and shown some of the rough stuff as a couple of solid batting performances from their number 1 and number 4 batsmen pretty much carried their innings. Phil Kennely and Will Perton opened on a spicey track that offered quite a bit early on. An early wicket a piece for the openers brought their No.4 in and he batted very well after being dropped on 0 for a total of 91 stumped expertly by the chair while trying to charge up the track to PK. A nice bit of the variation pace and pitch from PK and he was well out. Batsmen No.1 played a little more conservatively and did not score with such style as the No.4 but plodded along to 49 before being bowled by Perts when trying to up their score rate towards the end of the innings.
Stevie and Skip subbed in at either end for the openers and managed to slow the run rate at first but once these settled batsman (1 and 4) had a little look at them they rode their luck and a couple of poorly times swings saw the ball shoot up and down in to space more than once. I think there may have be another drop in and around the slip corden.
The openers came back on and took another two wickets each finally removing their No.1 and No.4 and nabbing their No.5 and No.6 cheaply.
No Fielders were used in the taking of all 6 wickets (unless you count the Chair’s Stumping) and there was more than a fair share of extras. Phil “Nelson Piquet – PK” Kennely was the pick of the bowlers as we let them amass 216 runs for 6 wickets from 39 overs.
Phil – 11 – 2 – 34 – 3
Perts – 13 – 3 – 64 – 3
Hyde – 7 – 0 – 41 – 0
Boote – 8 – 0 – 41 – 0
Tris and Chair are in the sort of form that sees the rest of the vags on the boundary relaxed and in no rush to pad up. They batted for 1.5 and 2 hours respectively. Nothing extravagant from the opening batsmen as safe shots and comfortable runs were the order of play. A run rate that was only just behind what we needed given the timed nature of our match meant the extra two overs Pystock batted meant we were soon to be playing for the draw. With both batsmen settled and on good scores of a few dozen each they had a bit of a swing and were caught. By this time the new batsman woudl have needed to tee off and connect to stay within a winning run rate. Bootes gave it a go and scored quickly but was undone in a similar fashion ot the Chair (caught behind?)
And play for the draw we did expertly! Bertie clay had a flash and scored a couple of nice boundaries and some quick runs while Rosco faced only a couple for the change to carry his bat and maintain and average of ‘batting’ for the single run. Vags 161 runs for 4 wickets off of 37 overs.
Chair – 54 – caught
Tris – 45 – caught
Boote 19 – caught
Bertie 19 – N.O
Rossco 1 – N. O
I overheard their scorer down the pub saying without extras it would have been a lot closer game 160ish – 130ish rather than 216 to 161
bloody good fun and a hashtag great bunch of lads.
I hope this made it to all of you before Al’s report from Ripley on 16th
All the best
Little Marlow CC 2nd June 2019 Away - Won
Theresa May famously said ‘Leave means leave’. Obviously Little Marlow’s number 4 batsman had taken this to heart, when he left a straight one from the ever youthful Al Whitman to be clean bowled at about 3.30pm on Sunday.
Al’s inclusion as the sixth bowler used that day as The Vagabonds opened the bowling in this sunny enclave of Buckinghamshire was masterful move by Skip. Young Emily had the first over, and his dogged determination eventually paid off as he accounted for their number one, edged to Beautiful Mushroom Man Al at first slip. Stevie Hyde cleaned up the number 3, but number 2 and 4 hung about like a fart in a lift. However, a comical run out of the number 2 whilst on 68 and Wonderful Whitman’s bowling of other for 49 helpped get the boys in pink and red back on track. The next 7 wickets fell for 25 runs (a few LBW’s from that hero we all need; Al Whitman), another run out (A Mikey Gale special) and young Master Nokes getting a couple. The final wicket was taken by Chair doing what he loves…stumping small children who stumble out of the crease before laughing manically in their face.
Traditionally, Little Marlow has been an absolute road, but this year the very green pitch did offer something a little more exciting for the bowlers. Little Marlow were all out for 203 in about 38 overs, a fantastic effort.
Golden God 6.4-0-30-4
Tea was a vast improvement from the previous week, warm onion bhajis and strawberries. Yummers!
As a reward for being such a bloody good bloke, Al ‘smells lovely’ Whitman was relegated to number 11 in the batting order, so Chair and Trius went out to try and chase down our target of 204 in 40 overs.
Chair went for a fairly rapid 42 before being caught whilst Trius had a very stoic 55. In a surprise to everyone, Skip was actually dismissed. His average this season has now dipped into three figures, so no batsmen of the year award for him. Bertie Clay hit wildly and amassed a mighty 55 with Jeggs joining for the last few overs with 20 odd needed to win. Some mightily quick running helped move this total down before Bertie was caught. This left Jeggs and Emily need 8 off the last over, a few wides and scampered runs put Jeggs on strike with 3 needed. Luckily for the Vags he edged onto his own Stumps which meant T. Nokes could come out, smack a 4 and take all the plaudits.
A fantastic victory, the first I can remember in quite a few years! We departing to the pub for the following:
- Restorative pints;
- Some food; and
- Some time just to look at Al.
All in all, a lovely fixture which was mainly spent watching the majestic Red Kites swarm above us and getting in the way of the Whitman Vista.
Worcester Park CC 27th May 2019 Away - Won
We all (well apart from Perts and Trev!) managed to arrive at the ground in decent time. Perts was apparently caught out by the Rugby 7’s at Twickenham which was plausible but it should be noted that this game is the closest to his home. Trev? Well, caught out by the distance and the parking, which like everywhere else in Greater London is practically non existent.
Skip won the toss and we took to the field. I’m assuming we won as that’s what we always do but you’d have to ask him to be honest. Opening up from the top end was Charlie Preston (Chuck P) and he soon displayed the skills that have hastened his signing from Premier League minnows St Cross. Their loss is our gain. To be fair their openers actually made a really good, positive start, racing to 40 odd without loss before Chuck P claimed the opening wicket with a good ball short of a length that really came through quickly and opened their batsman up and he could do little but lob it up to Stuey Davidson who took a relatively straightforward catch. At this point both Chuck P and Perts were bowling beautifully. Chuck with some decent pace and bounce and big seam movement and Perts , a little slower but swinging it both ways and proving hard to score off. Perts struck next, setting the batman up with a few outswingers and then swinging one back in that hit him in front of all three. Excellent bowling, Worcester Park 46 for 2. For the next period of the game Chuck P and Will kept wheeling away. Perts claiming the next wicket after an excellent catch by Jeggs at cover. Diving forward and taking the ball inches above the ground. Perts then accounted for their No1 batsman, getting him to play on to a good full ball. So good were our opening attack that they bowled unchanged for nigh on 20 overs. Chuck P was unlucky not to add to his 1 wicket as he bowled with real pace and accuracy. Anyway, changes at both ends. Stuey D at one end and Luke H at the other. Both settled in well and Luke fairly quickly claimed the next wicket with a good ball that turned a bit and bowled the batsman. Stuey bowled really accurately and picked up 3 wickets in his spell. Much like Luke he got a bit of tap near the end of the innings as Worcester Park accelerated and it was left to Al Whitman to tighten things up and claim 1 wicket with his wily off spin. Worcester Park ended on 200 all out which was a good score but with the pitch playing as well as it was and very short boundaries it was very chaseable. Special mention to debutant S Best who threw himself around in the field and made some excellent stops. Stevie Berryman patrolling the longest boundary also did us proud.
Tea—–Meh! Dont want to be rude so less said about that the better. You know its bad when the Oppo are complaining too!
Anyway The Chairman and Al Whitman headed out to open up for us and made a fantastic start. The chairman flicking his first ball off his toes for a sweet boundary and Al pouncing on anything short and smashing it to the rope. Vags had reached 60 odd from the first 9 overs of the game and the oppositions heads had already dropped. The Chair had even had the temerity to play a ramp shot from their quick, but wild, opening bowler. Eventually AL succumbed to a ball that kept very low and was bowled. This brought the Skip to the crease. Both he and the Chair kept going until the Chair was caught on the drive. A good 31 from him to go alongside the 35 from Al Whitman. Skip was joined by S Berryman returning for us after a long absence. Unfortunately he didn’t last long as he was triggered by our umpire Chuck P. A disgraceful decision (according to Steve!). At this point I have to admit that I had to go and get padded up so I missed the next 8-10 overs. What I can report though is that the Skip, in that time moved from about 18 not out to 67 not out!!! Ably accompanied by both Trevor Edwards and Rob Hyndman he had smashed their attack to all parts. By the time both his partners had fallen Vags required 9 runs from 10 overs. Luke H marched out to meet him full aware that the skip was on 91 not out and keen for his century. A few singles were taken and with the Skip now 96 not out Luke H found himself on strike. In a moment of complete selflessness Luke smashed a beautiful straight 6 from their returning opening bowler to win the game and insure our glorious leader maintained his not out status and help his season average to rise to approx. 330!! The game was over and Luke walked off to cheers from his teammates whilst the Skip trudged off thankful he’d been saved the huge cost of buying a few jugs of beer for the players. In all seriousness well played Skip, another great innings and possibly one of the strongest starts to a season seen by the Vags ever?
We all had a few drinks afterwards before we made our long journey home. Stuey of course having the longest journey all the way back to Sheffield.
Its a good game this one, friendly, competitive opposition, a really great bar and a nice pitch and outfield. Definitely one to look to play next time around.
Take care, well done to everyone and sorry to Skip!
Waverley CC 19th May 2019 Home - Lost
And so Sunday rolled around again, as it has done, since .. well .. forever. Trains were caught, cars were driven and Vags arrived one after the other at The Sun Inn for a tipple before a home match vs. Waverley CC. Stuart Davidson remarked that he had seen weather reports stating that there was a 40% chance of rain. Thankfully however, the sun shone, giving this Translucent Man hope of a pinkish hue.
Per custom, the captains walked out to inspect the pitch and toss, with Boote winning and us, in turn, fielding. Vags began bowling with Mr. W Perton and Mr. J Anderson at either end. Both charged in time and again in sweltering heat, searching for the breakthrough. With the visitors’ score approaching 50 without loss, Perts stormed in, pitched it up and forced Kiwi batsman Bortosh-Short into a rare mistake. The ball clipped to fellow opening bowler, J. Anderson, who didn’t have to move. Unfortunately, Jack had not disclosed that he was paying homage to the UK Thalidomide Scandal, and so the ball and man dropped to the ground and was met with a sharp intake of breath. As is the Vags way, a rousing “next one Jacky boy” went up, with Waller-Davies and Davidson replacing the opening bowlers a couple of overs later.
Whilst Davidson’s guile and skill caused Waverley some issues, Adam ‘Rik’ Sandy Lyle Translucent Man Waller-Davies (this has really got quite silly now) and his flailing medium pace did not, bringing Luke Harding into the action. Bortosh-Short continued to hit past his half century, before being expertly caught – this time – on the boundary, off L. Harding’s bowling. The Vags smelt blood and Davidson and Harding went about their business, slowing the run rate and picking up wickets, bringing the Pink ’n’ Reds back into proceedings.
Special fielding mentions go to:
James ‘Chair’ Harding who did well to restrict the number of extras conceded by Vags CC.
William Perton and Richard Boote, whose cigarette smoking antics at mid-wicket and first slip respectively, confounded various batsmen and even bamboozled the umpire at one point.. Waverley’s 218 a “good score but perhaps not impossible to catch” the general sentiment amongst the Vags.
T. Bortosh-Short 69
J. Harris 37
A. Day 36
W. Perton 9-1-33-0
J. Anderson 3-0-17-0
R. Waller 3-0-32-0
S. Davidson 9-0-55-2
L. Harding 9-1-47-3
R. Boote 3-0-16-1
Subjects discussed during tea:
- Saman’s first name
- Kunta Kinte
- Jack’s admiration of Tanni Grey-Thompson
- How David Willey may be the unluckiest man in the world
- Vags Tour 2019
And so James ‘Chair’ Harding and Tris Bundy-Hutchins strode out to the middle to take guard, and bat with Mr. T Edwards and Mr. J Anderson to umpire, in knee length white coats. Stui dutifully attempted to begin scoring, but initially struggled due to the lack of trousers on Mr. J Anderson. “I cannae do much with this umpiring porn in front of me like” was the growl. Remarks of “Christ, stop being so damn sexy, Jack man” fell on deaf ears, as J. Anderson’s legs remained uncovered – aside from aforementioned skimpy umpiring attire. After all of this, Tris then decided he did not want to bat – presumably because he was jealous and missed being near gravelly-voiced Scottish scoring sensation, S. Davidson – and lobbed the ball back to the bowler for 1, allowing Skip to come to the middle.
Chair, perhaps still dreaming of tea, then served up something juicy of his own, a wayward shot, greedily snaffled on the leg side. Saman (of unknown first name) came and went, before Trev joined Skip out in the middle. Four after glorious four came from both men, the total beginning to mount as drinks were taken, and umpires relieved.. Things were picked up from where they were left, with Skip once again hitting a spectator’s car window, dispatching a bad ball. Luckily, this time it somehow bounced off.
With both men in fine form, Vags who were sat back “in the shed” started to get bored of watching people do well. Tris and Stui began a systematic Japanese-style torture regime, targeting J. Anderson. William Perton – who must have eaten raw human flesh at tea – began giggling at his own farts and Chair listened in to BBC Sport to see what was happening up at Headingley. Eventually, Skip was caught on the boundary. Skip’s (55) dismissal means he has 227 runs to his name with 1 dismissal. Those who can’t work out his average, please report to Mr Whitman for after school maths homework club this week. Trev was well bowled by the persistent P. Brewer, for 58 (top scorer for Vags on the day, well done Trev). L. Harding went for the jugular and went the same way as Skipper. Jeggs’ cameo of 12 featured some nice shots, before those who were just happy to be there came in to bat.
Jack MM Anderson, formerly of Cullercoats, North Shields, Newcastle upon Tyne mentioned that he was determined to bat well. After a dropped catch and wicketless bowling performance, he strode out with purpose .. before being clean bowled first ball. Jack marched back to begin a game of “BAH!” in the Vags changing room (^+ rules below). Vags ended up falling short of the required total, and showered before heading to The Sun Inn for roasts and beers*.
T. Edwards 58
R. Boote 55 (out, I repeat out – this is not a drill)
R. Hyndman 12
A. Rooke 9-3-32-0
S. Tempest 6-0-19-3
C. Beanland 5-1-31-0
P. Brewer 8-0-40-5
J. Harris 2-0-8-0
A. Du Gay 3-1-13-2
*Roasts and beers/pub trip momentarily halted for Mr. T Hutchins and Mr. J Anderson’s inaugural ‘Semi-Naked Post-Shower Lawn Grecko-Ginger Wrestling Championship’**
**Name under review
^+ Rules of ‘BAH!’
BAH! is a one person game.
Player must start game whilst wearing full cricket protective wear, helmet optional.
Player must shout “BAH!” whilst alone in Changing Room to begin game.
Once game has started, player must throw pads, bat, box, gloves and helmet (optional) in vague direction of cricket bag, whilst continuing to shout “BAH!” at 20 second intervals.
Game finishes when cricket bag is fully packed and player leaves changing room.
Please note: no points are awarded during this and game itself is largely meaningless.
Match report: Translucent Man (AW-D)
Newport Inn CC 12th May 2019 Away - Won
It was the first and hopefully not the last time this summer that the Vags rocked up on a Sunday for cricket, pints and self-deprecation with the sun beaming down and not a cricket jumper in sight (barring the Skipper who decided to wear three sheep worth of wool). And there wouldn’t be a better venue for cricket in the sun than that cricket pitch tucked away amongst the farmers fields near Braishfield. A good mood amongst the Vags as always, only augmented when Jeggs arrived a minute before the first ball, making a full eleven for us Neanderthals in our pink and purple. The Fiat 500 dangerously close to a short boundary rope.
Skippers went out to the middle and discussed Existentialism, Boots returning saying that we were bowling, but none of this bloody mess mattered anyway. The Vags started and continued strong in the bowling. Perts and Anderson opening proceedings and quickly realised that the pitch was ‘doing a bit’. Perts in particular found form very early on and delivered maiden over after maiden over, finally being rewarded for the fierce attack with a wicket in his fifth over. Anderson too picked up a wicket early on, a mistimed square cut from Cowling greedily caught by our honey badger in the field, FOTY T Nokes. A couple more wickets from the opening pair and the scoreboard started to look rather good. It was at this point that Principal Boote and Chief Dinner Maid Harding sternly reminded their students what had happened the week before when we had been in this position against Brigands. We nodded solemnly- no one wanted to see Jeggs discuss Anal Acrobatics VII between mouthfuls of Al’s mushroom bites again.
The first change of bowling saw Anderson replaced by Vags debutant by Charlie Preston who offered up some accurate, dangerous bowling to the Newport Inn middle order. Preston was duly awarded for his efforts, picking up 4 wickets, unfortunately one short of a jug on debut. More wickets will surely follow for Charlie over the summer. The pick of his wickets being a thick edge that ballooned up and was collected by the palms and bosom of Sammy in the slips. A low point of his spell was an extra two runs added to his stats due to the arm of Anderson, deciding that it would be far better to throw the ball directly over the wicket rather than the bowler or the wicketkeeper. Probably a dose of karma after questioning the Skipper’s ability at second slip just a ball before.
Perton was lustily relieved after a brilliant 9 overs by social media star extraordinaire, most horizontal man in cricket, Translucent Man- Rik Waller-Davies, playing a bumper weekend after helping out Bentworth CC the day before in return for sexual favours from Trev. Slick Rick produced a fantastic three overs, bowling accurately, restricting runs and getting wickets. A good return to Vags cricket for the walking plastic bag.
The students heeded the warnings of the principal and dinner maid and bowled the home team out for 69, setting minds whirring of hopefully getting a first win of the season, and a longer time in the pub afterwards. One provided a lot more motivation than the other.
Perton 9 5 15 2
Anderson 6 1 23 2
Preston 5 0 25 4
Translucent Man 3 0 5 2
With the absence of Vags’ resident serial killer, Tris Bundy, Chair was partnered by Sammy and marched out to the middle intent on reaching 70 and getting to the pub. Light opened well for Newport and made both openers feel out the first few overs from the a Newport man. Sammy, after playing a lovely stroke for a pair of runs was then caught LBW by Light, no doubt annoyed by the short time out in the middle. Big Bad Boote then marched out, waving and blowing kisses to his watching mother on his way to the middle. Really cute. Boote started as he meant to go on and slapped a four from his first ball. After an expensive couple of overs from White, Vincent stepped up, looping balls into the stratosphere before landing on to the wicket. Chair was then bowled by Vincent in the second over, Chair trying the leg sweep, missing the ball and walked off shaking his head over what he surely saw as a cheap dismissal. In walked the FOTY with the hairy BOTTY and decided to go skipping up the wicket to meet the loopy balls of Vincent, playing some bloody good shots before being stumped after an over eager skip down the wicket paired with an air shot. An over eager Nokes? Never. Jeggs managed the one run before being bowled, obviously distracted by the news of the release of Anal Acrobatic XX. In then marched the statesman, S Hyde, to heroically notch up a couple of singles to see the Vags over the line for a first win of the season.
Whilst the Vags searched for the teas (a great spread of sarnies and homemade cakes), Skip was still searching for a 2019 average- finishing each game so far with an asterisk next to his score. A good season so far for El Capitano.
Light 5 1 21 1
White 2 0 22 0
Vincent 4 1 26 2
Forty 1 0 1 1
A great day for the Vags, a good win, good teas and a good visit to the pub afterwards, which we finally arrived at after Perton became stroppy that we were sitting in the sun after a cricket game and it wasn’t a pub garden. A Vags man through and through.
Match Report: Geordie Jack
Broadhalfpenny Down CC 5th May 2019 Away - Drawn
Sunday gone saw the Vags travel to the first headquarters of English cricket intending on orchestrating a coup d’état. The weather was, once again, moody but with the confidence that the skies were open, the Vags arrived at the terrific Bat and Bowl pub across from the pitch with the expected excitement for playing cricket and supping a pint of something.
Partly because we are consummate professionals and partly because we’d finished our pre-match pints and there was nothing else to do before the match started, we all wandered out to the middle to inspect the wicket. Very green. A glint flickered in the eye of William Perton.
Something happened a few minutes later in the middle between Skip and BDBCC’s captain and we all got ready for a start to the match in the field. Perton and Anderson began the attack, finding some decent areas on occasion, which, thanks to the wicket, gave the batsmen some issues. Both openers struck early, Perts dispatching their two openers in his second over following a maiden first. By the ninth over, BDBCC were at 49 for 4. A decent run rate but wickets falling. This soon changed as Ainsley and Henderson dug in for the hosts, rarely going an over without finding the boundary (which on one side, went downhill quicker than a night out with Tom Nokes if he has more than 3 pints). Not even the nimble, energetic, athletic activity of Bill Clinton in the field could stop the ball from running away to the rope, despite his best efforts over 3 steps to the right or left.
Nelson, Bill and Luca’s inclusion in the bowling attack did little to stop the wave of runs which had already started rolling by the time Anderson’s spell ended. A general despair was felt across the bowling attack- three or four good balls, that seemed to stop the rot, that all delivered at some point, were then followed by a spank away to the boundary. All options to stop the run rate were explored: fielders repositioned and repositioned again; Nokes Jnr.’s (Fielder of the Year 2018- The FOTY) drink at the drinks break was laced with speed; Tris was told to look like a serial killer (achieved almost naturally) and scare the lovely women scoring both books to knock a hundred off the score. To no avail. A run out from the bowling of Nokes finally broke the partnership, Ainsley finishing with an impressive 119 off 79. Skip, obviously thinking that he’s better than the rest of us lowlifes, gave himself the ball and took a wicket in his third over of one of Henderson’s new partners; Nokes taking the wicket of another new partner. Time allotted ran out, Henderson finishing 90 not out, BDBCC setting us 257 to win. We trudged off the field thinking what could have been if that expensive partnership had not been broken early on. Perts the sole bowler who could walk off with figures that he may want to look into the book at. But enough of this gloom and doom- the end of fielding meant that the tailenders could scurry across to the Bat and Bowl and get a (un)deserved pint- RESULT!
W Perton 7 1 26 3
R Boote 5 0 24 1
T Nokes 7 0 38 1
J Anderson 6 0 47 1
P Kennely 3 0 30 0
S Hyde 3 0 31 0
L Harding 3 0 41 0
With the tailenders and Skip now sipping on a pint of something nice, sitting in varying levels of padding (i.e. no padding, and Skip, fully padded to go in next) we watched Tris and Chair march to the middle knowing fine well that there were runs to be had. Once again, both started well, both finding the boundary in the first overs they faced. Both then settled in and from a vantage point of the second floor balcony of the pavilion, it was a good sight to see our openers move between the wickets… arguably with less vigour and vitesse as seen by the hosts’ batsmen. Say what you may like about Mr. Hutchins but you can’t say he lacks in consistency: consistently turns up for the Vags on Sundays; consistently has a pack of sweets bulging out of his pocket when we field; consistently uncomfortably weird; consistently talks about how much he misses “his Stuey” and his “big Loch Ness monster” (no further details); consistently gets out on 18 in the 2019 season. Tris was replaced by the Cider’d Skip. A slow start for the partnership between Skip and Chair followed, before Chair was cruelly dismissed with a ball that stayed low on a surface that was normally making the ball jump up higher than Si Allen when reaching for the nice wine glasses from the top shelf. So entered Mr. Whitman, knowing that a run rate of 143000 was needed to ensure a victory.
Batted well they did and both batsmen played some lovely strokes, to the rapturous applause of all Vags present, who now, knowing that the chances of themselves batting was long gone, had increased the frequency of their visits to the bar of the Bat and Ball. The match finished in a draw, Vags, thanks to the partnership of Skip and Slim Whitman, finishing on a very respectable 194. The story does not finish here…
A Whitman 73*
R Boote 61*
J Harding 24
N Wood 10 0 49 0
E Hands 9 1 34 1
E Lovett-Taylore 6 0 33 0
A buoyant Jeggs arrived at the ground 10 or so overs into the Vags’ time in the field and started as he meant to go on, dispatching a nippy pint from S Miguel with relative ease, Jeggs Snr doing the same from the pavilion end of the table on which they sat. Jeggs found his stride early on and settled on a pretty comfortable run rate of a pint every eight or so overs for the entirety of BDBCC’s time at the crease. Following the tea break, surrounded by his fellow Pink and Purples, Jeggs’ run rate really did increase, an audacious two pint order at the bar being a particular highlight, such was Fiat 500 man’s confidence that he could hit a maximum on both the first and second glass. He did this with aplomb. A nasty blow to the head in S Miguel’s 7th over left Jeggs struggling to form coherent sentences, or coherent conversation topics (Anal Episodes VII as a topic was a first at cricket’s first headquarters), but still Jeggs soldiered on, knowing that the Bat and Bowl had confidence that Miguel had a lot more overs in him. Controversy struck as the Vags entered the Bat and Bowl post-match. Jeggs first deciding Anderson’s watch belonged in Perts’ sausage and mash gravy rather than on Anderson’s wrist, and that Al Whitman had actually ordered his mushroom bites for Jeggs rather than for himself; Al returning from outside to find a lot less than what he had bargained for. Jeggs’ Alex Hales moment luckily did not last long and he was soon in a party World Cup T20 style mood and chatted absolute rubbish, broken up with bouts of sneezes and hiccups, throughout overs 9 and 10. Miguel finally got his man at the end of the tenth, Skip dutifully escorting Jeggs from the arena and home to what was doubtless a hero’s welcome from Jeggs Snr.
Maidens charmed: 0
Runs to the toilet: 2
Mushroom balls eaten: 6
Of which not his: 6
Match Report: Geordie Jack
United Oxford Hospitals CC 28 April 2019 Home - Drawn
A great anticipation filled the air at Bentworth last Sunday as Vag vehicles slowly pulled into the ground for the opening match of the 2019 season. Having probably been lured into a false sense of security over the Easter weekend, a general look of “it’s a bit nippy” was shared amongst the team as we waited for Skip to do the toss. Toss he did and given we batted first, I imagine he lost. This was met with a boyish excitement from Perts and Jeggs, as they hurriedly bundled themselves in to the car and returned 10 minutes later with all Pimms. How happy Jeggs looked, tootling along in his little red Fiat 500, he may have even had one of the windows down to feel that cool breeze brush his face…
So Chair and Tris dutifully marched out to the middle to get things under way. It was a slow but solid start to proceedings over the first few overs but both openers quickly got their eye in and started finding the gaps in the field- both playing some great looking shots that would find the boundary. Chair then really started to motor, hitting a boundary every other ball until he was beaten, the ball sending the bails flying and Humphries wheeling away in celebration given the run rate Chair was starting to notch up. Like Samson and his hair, or Stevie Hyde without Hillary, Tris seemed to lose all strength after that and was dismissed 5 minutes later. A good foundation placed nonetheless for Skip and Al Whitman (LOVE YOU AL) to start their innings. Both got into their stride early on too and the runs began racing up, much to the pleasure of the lesser batsmen; all of us getting in the zone, refilling our glasses of Pimm’s as Jeggs gleefully made another jug’s worth… the Italian red of his Fiat glinting in the sun.
Beautiful, magical Al was caught after a good half hour of shots, including one maximum, which was the cue for this chipper feel-good knees-up to turn into a Greek tragedy. A ball played short and down leg by the UOHCC bowler from the road end, beautifully pulled away towards fine leg by Skip. One bounce. Two bounce. Four. Smash. A hushed silence fell over Bentworth. A hysterical Jeggs runs towards his Fiat. The back window was no more. At this point, I would love to say we all empathised with Jeggs, instead raucous laughter filled Bentworth, Boots rather proud of his accomplishments in the middle, Stuey helpfully commenting that it was lucky the ball didn’t hit his Jag, others half-hiding the grins on their faces.
Si Allen stepped in to partner El Capitano and selflessly steadied the ship. Totting up the singles whilst the Big Bad Boot started having fun the other end. Si was eventually bowled by the dangerous left-hander Khan, finishing with a respectable 21 after a mature hour at the crease. In then stepped Luca Toni, ready to get runs in the book on the first showing. Khan struck again two balls later, a good ball that straightened up and his Lukey “plum” (Anonymous Umpire, 2019). Luke of course totally agreed with the decision and saw no reason to comment that: A) the ball had hit bat first B) it was going leg. Perts then came to play for ten minutes before starting to miss his Pimm’s and was bowled by Khan. Jeggs then entered, tears blurring his sight, hyperventilating, hands shaking and only lasted the one ball. General consensus was that a 20-ball 50 could have been in sight had it not been for FiatGate. Skip and Nokes Jnr finished up the innings, the Skip leading by example with an exemplary 90 not out. Vags setting a total of 202 for UOHCC to win.
J Harding 25
S Allen 21
S Raman 5 1 12 0
N Halfhead 7 1 32 0
L Humphries 4 1 28 1
R Angrish 8 1 30 2
J Lammerton 6 0 34 1
T Chowdry 5 1 7 0
O Bagel 2 0 24 0
R Khan 5 0 19 3
A terrific tea from the Sun was demolished by both sides, as clouds came over. A cold day in the field for the Vags to come. So cold that a certain hungover Geordie ended up borrowing Al’s spare jumper. God, that jumper smelled good.
A total set and 10 wickets to get, the Vags started well. Fielder of the Year (FOTY), Nokes Jnr scampering after the ball like a honey badger with slugs above his eyes fired the ball into Chair and Simms was run out for 1 after 4 balls. A good start. Perts picked up where he left off and started strongly from the Road end, conceding just 7 runs in his first 4 overs. A deserved wicket finally came in the 6th over, getting Khan LBW, which is funny as this was just how Khan got Lukey out, isn’t it Lukey. Anderson bowled Halfhead, the other opener and here the frustration set in. Chowdry, coming in at 4 displayed some classy shots and started to dig in. The term catches win matches applied rather well in the half hour that followed. A forward defensive shot by Chowdry ballooned up for a dolly for Anderson, who then re-enacted his 3am dance moves the evening before and proceeded to flail about for a while before falling to the ground, letting the ball drop out of his hands. A hushed silence was all that Anderson needed, to know that everyone was laughing at him under their breath. A similar dolly followed for Skip out at mid-on from the bowling of Lukey, who once again, caused the batsmen issues. Skip, probably still chuckling to himself about that pull shot before, dropped the ball and Chowdry remained in the middle for the rest of the innings with a solid 65 not out. Partners for Chowdry came and went, dismissed by Al (I BLOODY LOVE YOU AL) and Lukey as well as a ruthless stumping by Chair of the 15-year-old Baigel. How Chair cackled as Baigel walked off to finish his GCSE homework. But he had skipped down the track and was well out his crease, the blame was holey Baigel’s fault…
The wickets unfortunately did not fall quick enough, the match finishing in a draw, UOHCC totalling 161. A good, amicable match as ever with plenty of their chaps joining us in the Sun afterwards, some of whom outstayed all Vags players- another sign that we have picked our opposition well.
A special mention must also go to Ruth Davidson, who was willing to play for the Vags on a Sunday before driving all the way back to Sheffield that same evening. Even though now a Man of Steel, nothing will get in between him and his Roast (an affectionate term he has for Tris, something to do with pouring gravy all over him). Mention too goes to the Vags in general, who all, following Lukey’s instigation, chipped in to help fund a replacement window for Jeggs’ back window- a great example of the Vags’ values.
W Perton 7 1 19 1
J Anderson 11 1 60 2
L Harding 8 0 36 2
S Davidson 4 1 8 0
T Nokes 3 0 12 0
Super Ally Whitman 4 1 13 1
Match Report: Geordie Jack