Strollers v Presidents XI

As predictable as Christmas, the phases of the moon and a wife’s birthday (notably a forgotten 40th), it came as no surprise that the Strollers and the Presidents team could only manage 9 players per team. It’s not like these events happen every year! Nevertheless, our last match of the season took place in beautiful autumnal conditions under a wonderful clear blue sky.

Mark Dix and David Green were captain for the day, Mark leading the youthful Strollers to field first. Joe Croker and Tom Wornham opened the bowling against Green Snr and Van King Snr. Wornham took the wicket of King thanks to the best slip catch of the season from Amajit Singh. Keith Cockburn was third to bat before falling to the bowling of our New Zealand representative Tim Paul. Enter Henry Hughs, the allusive and ever so hard to pin down cricketing enthusiast. Hughs ripped through the bowlers smashing 3 monster 6’s to pick the run rate from a steady 1.7 per over to 4.1. Green Snr contributed 20 runs, a full 6 times the contribution of the junior Green’s combined. As the 30 overs drew to a close, Singh stepped up to the crease a delivered a mighty spell picking up 3 wickets for 12 runs. Watch out Stuart Broad. The Presidents XI totaled 125 from the 30 overs.

At tea there was a welcome return of Rocky Road, worthy of cake of the season award if ever one were required, this time made with Mars bars and a whole load of chocolate and sugary stuff that tasted dam good. Well done Mrs Gallo, keep the good stuff coming for 2016.

Dix’s team strolled out in usual nonchalant swagger, lead by Singh – because his peformance in the field was by far the best he had managed this season and worthy of giving the guy what he wanted, and Croker. Singh made the long walk back to the pavilion 9 minutes and 9 balls later, LBW to Hughs bowling. King supported Croker before falling to the arm of Hughs bringing on Gallo. These two formed a great partnership for nearly 45 minutes, Gallo defending well and giving continuity to Croker who delivered the batting performance of his season. Spanking Green’s bowling side for an unbeaten five 6’s, the 4th bring in his 50, positioned the Strollers in a commanding position after 20 overs. Gallo was eventually bowled by the ever patient Green Snr for 9 and Williamson also put in a supporting performance before falling to debutant Hugo Grey. Wornham took over from Croker only after the boy had contributed a whopping 82 runs to a total score of 95 from 22 overs. Wornham minced about until joined by Matt Inman who put in a good performance in front of his Mum. However it was Wornham who decided that at 41 years of age and with his Dad watching, he needed to prove a point, scoring the winning runs with a mammoth 6 in the penultimate over. Strollers won with one over remaining.

Champaign moment was a difficult decision between Hughs, Singh and Croker, made a little easier thanks to Hughs leaving early. But despite 3 wickets for 12 runs and two catches in the field, Croker stole the final award of the season.

A special guest appearance and hopefully not the last came from Kate Green who fielded well. The final compliment must go to David Green for preparing the wicket all season, but especially for this last game as there had been a considerable amount of rain during August and September making the wicket especially soft.

Presidents batting;  Van King(Snr)1, D Green 20, K Cockburn 8, H Hughs 57, Van King(Jnr) 13, S Green 2, H Gray 0, J Green  1 NOT OUT

Bowling; Croker 3 overs, 5 runs for none, Wornham 4,6,1 J King 5,21,0 T Paul 4,12,1 L Gallo 3,22,1 Singh 4,12,3, H Grey 2,23,1 D Williamson 3,3,0 Bandy 3,12,0 Extras 8.

Strollers batting; A Singh 1, J Croker 82, J King 0, L Gallo 9, D Williamson 8, T Wornham 15 NOT OUT, M Inman 9 NOT OUT

Bowling; H Hughs 5,10,2 S Green 6,26,0 J Green 3,31,0 D Green 5,17,1 Van King Jnr 4,27 H Gray 6,17,2 Extras 1