Strollers v Stragglers

...... And Geraint hit a boundary

"Summer is the time when one sheds one's tensions with one's clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit.  A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all's right with the world." - Ada Louise Huxtable

An English summer's day spent in the perfect Hertfordshire countryside can be the best of things as it drifts into a warm English night - but there is no guarantee, for even in August you can have a whole fortnight of cloud and plentiful rain - a summer spoiled ... though one should try and 'make the best' of it in that dogged 'stiff upper lip' that is the English way. At least the weather gives the Englishman an ever ready, and interesting, topic of conversation……the weather was fabulous, we had nothing to talk about.

And so with hearts lightened by the rekindled camaraderie as we met at Sarah and John's The Singapore once Stragglers now Strugglers made there way down the road to The Moon and Stars for lunch. After beers  and baguettes the team left at 2.20pm for the 2.30pm start. The Ladies remained behind to continue sampling the wine before their annual walk to the ground. Many thanks to Sarah, Sue, Liz, Dinah, Annie and Mikki for the tea preparation and interesting noises from the boundary... which they claim were meant to encourage.

Losing the toss we entered the forum. Foxy was conned into sharing the gloves by Mower (Inman). "We'll swap at drinks Foxy". 35 overs later Sandon CC completed their innings at 183-9, and Foxy took off the gloves! "Oh sorry Foxy I hadn't bowled by drinks so I couldn't keep" said Mower.

Outstanding batting by Zaheer 54 not out off 58 with contributions from Steve Hards 25 and Ian Bandy 33. Wickets were well shared out amongst The Strugglers 7 of the 9 bowlers getting at least a wicket.

Umpiring was undertaken by Mike and Bickers of The Bailey in Sandon's innings and Bickers and Clouseau in The Strugglers reply. A lot of appropriate acceptance of their decisions, especially by us. Excellent stuff chaps. Good to see you Bickers. A good recovery so far after the TBP.

Replying UWCCCS got off to a very quick reply. 152-2 off 22 overs with the flashing blades of Messrs Eagers Junior, Mower and A Ringer wreaking havoc. Sadly the middle order put our victory in a little doubt as we advanced to 174-8 off 28 but then  Mower, completing his 50 on his return from retirement, and Grandad Chappo saw us home with over 6 overs to go.

This was "on a day" when Australia, against Bangladesh, scored 182-8 off 64.5 overs as The Strugglers scored 186-8 off 28.3 overs

And now for a few details and stats. Eagers the younger and Coates the younger became the first in the annals of our "club" to field for both sides and take catches off their own team. Messrs Holehouse and Rowles were not amused.

Chappo continued his prolific form with the bat. He remains Not Out after 3 matches at The Sandon Oval, despite the pressure of recent Grandfatherhood and Fatherhood.

Senior Pro Keith maintains his elegant bowling style allowing only 6 scoring shots off his 5 overs. Sadly he struggled to regain his ground whilst  acting, advancing down the pitch and was ignominiously stumped.

The Destroyer eager to return to the form of a Tour to Darwin in the early 1990s bowled a stupendous 1st ball of his second over which went between the batsman's bat and pad, hit top of middle and then hit Keeper Coates smack in the forehead.

Mike and The Author, with various knee issues,  had no problem with fending the ball into the covers but were notable for turning easy 3s into 1s.

Skipper stroked a fabulous 6, 2nd ball, way over the deep mid wicket boundary then failed to add to his score. His legendary leadership qualities shone through as he encouraged his team to "up the pace", which seems a bit harsh when you have 9 team members over 55!

Clouseau for the first time in living memory did not claim a wicket but was still fiery off his 5 paces. He showed some nimble foot work on the fine leg boundary..

Our ringer, Simeon, much to the chagrin of SCC, bowled brilliantly 1-7 off 4 and scored a quick fire 31 not out off 22 balls. Some ringer. A marvellous effort.

Mower, so aptly named, trimmed the grass with 3 of his classic (let's call them) slog sweeps. 51 not out off 33. A Marvellous Effort.

Eagers The Younger scored a magnificent maiden 50. One drive over the longer cover boundary was reminiscent of Bill Edrich at his best c1947. 54 off 42. A marvellous effort.

Coates The Younger having last year inexplicably dropped a catch off his own bowling this year got a wicket with his first ball. 2-2 off 3 a splendid return especially bowling in the latter part of the Sandon innings.

And finally Jones The Welsh bowling off 3 paces got 2 wickets in an over, at the death too. Oh and Geraint hit a boundary!

All of us, as ever, enjoyed the occasion and we hope that those who could not make it this year can note the August Bank Holiday Sunday 2018 as the date for next year

pmc aka Foxy.