EYMET vs GREAT CHESTERFORD, Sunday 16th September
Great Chesterford were of the old school of touring sides; team polo shirts with arcane nicknames, extensive fines committee, and team rituals like the cry of ‘Escargot’ which led to all tour party members crouching, snail-like, on the ground. Furthermore, the sledging was ferocious – but uniquely directed at their own players!
Anyway, they were a good-humoured bunch who lost the toss to skipper Nigel Jones. He invited them to bake in the 31° field for about two and a half hours. Adnan and Richard Dunham took guard for Eymet but it was Richard who started in an Adnan-esque fashion, slapping a drive for four off opener Janissan. The great man himself caressed a laconic six over long on and then departed, caught on the boundary for 7. Richard was dismissed soon after but Parneet and Azizul strung a good partnership together adding 66 in good time. Parneet was eventually caught on 22. Azizul soldiered on, hitting the ball firmly despite his diminutive stature. He pressed on to his fifty though wickets fell regularly at the other end. Owais Mohammed made a few but Numan and Nigel departed in quick succession. When Azizul was out for a fine 52, Eymet looked unlikely to survive their statutory 35 overs. At one stage, they were 118 for 7 off 17 overs. Roland ‘Sausage’ Marshall joined Dave Lightning (not sure that was his real name!). On loan to Eymet from Chesterford, Dave was given terrific abuse from his erstwhile teammates, but he replied by making an intelligent 47. He defended solidly but the bad ball was always put away. At the other end, Sausage started nervously. As his batting mentor, David Horlock, looked on from the grandstand, Sausage grew in confidence and even ended up stroking a couple of boundaries himself. After Dave’s dismissal, he and the classically correct Colin Goodall took Eymet to 217 with Sausage on a personal best of 33 not out.
Tea was a splendid affair with Chesterford and others visibly impressed; cakes complemented by scones with clotted cream.
Perhaps this served to befuddle Great Chesterford’s thinking as they messed with their usual batting order. Those who had not batted against Damazan the day before were given their chance. Consequently, they were soon 2 for 2 as Numan and Nigel removed both openers. Then Sausage induced the batters to lamely caress the ball into the hands of Parneet at cover. He took three similar catches in the innings, though the second was a pearl as he reached low for a dipping ball. Taylor, Brown, Laird, and Thake made a few for Chesterford. Richard came on at the pool end and Owais bowled a tantalising spell from the tennis court end. It was compulsive viewing as Chesterford looked to attack him but were rarely in complete control. As is the way with leg-spin, he removed Taylor, caught by Dave, off one of his poorer balls.
Thake continued to hit the ball with immense power and carried Chesterford to over 150. Though Parneet had coaxed Laird into the waiting hands of Numan, the game looked to be going their way and Nigel had to gamble and bring back an opening bowler. The dangerous Thake was eventually out, caught and bowled off a high leading edge by Nigel for 58. But the show was not over as number 9 Cox was certainly not a number 9. When Numan, The Dhaka Express, returned, the game was in the balance with 30 required off 5 overs and 2 wickets remaining. He did what he does so well and fired the ball past the outside edge, delivery after delivery. It was all too much for Perrin who then lost his stumps to the fifth ball of Numan’s over. With Nigel bowled out, Richard was charged with the role of ‘death’ bowler. This he did admirably, nailing Cox lbw with 24 left to win.
The less said about the fielding, the better, although there were three very good catches among the dozen dropped by both sides. In the end, an enthralling game of cricket played in the best of spirits. President Brown awarded the opposition their souvenir Eymet wine-stoppers and, in return, they presented Azizul with a cup for Man of the Match.
Many thanks to the umpires, scorers, tea ladies, our guest players, Dave and Nick, and our faithful sponsors, The Pizzeria, Café de Paris, Danelander and Aquitaine-Info.
RESULT: EYMET WIN BY 23 RUNS.
EYMET 217-8 off 35 overs (Azizul 52, D. Lightning 47, R. Marshall 33*, Charves3-40)
GR. CHESTERFORD 194 all out (Thake 58, Laird 34, Numan 2-12, R. Marshall 2-22, N. Jones 2-32, R. Dunham 2-49)
EYMET: N. Jones (capt.), Adnan, R. Dunham, Parneet, Azizul, Owais Mohammed, Numan Uddin, D. Lightning, R. Marshall, C. Goodall, ‘Nick’.