4th XI
Matches
Sat 24 Jun 2023  ·  Division 7
Guildford Cricket Club
4th XI
124/4
121
Worplesdon & Burpham CC - 2nd XI
Pensioner Mugged following Bag-Snatching Incident

Pensioner Mugged following Bag-Snatching Incident

Ahmed Hussain12 Jul 2023 - 20:11
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Let's Try Making Running Two Teams Even Harder, Shall We?

Running the admin for two Saturday teams should not be beyond the wit of man, however on the day the inability to be in two places at once does pose the occasional challenge. Tim Walter readily agreed to skipper the 5s, but being unfamiliar with most of his team and unused to slumming it at Rec Road after three decades in the somewhat plusher environs of the main ground, an extended handover was required. Not for the first time, Hussain found himself at Woodbridge Road at 11.30 am doing a passable imitation of the ground crew of an aircraft carrier, packing one bunch of non-driving students off into carshares for the away match, and rounding up the troops for the home game at the rec. The fact that he was running late after an overoptimistic trip to the retail park against the traffic to buy some whites for one of our young Afghani debutants did not help his sense of humour, which then failed altogether when he found he was missing the bag with the balls, scorebook and iPad needed for the league game he was supposed to be hosting at Milford. Unsure whether having his bag stolen was really worse than the alternative possibility of early-onset Alzheimers Hussain spent ten minutes frantically searching the store rooms and lockups at the main ground only to draw a blank. Gloomily resigned to **@@*! fighting past the ****** roadworks that the @**@**! council are presently inflicting on Woodbridge Road every ***ing Saturday (for the third time that morning) to go home and collect another set of balls, he opted to call in at the Rec on the off chance, to discover that one of the young Afghani debutants had gotten a bit too eager helping Tim carry stuff over, and walked off with the bag for the 4s game.

Sense of humour restored and nerves only nearly terminally frazzled, the 4s skipper was only slightly late arriving at Milford to host a visit from neighbours Worplesdon and Burpham, which held special relish for him, this being a club he had briefly flirted with once upon a time during a hissy fit over not getting any overs bowling for Guildford (of course, now matters are entirely in his own hands he still doesn't bowl). He was thus able to pass on insider's tips about their veteran opening bowler John Cunningham, a metronomic purveyor of nagging medium-paced in swingers. As those familiar with park and village cricket will know, this type of Johnny-on-the-spot bowler will hammer out an awkward length for hours at a time if you let them, the only solution being to take a calculated risk or two and move the spot. Dhanush duly chanced his arm, bringing off a magnificent six over the top of the tree at long on, and as is usual for the kind of bowler who is 100% reliant on Plan A, John had no real comeback. With only a meagre total to defend the opposition captain had no option to withdraw the unfortunate Cunningham after only two overs.

With a major threat neutralised, and a brisk start at the other end, our pursuit of 122 was set to be a leisurely stroll, only for Burplesdon to discover that a bit of swing allied to the too-good-for-village-cricket pace and bounce of the Milford deck was decidedly awkward. Pushpinder and Dhanush fell after a spritely opening stand, Swappy was castled by a Jaffa that cut back from wide on the crease, and when Rohan was triggered from a ball he swears to this day pitched outside leg stump, we were starting to sweat a good deal more than had seemed likely. Luckily young Haarhoff continues to be preternaturally mature for his years, and steered us home with a calm 39* in conjunction with Anu.

Earlier in the day, a much stiffer run chase had initially looked in the offing. Pace Ace Ali Safi was away in London jumping through various Suella Breaverman-inflicted hoops at the Home Office, and in his absence we were faced with a challenge we had almost forgotten: a belting pitch, bright sunshine, and opening batsmen looking ominously comfortable against the new ball. Young Myles was generally miserly and induced a bit of playing and missing, but the only mishap during an opening stand of more than 30 was when an attempted pull at a short ball (but hardly a bouncer) was top-edged into his face by one of the openers and he suffered the ignominy of being forced to retire hurt by a cherubic-featured 14yo.

With not much happening for the seamers, Hussain resolved to make an early introduction of spin, but decided it was worth a roll of the dice to give Anu (probably our quickest bowler in Ali and Hayden's absence) a go for a couple of overs while there was still some shine on the ball. Sure enough, after an initial maiden the aspiring medic offered up a wide half volley that was sliced to point, and then wickets started to fall in a rush: Manas grabbed a couple and deserved more, Rahul also took two, including a screaming one-handed caught and bowled that left the Worpham skipper standing open-mouthed in disbelief, and Marcus's Proper Legspin Bowled At Pace was far too much for the lower order (and in truth for stand-in keeper Shaji...) as he bagged a Fantasy-Cricket-tastic 5fer. With the game effectively over at 58-6 Hussain elected not to go for the jugular and instead give an extended bowl to debutant Awalkhan. Young Nasari didn't disappoint, and belied any thoughts that he was a beginner cricketer with a competent spell of distinctly brisk outswing that would have been even more economical but for a brief outbreak of down-the-ground tonking from one of their lower-order biffers, and would have also grabbed a wicket or two had our slip-catching not born an unfortunate resemblance to England's.

Man of the Match, awarded by the opposition captain: Myles Haarhoff, for a miserly opening spell and calmly steering us home with the bat. Is there anything he can't do?

Match details

Match date

Sat 24 Jun 2023

Kickoff

13:00

Meet time

11:45

Location

Competition

Division 7

League position

5
Guildford CC - 4th XI
10
Worplesdon & Burpham CC - 2nd XI
Team overview
Further reading