I thought someone might have written this up by now...
Sunday 12th September 2010 - Timed game
Princes Risborough 245-2dec (39overs)
Crouch End Sunday Wildcards 2nd XI 246-8
Crouch End won by 2 wickets
The day started badly when the news came through that Peter Tollington's car had a puncture which was so bad the RAC had to be called out to fix. Luckily for us, Brave Sir Ranil was at hand and volunteered to drive some of us to Princes Risborough (is this our furthest ever away game??) which he heroically did.
So we arrived only half an hour late which wasn't too shoddy given the preceding events, and the game got under way with a couple of impressive opening overs from Ian Haye and Joe 'Keira' Tollington. That, however, was as good as it got for quite a while as the young Risborians (new adjective everyone!!) set about our mixture of loose bowling and truly awful fielding. When the opener had reached his 100 from 18 overs (in the process passing his 1000 for the season) the writing had been smeared, in excrement, on the wall. At drinks Mark Anstee remarked to your correspondent how the young centurion had scored the most bottom-handed century he'd ever seen. Your correspondent nodded sagely and kept his own counsel that it had taken him 7 whole innings to reach 100 runs this season.
Eventually the centurion was out to one from Hemant which actually pitched - the umpire gave him lbw more for the temerity of playing an ugly attempted switch-hit than anything else. The flow of runs was briefly stemmed or moreover, returned to the rate in which the Wildcards normally concede and duly, two other youngsters reached their half-centuries, after which the oppo declared on 245-2.
Crouch End could be forgiven for feeling before the start of their innings that the game was probably beyond them and that a draw would be the best they could hope for. Runs flowed, however from the off with Mark and Murthy making the most of a loose opening few overs. Murthy departed uncharacteristically popping one up to cover and Mark was then joined by Tim Bointon who looked good for 5 overs or so biffing some boundaries. After Timmy went going for one slog too many Kester arrived and played some nice strokes eventually equalling his best-ever CECC score of 17 and giving Mark able support. At drinks we were beginning to think we might have a chance of winning the game so long as Mark could stay and be supported. George came and went and then Roger entered the fray and immediately tried to get himself caught on the boundary, which he luckily failed to do. All the while Mark was chugging away punishing anything loose for 4 with a full wagon wheel to illustrate, and not having to run too many, easily passing his his 50. After Roger departed the rest of the motley crew pushed on as quick as we could until Mark 'anything you can do' Anstee was finally out for a magnificent 120 - his best score for the club. Then we nearly threw it away. 'Mad Dog' Joe Nickel was involved in some uncharacteristic hesitant running which resulted in a couple of comical runouts as we chased 15-odd from the last 3 overs. Including your correspondent who ended up prone on his back glasses in the crease 1 metre away, bat out, and some good brush burns to boot. Or in the words of Nickel himself 'I made sure everyone got a bat'. Ian Haye hit the winning runs with a 4 through point and 5 balls to spare.
And there was much rejoicing.
1st lesson of the day: Don't panic! The oppo's bowling and fielding might actually be worse than yours, difficult though it might be to believe.
2nd lesson of the day: Always include in your team a quality batsman who can get runs all round the ground - it inspires confidence in the rest of the team. Alternatively, just attack and see what happens.