Harry Baldwin XI vs Weekenders CC
Harry Baldwin 184-3 off 34 overs
Weekenders 113-8 off 36 overs
If thereÕs an award for the latest ever sending out of a match report, IÕm up for itÉ as Mike just reminded me (canÕt think why heÕd be especially interested???), I failed to send out (or indeed to write) a report for the Harry Baldwin 11 fixture at the wonderful Parham Park last September. So here goesÉ
ItÕs always nice when you turn in through the ground gates to be asked by a blazered retainer whether youÕve come for the horse show. In this case, Ōground gatesĶ really means Ōgates to the country estate from which the cricket pitch canÕt be seen because itÕs still over the horizonĶ. Put simply – a pretty cushy pad. If Parham Park were a WeekenderÕs attribute, it would be a cross between JulesÕs port cabinet and CraigÕs cover drive.
Remarkably, given that the teamsheet had numbered six only a week before the match (special shout-out to Jessie and Jayde from Hampstead Ladies), and that getting there would entail a morning sprint across London, adequate functioning of Southern Rail and two rides in the townÕs single taxi, all Weekenders were there so long before start of play as to permit two separate rounds of fielding drills. At one point the ratio was 11 Weekenders to 3 Harry Baldwins, and there were serious concerns that we would lose it in the warm-up – at the ground, unusually, rather than the pub. One point for attention in close season is that we were seriously outdone in loucheness of attire and of general deportment, which have been strengths down the years.
With the oppoÕs studied ennui extending to arrival time, we made the political decision to field first. The lads and lasses generally put it there or thereabouts on a surface that has seen more dressage than most. As often seems to be the way, the bowling side of the scorebook would have looked pretty healthy by the time Baldwins declared an over ahead of halfway – if we could have removed the contribution of the batter who made more than half of their total. Decent bowling especially from Mikey (flowing in from the stately home end) and Mohsin, who livened up all the batters at the death. None-too-shabby debut spells Weekenders-wise from Jayde Ellis and Tom Drew.
The tea wasÉ special. Four cakes all home-made by the home skipperÕs missus. Much more could be said, but neednÕt be.
We probably needed a 95 from one of our top order to be in with a shout, but it wasnÕt to be. Andrew BriscoeÕs crept along the ground, but elsewhere shots were played in keeping with the extravagance of the surroundings. Having gone in early supposedly in order to take the Orwell family home at a decent hour, Mikey showed what he really thought of them by staying in until stumps. At the other end came an extraordinary innings from Mohsin in terms of the ratio of chances given to runs scored – pretty much 1:1. Very entertaining! Followed by an aggressive and undefeated knock from Jayde full of shots straight from the Sydney softball leagues. In keeping with their general tenor, Baldwins didnÕt pursue the win too assiduously, preferring to give everyone a bowl and trade literary banter. Maybe drawing is art.
A wonderful coda materialised in the form of the local pub, from whose terrace the land disappears downwards into SussexÕs version of the African Rift Valley. One just had to imagine the cows were giraffes and the crisps overdone pieces of impala to be there. And then, as Southern Rail serially cancelled their one train an hour, a very generous lift home for about half of us from Joe, surely contravening all rules on car overcrowding and driver visibility.
If itÕs at Parham Park again this season – get your name down early.
Baldwins 184-3 off 34 overs (G Jones 95)
Jess Black 4-0-16-0, Orwell 5-2-12-0, Dibley 8-0-40-1, Jayde Ellis 6-0-40-1, Shimoga 3-0-26-0, Mohsin 6-1-16-1, Tom Drew 3-0-18-0
Weekenders 113-8 off 36 overs
Briscoe 5, Leal 19, Shimoga 8, MacDonald 6, Orwell 36no, Jess Black 1, Dibley 1, Mohsin 19, Ellis 15no. DNB Drew & Black R
Catches: Ellis, MacDonald, Mohsin (c & b)