Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Well, Slightly Better Than England Perhaps (Perhaps)

The Mandarins succumbed to a tough Mickleham side but showed a touch more resilience than England against Pakistan on the fourth day at Lord’s.

Nick Davidson won the toss in a 35-over match and elected not to field on a sunny and muggy afternoon and on a lush green outfield.

Arvind Manian was an early departure against a steady and occasionally quick Mickleham attack. However, Chris Healey (41) and David Lowen saw us to 75 for the second wicket. There were claims from the boundary that more singles might have been taken: not, however, with Healey’s legs and Lowen’s lungs. Don’t ask too much, dear onlookers: it’s your turn next.

From Lowen’s departure (24) after a drinks break, only Graeme Tunbridge (23) and Al Munro (17) delivered much needed runs and The Mandarins struggled to 133 when perhaps 170-180 would have been needed. Tim Baxter was run out – and it wasn’t his fault.

The bowling showed better applications than the batting. Martin Hurst (3 for 30) especially, Jean-Christophe Gray, Andy Heard, Rob Eastaway and Arvind bowled a steady enough line and occasional good length also. Mickleham’s batting was more than equal to the challenge with lusty if sometimes lucky blows.

Mention should be made of the “Ball of the Season”. From covers and square leg, they will marvel at the subtlety of the length. From behind the wicket, there will be eulogies about late swing taking the ball from leg to the very top of middle. From the batsman (highly competent), there was merely a plaintive “That was a good ball” as he retreated. From the bowler in the dressing room later, there were reflections on other such brilliant balls he had bowled but which none of us could recall (“I remember at…….”). Nice one, J-C.

We lost by 4 wickets and no catches were dropped.

At the pub later, there were roast potatoes in gravy with tequila drunk in unison from five glasses attached to an old wooden ski. Truly. All so much more fun than league cricket.

David Lowen