Monday, 29 May 2017

Mandarins Fail to Make Six an Over in Woolwich

Millfields (244-8) beat Mandarins (110-7) by 105 runs (chasing reduced target of 215 after five overs were deducted for rain)

Thanks to Dan Forman for arranging an attractive new fixture for the Bank Holiday weekend.  Four union flags flew in front of the striking former Royal Military Academy in Woolwich (though the medieval pastiche of the building came in for some acerbic architectural criticism from McIntyre), with trees surrounding the rest of the ground to mask the proximity of the South Circular.  The opposition were convivial and the tea excellent - quinoa salad a Mandarins first, as well as delicious carrot cup-cakes.  And the Red Lion afterwards is a pub worth looking out if you find yourself in that part of SE London.  

The Mandarins took the field with a novel side including three Formans, two McKeons and two Davidsons (Esther rather than Louis this time) as well as, crucially, new recruit, Simon Gundry, a friend and colleague of Dan's.  Having won the toss and decided to bat in a 40 over game, Millfields had an uncertain start, with Gundry taking two wickets in his first over with fast, straight bowling.  But those proved the only Mandarins successes for some time as Collis (133 not out) and Laghlan (78) batted with increasing assurance, despite good spells from both Stan Forman and younger brother Harry.  

Late drama was injected when Gundry, brought back for his second four overs, proceeded to take a hat-trick (bowled, LBW, bowled) with further accuracy and pace, finishing with an impressive 6 for 30.  Had one of three or four chances in the field been taken the final score might have been somewhat more modest (but then, how often have Mandarins correspondents written that).  As it was, 244 looked commanding, four ducks on the batting sheet notwithstanding.

After three overs the Mandarins innings was interrupted by a heavy shower which further slowed both the pitch and an already slow and large out-field.  Apart from Gundry (34), no batsman really got going.  Extras was top score with 36, including an impressive 19 wides.  As this data point suggests, although we were never in contention during our innings, nor did the game feel like a complete mis-match.  As one or two nostalgic players commented from the boundary, if this had been a declaration game, with Forman pere and McIntyre batting out the draw under glowering skies, the last half of the game could have been quite a lot more interesting.  But it was a very pleasant afternoon nonetheless.

Nick Davidson