Monday, 12 June 2017

Mandarins Claim Unlikely Victory in Predicted Defeat

After five straight defeats, the pundits had written off the Mandarin Nickistas facing the “strong and stable” Ad Hocs in Dulwich. But what do the experts know?

Ad Hocs reached 214 – just short of their expectations after a bright early showing. The Nickistas responded with 160 for 9, far better than anyone hoped.

In a 40 over game, Ad Hocs celebrated (quietly) a victory. But since the Nickistas always prefer a declaration game (and, indeed, thought they should have been playing one) they reckoned the clash a draw – with a moral victory to the Mandarins.

Ad Hocs were away to a rapid start with the opening pair taking them to 100 of the first 20. The only pronounced swing was from Rob Eastaway (30-3) bowling into the stiff wind from offshore but there was some fine supporting performances from Robin Pharoah (38-1) and Paul McIntyre (37-1). The other bowling (Randi Barman, John McInerney, Graeme Tunbridge and Owen Cooke) held up well through the latter stages as did the wicket-keeping of an outsider called George (Warren), who never gave one smug smile when the going got tough.

There were, however, several vocal (indeed, liberal) suggestions to skipper Nick Davidson to re-shuffle his field placings and plug a contested gap on the right side of the batsman. These democratic urgings were mainly ignored by a captain who was not to be moved from his clear (and fully costed) action plan by mere advisers.

As the Nickistas, batted, there were some policy discussions over the rate required (“it’s 3 an over; no, that’s 6; oh sorry, let me check; where’s my calculator?; I don’t feel well…..”) and the best policy for ensuring it. Quick wickets (David Lowen, Tunbridge, Warren) suggested this would be a labour of some effort. However, a fightback from Sam Brand (35) and Barman (36) ensured a significant reply and Cooke (13) and Pharoah (26 not out) prevented humiliation. McIntyre with Pharoah saw out the close never looking in trouble but without forcing a re-count.

Clearly, there will need to be a re-think on some policies but I suspect the chairman and committee can be satisfied with the performance. There may need to be a re-match before season end to clarify “who rules the greensward?”  It’s clear which side now has Momentum...

David Lowen