Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Mandarins Vs WG XI, Friday 24th May

When historians come to write their accounts of Friday 24th May 2019 it is likely they will concentrate on certain events in SW1A, and muse upon political highs and lows. In an attempt to redress the balance here is a summary of another event of high drama, Mandarins vs WGXI at Regent’s Park.

Experienced commentators on cricket will usually say that it helps to have 11 players. Despite the best efforts of the match manager and fixtures secretary, the Mandarins started the game at a numerical disadvantage, having only 9 players, whilst WGXI had 12. WG did kindly lend us a fielder, but we were left rather short of bowling options.

Nothing daunted, we took the field, Baxter having lost the toss, and opened with a father-son combination, Forman D and S, opening the attack. Stan Forman, fresh from his A-levels, proved the pick of the bowlers, taking 1-14 in his four overs and troubling all of the batsmen. At the other end, Dan provided plenty of flight, and was unlucky not to get a wicket; first change Graeme Tunbridge picked up one wicket, courtesy of your correspondent’s first catch of the season; and Chris Baker bowled a very tidy spell of leg-spin, and was a little unlucky not to get a wicket – though not that unlucky, given he dropped a straightforward caught and bowled. Finally more leg-spin from the captain brought more runs and one wicket, after a vociferous appeal for leg before wicket (completely unsupported by the rest of the team by the way, muttering about an inside edge) was answered in the affirmative. The ground fielding throughout was good, catching less so, with the ball following Jamie Brockbank (of whom more, later) unerringly, and Paul Mills being far too decorous in his attempt at a stumping to remove the bails. WG were set fair at 150-3 in their 20 overs.

Brockbank and Mills open for the Mandarins and rapidly set about reducing the deficit with both playing some excellent shorts square of the wicket. At 35-0 off four overs the foundations had been laid. Alas, Paul was bowled playing across the line and shortly afterwards Jamie running to make his ground badly damaged his hamstrung and had to retire hurt. (Jamie was last heard of messaging from A&E; our best wishes for a speedy recovery.) The middle order of Tunbridge, Baker and debutant Callum Tipple came and went quickly, whilst Sam Brand struggled with his timing. Forman (D) contributed a useful 8. Sam finally found the middle of the bat and was briefly retired on 25, before returning to share a useful 25 run partnership with Baxter (19*). Sam eventually fell to a good catch for a fine 35, with the Mandarins closing on a respectable 115-7 (effectively all out). We left a suddenly very wet Regent’s Park bemoaning what might have been, like a few others that day.

Tim Baxter

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