Sunday, 7 July 2019

Too Few Runs at the Bank

Mandarins 149; Bank of England XI 152-2. Mandarins lost by 8 wickets.

Wednesday, 3 July, 2 30 pm

Bank of England sports centre, Roehampton

Our What’s App group has been reminiscing about our heaviest defeats. On the face of it, the
scorecard for this match doesn’t suggest this was among them – scoring 149 isn’t too bad,
surely, and perhaps the bowlers were unlucky? The match reporter will no doubt find some
‘positives to take away.’ Well, he’ll find one or two. But the reality is that we were
slaughtered.

The Bank put us in, concerned that their bowling line-up would be unable to stem a
Mandarins run chase. But, though this was a time game beloved of so many Mandarins, too
many of our early batters played as if it were a T20. Davidson and Baker steadied the ship
and played some good strokes across the billiard table that is the outfield on the Bank’s senior
ground – a straight drive from Davidson (his first for 30 years, he revealed in a post-match
interview) was memorable. But he was bowled by a good ‘un. Baker was then caught at the
second attempt, his attempt: having been dropped lofting a drive to mid-off, he was caught
next ball, lofting to extra cover.

Jon Porter, Heard and McIntyre revived us from 87 for 8 against the second-string (no, this is
an honest report, third-string) bowlers, as the Bank allowed us to eke out a score that would
give their batsmen some decent time in the middle.

A magnificent cream tea followed. Heard was seen tucking in with a vengeance. But his
opening spell, probing and accurate, showed no ill effects (though one unkind soul suggested
afterwards that his failure to take a wicket, despite bowling so well, was surely a cause of our
defeat). Stan Forman, too, caused the Bank openers some problems. But, though McIntyre
broke the opening stand, there was little for the Mandarins to cheer – until the other Bank
opener retired on reaching 50. This brought in their reputed best batter. But we never got to
see how good he was. Gemma Porter produced the champagne moment of the day, surprising
him first ball with a fast yorker.

The Bank reached their target in a canter, with more than six of the last 20 overs to spare.
But, if you’re going to be well and truly stuffed, there may be no more soothing environment
than the Bank’s lovely grounds, on a warm summer’s evening. This might have been be our
last visit, as the place is up for sale (could this have happened under Mervyn King?). If so, it
will surely trigger another bout of fond reminiscing on What’s App.

Many thanks to Arvind for organising the team.

Mandarins XI: Baker, Baxter, Davidson, Forman S, Hawkhead, Heard, Mills, McIntyre,
Porter G, Porter J, Tunbridge (cap).

Paul McIntyre

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