Thursday, 6 May 2021


Near Arkley, semi-rural  green belt just south of the M25.  Convenient for players living in Archway or Amersham, less so for denizens of the seven other tube stations beginning with ‘A’, of SE22, or of Rochester.  A vast expanse of playing fields – long boundaries, and nothing to stop the ball going for a throw-in several soccer pitches away.

The burning questions of the day were clear.  Would Somerset win at Taunton?  Who was H?  Who was the geriatric relic who now reappeared from series long ago, having associated with Holmes, Hadley, Ho’Shea, Hawkhead,  Hurst et al?  Would this be his last match?  Or was another series in prospect?  
At first glance, H was obviously Highgate, who looked and played like an OCG [organised cricket group].  Mandarins looked like - well, the Mandarins, and were a man short to boot.  The Taverners very decently lent us a sub throughout their innings; and their opening pair were too polite to decline much early generosity, with the bowling being of variable length and several chances forgone.

After not many overs, the Taverners had passed 100 without loss, and Mandarins needed divine assistance.  It came in the form of hail and rain.  After a break, fortunes improved: Wilmot juggled a depleted attack, miserly swing from Healey, wickets for Tunbridge and Eastaway, and a first ever victim for Brown’s leg-spin.  Bowlers were supported by some impressive pouching in the deep,  topped by the catch of the season at short mid-wicket – fast, low, on a downward trajectory from the bat, Mother of God, who else but Healey?

249 to win.  Useful contributions from Taylor, Tunbridge, and Lowin.  A dominant half-century from – yes, of course, it was so obvious!  Bowling, fielding or batting, H had been Healey all along.  Mandarins challenged for a while before succumbing in some early evening sunshine.  Taverners winners by 60-70 runs.  And deservedly?  Definately.

And the mystery had been solved.  Or had it? Was Healey really H?  The last wicket stand endured a pulled hamstring.  Was that indeed the end?  Or is H actually Hamstring?  If so, might that possibility leave open the prospect of another series ?

Mike Richardson

Saturday, 1 May 2021

Mandarins vs Hornsey

It is always a pleasure to visit a new Mandarins match venue and this one had been built up beforehand by match supremo Paul McIntyre, who told us that a first class fixture had once been played at Hornsey Cricket Club. This triggered a lively WhatsApp debate as to whether this was a first for the Mandarins, which as ever was settled conclusively by the Archivist. In the event, once I had actually found the ground, having visited Crouch End CC first,  it did not disappoint. Closer inspection revealed an interesting Lords-like slope – and a spectator later told me that Middlesex 2nds use the ground for precisely that reason. 

Onto the game. It was always going to be a struggle to get 11 Mandarins to North London for a 12.30 start, especially as a number of us do not venture north of the river lightly. In the absence of our esteemed Chairman, senior pros debated and agreed it would be better to field first, to check out our new opposition. Which we duly did. Stan Forman started off for the Mandarins and quickly picked up a wicket as the Hornsey captain, eyes lighting up at a shortish wide delivery aimed it to the right of your correspondent, who dived and somewhat to the surprise of everyone emerged with the ball clasped in his right hand. There then followed a period of accumulation, with Allen the Hornsey No 1 leading the way; he eventually put together a well-made 81, which was the bedrock of the Hornsey innings. Spin (to be honest we did not have much else once Arvind and Stan had opened the bowling) proved reasonably  effective and Hornsey never took the game away from us. Rakesh bowled with great guile to take 4-47; Forman senior got the dangerous No 5 who had slogged his way to 25 very quickly, whilst McIntyre and Baxter took two wickets each). Hornsey were bowled out with the last ball of 40 overs for 187 – a good score but surely not beyond the realms of possibility? The early season catching form was generally upheld, whilst the Chairman took a very neat stumping. 

The Mandarins made a steady reply. After Jamie Brocklebank and Arvind had both departed bowled (Arvind particularly unlucky to play on), Baxter and Williams progressed from 35 to 74-2 off 20. Alas by this time Hornsey had deployed two very useful spin bowlers, one of whom was allegedly 13. Cue a mini collapse as first Baxter departed lbw playing across the line for 27, to be quickly followed by debutant Matt Brown, Rakesh and Baker. By the time Williams fell for 24 the Mandarins were 87-7. There followed a stylish innings from our Chairman, who unleashed at least one classic Wilmot cover drive, reaching 19. The final total was 118 all out. Not an untypical Mandarins batting display alas, with early promise not delivering. But a good day was had by one and all against sporting opposition. Definitely one to make the trek up north for.

Tim Baxter

Saturday, 24 April 2021

Mandarins vs Superstars - Streatham and Marlborough CC - Sunday 18 April

Cricket's not an impossible game to understand they said, there's no need to change the language or invent new, simpler forms of the game. It's not that hard to grasp that there's 11 players on each side but that you have to get 10 of them wicketed (or is it 'outed'? - ed) to win. Or that the first team batting get to bat for as long as they want to, or at least until their captain wants his tea (not an actual cup of tea, to be clear, or even a traditional cricket tea, because those aren't allowed any more, but something that looks and tastes a lot like a packed lunch). But the second team, after first batting for a defined amount of time, then gets a limited number of overs to score the runs to win, or not score the runs to draw, or not get all wicketed to lose. Even the European Super League could make a PR success of that.

So the captains of the Superstars and the Mandarins had a better idea: Let's invent a newer, more complicated version of the game they agreed. Complicated old cricket is for legacy fans. Super-complicated new cricket is what the fan-base of the future really wants, with additional regulations, even more quirky playing conditions, and sudden changes of the rules halfway through. It's not enough to confuse the fans, they thought. We need to confuse the players and officials too.

Hence we arrived at Streatham and Marlborough CC expecting to play a 12-a-side (but only 11 on the field at any one time), 11-wicket, declaration game, which actually was what we started. But we ended up with one team batting first only having 11 playing players but 12 potential players present (after one player never showed up at all, although they did have a scorer there, wearing whites, but not playing - unless he was needed to, which he wasn't).  While the other team, batting second, had 10 to start with (after two were quite late), later got up to 12 but ended up with 11 at the end (after one player who had showed up on time had to go home for his tea - which almost certainly wasn't a cup of tea or traditional cricket tea either).

So while the team fielding second, at first thought they had to take 11 wickets to win, they actually only needed 10, but didn't know this until they had already taken nine. So the taking of the 10th felt like a bit of an anti-climax, even though 10 is actually what everyone normally only ever need to win. 

Still with me? Come on, keep up, you can cope with concepts more challenging that counting down from 100 can't you?

What actually happened you ask? Well, both teams batted pretty well and steadily, and both innings were decorated by a fine half century, first from Graeme Tunbridge for the Mandarins and then by George Warren (sometimes a Mandarin) for the Superstars until your correspondent (sometimes a Superstar) got him out for the Mandarins. But whereas the Mandarins subsequently finished with a flurry - with Owen Jackson hitting the biggest six that your match reporter had ever seen at this ground, or at least that wasn't off his own bowling - the Superstars subsequently collapsed in a hurry. Three men called Forman took seven, including four in five overs (which were still six balls each) for one of them.  The Superstars' shots suggested they either had no interest in or had no knowledge of the draw. And the Mandarins had no idea how many outs was all out, or out out, or out2 as it might be rebranded (or how many wickets were needed to win in old money).

Who actually won? Well cricket was the real winner of course. How could a game so straightforward ever not be? Sunshine shone, friendships were reformed, and some tidy skills were on show considering none of us had had a net since Britain had left the European Union. But, as far as anyone could actually work out, technically the Mandarins did by 23 batting points, with 15 bowls to spare. Super complicated cricket. But still super fun.

Mandarins 191-6 dec (Tunbridge 74, Singh 3-33)

Superstars 168 all out(ish) (Warren 67, D Forman 4-34)

Dan Forman

Saturday, 17 April 2021

Season Opener 2021

PH 157 for 8 off 35 overs (2 each for Porter, Baker, McIntyre). Mandarins 137 all out off 33.1 (Healey 30, Williams 27). Lost by 20 runs.

Well, first things first. As I arrived at the ground (air temperature 8 degrees C) Peper Harow were having delivered all their old scorebooks back to 1945. I am hoping we can liaise to recover records for the epic Mandarins appearances there in the 1960 s and 1970s, and shed some light on that shadowy era of mythical heroes.

Anyway, to the present, putting aside all the pre-match hype about the weather, niggles, work "issues", who was and wasn't up for it, the eleven who did turn up actually experienced some decent conditions. It only snowed with a vengeance twice, but not enough to stop play, and only three Mandarins followed the chairman's advice/ dispensation to wear woolly hats like the professionals. Williams's sporting of short sleeves was, however, brief. For the record this was the earliest ever Mandarins game, beating by 6 days the 17 April 1999 fixture.

To be Mandarins Chairman requires a certain presence. Jonathan's response to the mixed weather was to sport a long over coat and silk scarf which many present found reminiscent of that character in the film Withnail And I. The scarf spoke to a fighter ace (JP:"He's just parked his spitfire in the next field."). The strangely elongated woolly hat was straight out of Dr Suess. I have no idea if he won the toss, but we fielded. And pretty well. Except Graeme who kept diving over the ball at cover to stake an early claim for the Mike Pattison Award for 2021. No, actually he fielded very well, as does anyone who takes a catch off me.

Porter made the two early breakthroughs, Healey was threatening but unlucky. McIntyre and Somerville chipped away in the middle overs, and Baker and Tunbridge kept a lid on things as the snow fell. They offered five chances and we took five catches, and missed none, so there is a gauntlet thrown down to all who follow this season. The 34th over was influential and went for 19 (all I am saying after the recent correspondence on the subject is that it wasn't me). So 157 looked a decent knock on a typical early season green wicket.

On paper we batted pretty deep. Unfortunately not just on paper but in reality, they bowled pretty deep. The innings had four phases: the foundation phase. Laid by the watchful Dan Taylor and David Williams after Matt Conway had gone early trying an ambitious pull shot. 37 for one off 11.The hari-kiri phase: Dan will have to explain why he thought there was a run to short extra cover off a wide. Graeme attempted a second off a fine snick and "I am not as fit as I thought I was". Meanwhile, Drew fell off the pavilion steps and turned his ankle, taking a key batter ( new terminology please) out of the equation. 60 for 4 off 16.

The pressing for victory phase: Lusty blows at last from Jules Lowin, Healey and Wilmot, although the latter slowed up by a back injury sustained in a collision with the "batter" whilst keeping wicket. 122 for 5 off 28. 36 needed off 7, five wickets in hand.

You know how this always ends. The final phase, the "death bowling" phase. Messrs Ganzi and Dar were awkward and straight. Five wickets for 17, all clean bowled, and Baker unable to stay with the brave Somerville batting with Paul as runner at number eleven. Still, the consensus was that it was well worth the trip, a close game played in good spirit by all.

Chris Baker (I think the video credit goes to the opposition?)

Sunday, 31 January 2021


Note that statistics are incomplete – this will be the best we can do in the absence of more scorebooks or other data being discovered. No records before 1978, for 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, and some records missing from 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004.

MORE THAN 100 APPEARANCES -* indicates active in 2020, with power to add.

Paul McIntyre* 458 Gus O’Donnell 126

Chris Baker* 456 Tony Gray 124

Rob Eastaway* 368 JC Gray* 121

Mike O’Shea 289 Graeme Tunbridge* 120

Peter Lewy 285 Ollie Gardiner 116

Andy McKeon 285 Christopher Roberts 112

Chris Healey* 275 Luke Mayhew 112

Andy Heard* 255 John Hawkins* 103

Mike Pattison 249 Malcolm Field 101

Martin Hurst* 237

Graham Hadley 234   

Mike Richardson* 217

Barrie Temple 191

Jonathan Wilmot* 190

Tony Hawkhead * 190

Nick Davidson 177

Tim Baxter* 174

Jeremy Jarvis 166

Jon Porter* 166

Jeremy Crump 150

David Williams* 148

Bob Tivey* 148

Stephen Wood 139

Active players closest to 100: Paul Mills, 93; Chris McKeon 80

1000 runs

Chris Healey* 8858 Robin Pharoah* 1593

Peter Lewy 5679 Denis Parsons 1497

Chris Baker* 5249 Tony Gray 1449

Graham Hadley 4989 Martin Hurst            1414

Mike Richardson     4872* Stephen Dunmore         1381

Andy McKeon 4821 Jon Porter* 1376

Jonathan Wilmot         4494* Tony Hawkhead*         1375

Barrie Temple 4395 Roger Holmes 1329

Tim Baxter* 3339 Andy Heard* 1325

David Williams* 2721 Paul McIntyre* 1279

Rob Eastaway* 2230 Stephen Wood 1193

Graeme Tunbridge* 2195 Gavyn Davies 1053

Nick Davidson 2137 Rob Foot 1042

Bob Tivey 2030 Mike Pattison 1029

Jeremy Jarvis 1876            Gus O’Donnell 1008

Mark Thomas 1763

Paul Mills* 1663

500 in a season

Rob Foot 1994,822; Chris Healey 1991, 753;  Luke Mayhew 1986, 631; Graham Hadley 1978, 608; 1983, 606; Mike Richardson 1981, 589; Barrie Temple 2003, 569; Healey 1990, 563; Mayhew 1990, 557; Healey 1994, 554; Peter Lewy 1984, 534; 1981,522; Mayhew 1987, 522; Healey 2009, 518; Tim Baxter 1994, 517; Jonathan Wilmot 1983, 513; Hadley 1986, 509. Only achieved once since 1994.

Seasons reaching 300 runs aggregate      100/50 (qualification 20)

Healey 15 Healey 8/52     =60

Lewy 10 Mayhew         10/42    =52

Hadley 8 Hadley 0/30     =30

Mayhew         8 Richardson 1/25     =26

Richardson 7 Lewy 1/25     =26

Temple 6 Temple 0/26     =26

Baxter 4 Wilmot 4/20     =24

Wilmot, Baker 3 McKeon, A 1/20     =21

A McKeon 2 Baxter 1/19     =20

Parsons 2 Conversion rate to 50

Mark Roberts 1 Mayhew         46.4%

Sam Cook 1 Healey 21.8%

Bob Tivey 1 Temple 13.6%

Wicket Keeping and Fielding




Total Victims

Victims / Match

Peter Lewy





Chris Healey





Jon Wilmot





Bob Tivey





Chris Baker





Paul McIntyre





Mike Richardson





Tim Baxter





Graham Hadley





Mike Pattison





David Williams





Jeremy Jarvis






(1) Paul McIntyre has the highest number of victims by an outfielder.

(2) Mike Richardson's 13 victims is the highest in one season by an outfielder.


Between 1978 and September 2020 Mandarins have scored 503 50 partnerships of which 65 were converted to century partnerships.








current record 188, 29/6/91 vs Royal Oak Taverners (Healey/Williams)




193, 13/7/89 vs Reading UASCC (Healey/Wilmot)




169, 15/8/14 vs Framlingham College (Thomas/Patterson)




c150 20/6/00 vs Jesus? 135 24/7/14 vs Benenden (A McKeon / Wilmot)




138, 9/9/1984 vs Chaldon (Lewy/A McKeon)




149*, 21/05/09 vs Lords and Commons (Healey/Martin)




97, 5/8/18 vs Mickleham (Baker/Eastaway) (see note)




95*, 11/8/19 vs Streatham and Marlborough (Manian/H Forman)




75, 22/6/08 vs Charlatans (J C Gray/Jarvis)




54, 9/8/20 vs Streatham & Marlborough (Tunbridge/Manian)

Note: extensive anecdotal evidence suggests a partnership of c 110 between Hawkhead and O’Donnell for 7th wicket vs SixPenney Handley c. 2001. To be confirmed? 

Most 50 partnerships (qualification 7 plus)

Healey 70

Lewy 58

Hadley 57

Mayhew 55

Richardson         52

Wilmot 49

Temple 41

A McKeon         44

Baker 34

Baxter 33

Williams 25

Tunbridge         23

Tivey 19

Dunmore 18

Davidson 17

Mills 17

Thomas 17

Jarvis 16

Parsons 15

Pharoah 14

Wood 12

Jono Maher         11

R Eastaway         10

T Gray 9

McCarthy 8

Hawkhead         8

Somerville         8

Madzarevic         8

Hawkins 8

Holmes 7

Hannah 7

Day 7

Manian 7

Lowen 7

J Porter 7


1000 OVERS                                                        100 WICKETS Strike rate (balls)

Eastaway 3049.3 O’Shea 636 27.76

O’Shea 2943.2 Eastaway 604 30.29

Hurst 2924.5 McIntyre 548 31.93

McIntyre 2916.3 Richardson 426 25.17

Richardson 1787.1 Hurst 332 34.78

Andy Heard 1465.4 Pattison 314 25.86

Pattison 1353.5 Baker 296 24.46

Jeremy Crump 1220.2 Heard 270 32.57

Chris Baker 1207 Healey 261 24.58

Healey 1069.3 Crump 227 32.25

Olly Gardiner 1034 A McKeon 176 31.97

Gardiner 168 36.92

Hadley 147 30.28

Pat Murphy 140 33.85

JC Gray 138 33.56

Tony Gray 129 35.79

Phil Wynn-Owen  101 32.19

50 wickets in a season

O’Shea 3 times (and 49 twice); R Eastaway once.

5 wickets in an innings

O’Shea         28 Crump 5 Healey 3

Richardson 18 Murphy 4 Paul Eastaway 2

R. Eastaway 14 Hurst 4 Julian West 2

Pattison 6 McIntyre 4 Wynn-Owen 2

Baker 5 McKeon         3

Chris Baker

November 2020