Monday, 3 August 2020

Foxbury vs Mandarins

Foxbury 150-9, Mandarins 151-7
Mandarins won by 3 wickets

Our third match of the season was against new opponents Foxbury, a Chislehurst team who play friendly Sunday cricket, but only on Saturdays. If they hoped this ploy might confuse our selectors then it backfired because it meant we were able to play the Paul Mills card, more of which anon. 

The match was played at Queen Mary ground which has an immaculate square reminiscent of Vincent Square, but an outfield that suffers from being a rugby practice ground in the winter.  It looked like a batsman's paradise.

Five of us made it to the ground before the scheduled 1pm start, and in the absence of Jonathan Wilmot ('closure of Rochester bridge'), his proxy Graeme Tunbridge lost the toss and we were asked to field.  We had ten players when the game started, including debutants Jules Lowin (not to be confused with spectator David Lowen), and the specialist fine leg fielder Adam Eastaway.

Eastaway Snr and Stan Forman opened with some miserly bowling and the pressure told. In the sixth over of the 40, with the score on just seven, the stodgier of the two openers tapped the ball to Baker at mid-wicket, the impatient non-striker called for a suicidal single and was sent back, and Forman calmly removed the bails.

Eastaway's figures were ruined when the increasingly confident Andrews smashed 14 off an over, heralding a change to spin from both ends, and a change of fortune for the Mandarins.  In the first of two tight spells, Rakesh Ramani (pick of the bowlers with 1-14 off eight) bowled the threatening Andrews, and over the next dozen overs Dan Forman, Mills and Baker were all in the wickets. At 102-7 Foxbury looked unlikely to set a challenging total, but some lusty hitting by Thompson and Wood added important runs, before their partnership was ended by a spectacular overhead catch by Tunbridge at cow corner.  Foxbury's final score of 150 looked a decent but gettable target.

With Arsenal playing the FA Cup final, the Forman duo persuaded Wilmot to shuffle the batting order so they could get away early, and the pair opened together.  We knew they didn't want to hang around for too long, but it was still a surprise when in the second over, Forman senior pulled the ball to long leg and called (well one of Formen called) for a second run as long leg gathered the ball.  Dan was at least a yard short when the keeper smashed the stumps.  [Archivist - when's the last time the first wicket to fall in both innings was a suicidal run out?]

Brockbank, Lowin, Tunbridge soon followed, and when Stan Forman was bowled for a handy 16, Mandarins were at a precarious 37 for 5.  Enter the Saturday superstar Mills to join Chris Baker.  Having seen off the useful opening
bowlers, both batsmen made the most of some indifferent change bowling to pile on the runs with only a couple of scares.  A match-turning partnership of 78 ended when Baker was bowled by the tidy Andrews.  When Rakesh was clean bowled trying to impress his fan club (allegedly) with another expansive drive, he was replaced by Wilmot.  There was some tension in the pavilion - at least for Adam Eastaway who was due in next - when Wilmot was put down by the keeper, but Wilmot and the unbeaten Mills picked off the remaining runs without further drama to see the Mandarins home with three wickets and seven overs to spare.

Rob Eastaway

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