The first day of August promised rain like so many others have this summer, but in the end we got a full day’s play, with a comfortable win against Clapham In, who were always going to be up against it with only 9 players.
Max and Suri opened up for the Plough, and facing unpredictable line, length and bounce, started out sensibly and cautiously. However, Max chose Sunday to show that he’s mortal like the rest of us, misjudging one which came back in on him and hit his stumps, so Suri was joined by Hector earlier than expected. The latter continuing his nice run of recent form with 22, disappointed not to get more. Next in was Freddy, but unfortunately he’s back from sunny Kenya with an injury in tow, and it wasn’t to be his day at the crease.
Nor was it Lockhart’s day, and he followed in quick succession, meaning that Suri, now well into his stride, was joined by Plough Virgin Leon Ashley, and together they built a decent partnership which put another 30 on the tally. Alex Julienne and Bharat were Suri’s next partners, and both kept the score ticking along, the latter really starting to swish the ball about the park, which meant that Suri – sensing that somebody might about to steal his limelight – was obliged to run him out. His previous attempt to run out Hector had been unsuccesful, but this time there was no mistake. Well done, Suri. Take that, Bharat!
Poleboina was finally out on a hard fought 86, but the tail wagged and a few more runs were added to our score. Who knew that Simon and The Earl are secretly the two most elegant *batteurs* dans le playing squad? Both played some pretty strokes, with Grayser’s on-drive the shot of the day IMO, though nobody was entirely convinced he knew where he was trying to hit it. Extras added 25 to make a decent score of 198, before Covid secure platters were taken at the turn, cheese ones the tastiest, at a 6, perhaps 6.5.
Plough then took the field, Wilby looking threatening from the off, trapping one of their openers LB in his second over, but then pulled up dramatically after only a couple more balls, with a recurrence of the injury he thought he’d just seen off. Really bad luck, Lewis. Swift recovery. Max took over from Wilby, and went on to bowl very well, with 1 for 16 off his six overs. All the other bowlers also put in solid, economical shifts, and the remaining wickets were shared out one a piece between Grayzer, Carson, Hector and newb’ Leon, who took his first wicket for the club, and bought us the obligatory jug at stumps. Good work Leon, the first of many, we hope. The bowlers’ efforts, combined with some decent fielding, a good catch by Julienne and a great run out by Max restricted the oppo’ to 108 when their 8th and final wicket went down in the 30th.
All in all, a good – if slightly unusual – day’s cricket, which sometimes felt a bit slapstick, but there is nothing we can do about the rain, and to be fair to the oppo’ their main bowlers were isolating so they were a bit stuck – but an enjoyable game played in a very friendly spirit throughout.
Thanks to Max for stepping in at the eleventh hour to make up numbers(before rushing off to do a night shift) and a big well done to Suri, who made the best of tricky conditions, keeping well (including a smart, standing up to the stumps catch) and, of course, with his excellent batting. It was very much his day in the field.
Final word to Grayzer, whose wicket was his 100thfor the Plough. Hearty congrats, Liam, from all the rest of us. A thoroughly well deserved milestone for somebody who brings a great deal to our Club, on and off the pitch.
Lord Thomas of Lockhart