One Day Competition - President Cardinals vs Hospital, Sydenham Park #3, Presidents, 15th February 2015
With cricket moved to Sunday due to Saturday’s CWC opener – making it a weekend of cricket for most of the side – our local derby against Hospital was played on a vacant Sydenham Park, on the shittest pitch possible.
On a pitch that appeared to have had no work at all since last weekend Ralphie won the toss and elected to bat – a decision more about putting the foot on the throat of a weak-looking Hospital side and giving those who hadn’t lately, the chance to have a bat. Most took the opportunity, but it was mostly to be a game highlighted by some players stepping up in unexpected areas and outstanding banter which made for a great afternoon’s cricket.
Flem and Laughts opened, Flem outscoring Laughts with a 38 that, other than two singles, was composed of boundaries, prompting comments from those watching that he was clearly having difficulty rotating the strike. Laughts departed for 15, bringing in Phil Walker, who with Flem (38) continued the onslaught. We said last week Phil Walker was due, and he duly delivered his first 50 for Sydenham with some sweetly timed hitting, including three sixes and five fours, departing for 57 having tickled a wide one through to the keeper.
Kev Moore (42) claimed an off day on a pitch that was low and slow and occasionally exploded. Phil Barclay totally wasted the opportunity to bat at five other than nominating himself for the Cliché of the Season award, calling Phil Walker through for a quick single and running himself out by plenty without having faced a ball, offering what Flem confessed was one of the easier umpiring decisions he’d ever had. That six which will see considerable donation to the team fund will have to wait.
The quality hitting down the order with Wildy’s “I can bat on one leg” 14 – two fours and a six – Brownie’s 11, Ralphy’s 29, and 7 from Brownie’s brother Harry, to finish on 230/8.
Our effort in the field was off to a cracking start with a smart stumping by Laughts of Jules first ball of the innings. Flem excelled with 4/22, and might have had five, but for a Jules’ good-natured reluctance to take a catch some distance from him which would have increased Flem’s chances at the top of the bowling stats. Of the nine bowlers used, if they weren’t taking wickets, all contributed to keeping the Hospital run rate well below what was required – Jules finished with 1/5 off five, Phil Walker with 1-16 off four, Kev Moore with 0/17 off six, and Ralphy 1/24 off seven.
The game was always likely to present the opportunity to change things up a bit, so Kev Moore kept so Laughts could bowl. Laughts promptly removed the only Hospital player who’d stuck around for any decent time, and asked why no-one else could get him out. Shortly after he had his second, courtesy of a catch at long on by Phil Barclay, prompting celebrations from Laughts that almost ended in a spear tackle, which in itself was no mean feat. Laughts finished 2/11 off four – though just in case he left anyone with the impression he could do everything, he expertly misfielded one shortly after, prompting calls for his replacement.
Harry chipped in with a smart overhead catch and a tidy over late in the piece, before Ralphie, who had signalled earlier that if he had the opportunity, Phil Barclay would have the chance to wreck his bowling figures, achieved with his first Pressie’s wicket in the final over at Hornby about a month ago. Which is when the banter really started.
Comments like “F**k, he’s got a run-up” and “S**t, he’s actually marking it out” were heard before the first one got poked around the corner for four which prompted words to the effect of “that’s f**ked your average” from Flem, before a couple dot balls and singles got things back on something like a level keel. The well-timed mankad warning prompted additional laughter and piss-taking (in truth, he lost his run-up) before Boyd flashed at a wide one, toe ending it to who other but Laughts, leaving Phil with 1/7 off .5 and yet to complete an over this season.
Matt Loose was unable to play, but was still imposing as a spectator, and still got involved, summing up Phil’s reinvention as a death bowler with a subsequent Facebook riposte “even a blind squirrel occasionally finds an acorn”. Cheers boys.
Cardinals retain the Noel Moorhead Trophy.
Man of the Match: Phil Walker
Check out the scorecard from the game.