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CCC vs BBC Radio 4 Political Unit - 26th May 2007

Match Reports 2007

CCC vs BBC Radio 4 Political Unit - 26th May 2007

Posted by: webmaster on Saturday September 01, 2007 (00:09:48)   (4661 Reads)
The two teams
The two teams
Sunday May 26th saw the visiting BBC Radio 4 Political Unit Cricket team be the first team to visit and play the Chantilly Cricket Club's 'duffers' team of ageing expats and keen young cricket players. The weather forecast had not offered much hope of getting a game with showers forecast but as usual this proved to be somewhat wide of the mark. Although overcast the afternoon began with some perfect weather for cricket, and a glorious setting amongst the polo fields of Apremont.

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This being the first ever match for a Chantilly team made up of Chantilly players we found ourselves a little short of players. Thankfully the Saint Brice team were able to offer some players who actually had some experience of cricket so a team was duly convened - 6 expat and 5 Saint Brice players. The opposition had an advantage in that they had met each other before - although this was slightly reduced by the fact that only 10 players turned up. As you'll see in the rest of the report this didn't have much of a material effect on the game, or the result!

Let me just point out at this stage that the 'BBC Radio 4 Political Unit' was a bit of a misnomer. It transpired under subtle questioning after the game that only two of the players actually had anything to do with the BBC at all, the rest being a ragtag bunch who get together every year for a tour of two to play some cricket. Whilst this infers a level of competence that would put them on a par with the Chantilly team what it fails to point out is that when not playing for this particular team they are turning out for village teams of their own. Thus relative experience levels between the two teams remained as hopelessly imbalanced as we first feared.

So, the match. CCC elected to bat, as with the BBC team being one down we needed to gain as much advantage as we could in case their eleventh player turned up late. In games this one-sided you have got to find every advantage you can. Some comment was made about it being 'normal practice' for the visiting team to bat first but we wanted to keep the game short in case it rained. Our next master stroke was to play our batting order backwards. By sending out our sacrificial lambs to absorb the BBC's opening salvoes we could leave the real cricketers (Saint Brice) to face some easier bowling later in the innings. This would have worked so much better had we been able to stay in the middle a little longer - at 24-5 our plans could have been scuppered had it not been for some great rescue work from the middle order.

I should point out at this stage that our opening players were not skittled out missing the ball completely. In fact with some lovely looking attempted pulls messrs Shepherd, Congreve and Powell were a little unlucky to all go for zero being caught off the top edge. It was the bowling that did it rather than some rather rusty batting! Mr P Clark can be excepted from this list as he did manage a lusty boundary before falling in the same way - showing the olders how it is supposed to be done!

Thankfully Messrs M.Patel (39), RJ(19) and our captain Rob(15) added some respectability to the score with a great display of batting (albeit it against much slower bowling!!). CCC eventually all out for 130 from 26 overs (of a 30 over match).

The interval saw a cracking selection of cakes and drinks supplied in the pavilion, oops, sorry, tent (ably erected by Nick J) and served by some of the lady wives of the team - many thanks to them for a fine show.

The reply from the BBC rather exposed a weakness in the CCC team - a lack of bowlers. Thankfully Rob's plea to Saint Brice for a couple of players to make up numbers included the line 'and some bowlers please' (he'd seen a couple of us practising the week before!) Taking RJ (7-1-22-3) and Taran (6-0-26-1) out of the bowling would have meant the BBC could have potentially rattled off the runs in around 18 overs, and that many only because the grass was pretty long making the boundaries difficult to hit! Congreve managed some hostile bowling taking a wicket in his fifth over (6-0-33-1) whilst Powell (2.5-0-19-1) at least made 'em laugh so much that one sneaked through to hit the stumps.

The BBC managed to pull off the win with one over to spare, seven wickets down, top scorer being the extras column (28), the game being a lot closer than expected due to the Saint Brice influence. Hopefully as time goes on we'll be able to field enough home-grown players and gain enough experience that we can compete on our own.

After the game beers were shared and stories swapped (we hadn't realised we had such illustrious company in our midst as three of the visitors had toured the world playing on each of the continents - with a book written about their experiences - see here). A copy of the book was awarded for the moment of the match, accepted by A Powell for his comedy wicket.

So that was the end of the Chantilly Cricket Club's historic first match - a close loss. We learnt many things from the game, most importantly that next time a touring team comes to Chantilly we'll make sure we are able to take them into town for drink after the game! Hopefully we'll be able to build on this match and make it a regular fixture amongst a summer of fixtures each year.
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