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CCC vs Fingletoads - 8th August 2008

Match Reports 2008

CCC vs Fingletoads - 8th August 2008

Posted by: webmaster on Friday August 15, 2008 (14:06:09)   (3620 Reads)

On the eighth day of the eighth month of the eighth year of the third millennium, history was made at Chantilly Cricket Club.

We welcomed our first touring team from the southern hemisphere, the Fingletoads from New Zealand. This is a touring side of some renown in vintage cricketing terms and collecting them from the Dolce hotel, it was clear we would have a game on our hands. Larry Sewell, their party leader, explained that their current average was 58. Having enquired as to whether this was the number of runs per match of their opening partnership, or the number of overs between loss of wickets, he confirmed that it was actually the average age of the side they were fielding against us.

Recognising that this meant they were extremely experienced cricketers, we ferried half of the players to the pitch, and tried to send the other half off to get lost in the woods between the hotel and Apremont. Orienteering is clearly another skill the kiwis master and unfortunately for us they all made it to the ground in time. Roy, our regular umpire led the captains out and after the toss of a coin, the kiwis elected to bat.

Rob was able to give débuts to Matt Gillette, Kevin Perkins and Chris Curtis who completed an eleven made up of “fathers and sons” named Oakley, Hedley and Shepherd, and a solitary Jones.

Despite an early breakthrough by trapping their stylish opener Fletcher lbw (let bowler win) with the score on 2, the wily Burgess and free-hitting Thomas put on 44 together, fighting off our bowlers and some showery weather. The partnership was broken by the first of a series of fantastic catches on the day. Charlie Hedley picked up Thomas who pulled manfully to long leg, where Matt “the best a man can get” Gillette took a two-handed catch on the run a foot (25,4cm) from the ground. Burgess was joined by the relatively youthful and very useful Coleman at the crease, until a Fingletoads’ rule split them up. It had been agreed that batsmen would retire once they reached 30, so Lanson came to the crease. Coleman fell to a rather dubious let bowler win decision having reached 17, including the first ever six in a CCC match. Lanson soon followed as Nick Jones, our stand-in, dive-about wicketkeeper took his first catch in Chris Curtis’ first (ever) over of left-arm bamboozlers – a wicket maiden !

The innings had ebbed and flowed, ebbed and started flowing again, as kiwi skipper Glen Poultney and Jackson scored freely until Jackson nicked one off Nick (Shepherd) to Nick (Jones) and was caught behind for 19 with the score on 146 for 5. The match had been shortened from 40 to 35 overs because of the brief rain delay, and Poultney accelerated the scoring rate. Burton kept the total moving with a series of singles before being caught in the slips by Gillette. Matt had borrowed some whites from Rob and it was fortunate that they did not fit – If he had been as short as his trousers, he would never have reached the low right-handed diving catch. Storey was caught at cover skying one to our aussie Campbell for 14, and Steer fell to the third Gillette catch. Meanwhile Poultney had retired on the 30 run rule, and Burgess re-joined Rosie for the last over. Shepherd finished with 5 for 23 thanks to the excellent catching display, and the Fingletoads closed on 171 for 8 off their 35 overs.

Players, umpires, scorers, spectators and a stray dog, all tucked in to a fabulous tea prepared by Cheryl Jones, yes CHERYL JONES ! Enough sandwiches to feed an ANZAC army as well as the British Forces Overseas, and the most delicious selection of cakes and biscuits (thanks Sue the scorer), all washed down with pots of Anna-Karina’s PG tips.

Our hopes that our vintage visitors would opt for a siesta and a sedate start were unfounded, as their bowling attack provoked a couple of good early chances and the dismissal of Michael Kerkoven in the second over. Gillette joined Shepherd and the innings built well until Matt fell to a diplomatic decision, lbw to Steer for 14. Rob Oakley should have had one more piece of cake at tea – I am sure this would have enabled him to hit four boundaries, instead of 4 3’s, the running of which completely knackered Nick Shepherd, who was delighted to reach 31 and retire to Cheryl’s cake emporium. Nick Jones was obviously needed for the washing up, and edged to his opposite number soon after joining Rob in the middle. Simon Hedley and Captain Marvel steadied the ship, and eased past the 100 marker. Simon’s solid defense a perfect foil to Rob’s strokeplay. However, trying to push the run-rate Rob offered a catch and fell just 2 runs short of being able to retire on 30. Kevin Perkins was clean bowled to an absolute corker from Burton, and this heralded another debutant innings from Chris Curtis. Some fine shots to the leg side and some good running between the wickets took Chris to 18. A quick single was needed, but the kiwi fielding was too sharp, and we had the first run-out of the day. Max Shepherd was determined to defend to keep free-scoring Simon on strike, but fell early as he edged behind. Glen Campbell played the role well, alternating the strike with Simon, who carried his bat to end our 35 overs on 30 not out. Our total of 148 for 7 was respectable, and Steer finished with 3 for 17, which meant that the New Zealanders would continue their European tour on a winning note.

Angus Fletcher made a most eloquent and entertaining post-match speech, in which he praised the hospitality of our Club, and needless to say he was bowled over by the spread laid on by Cheryl. Presentations followed, with the award of a centenary book to Nick Shepherd for having organised their visit, a Fingletoads tie to Man-of-the-Day Matt Gillette for his all-round bowling, fielding and batting performance, but also for the sporting way he accepted the rather dubious lbw decision, and a tie for Rob as a memento. Angus extended personal and collective invitations to NZ and the day was done after Rob offered a miniature bat signed by the entire CCC team. Despite the onset of a rather overcast and chilly evening the teams exchanged stories over wine and beer for well over an hour. Rob went beyond the call of duty and accompanied some of their party to a local restaurant, where they were initiated into the art of hacking the neck off a champagne bottle with a sabre. Cheers !

Nick Shepherd
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