Hit and Miss
Gentlemen - well hello again.
In very brief:
Weekenders successful start continues - six wicket victory, leaving team
with 3 wins, 1 draw in first four.
In less brief:
Antipodean contingent prove class by arriving early enough to sup Pimms from
"Sandals" element of team mistaken for Christian Aid charity walkers en
route to ground.
Hon Sec makes entrance only just in time to prevent likely welter of legside
byes by relieving Maloney of gloves.
Freeman provides excellent twelfth (and with son Sam, thirteenth) man
approach to match management.
Toss lost, and WCC take to the field. Opening burst by skipper results in
bruised hands at cover, illustrates scratchy understanding of no-ball and
wides rule by umpires, and when ball eventually tickles timbers - interim
figures of 3-3-0-1 don't lie.
Fellow opener Swaab winds up a whirlwind, rips out other left-handed opener.
Whitehead makes early bid for niggle of season with outstanding effort at
holding skier in covers, result 1 run to batsman, and nasty rib injury
precluding away swing maestro from turning arm over.
Simmonds makes early bid for howler of season, when after stop at backward
square leg, takes aim at striker's end with genuine run-out chance, ball is
eventually recovered trickling towards midwicket by fellow fielder, umpire's
verdict, not out, and frankly not necessary.
Sam Freeman makes guest appearance as sub for Whitehead, shows Simmonds how
fielding and throwing is done.
Douglas loosens up for rest of season with quick burst of 5-4-1-4, including
missed hat-trick opportunity in first over, against chap who eventually
turns out to be landlord from pub over the road and lines up with bat at
various forty five degree angles. The one run conceded comes from an inside
edge to fine leg which misses leg stump not by much.
Straight balls from Franks and run-out from Swaab reduce Hit or Miss to
50-8. Twirly boys Husaini & Simmonds finish the job, and Hogben & Maloney
start the chase for 79 for half an hour before tea. Sedate progress knocks
off two runs an over without loss to leave team a third of the way there.
Revelations of tea interval:
1 - Martin Read, for those who can remember back that far in Weekenders
history, has been hired as the new Captain Birdseye.
2 - The girls who help brew the tea each year are getting steadily older,
and will soon be able to buy their own cigarettes legally. Various members
of the WCC squad don't let this go un-remarked upon...
3 - Skipper calculates that at current run-rate victory target will be
achieved by around 8pm, but declines to order slog.
Pub landlord turns out to throw worse than Simmonds, yes, honestly. Hogben
& Maloney accumulate, Lyons impresses family with brief burst of scoring,
Smee makes brief visit to wicket, but Husaini spanks consequent hat-trick
ball to cover boundary and drives in a way that would be envied by his
evidently less-talented namesake in the England XI. Franks fails by five
yards to seal victory with a six.
Pub landlord earns amazement of Weekenders by offering free buffet of beef,
roast potatoes and yorkshire puddings, probably in gratitude of finding in
Simmonds a soulmate in appalling fielding.
For the record:
No catches needed in Hit or Miss innings, seven clean bowled, two lbw, one
run out. Douglas four for one run, Simmonds two wickets, Swaab, D'Inverno,
Franks one each.
Maloney 20, Hogben 18 (though some dispute over whether it should be 19),
Husaini 14 not out. Or thereabouts.
The story continues next Sunday under the firm match-management stewardship
of Mike Freeman against one of the Theatres teams, probably somewhere in
South East London. They're owed a chasing, if you want to help give them
one, you know who to call.