Actors Anonymous 204-9 off 35 (limited overs). 

Weekenders 156 all out

Weekenders lost by 48 runs


Chris Johnstone writes:


After a week in which the Hutton Inquiry asked searching questions of our nation's leaders and caused Tony's spin doctor to fall gallantly on his pen, it was time for a number of Weekenders to be probed mercilessly to breaking point by senior members as to whether  enough sexing up has occurred of late.  With the terms of inquiry established early, all seemed in order as Skipper and the Spin Doctor Hargoves kicked off early at a boozer in Richmond.  But the combination of geography and Stella meant that even the delayed start of 2.15pm saw them arriving a shade short of 3pm. 


As a result, for the first 7 overs Flat Pete lead a team of nine comprising no less than 3 Aussies, 2 Indians, a South African and a cool bloke at square leg named Allan.  As has been the subject of much midweek discussion, one must hark back to a Turkish peninsula in 1915 to find the last time such a ragtag bunch of colonials were led with so little training into a campaign doomed to fail.   


PJ Harvey stuck up a lively pace from one end with Tom from Bangalore on debut doing his bit from the other.  On a pitch which Alistair Campbell later described as 'consistent…quite predictable…capable of delivery within 45 minutes', chances were few and far between.  To force the oppo's hand, Flat played his trump card early.  Displaying all the benefits of a Monday training session with Coach Maloney, Desmeules set about answering the tough ones.  Appearing to have abandoned his run, delivery stride and arm action he went for a conservative 14.  Was this the end of The Mule's bowling spell?  Yes. 


With the score board ticking over, and our own Campbell and Blair well lubricated and finally on the field, 300 did not look impossible.  Skip though had other ideas and with his considerable brain (hampered somewhat by the weekends activities) working overtime, called on Flat Pete who after landing a few on the deck decided that enough rope can hang anybody.  A couple of full ones and some great work in the outfield saw the balance of power shift firmly the good guys' way.  


After a sound contribution from Tom's friend Nik from Bangalore on debut, and with Flat Pete having taken 4 for the day, Skip called on Hussaini hoping that BBC know-how from both ends might further slow the scoring rate.  Whilst Husaini's plan of cramping the batsmen by making them wait an eternity for each delivery to land is favoured by some traditionalists, he was worked out all too quickly and it was up to the Spin Doctor himself with a tidy 3 to keep the total to something less than tragic. 

Tea in the Famous Five's club house was a sumptuous affair with no less than 2 types of sandwiches and free cholera for anyone drinking water. 


Play resumed with the Spin Doctor at one end looking suave and cock-sure whilst a newly promoted PJ Harvey wasted no time in endorsing Skip's cunning plan by returning to the pavilion with a humble apology.  This brought to the crease what for all intents and purposes seemed a Geoff Hoon in Mike Harvey clothing when he called the doctor for a suicidal single only to laugh, send him back and blame the oppo for such a disastrous dismissal. 


Johnstone shouldered arms as he has done all season, only to fall to the only unplayable ball of the day … as he has done all season.  When Husaini sacrificed himself at the alter of public opinion before a question had been asked, the Weekenders turned to the only people who the Hutton Inquiry has failed to call, Allan and The Mule.  Allan celebrated both his birthday and a 20 year hiatus from the game in front of his own adoring fan with a swashbuckling innings of 34, whilst the South African did something even more miraculous than his well publicised marathon stint without the comfort of the fairer sex by reinventing himself over tea as a batsman and with Coach's words ringing in his ears, threw technique at caution and caution to the wind mercilessly smashing the attack for 45. 


Meanwhile the Oppo kindly pointed out that one too many overs were displayed as having been bowled on the scoreboard.  Whilst we readily agreed, our exuberance was dampened by the sudden realisation that our own scorebook reflected this same number.  The Spin Doctor was unmoved in calls for his expertise to 'sex up' the scorebook, and with the Skipper too busy thrusting left and right keeping some suppleness in the injured groin, Mike 'Hoon' Harvey took the pencil and proceeded to crunch numbers and somehow lose an over. 


With time running out, Allan and The Mule both having picked out one of the 8 fieldsman on the legside, and the pencil down to a stub, and the boys from Bangalore trying hard, Harvey weaved magic on the scorebook so that the final wicket fell with the oppo thinking they had won but our own scorebook reading 223 for 4 with 8 overs to go.  No doubt all will be called to account in due course.



Actors Anonymous 204/9

Bowling: PJ Harvey 6-0-20-0; T Vettickat 7-0-43-0; Desmeules 1-0-14-0; N Narayan 4-0-26-0; Simmonds 7-1-40-4; Hargroves 7-0-29-3; Husaini 3-0-32-0


Catches: N Narayanan; PJ Harvey; Hart; Husaini

Runouts: Hargroves to Harvey; Husaini


WCC  156

Hargroves 1, PJ Harvey 0; M Harvey 16; Johnstone 9; Hussaini 0; Hart 32; P Simmonds 10; The Mule 45; T Vettickat 16; N Narayanan 18; d'Inverno 0*.


Debuts:  T Vetttickat; N Narayanan ; A Hart  



Now read Flat’s Take:

Match played at the scenic bit near the allotments under the flight path at
Ham - conditions overhead not bad, but vision impaired a bit by the burning
tyres at deep square leg just over the other side of the fence (and they
wouldn't give the ball back when I sent down one long-hop too many).

What else to note? Simon Rouse of the Bill did not play this year, the tall bloke
with the sideburns came to the pub and said nothing at all yet again, fifth
year on the trot we think, and we really shoulda, coulda won this one.

We eventually had some drinks in the less rough of the two
pubs along the road - I think the rougher one would compete with a few of
the tougher establishments in Tassie circa 1813.  But there's much fun to be
had trying to read the landlord's tattoos as he swipes the (almost) empties
- truly his pub is a place where a glass is never a quarter full...

An umpiring teaser – one for Elmer perhaps. 

I took the second over and their bowler marked his run up, and put down his handkerchief to mark it.  I told him that was fine, but if the ball hit it, it would cost
him five.  The bowler was fine, we used a couple of feathers and a
bottle-top (the advantages of parks pitches over Lords strike again) but
their skipper was a bit antsy - what do you think?  I maintain that if a
player lays any part of his kit on the ground, be it a hat, helmet, then
it's fair game, so it's whether you think a handkerchief counts as kit and I
do, as he was certainly using it to wipe his face later on.  Probably
shouldn't have told them till the ball hit it, now that would have pissed
them off.