Little Missenden 154-2
LM won by 9 wickets
(12 a side)
The gated driveways, the tinted glass of the 4x4s and the English tourist board road sign outside Little Missenden saying ‘Welcome to Julian Lyons Country’ meant most of the Weekenders had lost the psychological battle before they even reached the pub. In the end a winning total proved to be as unattainable as the price of a house in these parts. We just didn’t have enough.
d’Inverno won the toss and chose to bat, but a combination of new ball, uneven bounce and a quick bowler had the Weekenders openers calling for the helmets by the second over. Progress was slow in the middle but since no one was in a hurry to get out there to face the quick bloke the bench was unusually silent.
While Hogben and Maloney grafted in the middle radios were tuned to the Trent Bridge Test against South Africa where England were also struggling towards three figures. It’s a measure of the world-wide popularity of Graeme Smith’s side that when the Weekenders’ two Aussies asked about the England score they said ‘How many have we got?’
In the end thanks to Maloney’s superb 69 and another characterful knock from Mike Harvey plus a few biffs from the lower orders Weekenders bettered England’s total by 34 runs. Any further comparisons would not be helpful.
By the time we bowled the ball, like our attack, had aged a bit too much and in Connor we encounterd a quality league batsman in prime form. Only Dunne posed any kind of threat and his Jaguar parked outside the pub represented the sole source of Weekenders pride. Dunne’s bowling was equally impressive and in the week that saw the resolution of the Lockerbie mystery his diving attempt to pull off a difficult c&b had a sharply topical flavour.
The ball flew to all parts but mainly in the direction of Little Boy Heath to the west and d’Inverno had to climb over the fence so often that it eventually collapsed. The home team didn’t mind though as it made access easier and brought an earlier finish to the match.
The two sides mingled amiably in the Crown afterwards and the groundsman generously advised our opening batsmen about how to get the best out of his pitch: ‘You’ve got to be positive on it. Play half-forward and you’ll get your fingers broken.’ Crucial intelligence to carry into next year’s game – along with a pair of hockey goalie’s gloves and some beta blockers for that weird yappy dog..
WCC 152 for 8 dec. (40 overs)
Maloney 69, Hogben 6, Lyons 1, Hargroves 5, M. Harvey 20, Hajela 6, Johnstone 4, Douglas 14, Dunne 8*, d’Inverno 2*.
Simmonds and Freeman dnb.
Little Missenden 154 for 1 (26.4 overs)
Douglas 6-0-34-0, d’Inverno 3-0-24-0, Dunne 9-0-35-1, Simmonds 6-0-38-0, Freeman 1.4-0-15-1, Lyons 1-0-7-0
Catches: Johnstone 2.