TRAINERS, PLANES AND AUTOMOBILES
NATIONAL THEATRE 184-5 (34 overs)
WCC 31-3 (8.2 overs)
Nestled between the gravel pits and Junction 4A of the M4, with the Heathrow runway but a handful of aggregate's throw to the south, the Imperial College ground hides its charms well. But the showers work, the tea is outstanding and the track as flat as the Terminal 5 tarmac. It was a shame we only batted on it for eight overs before the lashing rain drove us from the ground and into the local pub - another place whose merits are only revealed through persistence.
180 looked like a par score at the start of the afternoon and by dropping nine catches the Weekenders ensured the National got there with only five wickets down. Our groundfielding played its part but it would be wrong to single out individuals from a team effort. A notable Weekenders fielding record was set in mid-afternoon when three catches went down off consecutive deliveries.
On the plus side there was a leaping snaffle from Hogben, his smart new trainers launching him into the sky like a pair of bmi airbusses. There was some some spunky seam-up from Orwell and Dibley (bowling in a beard) and a dogged old toad from Douglas. Keeper Lyons hurled himself into a series of legside takes, straining against the surly bonds of earth like one of the 747s on the runway behind him.
There was a whiff of aviation fuel about our response brief as it was. We lost three quick wickets at the Maintenance Hangar End while McDonald stroked 21 at the other with the afterburners deployed. As both sides headed for an early beer the Weekenders had noticeably more of a spring in their step.
The Pheasant Inn (just off Doghurst Avenue) is renowned locally for its jumbo portions and supersized clientelle, and both engaged the passing interest of the Enders. Thanks to its 700-inch Sky screen the boys were able to watch Transvaal triumph over Australia in the T20 Final at Bridgetown.
Lumsden 40, Longley 28, Bloom 48, Nieboer 29
Douglas 16-2-48-2; Orwell 11-2-52-2; Dibley 7-0-41-0; Husaini 3-0-26-0
Catch: Hogben 1
Lee 1, McDonald 21*, Hogben 5, King 0.
dnb O'Higgins, d'Inverno, Douglas, Orwell, Lyons, Dibley, Husaini.