Stonor CC (23/04/2017)
Result: Lost by 8 wickets
WCC 125 for 5 (42 overs)
Lee 10, Wahi 77, Husaini 0, R.Black 1, Lloyd 1, R.Smee 13n.o.
DNB - Dunne, Orwell, Dibley, D’inverno, A.Smee
O.Kavanagh 1-17, J. Powell 0-16, Austin 1-41, Swinburne 2-22, Maidlow 0-20
Stonor CC 127 for 2 (23.1 overs)
J.Mayo 46, Farr 52, Williams 0 n.o., Lovatt 18n.o. (from 6 balls)
Orwell 6-0-25-0, Dunne 9.1-1-32-0, Dibley 5-0-40-1, Husaini 2-0-26-1
Catches: D'inverno, Husaini
Rheumatism and thermal undergarments are usually associated with the Weekenders’ opening match of the season. Instead, we got balmy climes, soaring blue skies and tea-time grass you could sit on without getting your arse wet. Stonor Park was heart-burstingly beautiful as ever - with the added bonus of feeling like June.
Stonor CC's stalwart groundsman warned that the pitch was already bone-dry when first rolled, so “Watch out for some variable bounce..” Boy was he right.
Skipper lost the toss and the oppo opted for a bowl. And so began an hour-long passage of play where Wahi and Lee struggled to survive balls that reared up off a length; tenderising ribs and fingers. One ball pitched on a decent length, bounced over batsmen Lee and the wicketkeeper, and soared towards the boundary for a near six. Both played patiently, until Pete Lee succumbed to a filthy grubber. The ‘Enders middle order didn’t fire, with only one run from three batters; leaving our President’s son Ralph to brandish his scimitar shot at the wonky deliveries. Wahi was the unabashed hero of the day, facing 135 balls, barely giving a chance. And at the death, he even unfurled a few lofted on-drives that Virat Kohli would probably re-watch as GIFs on his IPL Twitter feed.
125 didn’t feel enough despite the eccentric pitch. After much deliberation, Skip opted for tricky trundlemeister Steve Dunne at one end, with fast medium at the other. Sadly the ball had softened, and the pitch had calmed down and agreed to behave itself. There were almost chances, and some credible LBW shouts, but in truth the Stonor openers proceeded towards the target relatively untroubled. All hell-broke loose with the bowling changes, but we did snag a couple of poles, before the inevitable six into the grounds of Stonor Park sealed our defeat.
April fooling us in the Chilterns. (pic: M.Orwell)