WEEKENDERS SUSSEX TOUR
Heartaches: Weekenders won by 8 wickets
Joint Man of the March: Daniel Marshall and Mike Orwell
HCC: 229 for 9 (54 overs)
Orwell 11-0-53-4, Douglas 7–0-25-1, Sharma 11-4–30-0, Dunne 12–1-40-0, Cooper 9-2-36-3, D. Marshall 4-0-26-1
Whittome 50, Hutton 42
WCC: 233 for 2 (33.4 overs)
Brockis 4, Hargroves 84, Marshall 113 not out, Cooper 1, not out
DNB: Hogben, Husaini, Lyons, Dunne, Orwell, Sharma, Douglas, Smee, d’Inverno
Catches: Smee, Husaini, Marshall x2,
It was fifth time lucky for the Weekenders at Arundel, and by a thumping eight wickets. It was also the Heartaches first ever defeat on this ground, and our first win against them since 2011. The celebrations continued far into the night in the bar of the Swan Hotel, and on the pavement outside. The following day, eleven bleary-eyed Weekenders climbed aboard the team rollercoaster and duly lost by 218 runs to West Chiltington and Thakeham.
What little help there is for the bowlers in the Arundel wicket comes in the first hour but the Heartaches skipper was hardly taking a risk when he won the toss and batted. The openers had raced to 30 when Orwell tore in from the scorebox end and found the glove of AD Fox (who in 2011 opened for St Kitts & Nevis against an England Lions attack which included Ben Stokes and Jade Dernbach). Orwell then sent the other opener’s off pole somersaulting towards the castle, and Douglas managed a less spectacular version of the same to remove Torquil Sylvanus Matthew Septimus Riley-Smith, a batsman capable of annoying the Weekenders in all kinds of ways. Orwell skittled the number three and persuaded number six to slam a short one to cover where Marshall took a brave, blinding catch. The Norman towers of fortress Arundel were rocking at 54-5 but the Heartaches’ sixth-wicket pair fought back resolutely against tight bowling from Sharma (who began with four straight maidens) and Dunne, as usual, pinning the batsmen inside their creases. The Weekenders fielding was uncharacteristically sharp, not least d’Inverno, Lyons and the fancy-footed Hogben. It wasn’t until after lunch that an excellent partnership of 96 was broken by Cooper, who had Whittome well caught for 50 by Husaini. The Weekenders were now into the tail but an undefeated last-wicket stand of 39 hauled the Heartaches to a declaration total of 229.
In reply the Weekenders lost Brockis with only ten on the board before Dan Marshall and Dave Hargroves punched back, mixing careful, ‘don’t-be-a-c***’ defence with thunderous front-foot strokeplay as the bowling erred on the full side. Seamer Jordan Freida, the son of the evergreen popstrel Lulu, had a big lbw shout which, unlike his mother’s 1965 version, was completely unsuccessful; such are the cruel twists of heredity. Marshall and Hargroves stormed to a hundred partnership and the stirrings of hope began to torment the Weekenders as they sat watched on the grassy bank. Marshall’s century brought cheers and yet more damn hope. The partnership had reached 207 when Hargroves departed selflessly for a muscular 84. Marshall stormed onwards to an undefeated 113 with Cooper supporting at the other end: a breath-taking seven-an-over chase, accomplished with nine of the final twenty overs to spare.
Unfortunately for Dan Marshall, his luck ran out close to midnight while he was chatting with his teammates on the hotel pavement. Without warning President Smee threw open his bedroom window and like an uncouth Dickensian landlady in a Sunday afternoon TV serial, he scolded the smoking heroes below, then threw two glasses of water over them. We may never see Dan again but the thespian President left no one in any doubt that he’s got the chops for period character work.
The next day West Chiltington & Thakeham CC tucked into the Weekenders triumphant bowling attack as if it was Half-Price, All-You-Can-Eat Night at the Horsham Nando’s. One sated batsman after another retired at 50 wiping metaphorical peri-peri sauce from their chins until a total of 313 was reached from a mere 35 overs. Yet the contest was not without interest: the feisty duel between the fire-breathing Orwell and a small, bespectacled boy called Ray had everyone gripped, as the ball was slashed and hooked over the boundary. The closest WCC came to a taste of Champagne was Dan Hudson’s sharp snaffle at slip off debutant John Langer. It was one of only two West Chiltington wickets to fall, Douglas then used his 51-year experience advantage to send little Ray packing for 26.
The Weekenders were 95 all out in reply, the top-scorer’s laurels going to Smee, who made 14 (with blacked-out teeth and a saucy cackle). Afterwards the opposition apologised for having unintentionally fielded six first-eleven league players, one of whom played for Sussex seconds only last month. They invited us to return, assuring us that in future we would play against their veterans team, so most of us should be well into our nineties before we have to face Ray again.
A.Fox, c Smee b Orwell 28 †Brockis, b Bowes 4
*J.Cohen, b Orwell 11 Hargroves, c Luttman-Johnson b Sully 84
K.Sully, b Orwell 1 Marshall, not out 113
T.Riley-Smith, b Douglas 7 Cooper, not out 1
T.Whittome, c Husaini b Cooper 50
M.Bowes, c Marshall b Orwell 5 Hogben, Husaini, Lyons, Dunne,
†C.Hutton, b Cooper 42 Douglas and Sharma did not bat
T.Luttman-Johnson, st Brockis b Marshall 4
P.Glenn, not out 26 *d’Inverno, †Smee and Orwell never scheduled
Jordan Frieda, c Marshall b Cooper 12 to bat
J.Pressland, not out 12
Extras (b 13, lb 6, w 11, nb 1) 31 (b 6, lb 2, w 21, nb 2) 31
TOTAL (9 wkts dec) 229 (2 wkts) 233
1/32 2/35 3/41 4/48 5/54 6/150 1/10 2/217
7/158 8/172 9/190
Weekenders used at least 2 wicket-keepers
Orwell 11-0-53-4 Douglas 7-0-25-1 Bowes 9-4-20-1 Frieda 6-1-26-0
Sharma 11-4-30-0 Dunne 12-1-40-0 Glenn 5-1-43-0 Luttman-Johnson 3-0-27-0
Cooper 9-2-36-3 Marshall 4-0-26-1 Cohen 3-0-25-0 Pressland 2-0-20-0
Riley-Smith 2-0-22-0 Fox 2-0-14-0
54 overs 33.4 overs
WARNING! This is ugly: