Mandarins v WCC 19.6.22
WCC won by 5 wickets
The Weekenders XII were mostly present for the 1pm start but it would be an exaggeration to say that we had all sobered up from Mark McCallum's epic party at the Union Club the previous night. With Mark's admission to the brotherhood of silver foxes, the WCC Over-60s squad continues to develop into an ever more dangerous unit.
Last year this fixture featured a rather awkward beamer controversy but this year we pitched the ball up right from the start, with Orwell and Sharma striking timber in their first overs. Mikey proceeded to rip out the top order with a blistering spell of late-swinging yorkers that shredded the civil servants' batting resources as brutally as any Tory staff-cutting proposals. The wrecker had to be withdrawn from the attack on the brink of a five-fer. His spell also included a near hat-trick in his fourth over; the crucial ball pinned the batter's leg as plumb as the ripest Victorias in Monty Don’s orchard but the umpire wasn't having it.
Runs began to accrue but the low bounce made scoring difficult. Sirhan Hazar made a welcome debut and Josh Kotcheff returned twenty years after he last opened the WCC attack. Douglas pressed pause and Husaini was unlucky after finding the edge with his newly modeled action. Skipper d'Inverno knocked back Number 10's middle-peg, then followed with a sprawling dive at mid-off to grab the final wicket. Brockis was flawless behind the sticks, with two good snaffles and a spare box of matches.
116 was a teasing target on this wicket and the key would be watchfulness; not normally the Weekenders' defining quality. But Toby Lyons and Sid Chagule accumulated with patience and smartness to knock off a quarter of the runs. Lyons went with the score at 30 which brought in Husaini, who exuded the sharpness of one who's spent the winter in the Oval's indoor school: as decisive in defence as aggression. As long as two or three could stay with Nass it was in the bag. His unbeaten 54 comprised twelve fours and six singles.
There were convivial post-match pints with our like-minded oppo, and twelve packets of crisps went down as we sat picturesquely outside the Marlborough & Streatham club house. A glorious day.
MANDARINS 116 all out
R. Elias 42, J Hankins 14*
M. Orwell 5-2-7-4; B. Sharma 5-2-16-1; Kotcheff 6-0-35-0; S. Hazar 5-1-16-1; H Husaini 4-1-15-0; Douglas 6-3-4-3; d'Inverno 2-0-6-1
Catches: Brockis 2, d'Inverno 1
T. Lyons 14, Sid. Chagule 25, H. Husaini 54*, Brockis 0, Hogben 6, McCallum 7, Orwell 0 not out.
DNB Sharma, Douglas, Hazar, Kotcheff, d'Inverno
The brutalist pavilion at the Mandarins' 2021 ground
This year's pavilion, built in an unusual 'Hacienda/ Detention Centre' style.