MSCC - 125 all out – R. Simpson 45, J. Springer 22, J. Moorman 19, G. Williams 19*
The Cricket Society - 103 for 6 - J. Mumtaz 2for 9, R. Simpson 2 for 20
The Cricket Society arrived with an experienced and canny side, many who had featured in the past few games between these two old clubs, adding one of our fold, Nick Moorman, who ad been enrolled into their number for the day. History records a win, a loss and a draw over the past three fixtures, so calling this one was going to be tricky.
We started the afternoon, with a minute’s silence in memory and respect for Linda Deeley, a Vice President of the club, wife of John, who died peacefully at home last Friday. Our thoughts are with John at this time.
The Cricket Society won the toss, and in slightly overcast conditions, decided to bowl. Richard Simpson and Joe Moorman headed off slowly into the middle, from whence the ball started to leave at speed.
The score moved to 52 in five overs, when Richard was well caught & bowled by Sheldon for 45. It turned out to be the first of many wickets for the opener; actually he was also the “closer”, as he went on to bowl throughout, unchanged until the end of the innings. Jon Springer, a man in form, joined the steady Joe, and they added another 34 runs, before Jon succumbed, caught, for 22. Tim House added a few more (11) until he was caught, from the bowling of the experienced and metronomic Symons, who in keeping with the strategy bowled almost to the finish, sending down fourteen uninterrupted overs from the other end. Joe moved untroubled to 19.
97 for 3 wasn’t terrible from sixteen overs. Five overs later, 99 for 8 was. MSCC had, at this stage, only batted for just under an hour and a half. So MSCC were in serious need of stabilisation in order to prevent an embarrassing result before tea. George Williams (17 n.o.) gave them that, with a mix of careful defence and flamboyant, stylish aggression. He was ably supported by Olly Selway (6). They brought the score up to 125 but more importantly used up time in blunting the stamina of the two opening bowlers, who were still toiling away, when Sheldon took his seventh wicket.
The surprise of the day came with a first change of bowling in the 29th over, and after six balls, Chapman took the final wicket with our skipper being bowled by a skidder. We imagine Chapman was pleased with 5-1 off one. We imagined the other eight players were looking forward to a bat.
MSCC then did their best to slow the minds and appetites of the Cricket Society with a splendid tea, conceived, prepared and presented by the Springer/Williams family combination. Once again, many an opposition comment was heard, complementing home-made quality. In fact, a lot more than was heard about the home-grown quality of our batting.
The weather forecast has been ominous for the later part of the day, so the Cricket Society knew what they were up against when they started their innings. They stared steadily and in fact their scorecard had a similar feel to that of MSCC at 81-2, although Simon Pettit and the team were delighted to snare our own Nick Moorman early for a brisk 19, well caught by Richard S.
But the fall of the second wicket seemed to galvanise MSCC, whilst imposing a strangulation on the shot making of their opponents. Further wickets from Olly Selway (plumb LBW), Richard (bowled), and Jay Mumtaz (two in two overs including an Exocet slip catch to Richard S) brought the score to 102 for 6, with only three runs coming from the last seven overs, while those wickets fell. Simon Lee mixed the field settings and bowling frequently, which unsettled the opposition, and although he did not bowl himself enough (as usual) the pressure he applied as skipper helped turn the sense of expectation in both camps.
The Cricket Society, initially confident and sprightly, despite their experience and obvious class, now looked edgy; MSCC, despite their scratchy start with the bat, now looked confident and eager; and the weather, once bright and summery, now turned nasty, and the excellent, travelling umpire, Kevin Beaumont (and many thanks to him for his time and skill) called the game off as the heavens opened.
Both sides might well feel they were hard done by the elements; but neither side performed as clinically or decisively as they could have, and under the circumstances, and in keeping with a damp summer, might be considered a fair one.
The refuge of the pavilion afterwards provided cover, good cheer and chat.