MSCC 218/9 declared. (R.Simpson 76. M.Ford-Langstaff 66. Shreyas 5 for 78)
Old Leightonians 83 All Out. D.Clark 4 for 13, O.Selway 3 for 20
Middleton Stoney win by 135 runs
I didn't have time to write a match report his week, so instead I present the edited transcript of the commentary of the game as delivered by George and Georgina Ramb, our avid, long-serving cricket commentators, as broadcast live on long-wave radio. (Please consult with your grandparents if you're not familiar with long-wave. It's like an early version of the internet without emoticons or videos of cute kittens playing with kitchen knives.)
The microphone crackles into action
George Ramb: Ahem! Testing, testing - 1, 2, 3. Ah, good afternoon and welcome to another prrrromising day of crrrricket at the beautiful crrricket ground of Middleton Stoney Crrricket Club with me, George Rrramb and my lovely wife, Georgina speaking to you live from our very own commentary box. Today our local side take on Old Leightonians Crrricket club, a venerable club which which MSCC have had many a friendly tussle with in the past.
Georgina Ramb: That's right, my love - should be a good game today.
George: I almost said 'RRRRRRRRRRomp' instead 'tussle', but then I thought better of it. Hoho. Ok, so I see Rrrrrichard Simpson and Tim House striding out to open the batting after M.S. won the toss and elected to bat. This should making for an interesting pairrrrrrrring.
Georgina: Certainly, especially when you consider how many runs young Richard scored last season.
George: Oh good heavens! Did you see that? Simpson dropped in the first over. Smashed back at the opening bowler, but said bowler has spilled the ball onto the green stuff. Oh dear! A total gift for LCC, which they may well learn to regret mightily! You see back when I was playing the majority of my cricket...
Georgina: Darling, I don't think our listeners need a detailed description of the differences between the cricket played in this century and the early part of the last one.
[George cannot be stopped however, so the transcript is abridged here while he recounts numerous anecdotes from the days when you weren't allowed to play cricket without a massive beard and no one dropped a catch. Ever. In fact this happens quite a lot so the rest of the transcript is edited to focus on the highlights of the play and fewer interminable cricketing anecdotes from the early days of colonial cricket.]
George: Well we've been going for half an hour now and we're 44 for 0. Looking good, I think.
Georgina: Oh! But that's torn it! House has missed a straight one. Bit full, landed right at the base of the stumps, making it all over for him. Grand total of 12.
George: Yes, well the upside to that is that it's going to bring Mark Ford-Langstaff to the crease - and he's no slouch these days. Not since he started having to compete with that young whippersnapper of a son for a place in the side!
George: so it's 106 for 1 and the runs are accumulating nicely. MFL seems to have brought his best game along.
Georgina: Yes, lovely to watch...
George: Oh, now that was a bit silly! Rrrrrichard took a handful of steps towards that one, had a big swing and was promptly caught behind. What a calamity. Still a great innings, adding 76 to our our Rrrampant total.
Georgina: Well, the irony is that his dismissal only brings another Simpson to the crease. This time it's Simpson of the Daniel variety.
George: Darling, I've told you before - that sort of thing isn't irrrrrrony. It's just....just something else. You've got to stop listening to so much Alannis Morrisette, dearest. She's a good singer but a hopeless grammarrrian.
Georgina: Ah, that's the end of that then, for Dan. Gone for 3. What went wrong there, dear?
George: Ahah! He failed to play the only shot I've ever needed - the front foot prod. Technically, I think his shot is called the 'Slog and Miss,' dear - and it's ended the way that usually does. He's clean bowled and heading back to the pavillion. Headstrong, impetuous and Rrreckless. Tsck!
George: Oh, big hit! Well hit, Prodder! That's going for... Oh, wait - straight down Long Off's gullet...who juggles it a bit and, yes, he's out. That shot really didn't have the legs, did it?
Georgina: No, he won't be happy with that, my love. Though of course it's very hard to tell when a Moorman is happy anyway. But if you look carefully, you can see that he looks even more glum than when he went into bat.
George: Oh well, never mind that. There's still MF-L plugging away. He must have well over 60 now?
Georgina: Certainly, and he looks like he's had to run every single one of them, whatever the scorebook says. 'Somewhat flushed', I should say.
George: Oh drat! Mark's out. Clean bowled by Shreyas, who been the downfall of a number of us today. Perhaps those swift steps down The wicket were a tad overconfident. Still, a very handy 66 which won't go amiss.
[Various batsmen come and go, the best of which on this occasion is Danny Clark who hits a useful 18. Nobody adds less than 5, even your dear transcriber, apart from Simon Lee who elects not come in to face and last few balls before tea and, instead, promptly declares. MSCC finish on 218 for 9 (declared)]
5.40pm G & G are back in the commentary box (which is actually just two plastic chairs in Nick Thompson's groundkeepers' shed with two little peep holes cut in the wooden walls), accompanied by a 'wee drinkie' each with which they are washing down a tea beautifully catered for us by Kath Moss and Simon Pettit, with guest scones by Patricia Lee.
Georgina: Ok, so welcome back cricket lovers, to the second instalment of this intriguing fixture. We've been having some technical problems at this end caused by George mistaking a bottle of fungicide for the microphone, so we're a little behind in our commentary. But to bring you up to speed - MSCC have taken the field and Prof Lee selected Selway and Ford-Langstaff Minor to bowl our opening sortee. Seems like having a professor doing the thinking is paying off, as we've already witnessed a wicket fall in the first over, courtesy of Selway, and another in the second over from his younger counterpart with his very first ball of the day. (This was later awarded the Captain's 'Champagne moment')
George: Yes, sorry about that, my love. Left my glasses on the dresser this morning. Ah, now look - a bowling change. That's Jon O'Neill limbering up, if I'm not mistaken - and I rrrrarely am!
Georgina: This could be interested. Jon's bowling is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get...hehe.
George: Whatever are you talking about, love? I know exactly what's in my chocolates... After Eight Mints, that's what! Every night, with a hot toddy, for 62 years. No surrrprises there!
[Georgina rolls her eyes and some time passes.]
George: I say that was a fine ball! Martin Randall has dismissed that batsman with his very first ball. By the Gods, I think Middleton Stoney might have just found it’s very own Brett D’Oliveira.
Georgina: Not sure about that, Dearest. His second ball has gone for a maaaaassive six. 'Normal service has been resumed,' as they say on the railways...
George: Yes that number three bat, Powers, has certainly got some, hasn't he?
Georgina: Some what?
Georgina: Do stop talking in riddles, my sweat pea.
George: Powerrrs has gone! Did you see that? Ball snatched out of the air by Rrrichard Simpson like he was plucking a particularly rrripe cherrry in jolly big hurrry.
Georgina: Yes, not the first cherry he's plucked either...Young Richard is pretty nifty behind the stumps. Actually he's pretty darn handy at everything in the game really – even some of that stuff on back of the fixtures' card.
George: Oh, don't get me started. They should never have meddled with that fixtures card. I'd never have allowed that when I was Fixtures Sec. I blame that young rrrapscallion, Selway. Trouble maker, I tell ye! Still, I finally foisted the job on him. He won't like it but there's nowt he can do about it now, is there?
[Some time whiles away but, after Powers, no one from OLCC has much more to offer and the opposition finish, all bowled out on 67. Much of this is down to the trouble caused by Danny Clark's bowling (4 for 13) with which the opposition have singular difficulty.]
George: Well that was magnificent wasn't it? What a display of fielding! A good win against a rrrrespectable team like Leightonians. I'm going to take my bottle of beer back to the pavilion and start one of my fabled songs of celebration at the bar. "Ohhhhh, there was an old man from Rrrock, who had an enorrrmous..."
Georgina: That's not your beer, George! That's that bottle of turpentine, so finish what little there is left and let's go and wash your mouth out with some Bombardier Bitter.
[Georgina helps George out of the groundsman's shed and, with George a little worse for wear and bit of a headache coming on, meander towards the clubhouse. Thus concludes another successful fixture at MSCC.
Be sure to tune in again next week, listeners!]
Transcript typed up and edited by OJS