A Draw !- Remember Those ?- SWCC v Brighton & Hove Crescent 02.08.2020

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The Wanderers tour of the local grounds continued with a trip to the outskirts of town and the Horsdean pitch at Patcham. Horsdean is a quite a pleasant place for a match, possibly the best of the circuit Brighton venues. Ample in size and set to the north of the suburb, just below the by-pass, it could easily be missed for someone not local and non-cricketing. It has been home to the established Brighton & Hove Crescent for some time. For Brighton, the wicket always seems relatively well kept too.

A very regular Wanderers side won the toss (Lloyd takes a bow) and decided to bat first on a breezy and pleasant August afternoon. Openers Wilson and Barber resuming their partnership, or rivalry, and adding 42 for the process. Much of their conflabs in the middle of wicket doubtless discussing the fine delineation of descriptions for bowler speeds. Was he quick or rapid ?  One wonders if the budget will extend to a speed gun this winter.

Lloyd and Teflon Noakes did little to trouble the scorers once the openers had gone and the partnership of the innings was left to the Big Bear and slasher Styles. 64 was added to steer away from potential batting calamity and the total looked like it might be heading for safety as it reached 136. Once Peter had departed, Gwyllim continued to anchor the innings, the last four wickets yielded 52, and Wanderers finished their innings on 188-8. Gwyllim finished on 68 not out, Wanderers first fifty of the season. The highlights section of the averages finally has an entrant.

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B

Who needs the old teas back ?

Historically, Brighton & Hove Crescent traditionally bring the curtain down on the season and, these days, in unusual fashion- better put, some traditionalists would describe ‘proper’ fashion. Although 80 overs were the limit, all three results were allowable. For those who don’t remember, a draw can be a result in a cricketing match if a target is not reached and ten wickets were not taken. A prospect of much bewilderment to most folk under 30 or foreign visitors who have been introduced to Test match cricket. It may be that Mr Noakes had some explaining to do in the car on the way home.

Talking of the Noakes cricketing academy, young Alice opened the bowling with the Oldest Swinger in Town. This provoked online discussion about the biggest age gap running between a pair of bowlers in SWCC history. At 59 years, an uneducated statistical neck can safely be stuck out when assuming that this is highly likely to be the winner. And accounts talk of a splendid showing from the Noakes stable, including a wicket and the second tidiest economy of the afternoon. A Wanderers ladies’ team ? The Sunday side might wish to keep things as they are if this continues. ‘Alice in Wanderers Land’ has gone into the corny cricketing library to be headlined at a later date…

The BHCC line up nearly all had starts, and given the nature of the match the breaks could be applied at any time. 188 never looked in any danger as a reachable target but Wanderers had to work for their wickets. Lloyd picked up most of the top order with 3-35, but it was tough to build up a head of steam. The fifth wicket fell in the 23rd over which meant, with 15 left, an outright win was always going to be a tough ask.

The under-rated Gwyllim turned his arm, Ant had a bowl, and Will found his way back to the oche. Eventually sharing four wickets between them in the process, there had been hope on Wanderers side as two wickets were needed for victory when the last five overs arrived. But like the days of 70s, when matches of huge deficits resulted in draws, there was to be no last hurrah as the tenth wicket fell. The Crescent held on and hands were shaken, or rather acknowledging nods exchanged, and the match was agreed upon as a draw…

…. or a winning draw, as we used to say to our colleagues on a Monday morning.

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Once We’ve Found It.. SWCC v Poynings 29.07.2020

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A nice evening sojourn to Poynings then. A pleasant ground that, surprisingly, some haven’t played on and others even less known of. Some might not have even got there as the seductive lady on Google Maps sent them down the lane opposite into the deepest countryside. There is a horror film in there somewhere- although some might argue that Wanderers calamities provide quite enough gore. ‘’I might be gone some time’’, says the confident Wanderers batting saviour. You know what happens next….

Wanderers lost the toss, which is less of a hammer horror and more of a pantomime these days. Poynings chose to bat and a steady stream of contributions down the order led to a healthy total on a bouncy, and perhaps a tad dangerous in the wrong light, artificial wicket. The Wanderers bowling was shared around. The Big Bear, upon The Author’s appearance, spoke gleefully of his 3 wickets for 15 runs. Gwyllim has always been a capable bowler when he has the opportunity- although one would consider he doesn’t see it as a serious part of his game.

In clear weather and a cooling evening breeze Poynings found their way to 147.

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The light remained good for the second innings. Playing 10 overs from one end then the other is a clever way of keeping things ticking over. At Poynings they have another rule, as arbitrary as they often are, that a wide results in two runs and no extra ball. On the face of it, this seems like another sensible plan. Not perhaps, though, when a team’s run rate needs to eclipse 12 an over- as Wanderers were at when a young lad was struggling to keep things in the tramlines.

It wouldn’t have mattered though. Against some very pacey, occasionally erratic and, given the amplified bounce of the wicket, rather testing early bowling, it never looked like Wanderers would meet the demands of over 7 an over. There were a few batting highlights. Some lovely biffs from top scorer Teflon Noakes who copped a nasty one on his, thankfully, helmeted bonce and a lovely drive into the cow field at a low full toss from Will.

Poynings were strong in the field and knew the terrain. The final response of 103-7 fell well short but again folk had enjoyed the evening, chalked off a new ground, and found pleasant company. The last of the 20 over matches have been played and thus we return to the Lord’s Day. And we’ll all be praying before the toss…

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Wanderers Win In The Weald… SWCC v Mayfield 26.07.2020

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Wanderers journeyed north today to the resplendent High Weald and its splendiferous Mayfield cricket ground, Wish Park and Hove Rec looking from behind with forlorn resignation.

A 30 over bash starting early at 12.30 suggested that some may have hoped to catch the action of the Premier League’s conclusion, or at least the events unfolding in the Test match. The Author, thinking to make the journey, decided against arriving mid-afternoon due to the potential for a short match and nearly an hour’s travel time (certainly at his speed). Such a decision proved wise as the match failed to go a full distance, even with a few ‘beer’ overs added once the victory total had been passed.

And victory fell to Wanderers.

Mayfield won the toss and batted. In customary fashion the overs were shared among the Wanderers numbers. From 58-2, and after Lloyd’s opening brace, Mayfield struggled to make fluent progress. Young Edward took his first club wicket, Noodle added a couple of his own, and Master Hyde finished off the tail end in Bothamesque fashion. The home team’s total of 104 was looking doubtful against what was a strong batting line up today.

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Thus it proved, and the victory margin may have been wider and the much shorter had Lord Sponge not determined, as usual, to give everyone an opportunity to enjoy the play.

Noakes snr and Noakes jnr opened the batting. The first time a father/son combination have opened the batting since- perhaps someone can answer that ?

Teflon Noakes swotted 24, although at one stage Wanderers found themselves tottering at 33-4. No need for concern however. Cometh the hour, cometh a new player for this term. Chris Barrett made 41 even outstripping the flashing blade of Mr Styles who contributed 11 to a 46 run partnership. With Jamie joining him for final knockings, Wanderers arrived home in 20th over with five wickets in hand.

A pleasant victory and another fine example of involving everyone in the match. On to Poynings mid-week and more lovely Sussex scenery. Is there anything better ?

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One Man Went To Mow.. v Gully 10.06.2018

 

Back to Berrylands. One is persuaded that rather than cutting the outfield at this venue it would be better to graze livestock. Apart from the wicket itself, which played well at times, the pastures resemble a High Wealden autumnal meadow. But, then again, left unattended that is almost what they are.

The recent trend of pleasant Sunday weather shows no sign of abating and much of this week’s encounter was played in warm sunshine that flooded lobster like arms and elbows. Indeed, when sitting on the bench at this mid-Sussex abode it is wise to be conscious of the gamma effects. The author found the shower a bit prickly for a few days after some short sleeve shirted scoring for twenty overs.

Losing the toss, Lord Sponge’s ghost lingers, The Big Bear was asked to bat. Tis not a footnote to mention that, needing a new recruit to make eleven, Wanderers had a scout around the park. The options were pretty narrow. In the end the choice was limited to the scoring bench, a baguette, The Author and young Alice Noakes. Only one of those could be described as having any knowledge, understanding, and small ability to play cricket. So Alice was correctly chosen… Thus, it is believed, she became the youngest female to play for the team (DJ Dave can’t remember a younger one so that should be enough given his length of service) and possibly only the third or fourth to play a whole game in twenty five years. Slow progress in this area. It would be good to see Sunday cricket as a more mixed affair. Perhaps essential for the long term survival of the game.

In true Berrylands fashion, the match was dominated by individual efforts that dwarfed the able collective. The Big Bear elected to take the first ball and with Wanderers 11-1 at the end of the fourth over, and a tentative approach in prevalent, no-one was really expecting an onslaught. But that is what we were treated to.

With contrasting approach, as indeed we are used to, The Bear clubbed his way to fifty to ton and Wilbarb glided a sweet course of elegant beauty with nudges, nurdles and classic correctness. A potential stand of 200 was only broken at G man’s decision to retire upon reaching three figures. Amiable, perhaps, but an annoyance to scoring statisticians. We seem to get few of those. Will did the same upon reaching his own landmark. Wanderers are so thoughtful. The 40 over innings closed on 251-5.

As ever, tea was ample and immediately available. The only danger here being the tendency to forget that there could be a long haul coming. For Lord Sponge that was indeed the case. The affable and accommodating fool had offered to field for the opposition who were short of personnel. He fielded for 70 overs….

The Gully response, much like that of Wanderers efforts, came from two anchors of support in a second wicket stand. Opener Previn fell in the first over yet not as a sign of things to come. One would have thought that a target of 252 in 40 overs would have proved overwhelming for any chasing side at the meadow. But for a while, although the outcome looked relatively certain, Gully were in the hunt. A century stand between opener Zakir and number three Kanag gave the match a respectable edge and kept Wanderers labouring in the field on what certainly felt like a very long afternoon. Both Zakir and Kanag reached well earned half centuries, Zakir especially wading in with some hefty blows.

Ultimately, with a three wicket return for the Slaymaker and two for Ashley W, an industrious Gully fell short of their target. Wanderers would have preferred them much shorter with the long and arduous heavy fielding experience. By the mid-evening finish only young Alice seemed unfazed by the extended play. Other than that, creaky limbs and bones could be heard above the thunder of the A23. Fond farewells were issued and no-one hung about too long. One year on, one year older..

Match v Gully Format 40 Overs
Date 10/06/18 Venue Berrylands (H)
 
 
Innings of Southwick Wanderers
1 Jones (G) * Retired OUT 101
2 Waymark (A) b Zakir 0
3 Barber (W) Retired OUT 100
4 Noakes (D) + c & b Deepak 16
5 Preston (A) Not Out 2
6 Slaymaker (P) b Deepak 5
7 Walker (A) Not Out 0
8 Johnson (M) Did Not Bat
9 Smith (L) Did Not Bat
10 Noakes (A) Did Not Bat
11 Field (D) Did Not Bat
Sum 224
Extras 27
Fall 7-200-230-251
Total 5 Wickets 251
Bowling
Zakir 8-1-28-1
Deepak 8-0-43-2
Gopi 6-0-25-0
Akshay 3-0-40-0
Hari 7-0-56-0
Kanag 8-0-52-0
Innings of Gully
1 Zakir b Slaymaker (P) 67
2 Previn c Johnson (M) b Smith (L) 0
3 Kanag c & b Johnson (M) 77
4 Hari lbw b Slaymaker (P) 5
5 Gopi lbw b Walker (A) 3
6 Arjun lbw b Slaymaker (P) 1
7 Deepak b Waymark (A) 25
8 Akshay b Waymark (A) 0
9 Previn (returned) Not Out 6
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Sum 184
Extras 28
Fall
Total 8 Wickets 212
Bowling
Smith (L) 8-1-25-1
Field (D) 8-2-28-0
Slaymaker (P) 8-0-46-3
Walker (A) 7-0-50-1
Preston (A) 3-0-33-0
Waymark (A) 4-0-24-2
Johnson (M) 1.2-0-4-1
Result Southwick Wanderers Won by 39 runs