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2nd XI v High Lane away Saturday 9th July

posted 11 Jul 2011, 14:09 by Mike Madden
My thanks to our Chairman Mr TR Wild for the following report, and in the best journalistic tradition, TR has insisted that we "publish and be damned"!

After four days contemplating my much anticipated but as yet non-existent retirement the call came from the first team captain at around 4pm on Friday – “can you talk?” is a phrase used by our skipper normally followed by a request for legal advice or cricket news (in Dale’s case the two are not mutually exclusive) ,” I’ve got news and bad news – which do you want first “ – still unsure of the subject matter to come I responded that he should just “let me have it “. I confess that it was a relief to find that not only had Mr Jones not been arrested , but the supposed bad news was not a promotion to the first team squad but in fact the revival of my somewhat dubious captaincy of the 2nd’s.

Given recent performances the pressure might be on , but tempered with the knowledge that my 11th man was “Tiddy” who changed into Roy and finally became Rigger I felt myself equal to the task.

The team were a rare mixture of extremely enthusiastic youth (Harry and Callum bat , bowl, and keep wicket) old age – Rigger, I, your correspondent, and treachery – (ask Peter !) and a very potent mix it proved to be.

We went for the unorthodox approach from the start and although there was no run up involved in the toss (see Hollingworth) the decision to bat was described by regular team captain Madden as “madness” – surely he must have been thinking of some old song by Suggs and the boys and not the sanity of yours truly.

In any event Rob Hill and Callum were excellent as a new opening partnership and when Rob was dismissed Harry joined his rival for keenest member of the squad and both gave a lesson in how to keep the score moving without having to slog or hit boundaries. When Callum perished the rejuvenated Ed Kitchen kept Harry company to be followed by the recalled Pete Crowley or “Sir “ as he may have to be called following his appointment as an officer of HM Inland Revenue –Peter played his best knock of the season to date but when Harry departed for an excellent 19 and Peter for 10 it left Henry Holden in the tricky situation of batting with the acting captain. There is nothing wrong with Henry's hearing, however his interpretation of said captains suggestion that we would “run them ragged “ was so literal that had the High Lane team been accurate with the throw the square leg umpire (Mr Kitchen ) assured your correspondent there would have been no need for a referral.

High Lane then very sportingly fed the captains favourite (only?) shot for a while and with Gibbo and our ever cheerful groundsman  (“I know I’m moaning but if they keep loading my gun I’ll fire it” – thank God this isn’t a quote from Slacky) lending experience Henry top scored on 26 and WBCC had a very credible 161 for 7.

To assist the ever reliable C Wild the bowling was opened by the deceptively quick JJ Goldfinch who had both batsmen jumping about early on.

The breakthrough didn’t come with the openers but when Callum hit the pad with his first ball there was  no doubt in the minds of bowler or keeper (Harry at this stage – but keep up) and whilst some of the more aged in the slip corden thought it may have been sliding down the leg side the umpire answered in the affirmative and we were on our way.

A further bowling change to introduce the left arm spin of Kitchen bore fruit and when twin spin with Gibson was risked the opposition, not for the first time, found him unplayable.

After taking 7 wickets between them – assisted by a good catch by JJ – and good fielding all round the skipper brought Henry Holden into the attack who took a wicket with his first ball caught behind by Callum (I told you to keep up ).

The reintroduction of JJ brought the end just as Harry Bold had been given the nod to warm up – a great day that both encouraged your correspondent with regard to the clubs future and still makes him think retirement must come very soon.