Thames Ditton CC – 1st XI Vs Sheen Park CC – 1st XI
|Type :||League: Surrey County League – 1st XI Division 1 2018||Date:||Saturday 5th May 2018|
|Toss:||Thames Ditton CC – 1st XI won the toss and elected to bat||Start Time:||13:00|
|Ground:||Thames Ditton Cricket Club||Rules Type:||Standard|
|Thames Ditton CC – 1st XI||Sheen Park CC – 1st XI|
|Score||248 for 9 (45 overs) ‘b’ ‘t’||174 for 8 (45 overs)|
Whites washed with vanish Oxi-action, pads wiped clean with face wipes (the Blumire special), and a sparkling new pairs of boots for some – the cricket season was back, and back with a bang.
As a note to the reader, even if you are just having a skim of the report, make sure you read the last paragraph in full, just for little chuckle.
Since the close of the preceding season, many things had changed: a new first team captain, a mammoth transfer window, and most strange of all, Big John Malins had turned up to a training session. Whilst the latter might not have affected the first league game of the year, the first two meant a very different line-up. Four of the 11 players picked to represent the Thames Ditton 1st XI were making their league debut, one had recently sired a newborn and was sporting an impressive dad-bod, and one was back following a hiatus from the club. Under the captaincy of C Dixon versus the promoted Sheen Park, there was a degree of unknown.
First task to navigate, the toss – success, and TD were to start their campaign for promotion with the bat. Having spent most of last season down the order, chancing his arm, but following a 50 in a friendly, Butt opened the batting with M Dixon, a long-standing resident at the number 1 position (unless of course it’s Claygate away, no prizes for guessing why…). 2 overs in and we were 0-1, not an ideal start to our efforts, and it wasn’t until the third over that we even got off the mark. A few new greys sprouted on the head of our new skipper. A circumspect M Dixon fell for 23, against a good opening pair of bowlers, and in previous seasons a quick flurry of wickets often saw Thames Ditton relying on a potential-to-waft middle order and some impressive tail-wagging, to hit a target which we could defend.
Williams looked steady (despite a baby-induced lack of training), and about as ready to be dislodged as a Frenchman living next to a brothel. Annable struggled to get bat on ball early on, before a straight six out-of-nowhere got him on his merry way. Some absolutely exquisite shots through cover and mid-wicket respectively from Williams had the crowd purring, coupled with good running in the searing heat, and an attacking array of shots from Annable. Thames Ditton found themselves on 160-2, thanks to a 123 run partnership. Williams remained unmoved, but wickets started to fall a tad more regularly – however what was pleasing for the captain was that they came with 20 or 30 run partnerships, something again we have been lacking. Pretorius on debut demonstrated what was to come this season with some impressive hitting, as too did Lessiter, in positions 5 and 6, which they look likely to make their own. Cameos from Opie and Manley saw Thames Ditton bat through the entire 45 overs, reaching 248, a score the captain must have been salivating over, even though he did have to go out for two balls, and not face.
After a sumptuous tea, Thames Ditton took to the field, knowing that some early tight bowling could make this uphill task feel more like Kilimanjaro. An LBW in the first over for C Dixon, and his first wicket upon return for prized all-rounder, Opie, Thames Ditton were on their way. There were glimmers of a fight back Sheen Park, but these embers were dowsed in water, as a dodgy call from a batsman gave our new fielding-director and debutant, Pretorius, a chance to aim and take fire. A superb direct hit, and one we hope he will emulate over the course of the season. Another debutant, Manley, bowled with flight and guile, taking two wickets in his 9 overs for 18 runs, a truly remarkable effort (despite dropping a catch off his own bowling). 18 overs of spin (well 9 overs of spin from one end, and 9 overs of M Dixon from the other) made Kilimanjaro fee like Everest, Blumire rolling back the years behind the stumps, whipping off the bails twice with the smoothness and coolness of a velvet owl. Belligerent batting from East Sheen, together with tight bowling, gave the impression that the opposition were looking to get batting points over winning points. Two wickets for Butt, and overall impressive bowling meant that Sheen Park could only muster 174-8 in response to Thames Ditton’s 248, ending a beautiful day of firsts.
Celebrations continued long into the night and the early morning, with Annable doing his yard from last seasons, and the club anthem “Sweet Caroline” under new skipper, C Dixon, was sung loud and true.
However, the unmentioned highlight of this glorious match, was that on a day referred to as “el scorchio” by a M Dixon, Long Ditton were unable to play due to a wet outfield… Oh dear, what a pity, never mind!
For a full breakdown of the match stats, following this link: http://www.play-cricket.com/website/results/3345393