1s vs Shepperton
Unfortunately there is no report for the 1s due to the game being finished by about 3pm.
Although, congrats to Chris Dixon for getting his highest score for the 1s, in his 7 years playing in the ones, Chris has amassed 95 runs with an average of 5 and NOW a top score of 13. (if you take extras out of todays game that was 22% of the 1s score) The Pitch was the winner say no more…..
Shepperton Vs 2s
“Shepperton away” is one of the glamour fixtures in the Thames Ditton cricketing calendar. Apart from the club’s picturesque setting amid beautiful Surrey woodland (mentioned in HG Wells novel War of the Worlds (Chapter 12: What I saw of the Destruction of Weybridge and Shepperton)), the ground is situated a tantrum-throw from Britain’s own Hollywood, just 2 miles from the legendary Shepperton Film Studios where many of the world’s greatest films were made.
And as the current crop of stars of Thames Ditton’s own Brat Pack – the high-flying 2nd XI – arrived at the Russell Street ground, sitting second in the league, with just five ‘win or lose’ matches of the season remaining, a sense of expectancy hung around the game not unlike Oscar night.
And when skipper Natt called the coin spin correctly in blazing sunshine and had no hesitation in electing to bat the expectation grew even further; the Omen of the toss was good; Thames Ditton perform best when batting first. Fielding for 45 overs in the heat, that seemed straight out of Africa, was likely to be a very hard afternoon’s work for Shepperton.
The twos were pleased to have first team regulars Tom Pemberton, James Rutter and Mike Robinson in a side that looked balanced and promised both runs and tight bowling. The return of Kapoor was another plus.
It was Pemberton and Rutter who were paired in the opening scene – (with Rutter, like some sort of gladiator, taking up considerably more of the screen than Pemberton) each settled in comfortably and showed their class in picking up runs with no risks and the scoreboard ticked over.
However, with the score on 36 Pemberton’s eyes lit up at a leg-side full toss, which he could only sky to square leg and he departed for a solid 19. He looked every inch the fallen idol as he trudged back to the pavilion.
Farley joined Rutter and after seeing off the opening spells of Amyatt-Leir and Day the runs started to flow. An excellent track meant that the bats could punish any loose balls and with Farley in particular enjoying some luck (dropped twice and many runs collected in the third man area) the target score of 200 remained realistic. With the score on 115 Rutter was out for 29 and Farley followed for 55 with the score on 136. At this stage a score of well over 200 looked probable: the 2s bat long, the opposition had been toiling hard and the pitch was only getting flatter.
This is where we cut to The Movies again.
In an essay entitled The Five Key Turning Points Of All Successful Movie Scripts, script consultant Michael Hauge sets out the six basic stages – and five turning points – in a ‘properly structured movie.’
The Stages and Turning Points are:
Stage 1: The Set Up
(Turning Point: The Opportunity)
Stage 2: The New Situation
(Turning Point: The Change of Plan)
Stage 3: Progress
(Turning Point: The Point of No Return)
Stage 4: Complications and Higher Stakes (Turning Point: The Major Setback)
Stage 5: The Final Push
(Turning Point: The Climax)
Stage 6: The Aftermath
And so it was that the Thames Ditton innings unfolded in a way that Hauge would recognise (or could indeed have scripted).
The Major Setback arrived when wickets tumbled and a sound 136 for 2 quickly became 147-7. The change in fortunes due to some loose batting, good bowling by Cooper who snapped up four quick wickets and a fielding side who would not lay down.
Natt’s target of 200 looked a long way off.
What next? A stumble for twos? With promotion at stake?
The movie goers paused. Popcorn hovered before open mouths and they waited for The Final Push. Would it arrive?
At this point Tamil joined Dave Morgan in the middle.
And then the innings climaxed nicely.
The partnership which followed ultimately took the game away from the hosts with each batsman scoring runs in their own contrasting styles – Morgan driving powerfully at anything pitched up (with one towering on-drive disappearing Into the Woods) and Tamil carving shots wristily through the in-field. The difference in styles (The Beauty and the Beast) made it difficult for the bowlers and the pair soon added 58 taking the team past the landmark 200. When Morgan went for 41 Tamil continued to collect runs and was last out was out for 36. Thames Ditton had reached a healthy looking 222.
The Shepperton response started well with Jones and Pepall adding 36 of the first wicket before Pepall mistimed a pull to present Butt with a simple caught and bowled, which was followed by a celebration that the boys from Brazil would be envious of.
And though Elvin, Amyatt-Leir and Chambray all reached double figures the home-side were always behind the run rate with tight bowling all round but particularly from the Butt (5 overs for 10 runs bowling fast and furious) and Tamil 9 overs for 16 runs and picking up 3 wickets. Kapoor, Morgan, Natt and Robinson never let the pressure drop (Kapoor gaining atonement for a bad dropped catch which looked like it might be costly) and so it was that when the last Shepperton wicket fell the Thames Ditton total was still 99 runs away.
And so the 2s go into the final 4 games knowing 4 wins would mean promotion. At least.
Note: Keen observers amongst you may notice a number of classic films which were made at Shepperton Studios in this report. There were ten intentional ones – how many did you spot? How many could you add? Answers in comments below……
3s vs Chessington CC
QUEER GOINGS ON – BUT THAT’S WHAT YOU CALL A GOOD GAME OF CRICKET
Chessington 205-7 (45 overs) beat TD 196-9 (45 overs) by 9 runs
The last three games for the thirds have to say the least been testing for a variety of reasons – the game at Chessington proved that it can be worth the effort and its very much one of the queerest games I’ve played in for many along while. The decision to play our home game at Chessington was vindicated by the wicket (excellent) and the teas (double excellent) and therefore the standard of entertainment joined in to make it quite a day. On what looked a cracking wicket Jai won the toss and put the opposition in knowing they rarely win when the bat first. The first 8 overs were very queer to say the least. Pemberton J having begged his skipper to open the bowling, did so and was removed after an 11 ball first over, replaced by Ed Vaughan – he also had the extra disease but via a more dangerous variety of beamers, so much so that he was forcibly removed from the attack after only 2 overs, Paul Campbell taking what remained of the 3rd over. Ed (shirt slightly less crumpled) did manage to take two wickets (equally queer) with the only two balls he got to pitch and then proceeded to distinguish himself in the field with some interesting boundary fielding. So Andy Cassie (it is me again) came on fourth change after 4 overs from the same end. At the other end Martin A continued on his merry way, tight as a gnat’s chuff – 9-4-16-0 – significantly no wicket there but a great spell. At the other end the other old person bowled 9 overs for 9 runs and 1 wicket, oh and a delightful run out too off his own bowling (some may say it was a dropped catch others may differ). Chessington were struggling to score on what was a really good wicket, Campbell bowled well but tweaked a shoulder meaning who could we turn to for additional bowling support. Jones of course delivered a nice selection of pies and bowled one good ball, but Jai still had another 9 overs to fill. Joe Inglis came on – same fate as Vaughan eventually, Max Robbo bowled one at the end and with Jonno threatening to turn his arm, there was nothing to it but to turn to keeper Stevie Wallace for an over, to stop what was now a cascade of runs. With the pads removed and a run up similar to Roadrunner, Wallace launched his first ball at the bat who had already scored 63. So surprised was the bat that Wallace bowled it straight and the sheer power of the delivery- the bat perished first ball of the over. Wallace was so close to getting a second later in the over, but to prove how much stats lie in the book it says Wallace 1-0 -3-1 – incredibly queer. So after all this – helped by some dubious fielding and erotic (er erratic) bowling Chessington managed to get to 205 in 45 having been little more than 85 off 30.
So after a lovely tea, TD set out to chase a score we hadn’t achieved in 3 let alone one innings since Jones last failed to bowl a pie in an over. Cassie and Pemberton opened and put on a seasons record opening stand of 16 before Cassie was bowled with a late in ducker (writers prerogative) for 13. Robinson, Pemberton (16) and Fairhurst (11) all perished reasonably cheaply and at 49-4 the total was again looking good for under 100. Cometh the hour cometh several men. The skipper (to be called the Cat – can’t think of anything else that has 9 lives) ably supported by PC (20 odd), then Wallace (19) and Ed Vaughan (34), whilst also running out Joe Inglis, really made a game of it. With the league leaders reduced to having everybody including the wicketkeeper on the boundary the win for TD was on. 24 needed off the last 3 – it was still possible, before Patel perished for an interesting 56 but with Annable and Jones at the crease at the end we ran out 9 runs short .
Great entertainment spurred on by the Ones support, who had lost at home on a shirt front of a pitch in about 7 overs, this is what Saturdays should be about and you know the queerest thing of all – Wallace has the best bowling average in the club and got more wickets than Martin Annable and Mike Dixon on the day. Onwards to Epsom – who we also should have beaten earlier in the season.
Sunday XI vs Dorking CC
Following an inability to turn up on the day, Cricketers Richmond pulled out early on in the week, meaning our resident Professor of Fixtures, Tom Pemberton, took to the super Internet highway to find the Sunday XI a game. With so many teams fighting for a chance to play on the sacred triangle of Giggs Hill Green, Dorking CC U17s travelled the 13 miles to take on a Thames Ditton side who looked strong on the bowling front, and slightly weaker on the batting.
Now this writer knows he says so in pretty much every match report, but we bat first on a Sunday. Always have, always will, bar extenuating circumstances. Key point number 1: despite saying we were more of a bowling side but we’d bat first, to have a 17 year old win the toss and tell Captain Annable Junior that the oppo would have a bat made the whole day slightly sour. Not one to be bitter, we took to the field on a hot day knowing that the 11 kids wanted to keep us out there as long as possible.
Things didn’t start too well for the Sunday XI; the opening bat for Dorking U17 was one of the finest batsman we’ve played to date. Good balls were left, or defended and bad balls were flicked effortlessly to the boundary, either for four or the maximum, with a nonchalant arrogance you get being that young and that good. Key point number 2: Annable Senior pushed one slightly wider to the youngster charging down the track, and in a stumping that would make Warren proud, Annable Junior had the bails off and a massive breakthrough. Everyone looks to the square leg umpire…a shake of the head, and a whisper of “bat was down”. At any level on any day it was out, stone dead. Nope. Not often is one furious on a Sunday, but this was poor. Still, not bitter, mainly because 20 runs later safe-hands Natt took a great catch at mid on as he so often does of Annable Senior’s bowling. Justice!
Dixon Junior bowled at an express pace, and a very probing line outside off, meaning he was very economic in a period where the batsman were throwing their hands at anything. He was unlucky not to get a wicket until later on, when Harris, who had previously juggled, jiggled and jaggled the ball when passing round, swallowed the ski-iest of skiers to keep the last few overs from being too expensive.
Butt and Dixon steadied the ship around the midway point on the innings, both bowling 7 overs, 2 wickets for 26 and 27 respectively. This inexpensive period, which saw Big Man Francois pirouette at point to pouch his third catch of the season and Team GB’s very own Steve Newbold swan dive at gully to take a one handed stunner. According to the umpire, “he made it harder than it needed to be” – what a load of hogwash. Much more used to two hands on the water ski tow rope, and also carrying a debilitating thigh injury, Newbold took what may be catch of the season off Dixon Senior, his 63rd wicket of the season. Dayal proved to be an exceptional 5th bowler, taking two key wickets and securing Natt’s third catch and a welcome jug. The odd beamer was thrown in as a tribute to Harris, but not enough to be called dangerous.
Totalling 206 off their 40 overs, it was a strange innings – after 10 overs Dorking U17 looked like they would get 250. After 25 overs 180 looked a tall order, so 206 was about right. A daunting total indeed, and not one the Sunday XI were used to chasing, by virtue of the fact that we always bat first. Annable Junior, following a quiet afternoon behind the stumps, bar the phantom stumping, had a bit of a puzzle in terms of the batting order. There was no clear opening pair, with Coutouvidis not keen to don the number two after a while out of the game. A few cocktail sausages, and pieces of chocolate cake (Dixon Senior had eaten all the nuggets) helped sooth Annable Junior’s mind, and it was decided that the brothers Dixon would don the opening gloves and carry the torch for TD.
An early flurry of boundaries looked positive, but unfortunately the lesser spotted batting Dixon was bowled. Players often come off saying they faced a great ball when actually it was about as good as a pork scratching. However when the keeper says “Well that was a jaffer”, it’s probably fair that the first XI’s resident number 11 was bowled for 4. Oh dear, 11 for 1 chasing 200. A tall order, as Annable Junior took to the crease. Things looked up as both batsmen pushed the ball to the boundary, the smaller of the pair managing to hit a dog square in the ribs. A quickfire partnership of 32 had the makings of a match winner, and more importantly Coutouvidis would sit the entire innings AGAIN without getting to bat. Poor foot movement saw Annable Junior caught at cover, bringing Big Bear Greg in. As if he’d never been away, Greg and Mike put on the innings that changed the game – a partnership of 107 was the difference between the two teams. Coutouvidis blocked the good balls, and hit the bad ones for four. Dixon Senior pretty much hit every ball for four. Mike can bludgeon good balls for boundaries, but this innings was much more of a measured one, with a large proportion of his runs behind square on the off side, with the glided mosey, the most frustrating for the bowler and his slip cordon.
Some large shouts for LBW against Greg saw the game turn slightly more sour. Dorking skipper questioned the umpire if we were indeed playing LBWs (“no literally umpire, are we?”) to which Dixon Senior replied “What, like stumpings?”. Whilst this quip was a good comeback, what was much more satisfying was that the over for 16 odd. Greg eventually fell – with most of the damage done, we were not entirely in the clear. We’re all familiar with the TDCC collapse, you pretty much have to sign saying you know it will happen when you pay your subs. With Butt taking the crease, a few quick wickets would turn the game in Dorking’s favour. Everyone wanted to see Big Man Francois wielded his new weapon, but we also wanted to get over the finish line as quickly as possible to avoid that sight of Annable Senior walking to the crease with a teams’ hopes on his shoulders. Enter Hamza, with his big grin, to match Mike’s big Ginsters. A monstrous 36 off 14 balls, including 7 four and a ginormous maximum, within a few overs 50 runs to win saw the shaking of hands and another Sunday win. Butt’s firey thirty will be the lasting memory of the game, but Dixon Senior’s 123* was probably the best ton this writer has seen him play.
A day when no one got a thanks for coming, everyone contributed, and we held every catch, Annable Junior was exceptionally proud of this performance. What could have been tremendously tense run chase, saw us do it with 10 overs left and 7 wickets in hand. Simply phenomenal.