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Archive for July, 2013

We arrived in Epping beneath blazing sunshine that gave no hint of the heavy rainstorms forecast for later in the afternoon.

Our optimism over the weather helped make the decision to decline the Epping Captain’s offer of reducing the game to 30 overs.

Ahmed won the toss and put Epping in to bat.

Our opening bowling partnership of Andy and Nadir was potent, accurate and pacey and tested their batsmen. But they looked equal to the task and got off to a confident start. Andy was rewarded with the first breakthrough when he bowled their number one bat, whilst Nadir succeeded in finding the edge frequently and was unlucky not to take a wicket in his first spell.

Dave came on for Nadir and the change was successful immediately as he removed the new batsman with his first ball and Foresters were 45 for 2. Next to the crease was the hard hitting Foresters Captain.

Burly replaced Andy and our bowlers toiled in the heat to make inroads into their batting line up. Ahmed made changes giving Nihal and Will a try but the partnership stood strong until Nihal trapped the No.3 bat LBW with the score on 117 after several previous shouts had been turned down.

The Foresters captain was next to fall to the bowling of Nadir when Andy held on to a ball that was travelling like an exocet. We breathed a sigh of relief as he had sent us scurrying into the undergrowth a few times in his innings.

Nihal helped his brother to a wicket when he took a fantastic running catch on the boundary to dismiss the No.5 bat and he now rightly sits in pole position to claim the Catcher’s Cup at the end of the season.

Andy came back into the attack and took the last 2 wickets to fall. Our expectation of the total Foresters were likely to post changed throughout the innings. When they were on top it seemed likely that a score of 250 was possible but then a couple of late wickets gave us hope that we could restrict them to less than 200.

Some late resistance from the last pairing added more runs to the total and Foresters completed the 45 overs on 217 for 8

Unfortunately the kind lady who copied the Epping first innings into our book was somewhat confused and has awarded wickets to players I’ve never heard of. In the assumption that ‘Moore’ is Andy and ‘Murey’ is either Nahim or Nadir, the figures are as follows ………

Munden bowling:

Andy: 8 overs, 1 maiden 3 for 22

Nadir: 9 overs, 1 maiden 1 for 46

Dave B: 10 overs, 3 maidens, 1 for 22

Burly: 5 overs for 30

Nihal: 8 overs, 1 maiden, 2 for 39

Will: 4 overs for 33

Ahmed 1 over for 5

The tea at Epping Foresters is usually very good and we were treated to a magnificent spread.

Meanwhile the sun had gone in and the conditions had changed from favouring the batting to helping the bowlers.

Munden opened the batting with the knowledge that 5 an over would see us to victory. Ahmed and Nihal formed the opening partnership and struggled to get the pace of the pitch and flight of the ball. Run rate wasn’t important at this stage, seeing out the early overs was the objective.

Ahmed received a ball that swung into his stumps and made way for Andy. We hadn’t scored a boundary in the first 6 overs and even Andy was having trouble getting the ball away. Munden were 26 for 2 when Nihal was run out and at this point we knew we had a battle on our hands.

The new batsman was Nadir. He may have set some kind of Munden record as he was at the crease for many overs before he scored his first runs –  a sweetly struck cover drive for 4. But Nadir was doing a great job as he supported Andy who by now was beginning to find the boundary and push the score along.

The introduction of a leg spinner posed a new problem and after playing and missing a couple of times, Nadir was stumped and made way for Phippsy.

Phippsy’s new found confidence was evident but when he was caught on 7, our hopes rested on the middle order staying around to partner Andy.

Andy produced the highest innings for either side of 60 runs, but we realised our hopes were fading as fast as the light when he was out caught and bowled.

Will made his usual swashbuckling start and cut the spinner powerfully for 4. He had doubled that score when he mistimed an attacking shot and was bowled.

Dave B had asked to be dropped down the order and consequently came in at 7.  Batting was becoming harder in the poor light and Dave only managed 1 run before he was caught, making way for Martin

All the while the skies were becoming darker, the temperature had dropped a couple of degrees and there was the sort of gusty wind that promises rain is not far away.

It was now up to Dave P and Martin to edge us closer to the required total. By the time Dave P was out, the light was really poor and the umpires and Foresters’ captain met in the middle to discuss the light as Badger came to the wicket.

Ahmed offered the light to the batsmen. The sensible thing to do would have been to come off then as the neon lights on the scoreboard were burning bright and even with the slow bowlers it was hard to pick up the ball.

In the spirit of fair play we agreed to continue and when Badger was run out due to a mix up, the game seemed lost.

Martin had become the linchpin of our late resistance. As senior batsman it was crucial he kept his head and his wicket.

Burly was the last bat in and showed all his calm and experience as he protected his wicket and stayed with Martin. He stuck it out long enough for the weather to take the decision out of our hands.

The sky blackened, the rain came down amidst thunder and lightning and there was no alternative, the match was abandoned with Munden on 146 for 9.

Munden Batting:

Ahmed 1

Nihal 7

Andy 60

Nadir 9

Phippsy 7

Dave B 1

Martin 11 not out

Dave P 0

Dave M 0

Burly 2 not out

Our bowlers worked hard and deserved their wickets. In Nihal we have a fielder of the highest quality. Andy and Martin were the only batsmen to get into double figures so the rest of us have to work harder to contribute to the scoring.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. It was a collective decision to put Foresters in to bat, but had we not, we would have scored more runs and Foresters to endure the inclement conditions. As it was we accrued 4 points for match abandoned and a further 7  batting and bowling points and remain top of the league.

It has been a shaky start to the second half of the season. We’ve fielded strong sides and lost games by narrow margins. We have already beaten all the teams we face in the remainder of the season. If we can replicate that performance we will finish top. There is no room for complacency, we have to be on top of our game if we want to make this a season to remember.

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Hi guys

 

The team for tomorrow is as follows:

Ahmed
Dave P
Dave B
Phippsy
Burly
Dave M
Martin
Nihal
Nadir
Andy
Will

 

Please be there by 1pm. If you cannot make it for any reason, please contact Ahmed or Dave P.

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I am not able to post a detailed match report just now, but a brief synopsis would be as follows:

Ahmed lost the toss … déjà vu …. we had to field

Farnham batted well after losing an early wicket and helped in no small part by their star player (J. Sandgood 84) posted a formidable total of 213 for 6 on a pitch that although hard in appearance, produced a very low bounce that made it difficult to get the ball away.

Munden performed well in the field and rotated the bowling in an attempt to break the pivotal partnership between the number 2 and 3 batsmen.

Munden bowling:

Dave B: 10 overs, 4 maidens, 3 for 40

Burly: 6 overs, 1 maiden, 0 for 20

Will: 4 overs, 0 for 15

Andy: 10 overs, 1 for 39

Ahmed: 6 overs, 2 for 32

Nihal: 9 overs, 1 maiden 0 for 40

Ahmed and Ashley opened the batting for Munden.

Ashley was still out of sorts having only left hospital in midweek week and did well to make the game let alone post a match winning score. He got the faintest of edges and walked without waiting for the umpires decision.

Ashley was replaced by Andy. Ahmed fell to LBW next and we were 2 down with less than 20 on the board. It got worse when Dave B was bowled by another delivery that kept low having hit one sweet boundary.

Our hopes rested on Nihal and Andy forming a partnership to bring us back in to contention.

With Nihal playing the support role and Andy attacking the bowling, the score began to build and the required run rate of 5 an over was maintained.

The two shared a 100 partnership before Nihal was caught and bowled on 26. Phippsy was next in and riding high after his exploits with the bat last week. He kept up with Andy and pushed our score towards 200 falling on 11.

Sadly the remaining bats couldn’t quite stick around long enough to achieve victory and when Andy was out on 94 (bowled by Sandford who took 6 wickets for 43) our resistance was all but over.

Sandfiord claimed Burly’s wicket LBW and Munden were all out for 104 in the 44th over …. just 9 runs short of a winning total.

Munden Batting:

Ahmed 7

Ashley 3

Andy 94

Dave B 4

Nihal 26

Phippsy 11

Will 4

Martin 2

Boycie 1

Dave M 3 N.O.

Burly 0

It was a very high quality game of cricket. Farnham were strengthened by the return of their college students and are strong in every department. Sandford is a very talented yong cricketer; he top scored for Farnham and took 6 wickets.

Munden played well and ran Farnham close. Such games often hinge on a bit of luck or a moment of inspiration. The luck wasn’t with us this day.

We may have won had we batted first. We may have won had we claimed one of the catches that Nihal created bowling to Sandford. But all in all it was a fair result and not one we should look back on with any regrets.

Once again results went our way and Munden stay top thanks to Epping’s defeat of Fyfield, but that now attaches even greater importance to our game against them next week, so please let us know your availability early and let’s see a good turn out at nets on  Thursday.

Lost trousers

Boycie has called me to say that he picked up a pair of Slazenger medium sized trousers (not his obviously) from the dressing room on Saturday. He’s washed and dried them so the owner only needs identify themselves. 

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Ahmed

Dave B

Phippsy

Burly

Dave M

Boycie

Chris

Martin

Will

Nihal

Ashley

The address of the ground is:

Farnham CC
Hazel End
Farnham
Essex
CM23 1HB

Please arrive by 1:00

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On the face of it a game between the top and bottom clubs should almost be a formality.  But we were without arguably 4 of our top batsmen and also short in the bowling, so we were expecting a tough game against Birchanger II.

True to forecast, it was a scorcher of a day and in line with pretty much every game this season, there was a late shuffling of the squad.

Birchanger arrived with only 9 men, awaiting 2 late arrivals and weakened by the loss of their vice captain to the first eleven.

We had all given Ahmed a stern talking to regarding his abject failure to perform the simple task of winning a toss ….. the pressure worked. Our captain looked almost as shocked as when he holds onto a catch as he returned to the pavilion having called correctly and elected to bat.

The Birchanger captain was less happy at having to field as he announced that they had ‘no bowlers’. Was this bravado, was he trying to lull us into a false sense of security? ….. No he wasn’t.

Ahmed and Mark opened the batting and in the face of some tame bowling knowing they just had to concentrate and wait for the ball to arrive and the runs would come. This they did as the score reached 72 before Ahmed, who was wilting in the heat, was bowled having scored 36.  He was replaced by Ricky.

Soon after Mark returned to the pavilion on 26 when a pull shot found a fielder.

Was this a mini collapse? We knew Birchanger had some destructive top order batsmen and so not wanting to leave anything to chance, we felt we needed to post a high score. Who in our eleven was capable of such a feat?

Big Dave Beardsley took guard  and immediately showed his growing maturity as a batsman. He was watchful and patient and then brutal in his dispatch of the bad ball.

Dave B 158

Meanwhile Ricky departed after a brief cameo. Not to be outdone, Martin produced an even briefer cameo and made way for our serial underachiever …. Phippsy

Phippsy batted as we all knew he could and as he grew in confidence, the runs piled up and Dave B started crashing the ball to all corners of the ground. Unfortunately that included the roof of Chris’ car ….. what’s a small dent in the roof in the pursuit of six runs 😕

The two had shared a partnership of 219 when Phippsy was out on 61, his best ever score for Munden. Congratulations James, a great knock. The monkey is off your back, we look forward to a flurry of runs from you for the remainder of the season.

Phippsy

Boycie was advanced up the order in the hope his plank could add the runs to put the game completely out of reach. So he swung like a man possessed. Unfortunately he didn’t possess his plank when he lost grip of his bat and nearly decapitated Dave at the other end. It produced welcome moment of humour for the dispirited fielding side.

Shortly after, Boycie began to connect and was not out on 10 at the end.

The plaudits must go to only one man. Dave Beardsley hit 22 fours and 4 sixes in his score of 158 not out. Towards the end he slowed his scoring down resisting the big shots over the top as we’d already had to replace the ball twice and Birchanger had lost their appetite for scouring the adjacent fields for the ball.

It was a terrific performance that required stamina and application and no small measure of skill. I’d be surprised if anyone else gets a higher score in the division this season.

Munden completed the 45 overs posting a total of 365.

Another drama on the day was the realisation that we didn’t have tea. Burly had made it clear that as he was living in Rugby being in limbo between houses and therefore couldn’t fulfill his commitment. Unfortunately the message didn’t get through and thanks to a sterling effort from Bev and a rush to the supermarket, we were treated to one of the best teas of the season.

We knew that Birchanger would come out and attack the bowling. What else could they do? If they were to have any chance of winning they’d have to score in excess of 8 an over and if they didn’t at least they’d go down fighting.

Their captain faced the first ball from Burly and hit it straight back over his head for four. The next ball was identical in flight but moved off the pitch, found the edge of the bat and was plucked from the air one handed and at full stretch by Boycie.  Had Newton still been around he would have had to rethink his laws of gravity such was the salmonesque way our resident salad dodger rose to claim the catch.

Not having the luxury of slomo replays some of us questioned what we’d just witnessed. So just to prove it was no fluke, Boycie repeated the feat a few overs later to give Burly his second wicket.

Dave was bowling from the other end and was understandably wearied from his time at the crease. He clean bowled the number 2 batsman in his first spell and gave way to prima ballerina Boyce.

One of Birchanger’s late arrivals was putting up spirited resistance with the bat, but when he was caught and bowled by Marlene on 39, they had run out of experienced players and the tail was mopped up with comparative ease

Dave B took another wicket and Boycie claimed three in total making way for Chris who now has claim to the best Munden bowling figures …. 0.5 overs, 2 wickets for 1 run.

Birchanger were all out in the 28th over for 116.

There is plenty to remark on about the game, but first we must acknowledge the sportsmanship of Birchanger in bringing a side that was seriously weakened when other teams may well have just cried off on such a hot day.

Dave’s 158 and Phippsy’s first fifty for Munden together with Boycie’s athleticism and 3 wickets meat that 5 jugs were on offer when we celebrated at the Boot after the game. Everyone played their part and though some didn’t get to bat or bowl it was still a team effort so congratulations to all.

An added bonus is that both Epping Foresters and Fyfield lost so Munden are clear at the top of the table again. To underline the closeness of the teams in this league, Foresters were beaten by Farnham (our opponents next week) and Fyfield by Thorley, so we must continue to perform and not take any team for granted.

Munden batting:

Ahmed 36

Mark 26

Ricky 11

Dave B 158 not out

Martin 0

Phippsy 61

Boycie 10 not out

Munden Bowling:

Burly: 10 overs, 2 maidens, 2 for

Dave B: 6 overs, 2 for 24

Boycie: 4 overs, 2 maidens, 3 for 13

Chris: 0.5 overs, 2 for 1

Maybe we should rethink the sheep as our club logo. Chris’ photo of the Red Kite circling overhead during the game seems to better encapsulate the soaring spirit of Munden 2013 …….

Kite

Martin has pointed out that the picture is probably a Buzzard as Red Kites have a crescent shaped tail, he’s probably correct but there was a Red Kite over the ground on Saturday so we can pretend 😛 Mind you, the Munden Buzzards has a ring to it!

Thanks to Chrispix for the photos

Footnote:

Ashley has asked me to thank you all for your support and kind words in his Get Well card. 

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The team for tomorrow is:

Ahmed
Dave P
Dave B
Phippsy
Burly
Dave M
Boycie
Chris
Mark
Ricky
Martin

 

Everyone be there by 1pm. If some folks can turn up earlier to help with pitch prep.

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I have reinstated the President’s Day tab at the top right of the page and added a selection of Chris’ excellent photos …… this one is one of my favourites – you can add your own caption, mine is at the bottom of the page 😛

Spot the ball

Spot the ball

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