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Archive for June, 2015

Most of the week had been spent feverishly exchanging texts, emails and pleading phone calls in an attempt to fill the void left by the absence of Burly, Simon, Shawal, Riz and Kamran for the upcoming game against Rickling Green.

Rickling Ramblers June 2015

Rickling Ramblers June 2015

By Saturday morning we had a team of 10 thanks to addition of Chinese Alan and the Chairman stepping up to the plate. Well actually we started with 8 because Phippsy was having to work late and Will had flown in to Heathrow that morning and his flight had been delayed. Due to this, we needed to bat first, therefore Ahmed needed to win the toss. The pivotal one duly obliged and he donned his pads along with Badger in the hope that we could get off to a solid start and keep wickets in hand for when the reinforcements arrived.

Ahmed nudged a quick single and then timed a pull shot sweetly for 4 in the first over. Feeling good at the crease he connected nicely with a ball that was there to be hit, but unfortunately it went straight to a fielder and Ahmed’s innings was over.

Martin was next to the crease. The wicket was undulating and the bounce varied from rearing up unexpectedly to shooting along low. Added to this, the ball was swinging and this meant that there was an element of risk to pretty much every attacking shot.

No sooner had Ahmed departed than Badger decided to play a different game called pad ping pong that resulted in the ball hitting his stumps. Dave B found himself at the crease before he’d scarcely sat down to follow proceedings. Badger was still in the process of throwing his bat around in the dressing room when he heard a cheer go up and emerged to see Martin also making his way back to the pavilion having clipped the ball to the keeper.

Munden were 6 for 3 in the 4th over …… and the cavalry still hadn’t arrived.

It was now up to the middle order powerhouse of Big Dave and BBBoycie to stem the tide of wickets and put runs on the board. This pairing saved the day for Munden on several occasions last season and after a cautious start began to find the boundary with some powerful hitting. Their partnership of 76 was the turning point of the innings and kept us going until both Will and Phippsy had arrived to add depth to the order.

The fielders breathed a sigh of relief when Boycie was out caught having smashed a quickfire 30, but soon realised that his replacement Will was equally capable of scoring quickly. Dave and Will peppered the boundary and each recorded a six to match Boycie’s earlier. Dave acknowledged the applause for his top score for the day of 50 but was trapped LBW shortly after and made way for Phippsy.

Phippsy played his now accustomed late middle order role once again and took the singles and rotated the strike to give the in-form Will the opportunity to demonstrate his accomplished range of shots. Will’s last shot was a real beaut, a drive half volley straight out of the middle of the bat that stung the hands of the fielder and ended his impressive return to the Munden fold.

Munden were 148 for 6.

Phippsy had described Chinese as a big boy who could hit the ball hard. Alan hit one ball hard and straight but unfortunately straight at a fielder. His next shot was a thick edge that also found a fielder but this time without bouncing and so no fortune cookie on this occasion – but we look forward to seeing more of Alan playing for Munden in the future.

Rickling Ramblers June 2015

Rickling Ramblers June 2015

Alan’s departure made way for Mr. Chairman.

Peter has still got it! He played a superb cameo of an innings that saw the Munden tail wag. He scored a couple of fours in his 21 and also achieved something rare amongst the finely tuned Munden athletes when he ran a three….. unheard of 🙂

When Phippsy was out for 15 with 3 overs to go, Jonty (AKA Chris) partnered Peter to the end.

He scored his first 3 runs of the season (still not out) and Munden finished on 183 for 8 – a remarkable recovery from such a shaky start.

Munden batting:

Ahmed 5

Dave M 0

Martin 1

Dave B 50

Boycie 30

Will 45

Allan (the chinese variety) 0

Peter 21 not out

Phippsy 15

Chris 3 not out

It had been hot out in the field and so tea came as a welcome break.

With Burly absent attending a thistle jam making convention in the Outer Hebrides, Ahmed asked Boycie to open the bowling with Big Dave.

Rickling got off to a steady start and looked comfortable on their home wicket. Dave was giving it maximum effort and regularly beating the bat but with no reward after 5 overs it was decided to give him a rest in the field and Will took over the pace side of the attack.

Martin has kept wicket to Will before and knows that the ball can sting his gloves, but even he was impressed at the controlled pace, accuracy and aggression that he brought to the game. Will produced a spell of bowling that will be very hard to match this season or any other. He finished his 6 over stint having bowled 3 maidens and taken 5 wickets for a mere 7 runs. Four of his victims were bowled, beaten by pace, swing and seam and the 5th was a sharp catch taken by Boycie at first slip.

Boycie too was was playing a big part in proceedings. He bowled the full compliment of 10 overs, claiming 3 wickets – the first by LBW and then 2 clean bowled. Dave came back into the attack and got the wicket he had deserved earlier when Chinese Alan took a good catch at mid wicket.

Phippsy brought Rickling’s resistance to an end when he bowled the No.10 bat. Our hosts were all out for 88.

Munden bowling:

Dave B, 7 overs, 3 maidens, 1 for 16

Boycie, 10 overs, 1 maiden, 3 for 41

Will, 6 overs, 3 maidens, 5 for 7

Phippsy, 2 overs, 1 for 21

This was a game that we had expected to be challenging with so many players missing. We later learned that Rickling’s side had also been weakened by absentees and we can expect a different game altogether in the home fixture that concludes our season in late August.

Even so this was a great result. It was great to see Will back in the side and boy did he remind us what a good cricketer he is. Also special mention for Dave’s 50, Boycie’s batting and bowling and Peter’s lovely cameo at the end of the innings.

Munden have risen to 3rd in the table with only 9 points separating the top 5 sides. We’re half way through the season having won 6, lost 2 and 1 rained off … replicate that in the second half and who knows?

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Chairman’s Day is approaching fast.

The intention is to have two Twenty20 matches, the first starting at about 11.00, with a break for lunch. A wide variety of refreshments will be available. We would like this to be a family day.

Please indicate your availability to play using the tab above.

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So far ……

Ahmed

Phippsy

Boycie

Dave B

Martin

Will

Dave M

Chris

Chinese Allan

Peter (maybe)

The ground is at Rickling Green near Saffron Walden

Post code CB11 3YG

These are the instructions to find the Cricketers Arms pub which is opposite the ground….

To reach The Cricketers Arms from the A10:
Leave the A10 and take the A120 towards Bishops Stortford/Stansted Airport. Turn left onto the B1383 at the roundabout. Follow this road through Stansted Mountfitchett for approximately 3 miles and take the first left into Belcham’s Lane immediately after you pass through the village of Ugley. The Cricketers Arms is on the right, the other side of the village green and cricket field.  Look out for the brown tourist sign directing you into Belcham’s Lane and to The Cricketers Arms. If you miss the first turning, you can take the next left which is Rickling Green Road and approach The Cricketers Arms on your left.

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We currently have only 9 players for Saturday’s game. BK has just added his name to the long list of absentees.

Can everyone associated with the club please rack your brains and find some more players for us.

Contact Ahmed, Phippsy, Dave M or Chris with any ideas you may have – or put a message in ‘player availability’ on this site

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Ahmed

Phippsy

Martin

Boycie

Dave B

Dave M

Hugh

Allan

Will

Chris

A.N. Other

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Ahmed

Phippsy

Burly

Dave B

Dave M

Martin

Rizwan

Kamran

Boycie

Wahab

Chris

Teas will be provided by our resident gourmet chef, Chef RF

The Women’s Tour of Britain cycle race will pass close to Dane End late Saturday morning, racing from Waltham Cross to Stevenage, and we should expect traffic disruptions, Please allow plenty of time to get to the ground

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We awoke on Saturday morning to find the Hertfordshire hills shrouded in heavy cloud with a persistent drizzle that showed no sign of abatement and therefore cast doubt on our chances of playing cricket.

High Roding IIs vs Munden June 2015

High Roding IIs vs Munden June 2015

The picturesque High Roding ground is one of the furthest from Munden and so Ahmed contacted Roding’s captain for a local forecast before we made the long journey. The response was positive, the strip was covered, the outfield would dry quickly and there was only light intermittent rain.

All this proved to be the case as when we arrived the covers were on and the rain had all but stopped. The only cloud on Munden’s horizon was the news that Phippsy had been called in to work. Luckily our supersub Chris was ready willing and able to fill the void. Being the team man he is, Phippsy had collected Shawal from Hertford and delivered him to Roding before heading back to work. Little did he know that by that act alone, he had actually played a vital role in the day’s proceedings.

Numero Uno tossed to perfection and elected to bat as the pitch was currently dry and there was a chance of more rain later. It was agreed to reduce the game to 40 overs due to a late start and the general conditions.

The strip was beautifully prepared, hard and dry and looked to be an excellent batting track. Ahmed was spoilt for choice in the top order. Simon is the perfect opener for Munden, his place is beyond challenge. We haven’t lost a game with Simon in the side for 18 months, but this day Ahmed decided to mix it up a bit and asked Kamran to partner Simon, shifting Shawal down to number 5 where it was hoped he may be able to express himself with more freedom.

The pair got off to a solid start in the face of some lively pace bowling. The score ticked along nicely at about 6 an over as our batters used the pace of the ball, found the boundary and farmed the singles. Kamran was looking confident and hitting the ball cleanly and connected nicely with a shot that picked out the fielder at midwicket and ended his innings for the day.

Wahab was next in. He had trouble finding the ground and had literally jumped out of his car, put his pads on and come straight in to bat. The ball was swinging. Not every ball and not extravagantly but just enough to make the difference between a swing and miss and finding the edge. Unfortunately Wahab was good enough to find the edge and clipped the ball to the keeper. We know Wahab is a fine batsman, it just hasn’t happened for him yet with Munden … but it will. His bowling has been excellent and he was to play a greater part in the game later in the day.

Munden were wobbling a little on 24 for 2 and so it fell to Rizwan to steady the ship and partner Simon to build a winning total. Riz prefers to attack the ball and played his game as he kept the scoreboard ticking over and the momentum of the innings picked up. Riz scored 35 in his partnership of 64 with Simon before he was caught and bowled when attempting a straight drive back over the bowler’s head.

Munden were 88 for 3.

Next to the crease was our new number 5 bat Shawal.

Munden vs Roding Valley II June 2015

Munden vs Roding Valley II June 2015

Ever the shrinking violet, Shawal proceeded to execute the same shot as Riz off  his first ball. He connected sweetly, cleared the bowler by about a foot and scored a flat one bounce four into the field behind the sight screen. While the fielders searched for the ball, Shawal leant nonchalantly on his bat with that ever present innocent smile, and my fellow umpire Wahab gave him this advice “play your natural game, but we need you to stay there”. I couldn’t help wondering whether the 2 strategies were complimentary?

It appears that batting at 5 and following Wahab’s advice were 2 excellent strategies as Shawal launched what can only be described as an assault on the bowling.

He displayed his entire repertoire ranging from wristy clips off his legs, to straight lofted drives, powerful cut shots and pull shots from outside off stump …. with the odd little dink for a single just to keep the fielders guessing.Munden vs Roding Valley II June 2015All the time, our number 1 bat was ‘Simonizing’ the bowling and passed his 50 without ever giving a chance in the field. The score mounted and our notional target of 200 as a ‘decent score on this pitch, was surpassed. Simon had shared a partnership of 114 with Shawal when he was caught off the first chance he had given and was out for 71 vital runs having anchored the innings as only he can..

Martin replaced Simon and took a single off his first ball to give Shawal the strike. That was all that was required of him. Shortly after,  Roding generously joined in the applause as Shawal raised his bat in recognition of his hundred. If Shawal had been batting with freedom to this point, now he was batting with gay abandon. The wind from the swing of the bat would have been enough to part my hair (if I had any) in the pavilion. Shawal flailed a mighty six, followed by a four, followed by an air shot and a return to the pavilion with 113 runs to his name. That is some feat batting at number 5 in a reduced overs game.

The book doesn’t give the stats to be definitive, but I would imagine that Shawal’s century came in around 70 balls. It was an innings as awesome as it was entertaining – for Munden at least, maybe not so much for Roding.

Next in was Cup Cake Boom Boom Boycie. Fresh from his heroics last week, B3 now had an entirely different set of circumstances. We were batting first and we had 255 on the board. John unselfishly played the role of tail ender and went after the ball. He hit a powerful 4 before he too was bowled going for the hit over the top. Ricky came out to partner Martin with 2 overs to go and the pair nudged the score up to 270 for the 40 overs.

Munden batting

Simon 71

Kamran 10

Wahab 0

Rizwan 35

Shawal 113

Martin 7 not out

Boycie 7

Ricky 0 not out

High Roding treated us to a generous tea – not a cup cake in sight!

Although 270 was a good score, we knew after last week’s game that nothing should be taken for granted and every game can have unexpected twists and turns.

We were without our now established opening bowlers as Big Dave was away at a vegan yoga retreat and Burly had to wash his hair so Ahmed decided to open with Shawal since he’d had nothing significant to do in the game so far.

Unluckily for Shawal, he had only bowled one over when he was chasing a ball in the outfield and landed awkwardly badly twisting his knee. Our hero with the bat had to retire to the pavilion to apply ice before hobbling back on a few overs later  to assume a static position at slip. So we were already one bowler down and it was the 13th!

One thing we’ve learned about division 4 is that teams have strength in depth and play to a plan. Roding needed just under 7 an over to beat Munden’s target of 270.

It was immediately evident that Roding’s plan was to attack the bowling as they got off to a brisk start scoring well above the required rate. Wahab came on for the injured Shawal and shortly after Ahmed was replaced by Kamran.

Wahab was the first to take a wicket when he bowled the number 2 bat. His replacement was equally attacking and again took on the bowling. The difference now was that they had to contend with spin. Riz was posing the questions and soon found out the number 3 bat when he too was clean bowled.

Sibling rivalry can be a great thing. It didn’t take long before Kamran had matched his older brother and trapped the number 4 bat LBW.

Next came what Ahmed has modestly described as the pivotal moment of the game. It occured when Roding looked to be re-establishing themselves in the game with a strong partnership. Rizwan induced a mistimed shot and the ball rose high into the grey sky. Beneath it was our diminutive captain. With one swift movement, he grabbed the rim of his floppy white pork pie hat and cast it dismissively to one side in preparation for a pivotal moment. We all waited with baited breath as Ahmed, a picture of concentration, stood motionless his eyes not wavering from the ball. Would he, wouldn’t he? ……….. Yessssss, he did … a truly pivotal moment … did I mention it was pivotal?

The next wickets to fall were all claimed by the Hanif boys. With 2 clever spinners like this in the side, we are able to restrict scoring and frustrate the batsmen into rash shots. Rizwan came out top of the family rivalry taking 4 wickets in total, one by another catch behind by martin and the other after a bit of juggling in the slips from that man Shawal. Kamran’s second wicket was also LBW as he concluded his 9 over spell for the most economical figures.

The young number 9 by the name of Limrick had impressed when he opened the bowling for Roding and now showed his ability with the bat as he played confidently and started to construct an impressive innings. Wahab came back into the attack and soon claimed his second wicket clean bowled. Wahab also later removed the talented Limrick who we aspplauded back to the pavilion and were even more impressed when we learned he was only 14 and an Essex County colt.

The final overs were bowled by Boycie and Wahab. Boycie brought proceedings to conclusion when Kamran snapped up a catch off his bowling.

Roding were all out for 191.

Munden bowling

Shawal, 1 over for 8

Ahmed, 3 overs for 21

Wahab, 6 overs 3 for 53

Rizwan, 9 overs 4 for 51

Kamran, 9 overs, 2 for 44

Boycie, 2.1 overs, 1 for 11

 This was another very enjoyable game of cricket. Thank you to our hosts for their hospitality and their part in a memorable game.

Simon’s role was crucial (…. if only we could get him to play next week!!!) Shawal’s innings was special and Ahmed’s catch was pivotal 🙂

Great bowling from Kamran, Riz and Wahab.

The Munden rollercoaster continues. We beat a very good team but remain 3rd in the table although the top 4 teams are only separated by a mere 6 points.

Thank you to all concerned – and to Peter, Susan and Chef RF who traveled a long way to give their support.

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