|"TWCC's very own Wisden"
I made that up too
Big Swing No Ding!
Staplefield CC v TWCC
8th September 2019
Match Report Jim Simon
It seems like a few years have passed since TWCC last played Staplefield, which is a shame as the fixture is a very good fit in terms of cricket, location and prevailing good-naturedness.
Skipper Brock won the toss for TWCC and he decided that the best way to enjoy the lovely late Summer sun was to soak it up in the field. On this occasion for some reason this was going to be a limited 40 overs game.
Tom, in his last appearance before heading off for old archives new, and Ed opened up for what has become TWCC's signature give-nothing-away-and-look-out start to a game. With Matt (where's Matt?) in the side as well many a game has been favourably set up by the opening bowlers denying opponents anything like a fast start, and many teams often never get going as a consequence. Tom, although he occasionally lost his grip on the new ball and sent down the odd high full toss, zeroed in as he does and his was the first wicket, clean bowling Bull for 1. Ed, with no wickets on the day, was just as penetrative and economical, though no wickets came his way. At the end of their spells Staplefield were just 17 for 1 off 11 overs. Tremendous stuff which went a long way to shape the outcome of the day.
Upon first change Brocky and Phil took up the challenge of bowling to the now free-swinging batters, and although runs did begin to flow as Staplefield had to do something about a score, the home side's skipper fell LBW to a full toss from Brocky. Sawrey and Moufeed were beginning to play strong shots for fours, though several boundaries were delayed if not always saved thanks to the way Graham seemed to regard his limbs as broadly expendable. He's clearly from the footier end of the sporting spectrum and doesn't shy away from putting a shin or two in the way of things which is to be commended if not recommended.
Jim replaced Brocky in the hope that the scoring rate would be changed, as indeed it was with Jim's first two balls going for 10. Then Jim hit a bit of a purple patch as his fibres realised they were still hanging together and a flurry of wickets followed; all caught, two by Jim and one each from Hugo and Tom. The wicket, which hasn't been mentioned yet, was the main factor in this game; quite bobbly and slow with the occasional shocker of a bounce. Hitting out through the ball brought the vagaries of the pitch into play and leading edges and scuffed strokes began to take their toll on the Staplefield innings which, from 86 for 2 fell to 99 all out (9 wkts) within a few overs thanks to a much-deserved bowled wicket from Phil (8 overs for 20) and then with a quick-fire two more from Hugo. Hugo took a wicket with something like his third ball in ten years, and produced a mixture of off-spin and seam-up that was simply too much for Staplefield's lower order, and he finished with 2 for 3 off 1.4 overs. Good stuff.
Staplefield all out for 99, early tea and lots of contented lying about watching the shadows creep across the perfect village green towards the perfect village pub.
But stumps had to be stirred, and Paul and Jim wandered out to face the bowling and the wicket. Paul had little trouble, as did Jim until, with the total moving along nicely (25) he swung through a ball that was too short to drive on this holding surface and lofted a catch to mid-on where young Yousef held on to a dipping ball very well. In strode Joe who also seemed to have little difficulty as his true eye allowed him to swing balls off his legs (and stumps) to the leg-side boundary; quick runs, the score moving up and up to 61 for 3, no problem; good innings, just the job.
Graham came in at No 4 to help Paul along, and the pacy Fawny was brought on to shake up the TWCC reply. Although Paul's thrusting front-foot drive to the mid-off boundary off Fawny was the Gazette's Shot of the Day, the very next ball rattled his timbers and he was out for a 32 very valuable runs. A fine performance from Paul, as ever, which left TWCC in just the sort of winning position from which only TWCC could lose.
In came Hugo - unphased by his return to the sporting top drawer - and he looked as good with the bat as he had been with the ball. He, too, stroked Fawny to the boundary for a fine four through cover point, but then he and Graham both fell to the well-controlled spin of Razzak.
But, with the batting order having been influenced somewhat by events, TWCC had two key players up their sleeve. Firstly, Edward, with a lifetime's study of the MCC coaching manual in his locker, set about sending the ball into the hedge, and secondly little did Staplefield know but this self-effacing gentleman, sidling to the middle, was none other than the doyenne of Sussex cricket Tony Pearce himself. Tony and Edward ooh'd and arr'd their way through TWCC's nervous 90's, and although Tony was out for a quick 12, Edward, renowned as TWCC's finisher, and Ed ran through for a bye to win the game for the visiting side.
We retired to the Victory to lick Graham's wounds as we sipped an array of well-earned drinks beneath an intriguing blue plaque on the wall above the door. As if by some divine alignment of the heavens a shaft of the low sun clearly picked out some small white writing; apparently on this very village green in 1964 an unknown player had achieved an all-bowled hat trick! What a shame no more could be learned about this miracle of cricket, but of course we raised a glass to this uncelebrated unknown and concentrated on England losing the Ashes before our very ears.
Thank you, Staplefield, for a very nice game played in great spirit, and we hope the fixture is repeated in 2020, when cries of "Big swing, no ding!" will once again be heard ringing round the village.
TWCC won the toss and opted to bowl first.
Staplefield Innings: R Bull Bld T Rydon 1; R Prevett LBW Bld R Brock 13; Sawrey C&Bld J Simon 16; Moufeed C&Bld J Simon 45; R Razzak Ct H Riley Bld J Simon 3; N Sadler Bld P Steinke 2; Fawny Ct T Rydon Bld J Simon 1; R Hutchins Bld H Riley 2; R Hutchings Bld H Riley 0; Yousef not out 0. Extras 16 (B 8, LB 1, W 4, NB 3) Total 99 for 9 (all out).
Fall: 1-7, 2-29, 3-86, 4-90, 5-91, 6-93, 7-93, 8-94.
TWCC Bowling: T Rydon 5-2-11-1; E Howes 6-3-6-0; R Brock 6-0-36-1; P Steinke 8-0-20-1; J Simon 4-1-13-4; H Riley 1.4-1-3-2.
TWCC Innings: P Hunter Bld Fawny 32; J Simon Ct Yousef Bld R Bull 11; J Panther Ct Bull Bld Fawny 13; G Cuthbert Ct x Bld Razzak 1; H Riley Bld Razzak 5; E Bunn not out 11; T Pearce Ct x Bld Abdullah 12; E Howes not out 0. DNB T Rydon, R Brock, P Steinke. Extras 10 (B 6, LB 4) Total 100 for 6 (24.4 overs)
Fall: 1-25, 2-61, 3-69, 4-69, 5-74,6-98.
Staplefield Bowling: R Bull 5-0-18-2; N Sadler 5-0-23-0; R Razzak 6-3-13-2; Fawny 5-0-23-2; R Hutchings 1-0-7-0; Abdullah 1-0-0-1; Yousef 0.4-0-1-0.
TWCC win by ... scoring more runs in a few less overs than available and by not being all out before they got there. 1 run? 4 wkts? 15.2 overs? I don't know, it all seemed very clear yesterday in the pub.
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