standard of cricketing websites!" And this time someone
actually said it, though it was some time ago to be fair... If someone
could say it again it would help.
TWCC v London Unity TWCC v Xiles Parham CC v TWCC
Reese takes it to Unity in vain
TWCC v London Unity
June 18th 2017
Match report Jim Simon
It was with much anticipation that TWCC rolled up to their home ground to take on their old foes on this, the hottest day of the year so far, and London Unity certainly came well prepared for life in the sun with their usual comprehensive range of beverages. Skipper Brock won the toss and, with the possibility that it might have been a concern for the comfort of his team in the hottest part of the day, he opted to bat first. This would mean that to win TWCC would need to score plenty of runs and then take 10 wickets against a side who, certainly in recent times, have proved themselves to be a hard team to beat - a euphemism for saying that the Gazette can find no record of TWCC having beaten them in the past.
So, TWCC batting first. Joe Driver opened up the bowling for Unity with some pacey and temptingly wide deliveries from the Downs End, which Paul dutifully followed and snicked past the close fielders to open his innings in a productive fashion. But the A team of Paul and James was halted in its tracks by a mystery hip/leg-strain which meant that Paul had to hobble off, retired hurt for 18. Richard and James ploughed on, though James' mind was clearly on matters catering, and his lengthy but ultimately unproductive stay at the crease came to an end when he under-edged a too-tight cut through to the keeper. This brought Reese to the middle, who, with Richard in a supportive role, began to prise open a crack in Unity's hitherto tight bowling attack. This was proper cricket: confident nurdling for easy ones and twos rather than the all or nothing approach that sometimes creeps into the TWCC game (or is it just me? Ed.) (That's "Ed." as in Editor, not "Ed" as in Ed), and, soon, with Reese providing boundaries often enough, TWCC began to dominate the game. Great timing was, as ever the hallmark of Reese's innings, and the pavilion settled down to enjoy a bout of real no probs cricket. A hot sunny day, a crowd to please (for The Unity's Barmy Army had shown up in force), who could wish for anything more? This excellent partnership ended with the total on 92 when Richard was caught off the ever reliable Mark Driver. The TWCC skipper was a little frustrated by his own lack of runs, but the point is, as far as the Gazette is concerned, that this was a steady and needed partnership and it is important to recognise the value of rotation of strike and of simply not getting out.
However, yes, in the end Richard was out and Matt Edwards came in to take over from where Richard left off by keeping the scoreboard ticking and allowing Reese the strike. Together this youthful pairing, with Reese flying ever higher, took the total on to 146 at which point, with the threat of tea looming, the batters decided to take it to the bowlers more decisively. Matt was out for a classy 15 having decided it was time to make a few runs, Edward missed the late inswing of Mark Driver and was bowled, Jim was run out, but all the time Reese was still there and was, though mysteriously still tired after his lie-in, really getting stuck in. Then, alas, the innings of the day was over; Reese, hitting out, was caught for 89, just 11 short of a century - a landmark that will surely come soon - a great innings, classy in its patience and pace.
Ed (towering shot over long-off for 4) and Sam (cracking flat-batted flat 6 over, or rather through, long-on) showed the depth of TWCC's batting talent as the innings closed on 170 for 7.
James' tea probably deserves an article all to itself given the hype surrounding this notorious annual event. And, controversially, the Gazette is coming out in full support of the Trollope approach to tea. The Gazette's food writer found, in the slimline brown sandwiches, the very essence of simple flavours that were allowed to speak for themselves. Complexity; a drizzle here and a jus there, is often overplayed but inside the deceptively lightweight Trollope carrier bag there was delight aplenty for the connoisseur - what is an egg sandwich if not two bits of bread with close-tolerance egg in the middle? You want tuna and sweetcorn? No problem - and a recognition of the fact that tuna is an endangered species should not go unnoticed - and it may well be that there isn't the sweetcorn about that there used to be. You want parma ham with mozarella and a dressed rocket and walnut salad sandwich? Go to Italy. This is Britain, or what remains of it, where in these days of austerity one cake is surely enough, for, after all, many these days are counting calories. Not only that, but following a recent survey the venerable Hickstead tea table was shown to have some structural weaknesses, and it is to James' credit that he had the forethought to keep the loading light. It has to be reported that there were some mutterings about quantity (the quality speaks for itself), but The Gazette holds that it is immoral to waste food and James' tea seemed to go round about 35 people with some to spare.
However, gastronomy aside, there was a cricket match to lose. Which, for long enough, TWCC seemed that they might fail to do. Matt Edwards and Ed were the chosen opening pair, and whilst both delivered a troubling ball it was Ed who had the success on this occasion. The first wicket, LBW to a full length ball from Ed, changed the game in an unlikely way as it brought to the middle a batter who not only must have watched and learned from every 20:20 game since the format began, but who also, given his evident energy, unlikely as it may seem might well have secured a slice of James' cake. Mr J Moore threw the bat at anything that came his way, and at plenty that didn't but he connected anyway. This beligerent and effective approach threw Matt off his length and Ed, too, began to suffer. Jim replaced Matt and was soon bowling around the wicket in an attempt to get the ball to swing into this heavy-hitting left-hander and cramp him up a bit. Moore did, indeed, begin to mis-time his swings, and then heaved at one that caught the edge of his bat and the ball skied high over Sam's head at long off. Undaunted by his initial lack of triangulation Sam simply took off and grabbed the ball with both hands high over his head and some feet off the ground; a great catch, and one which allowed TWCC to regain some of the ground lost to the swashbuckler. Ed, still bowling well, took another wicket with a catch to Richard, and Jim took another two and the grass was once again about equal in its greenness whichever side of the fence caught your eye. Sam Simon replaced Ed from the Downs End, and with a hop, skip and a jump he was soon operating on a good length and a stump was duly knocked over. However, The Unity bat deep... Archie Gane and Mark Driver settled into the bowling and saw off a tired Jim and a still sprightly Sam and began to find runs from all-comers. Honse, Joe and Richard bowled well, but the writing was on the wall and it read "Unity are going to win quite easily". And so it proved as, with three or five overs to go, the inadequate 170 was overhauled and it was hot handshakes all round.
As a rule TWCC bowl and field well enough to contain and then attack a side chasing a par score, but we didn't get the par score. There is a worrying trend building; in the last three games more than half the total runs for TWCC have been scored by one player; first Rob at Parham, then Tony against Xiles, and now Reese v Unity. More runs are needed from more players. The loss of Paul didn't help in this game, but TWCC have the players and the talent to get more runs on the board and, with a little more application, the future's fine.
The Unity deserved the win; Joe Driver, with his four overs, was a proper Sunday cricketer in his approach to the game and Mark Driver bowled for ages and then did well to see the Unity home with the bat. On the big plus side for TWCC we were treated to a fine innings from Reese, whose contribution wasn't matched elsewhere in the TWCC innings, and, most importantly, we all played cricket and whatever lies ahead in these troubled times, we can all still do that. More or less.
TWCC won the toss and batted first.
TWCC Innings: P Hunter retired hurt 18; J Trollope Ct wk Bld Columbine 2; R Brock CT, Bld M Driver 14; R Packham Ct Cockburn Bld J Clarke 89; M Edwards Ct Cockburn Bld J Clarke 15; E Bunn Bld M Driver 1; J Simon run out 0; E Howes not out 6; S Simon LBW Bld M Driver 12. DNB J Panther, H Karvay. Extras 11 (LB2, W9) Total 170 for 7.
London Unity Bowling: J Driver 4-0-7-0; S Columbine 7-2-14-1; J Williams 7-0-36-0; M Driver 12-1-48-3; D Page 5-0-48-0; J Clarke 3-0-20-2.
London Unity Innings: J Burke LBW Howes 6; Cockburn Ct R Brock Bld E Howes 14; Moore Ct S Simon Bld J Simon 27; Page Bld S Simon 12; Gane not out 71; Pitcher Bld J Simon 0; J Driver Ct E Howes Bld J Simon 2; M Driver not out 26. Extras 13 (B6, LB4, W3) Total 171 for 6.
TWCC Bowling: M Edwards 4-1-17-0; E Howes 8-2-29-2; J Simon 9-1-34-3; S Simon 5-0-20-1; J Panther 2-0-17-0; H Karvay 5-0-17-0; R Brock 3-0-24-0.
London Unity win by 4 wickets.
TWCC v Xiles
June 11th 2017
Match Report Jim Simon
In the absence of either regular captain, Joe Panther stepped up to the mark, taking on not only the on-field captaincy but also the task of raising a side of eleven players. This brought old acquaintances Mark and Malcolm back into the game and also a new player to us, Ed's brother, Charlie. Experience and youth, what could go wrong? Taking his duties seriously, TWCC's debut skipper started off by winning the toss - a knack which Skipper Brock might do well to pick up.
Ed, pride of TWCC, steamed in from the Downs End, but on this occasion the cricket muse was not with him. He was unlucky in that an edge wasn't safely gathered in, but though no batter found him an easy proposition, he was on this occasion slightly expensive and ended a lengthy 10 over spell with a big fat zero in the wickets column. A good job, then, that TWCC had Honse with his Zen wobblies to shore up the attack from the Pavilion End. However Honse, too, was not on the same form as he had shown on his previous outing in Parham. Rather wide and of unsure length, Honse's bowling was not, on this occasion, the way forward, so Joe turned to Jim hoping to regain some control. This, after a loose ball or two, he was able to do, and scoring slowed whereupon Ed, too, at the Downs end, relaxed and bowled more like his old self - a demonstration of the value of the bowlers working well in tandem from both ends. Bowling, at its most successful, is a partnership, and relative freedom at one end rubs off on the batters' and bowler's approach at the other (let's hope the grammar held up there... Ed.). The Xiles' opening batsmen began to get a little frustrated and with that came wickets and a growing understanding that the visitors had not brought perhaps their strongest side. A flurry of wickets and TWCC were on top. Jo, replaced Ed, and although inconsistent at first he soon had three wickets to his name - including finding himself bowling for a hat-trick. We all duly gathered round, but it wasn't to be. Charlie Howes, on his debut, struggled probably because he hadn't played cricket for two years, but he did home in on the stumps and showed he's a cricketer at heart in his three allotted overs. Edward had a couple of overs, during which Jim dropped a square cut cleverly aimed by the batsman straight at his left thumb rather than into the palm of his hands, so he ended his spell wicketless, as did Mark Panther who decided to show us all his variations during his one over. Time for tea - Xiles closed their innings on 169 for 7; a target for TWCC somewhat voluntarily elevated, but about right in the interests of providing a challenge of the right magnitude. The general fielding of TWCC deserves a mention too - compared to many of our opposition the home side's energy and commitment is well above average.
Maybe the slight absence of depth in their batting was going to be explained by the visitors having a side packed with demon bowlers? There was, indeed, plenty of youth about, but the dead bat of James Trollope and flashing blade of Tony Pearce soon had the measure of the Xiles' opening bowlers. James, never in trouble until the moment he decided not to play his natural game, provided the perfect foil for Tony's aggression. It may on the face of it have been, for James, disappointing to have been on single figures when Tony passed 50, but the whole point is that the partnership was working. Tony would maybe be facing at the start of an over, and he was finding boundaries. Then, at some point, there'd be a single, and though James would do what he could to make runs, if he failed to score there Tony would be at the start of the next over to set about the bowling once again. Frustrating for James, and frustration in the end was his undoing, but for TWCC their partnership was pretty much perfect. Tony was, happily not literally, on fire. The match was, even with TWCC's notorious ability to collapse, in the bag by the time Tony was caught off the bowling of Raj (some compensation for his golden duck) on 97 - fifteen 4's, three 6's - just three runs short of a century. Unsurprisingly this was the match-winning performance for when Tony was out the total was 162 and TWCC only needed eight more for the win. Edward, too, showed that his 2017 form is the real thing, and although Jim, at 4, proved that the bowling was a lot harder to deal with than everyone had thought - it was he who clonked the ball behind square to hit the winning runs.
Xiles generally come with greater strength, but there was little they could do about their total once their higher order batters had fallen, and once Tony had the measure of the visitors' attack there was little they could do with the ball.
A comfortable win for the home side, a great debut skipmanship for Joe, and TWCC here we go!
TWCC won the toss and elected to field first.
Xiles innings: Hartley LBW J Simon 42; Hooper Ct Wk (T Pearce) Bld J Simon 17; Williams Bld J Simon 3; Bailey Ct Wk (T Pearce) Bld J Panther 43; Joe Ct & Bld J Simon 6; Bennett LBW J Panther 0; Hannant not out 35; Raj ct Wk (T Pearce) Bld J Panther 0; Hales not out 15. DNB Tony, Williams. Extras 8 (B1, W7) Total 169 for 7.
TWCC Bowling: E Howes 10-1-42-0; H Karvay 3-1-24-0; J Simon 12-2-24-4; J Panther 7-0-34-3; C Howes 3-0-18-0; E Bunn 2-0-12-0; M Panther 1-0-14-0.
TWCC Innings: J Trollope Bld Mick 14; T Pearce Ct, Bld Raj 97; E Bunn not out 22; J Simon not out 5. DNB O Foulger, M Gasson, J Panther, E Howes, M Panther, H Karvay, C Howes. Extras - wait for it... 36 (B10,W23, NB3) Total 173 for 2.
Xiles Bowling: Bailey 5-1-21-0; Joe 5-0-36-0; Tony 6-1-23-0; Mick 6-1-22-1; Hannant 3-0-11-0; Gareth 4-0-28-0; Raj 2.3-0-18-1.
TWCC win by 8 wickets.
Parham CC v TWCC
4th June 2017
Match Report Jim Simon
TWCC once again convened at the distant outpost of Parham, this time to face a slightly depleted Parham CC team. Ever congenial, Parham's skipper Andy and our equally amenable skipper Richard agreed it might be best for TWCC to bat first, and also for TWCC to provide a couple of fielders and even batters for the home side should the need arise. All jolly good proper friendly Sunday cricket stuff.
James, keen to progress further into the game than he managed the previous week, did, indeed successfully weather the brunt of the excellent opening spells of Fraser and Huffer, both who got the ball to deviate from the straight and generally jump about on the quirky Parham wicket, but Reese fared less well, as, indeed, did Matt E. So in came Jim at an unnacustomed, adventurous and early No.4, and he rode his luck for a handy 21 before his inability to move at any reasonable rate between the wickets resulted in his being run out - by Honse! New to the Gazette is Tim Carthew who immediately looked the part, angling his bat down in a way Jim could only dream of. Indeed does dream of. During his time at the crease Tim looked like the proper cricketer he is; untroubled where some others struggled. In the end he was out for a fine 41 falling to the Speigel-like bowling of Jim Mitchell, but his was a defining and platform-setting contribution indeed.
Moving on, Edward B, carrying on his fine 2017 form, was cruelly undone by a quirk of quantum physics as some dark matter spontaneously materialised outside his leg stump which caused the ball to dive through a transient worm hole and clatter onto the leg stump - it was a bemusing and unfortunate end to his innings. This brought Rob, batting at an unaccustomed No.7 position, to the crease. Parham know Rob well, and seeing him down at seven they must have either thought that we had six more potent players in the squad than Rob, or that our skipper had had a wobbly moment (regular readers may be able to work it out for themselves). Ed Howes' innings, after Tim's self-destruction, was short and s...hort, which left Honse to share a partnership of 60 with Rob - of which Honse's contribution was a valuable six runs and lots of running. Nine 4's and six 6's later, with 4, 6, 6, 6, 1 to his name off the last over alone, at the end of TWCC's innings Rob tucked his smoking bat under his arm and made for the pavilion on 95 not out. A great knock and a joy to watch - maybe this will convince our Skip to give him a try up the order at 6.
The Parham bowling was tight and difficult particularly at the start of TWCC's innings, with late swing and movement off the pitch from Fraser. More bowling options would have helped Parham's cause, and effective though Jim Mitchell's style of slow bowling can be, on this occasion although it did bring two wickets it was also expensive. TWCC were 192 at the end of the innings, their somewhat mediocre batting performance masked by Tim's fine 40 and Rob's excellent 95.
Tea on the Parham house lawn (how many of us are privileged to live with a cricket ground at the back of their houses...? Oh...) was the usual occasion of calories and conviviality, but TWCC were itching to make use of the bowling conditions that Parham had so clearly enjoyed. Matt opened the bowling for TWCC, and although his pace was well up, a fuller length might have brought him more rewards in the wickets column. At the other end Honse well-wibble-wobbled the ball about - in, out, slow, low, high - very difficult for the batsmen and he took out Mark Williams who was missed in the Parham bowling attack and whose edge to Edward B at first slip wasn't. Joe, stepping in to help Parham because he didn't get to bat for his own side, didn't get to bat for Parham either being bowled in short order by a jaffa from Honse. A run-out and then Parham were 30 for 4 when Matt Edwards bowled a full-length ball to get rid of Fraser, that brought… Matt Edwards to the crease; TWCC's second offer of a batter to bolster Parham's squad. Matt showed plenty of resilience, though in the end none of the remaining Parham batting line-up had an answer to Ed Howes' full and straight approach to bowling. It was a remarkable spell, with 4 (all bowled) wickets for 24 off 6.1 overs. Ed mopped up again.
Highpoints; Rob's 95, Tim's 40, Ed's four wickets and Honse's ability to move an old ball about both ways and vary his pace so well. Team Manager Brocky did a great job, though without batting or bowling perhaps he's proved his generous and unselfish nature by now and should give himself more of a game next time.
No tossing required
TWCC Innings: J Trollope Bld Fraser 11; R Packham Bld Fraser 0; M Edwards Ct Mitchell Bld Fraser 1; J Simon Run Out 21; T Carthew Ct Balchin Bld Mitchell 40; E Bunn Bld (well... played on around the corner) Fraser 6; R Rydon Not Out 95; E Howes Ct Huffer Bld Mitchell 0; H Karvay Not Out 6. DNB J Panther, R Brock. Extras 12 (W7, NB1, B2, LB2) Total 192 for 7.
Parham CC Bowling: P Fraser 12-2-45-4; S Huffer 13-2-57-0; S Forrest 8-0-29-0; J Mitchell 7-0-62-2.
Parham CC Innings: A Wales Bld Howes 14; M Williams ct Bunn Bld Karvay 13; J Panther Bld Karvay 0; J Balchin Run Out (?) 4; P Fraser Bld Edwards 0; M Edwards Bld Howes 8; S Forrest Bld Howes 16; S Huffer Not Out 26; J Mitchell Bld Howes 0. Extras 9 (W1, B5, LB3) Total 90 all out.
TWCC Bowling: M Edwards 5-1-18-1; H Karvay 7-1-19-2; E Howes 6.1-1-24-4; J Panther 4-0-21-0.
TWCC win by winning.
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