The Sleeman Show

vs Boreham @home 5th Sept ‘20

First Saturday of the September ‘run-in’ and a new opposition – we welcomed Boreham CC to the Rec ground.  The date also coincided with the grand opening of the nearby allweather pitch, so our groundsmen had cheekily cut a strip relatively close to that fine new edifice, so that visiting dignitaries and others would soon hear the familiar refrain of “can we have our ball back please ?”

The skipper won the toss and elected to bat.  With only one change from last week’s team, and a new, new opening partnership now established of Daryl & David, the seven non batting or umpiring players settled down to watch the runfest whilst playing with phones/scorebook intricacies/wasps, and moaning about September temperature fluctuations playing havoc with their fashion choices for the day.

David got word that the boundary-line bantz was clearly the place to be, so soon departed lbw, allowing him to light up the pitchside discourse with a rant about amateur umpires.  Meanwhile, Mr Consistent (Colin) took the stage with a mission – keep Daryl from hogging the strike, a task he took to with gusto.

With 85 on the board at the halfway stage, there were nervous faces all round during drinks about whether Colne would reach a sufficiently-challenging total (oh OK, apparently it was just me – Ed) but Daryl started to motor through the gears, until after numerous questions to Harry the scorer of “what’s he on?”, a quick random 3rd party check revealed he’d just struck his 100th run.  Cue applause and a panicked re-checking.

Colin was soon out for 39, which opened up the middle order for examination, and the results ranged from B+ down to U.  Pat was out 2nd ball to a worldie catch (although later downgraded to a simple regulation catch by the team); Jack benefited from overthrows to make up 40% of his total before sending a steepler in the pursuit of quick runs, and Nick played the Ernie Wise straight man role to Daryl’s Eric Morecambe, er, genius, over the final couple of overs. 

So with a late flurry, all that remained was to tot up the scorebook and the total would be revealed.  Harry had done a fantastic job scoring for 40 overs, but had inadvertently left 11 runs off the batsmen’s totals (see end result!).  Boreham sportingly acknowledged this was likely the case as the bowler totals gave Colne 222, with Daryl the fortunate recipient of 11 ‘new’ runs (let’s face it, he probably did score them – Ed) and ending up on a reasonable 139 not out, a 2nd century in consecutive weeks.  What made the Colne total all the more satisfying was that all the so-called batsmen got a knock, whilst the so-called bowlers did not, so in theory (Woodsy the keeper apart) everyone would be contributing with bat and ball.

After the rapid consumption of the new-normal BYO tea, it was up to the bowlers to defend the total.  One of the older fielders took this attitude too literally and regretted seeing a couple of balls flash by him to the boundary (own up, it was you ! – Ed).  Just like last week, it was the opening partnership of Harry & Ben that wore the opening batsmen down, the latter with his metronomic accuracy but no reward, whilst Harry was relying on metronomic inaccuracy catching batsmen of their guard with lbw’s.  His final figures of 2-41 were the pick of the bunch, although we’ll graciously acknowledge that all the bowlers chipped in, especially Sam after he’d got through his customary two overs of wide long hops.

Boreham’s #3 & #4 (Kempster & Gamat) had other ideas however, so by the time they had both passed 50, Colne’s shoulders were dropping a wee bit and some of our gun fielders were contriving to turn singles into 2’s (no names, Jack!). Even the skipper was getting muddled up when putting Harry on to bowl for what would have been an illegal 9th over, but at least it gave David the chance to send down an over of his twizzlers – only giving away a single fully justified his reluctant role, albeit a little late when the result was in the balance.

Ulitmately though, the Boreham batsmen at the crease (Ling & Greenaway) couldn’t find the boundary enough and the asking rate crept up to over 12 an over. With Connor not  doing his 2021 contract negotiations any favours (that’s a joke everyone…he’s only on £400/game), it was left to Ben to bowl a final tidy over and not give away 20+ runs.  The Chairman contrived to make that a possibility with another fielding ‘senior moment’, but it wasn’t to be – Colne had won the match by 10 runs, an interesting quirk given Harry’s earlier scorebook miss !

Onwards & upwards, or south-eastwards in this case, to Maldon next Saturday !

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