I noticed last week that of all of last season’s match reports the only one which remains absent is my one from Streatham and Marlborough.
Firstly, I want to get my apologies out of the way for the delay in the publication of this match report. I’ve had the first half completed since the day before our club match in September last year. (Really hope that the Rest of the World contingent have managed to get over that bruising loss by now btws…) Unfortunately, the subsequent hangover the morning after and pure laziness have kept me from completing it since. However, with the news that the second wave is finally showing signs of abating, a vaccination program underway and with the hope of a new cricket season for 2021 drawing ever closer I thought it might get us all in the mood to cast our minds back to a perfect summer’s day at a spectacular ground to relive the triumphs and failures of some of the Plough’s favourite sons. Enjoy!
On another gorgeous Sunday in south London, 11 men of the Plough rocked up to the picturesque Streatham and Marlborough cricket ground for the penultimate Sunday of the season.
Captain Grant had a strong team at his disposal and decided that bowling first was the best course of action on the day. Olivander ‘The Wizard’ Lonsdale came roaring in, quickly getting in to a groove and bowling with good pace and carry on a beautiful, if slightly stodgy, deck. The ever-reliable Liam Gray looked a little worse for wear on this occasion, but he did not show it with a tight opening stint from the other end.
It was Olly who did the damage on this occasion though, dismantling the top order with 4 wickets in his 8 overs at the top. The highlights included leaving the opener’s leg stump lying flat on the ground and inducing a thick edge which was pouched at gully by a truly limited cricketer (even though he can’t field in the cordon). There was even time in his final over for some truly heroic Flintoff-esque sledging after the non-striker turned down an easy single which would have got the new batsman off the mark. This needless to say resulted in a fairly ill-judged rash shot the next ball and a long slow trudge off to the boundary to consider his life choices.
After Liam got given a rest for his opening exertions, tight overs followed with wickets were shared around between Nige, Niraj and Matt Hopper.
There was a slightly tense moment when as the ball was being passed round the field, a classic Sunday throw at one fielder’s shins trickled over the boundary rope with the opposition umpire suggesting it should have counted as a four.
A heated debate followed on the moment a ball becomes dead and what the etiquette of such a situation is during a Sunday friendly club match. I am not sure we reached an amicable conclusion on the day, maybe it is one for the Kiwis in the club to ponder with their recent experiences in this grey area of cricket officialdom.
Trent came on for a good spell thereafter and Liam and Matt did very well in the last four to tie down and smother the S&M batsmen (😉) to under 200.
That this was possible is partially down to the keen cricketing intellect of Liam Gray,who somewhat bemusingly called for Olly to leave it on the line in order to allow the ball to dribble over the rope for a tactical four. I mean which self-respecting bowler hasn’t done this.
Kudos has to go to Grant as well who is pioneering a new catching technique where the fielder in question uses mainly his face to try and swallow the ball whole.
The skipper decided it was up to Jo Hockings and Fred Gumpert to lead the Plough response. What a decision it would turn out to be. The two of them batted superbly in tandem.
The opening bowers were calmly negated and while they got the score board going with a plethora of briskly run singles, neither of them was shy about pouncing on a loose ball and sending it to the boundary. The partnership grew in pace as the change bowlers came on and rather surprisingly perhaps, it was Fred who brought up his 50 first with Jo playing a doughty support roll.
After drinks however, the fun really started with both of them cutting loose, Jo bringing up a superb 50 of his own.
With the target well and truly in sight the only person sweating over the result was Stephen Britto, at the thought that his opening partnership record looked dangerously within the pair’s sights.
Unfortunately, it was not to be. Both of them were dismissed having fallen just short.
Either side of these dismissals there was time for Grant to add a duck to his rather swollen lip, but it was not to matter. Trent and I closed out the remaining runs with minimum fuss (one near run out call / mix up aside) to complete a spectacular day for the Plough.
Can’t wait for 2021 lads.
Can only recommend you get yourself into this fixture next year if you haven’t played at this ground before as it is truly a gem on the circuit.