Pleasant conditions at the DSG welcomed a new opponent and unknown
commodity, London Theatres CC.
The Ploughmans CC team sheet looks strong enough, but what’s this? No Eaton,
no Lane, no Tennant? The stage was set, but where were our thespians?
Skipper Max Gumpert won the toss and chose to take the field, nominating
Cobbett and Greeney to start proceedings with the ball. They settle into their
work easily enough, but boundaries are coming a little too regularly. Nine overs,
none for 61 and the skipper has had enough, Greeney is rested in favour of a
change of tack, introducing the spin of Tom Glynne-Jones, and then Cobbett
makes way for Lonnen. And it’s Tom Lonnen – naturally – who takes the initiative
back for Plough with three wickets in rapid succession. Now it’s happening, Rob
Mead takes a catch behind the stumps off Tom Glynne-Jones and at drinks it is
It’s eleven more overs before the next bat is out, Spencer claims the wicket of the
free-scoring Hopkins, he’s caught by Ajit Prasad for 56. 199-5.
Anusha Rajasooriya is in the mix by now and takes a wicket in his second over,
Yanni Baveas pocketing that one.
Spencer strikes again with a double wicket maiden, including the opener Michael Waugh who made an impressive 94 off 89
deliveries, he’s caught by Max Gumpert, and the innings is wrapped up on the last
ball. 248 all out. A fine 3-fer for Matt Spencer and Tom Lonnen racking up his 20th
five-wicket haul for Ploughmans.
After the intermission, Mead and Gumpert open and are immediately off to a
good start finding the boundary rope with ease it seems, Gumpert in fact scoring
6 off the first ball he faces, the first ball of Bradshaw’s first over. Welcome to the
But we are just settling in to enjoy the show when a wicket
falls. It’s Mead lbw for 18 in only the fifth over. Tom Elmslie joins Max in the
middle; Elmo is the right man at the right time, and the two work together on a
period of consolidation. The score ticks on to 66 before Elmslie is caught by the
keeper for 11 runs. Tom Lonnen strides out with purpose.
A brief exchange of advice and encouragement between the two Tom’s, and then disaster! Lonnen is
trudging back already, having faced three balls and not adding to the score. A
scramble for the last pieces of kit and Yanni Baveas joins the fray, he needs to
restore some order and dig in with Max. But that won’t happen, Gumpert is
bowled for 41 off 34 balls.
There is a collective sharp intake of breathe from the
boundary and Panic sticks his cold, clammy hand down the inside of your collar.
Yanni feels the icy touch too and is out for a duck in the next over, leaving
Ploughmans at a precarious 77-5 after just 15 overs.
Was Ajit Prasad untouched by those frosty fingers of fright? Or did he simply
shrug them off? We may never know the answer to that, but what we do know
for sure is that AJ can keep his head when others around him are losing theirs. He
bats with assurance and urgency, ably joined by Benny Cobbett in similar spirit to
propel the scoring forward with real purpose. They push the scoreboard on to
125 in just 6 overs before Benny is bowled for 23 off 20 deliveries, crunching 5
powerful fours along the way.
Prasad looks unperturbed; he’s completely focused on the job at hand and loves
to bat. Plenty of time and there are still almost half the allotted overs to go when
Matt Spencer joins AJ in the middle, Spencer relishes a run chase and enjoys
playing his strokes too. They quickly fall into a good rhythm and a partnership
begins to bloom. They add 45 runs to the score before the curtain comes down on
Prasad’s innings, bowled by Couzens for a dazzling 38 off 33 balls, 20 of those runs
coming from boundaries. Take a bow AJ.
We know we are into the final act now, and from here things start to unravel
quickly. Anusha Rajasooriya out for 0 off 2. It ‘ain’t over until the amply
proportioned soprano has performed the aria, but we can see her running
through her final breathing exercises as she is waiting in the wings.
Tom Glynne-Jones is out for 5 off 5 balls, when she enters stage-left. Matt Spencer is out for
23 off 26 and Ploughmans is all out for 182 in 31 overs. The house lights are up,
warm applause for London Theatres CC, who win by 66 runs.