MARTLETS THROW A STREAT PARTY
Bush phoned me the day before to tell me the sorry story of how he had maimed his ankle in a bizarre bicycle incident and was very much out of the picture. Not to worry, we had 11 anyway and would I mind captaining? No worries.
Turns out that the maiming was less conclusive than predicted as by the time we had found the place (despite it not being my first visit) he was dressed and ready to turn out for S&W. They had a player down who post heart attack (same day I think) had phoned Stan, S&W’s living legend of a skipper, from his hospital bed to apologise and assure him that whilst he would regrettably be unavailable today he would be up for selection very soon. Legend.
Hot would be underplaying it and when finally the coin landed on heads Stan knew what was coming. Most of us could stick heads in sinks and scramble for the shade whilst Stuart Ritchie and Michael Loveday got us going. Michael raced to the retirement score of 35 whilst Stuart was still in single figures and could then quietly sweat on the side-lines as the classy Dave Messenger took over. Stuart duly retired on his 35 and Paul Walker took over confidently.
Everything was going fine until Stan Spiegel came on to bowl. If you’re playing match report bingo, that’s a sentence to save for future years along with ‘Degsy was a bit late’.
Dave got away with his slap to mid-on and survived to retire on 39. Paul wasn’t so lucky and was duly Spiegeled.
Jonathan Lawes was going nicely on debut before the skipper arrived to run him out for 20. I thrashed about a bit, mostly unsuccessfully with Damo and we finished on a respectable but possibly gettable 191.
The temperature had dipped from ‘midday in Riyadh’ to merely excruciating by the time we took the field.
Boy how I’d missed Guy Keeling! Partly because he is a thoroughly nice bloke but also because his line, length, pace and swing can so often do for the opposition before they have got going. With Lacky also great at the other end after we had bowled them both through and they were 41-2 after 14 overs it was already a mountain to climb.
Jonathan, having told himself that he had the yips seemingly before he had started interspersed his first over of double bouncer wides with an absolute jaffa to trap Neil Bushell LBW. Once that over was finished he went on to get another LBW in his next.
By this time Paul Walker’s entire family had shown up and his dad was sledging him from the boundary so there was nothing to be done but bring him on. Bowling was pretty good but he then fielded at a midwicket so deep that it was part of the Walker family picnic.
Jeremy kept up his record as arguably the bowler of the season with the best figures of the day 2-15 and the job was done.
Great spirit as always and a splendid curry after. Another great Martlets day.
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