I am pleased to be able to bring you the match report from yesterday’s game against Rainham CC (the one in Kent not Essex). Unfortunately the team took a couple of early blows with the loss of Darren (work) and Mike (to Chung-flu). Although missed, in typical fashion the team stepped up to the plate with Dave Rogers coming in and a last minute addition of John “textbook” Oaten to the team.
With the Skipper off sampling vintage wines on his way to a chateau in France and the Vice still recovering from injury, I had the honour of leading the team for the day (although it was nice to see the vice turn up and offer support – until leaving for the beer festival). The game started with the obligatory losing of the toss and Rainham decided to bat first. It was a timed game and all was going to plan. Until, I get the news that my premier strike bowler for the day (Tom) could not bowl due to an injury. This would be a problem for normal sides but not Stone. We opened the bowling with Walkie-Talkie and Cam Miller on debut. Walkie-Talkie bowled well and deservedly took 2 – 40 off 6 overs. Cam troubled all of the batsmen with good flight and variation (I think there is something in a speed/ spin opening combo) and was unfortunate not to take a wicket finishing with 0 – 24 off 6 overs. There was no let up as Jordan Oaten and Jack took over the attack. Jordan bowled his cunning brand of left arm round the wicket picking up 1 – 46 and Jack after taking some tap in his first two overs of spin, turned to bowling quick and immediately troubled the batsmen (0-33). However, we had saved the best til (nearly) last with the experience of Dartsy coming on to pick up 2 – 23 off 7 overs. Richard bowled well at the death with the batsmen attacking and picked up 1 – 51. Rainham finished on a solid 233 – 6. Although there was some excellent bowling the standout for me was John “textbook” Oaten for a fielding masterclass which included countless long barriers and the most committed full length diving stop I have seen in a long time. Couple of dropped catches (one tough chance and one more straight-forward). There was also a good stumping to remove the opener.
Everyone was keen to get in for the excellent tea prepared by Richard (thank you). I on the other hand scurried off to a corner of the changing room to work out how best to chase down the runs. It was obvious, I sent out “basher” Bateley and Richard to smash the bowling to all parts. After a brisk start (yes a brisk start) Richard was undone by a yorker by one of the opening bowlers (who had been dropped from the second team). Although their scorer tried to get away with not giving him any runs – we all remember the delicate nudge for 4. Jack came in next and steadied the ship playing some lovely shots before the heat of the sun caused him to have a momentary loss of concentration trying to loft one back over the bowlers head and getting caught by point. Semtex in next. Although the score book only records two runs, Paul did an expert job of frustrating the bowlers and not giving his wicket away. When Paul did finally depart Walkie Talkie finally got a chance to use his new bat in a game for us and did not disappoint with a swashbuckling 2 not out. No lack of intent (but often a lack of contact between bat and ball). Bateley carried his bat through the innings for 66 not out and we finished on 126 – 3. A hard fought draw.
Back to the Malt shovel and Bateley was awarded player of the day. Vice skip received the sh!tbag award for a second week running. Normally there is one standout moment but vice got it for an number of reasons including ongoing injury, umpiring with phone, bottle of beer, cigarette and needing to run off the field after 5 overs of umpiring for a wee.
It was a pleasure to lead the team out for this game and I hope everyone had a good day. Onwards to the next game.