The Philanderers once again assembled in the quintessentially English village setting of Clavering under sunny August skies. Seemingly intimidated by the threat posed by Rob “The Big Show” Gill on his home ground, our leader had put together an impressive XI. However, amid reports that the Clavering side were a tad youthful and not very strong, Skipper Rory Davidson did his best to sabotage Phil’s carefully selected side by giving the opposition Messers Hammond and Samson. To many, this move seemed sensible, good for the game even. But after the Fuhrer had hobbled over and discovered this unsanctioned display of initiative, he made his displeasure known. The men cowered. Davidson’s lip wobbled. His Philanderers future might just depend on the result. So with Phil still chuntering about the risk the skipper was taking with the Sunday side’s three year undefeated record, Ed Dodson and George Dean (welcomed back into the side having somewhat recovered from his bad back) took guard. Despite looking comfortable, Dean (5) soon fell to an unfairly straight delivery, bringing the prolific Will Wright to the crease. He and the debonair Dodson put on almost 50 for the second wicket, but Ed struggled after breaking his cherished County bat and edged to the wicketkeeper for 21. George Pearson (2) came and went quickly, failing to pick the javelin thrower’s wrong-un, bringing Pearson Jr. to the crease. With our leader rapidly losing what little faith he had left in his carefully selected side, Will and Ed put together an important 130 run partnership. Negotiating tricky spells and taunts from turncoats Hammond and Samson, Wright (96) took the lead and with impeccable technique compiled another impressive score whilst Ed supported with a jug-avoiding 49. Both fell shortly before the end of the innings but an onslaught of clean hitting from the Chandraker (40*) accompanied by Rutt (9*) allowed the nervous skipper to declare on what seemed a very reasonable 254-6. After a typically delicious tea provided by the wonderful Mrs Gill, the Phillies took to field. Fuelled by the excellent sausage rolls, the openers set about dismantling the Clavering top order. Jamie Rutt began by castling one of the openers whilst the impressive Gimson took the important wicket of renegade Holkham centurion Samson. Gimson quickly bagged another LBW, before Rutt took care of the dangerous, and perhaps unlucky, Hammond who was caught brilliantly by Chandraker diving to his right and snaffling him one handed. A true “worldie”. This special moment brought Rob Gill to the crease. The record run-maker was batting unusually low, but there was a palpable air of expectation around the ground as the target still looked within his reach. Phil, now busy with the scorebook, eyed Davidson once again and held his breath. However, this was not to be a typically Gillian knock. At first he was unusually circumspect; shouldering arms to Gimson outside the off-stump, straight-batting Rutt and nurdling the spin of Mihir. However, as his innings progressed, there were some typically lusty blows, one denting the bonnet of Jeremy Davidson’s car and several over the road off Rory’s bowling. Sadly for Rob, wickets kept tumbling at the other end as man-of-the-match Mihir (4-20) spun his web, and Clavering were bowled out for 151, with Gill left stranded on 78*. As the XI left the field, the Fuhrer’s mood had, thankfully, improved as he basked in the glory of the 103 run victory. The team promptly traipsed down to the pup to celebrate and a firm and reassuring handshake confirmed Davidson’s indiscretion had been forgiven and that he might even captain the side once again.
Some hounds at the Clavering Fox