In a fit of generosity, the Fuhrer reprieved the said captain’s execution (Phoenix from the ashes of Stapleford) and allowed him to lead the mid-week troops out of the trenches to what was forecast to be a comfortable routine victory. A reasonable assumption given the strong line up assembled with the immortal words “Eight can turn their arm over!!”. Not sure who the other 3 were??
The opposition won the toss and elected to bat and all seemed to be going to plan as Charlie P zipped in from the tennis court end and 3rd ball got a perfectly pitched delivery to move off the seam, take a thin edge which was safely snaffled by Rob Gill. Luckily it wasn’t a thicker edge as the slip cordon of Redders and Heggars (who should have been fielding just behind square) were in deep discussion about who knows what!! The Fuhrer could be heard to utter a contented sigh of vindication as he fulfilled his scoring duties with some aplomb (watch out Jane*) but his smile soon faded as did his pencil lead trying to keep up with the carnage that followed over the next 19 overs. Burnett, Dean, Redmayne, Samson, Dodson and the returning Pearson tried all manner of variations of full tosses, long hops, leggies, doosras, chinamen, knuckle and arm balls but nearly all resulting in the same result, the ball disappearing over the boundary either on the full or after a few bounces. Special mention to Jon Howe for his generous charitable donations, we still don’t know how he managed to drop the lob to him at cover, George’s plea to go through with an appeal for the batsman to be given out for obstructing the fielder, and Mr Gill’s attempt to decapitate the captain, I know he was bad!! The oppo decided to invoke a “local” rule of retiring at 50 and their reasoning was soon revealed when in walked former Cambridgeshire captain and opening batsman (yes he did face Holding at Lords!!) Nigel Gadsby at No 5 to finish off the tiring attack. A score of 177, or was it 176, for only three wickets the scorers couldn’t agree and throwing his pencil the Fuhrer retired for a much-needed smoke!!
Gill being too tired from his keeping duties to swing his trusty blade deferred opening duties to Leary and Howe. Dave (Phil had to ask why Dave?? “as in David O’Leary” said Chris Rodgers for what was his only contribution to the match, apart from the gaudy display of his Serena lookalike lycra!!) fulfilled his more appropriate impression of a right-handed Keaton Jennings (previous report) and played a gem of an innings with some superbly elegant straight drives and flicks over mid-wicket. Partners came and went, Howe was stumped, Rodgers got a leading edge for 2 and Gill came in and smashed 17 off 4 balls before being superbly caught at deep midwicket trying for another maximum. Matt joined Paul and all was going swimmingly albeit slightly behind the required rate when one of the oppo’s more astute mathematical minds, after another 6 was launched towards the pavilion, pointed out the Paul must be near his fifty!! “He’s got 77 and no he is not retiring” was the captain’s reply “we never discussed that rule, it was your choice to retire”. You could feel Phil sink further into his seat fearing the inevitable post-match verbal confrontation that would take place if we won. Dave/Keaton, gallantly acting as a peacemaker, immediately skied a catch to mid-wicket and retired to the bench with his 2 amigos.....
Matt valiantly fought to the end but alas the feat proved too much and after brief ineffective contributions from Charlie P (yes, he did play out a maiden in over no 16), captain Dodson with another awful shot, Heggars and Dean, we fell someway short. The “impartial” scorers tried to cook the books to conjure up a victory but eventually settled on a loss by 16 runs.
Very much ex Philanderer captain (2 matches, 2 losses)
*Message from the Bunker - “Do not watch out Jane!”