High drama at the Hall which began with the Fuhrer having trouble with some rogue Stormtrooper parking attendants. However, they eventually saw sense aided by his closing of the car window, the utterance of a guttural expletive and driving off at high speed - this being 15mph as it is Holkham. Evading any further problems your Leader arrived at the pitch to discover that Captain Sir George Pearson had won the toss and that The Philanderers were taking first knock.
A couple of early losses were sustained before the Aussi Pro and the English Amateur steadied the ship. Just short of a 50 partnership Trevor found that he could only do steady for so long before departing for an uncompromising 13. Ed Pearson can of-course do steady all day if necessary and his accomplished stroke play kept the score ticking nicely along accompanied at various stages by Father George 18, Tom Sherwin 23 and Mihir Chandraker 29.
However, towards the end of this innings building drama struck again as John Burnett suddenly gave up scoring - in the book that is as opposed to on the field - staggered back to the Pavilion and promptly collapsed. Not asking your Leader for permission but just went ahead and did it. Seemingly unresponsive to jibes from team mates it was decided by a conclusive majority that John was indeed unwell. Suffice to say that several ‘phone calls later, following very prompt assistance from Holkham Hall’s first aiders and then from the Ambulance team John was whisked off to the Kings Lynn hospital for a thorough survey.
Throughout this hiatus the game carried on with Ed reaching a delightful 102 prior to the innings coming to an end at 223 for 9 wickets after 37.4 overs. The Holkham tea was as tasty as ever and greatly enjoyed amongst the murmurings about how much JB would hate to be missing it should he happen to be conscious!
Under the ongoing glare of the blazing sun The Philanderers X bravely took the field and performed heroically for the next couple of hours or so. Wickets fell at regular intervals rather than in clusters and as ever with Holkham the scoring rate was marginally below that which was required. With two overs remaining 30 runs were still needed and although a late push closed the gap somewhat at the end of the 40th over Holkham at 213 for 8 wickets were still 10 runs adrift. Ed Pearson’s off spin was rewarded with 4 victims whilst Jonah Munday took 3 and George Pearson the remaining one. A hard earned victory in which everyone played a part, apart from JB obviously, and which I hope will send Trevor back to the Land of Oz with a smile on his face. So the drama of the Sunday run continues and rather like ‘The Mousetrap’ will it never end…..
Postscript - On a serious note I am extremely happy to report that John was discharged from hospital very late on Sunday evening with a clean bill of health having been tested and scanned here, there and everywhere. It would appear that JB will be with us fit and raring to go for the start of his 34th season next May still hunting down his 400th wicket…..
The changing of the guard
The Holkham Lake (courtesy of the George Dean art folio society)
Under the watchful eye of the Hall