A stunning blue-sky Sunday, Fitzwilliam outfield looking a picture and a new Sunday opposition, the Buccaneers from south London/Sussex.
An engineered toss resulted in the Philanderers batting and because of some severe travel problems the Philanderers loan policy resulted in Messrs Rutt, Davidson, Dean and Leary Jnr taking to the field for the Buccaneers. The Philanderers were bolstered by the late call to arms of Josh “Froome” Holmes who had only that morning completed the 100 mile “Tour de Newmarket”, Jake Reid (mate of Sherwin) and Mr Pimblett who swapped the umpires coat for his whites, plus every bit of body support he could find from his old Hobbs shop stock. 15 Philanderers on the same field!! As they walked out to field George was heard to say to their captain “I don’t bowl” (no change there then!). Apparently, the Bucs’ strength lay in their spin department so Rutt and Davidson opening the attack against Hammond and Pimblett. The fielders quickly realised that they could quite comfortably ride the boundary whilst at the same time preventing the Pimblett single, he was very nearly run out on several occasions risking a quick single to deep long off and mid-wicket. (There was a report of a 2 being taken to the longest boundary but that was never formally verified!). Following a very slow opening stand of 16 we were put out of our misery when Hammond was triggered by Rakesh (“it hit way above the knee roll”) and Martin Leary strode to the wicket for his Philanderers debut. Another quality batsman just like his brother but hopefully a better fielder (fraternal spirit allowed Martin to get to 48). Martin also had to endure Mr P who, having given up running completely, provided a mixture of swats over the leg side and reverse sweeps (a very generous description!!). Having got to 61 David gallantly allowed himself to be bowled, the first wicket of the most bizarre hat trick, the 2nd being Rob Gill caught at deep long off and then Tom Sherwin who apparently completed a very ugly hoick to short cow corner (the writer missed the detail as he was hurriedly getting padded up). In walked Mr Dodson to be greeted by Martin L’s astute comment “have you ever faced a hattrick ball before”??!! No worries as the next ball flew to the deep long off boundary from the new Salix blade! 99 for 4 off 24 overs, the skipper looked worried that his captaincy might be responsible for a Sunday loss, but worry not as Dodson (40), debatably described as “classy” including a 6 onto the pavilion roof, Leary (48), Ed Pearson (42*) definitely very classy and Mihir (11*) disdainfully advancing down wicket to Rutt and “ramping” Davidson, brought the score up to a respectable 228-6 off 40 overs.
Sherwin opened up from the bottom end, against Leary Jnr opening with the Buccaneers captain. A near perfect yorker just missed leg stump before Sherwin manfully avoided getting his hand to a return catch from a Leary howitzer which thudded into the boundary boards at straight long on. The antipodean Ryan “Rhino” Stephens started with a perfect line outside the right handers off stump, sadly failing to register the openers southpaw stance. 7 overs yielded 47 runs before Josh, having swapped his cycling lycra for his Bumrahesque run up removed Leary with his first ball, a perfectly pitched off cutter, hitting the top of middle stump. Their No 3 then decided to give Sherwin a bit of catching practice with a very gentle lob to short square fine leg but Tom ungraciously, and very unathletically, decided not to accept the present of an absolute dolly. After the explosive start the Buccaneers started to fall behind the required rate and with Tom Sherwin replaced by left arm over debutant Jake Reid their captain, confused by further quintet of wides, spooned a catch to Ed P at mid-on. This brought Mr Dean striding resolutely to the wicket determined to be solely responsible for taking the valued Philanderers’ Sunday scalp. Mr Pimblett, occupying the first slip berth and noticing the unblemished Dean bat chipped in with “is he still in negotiation with his bat sponsor?” which brought only the deep furrowed Dean frown in response. George remained an immovable, and mainly non-scoring, object until after drinks when, having concluded a deal with the selected bat sponsor and after more sledging/discussion of the forthcoming French Tour batting order/captaincy he was promptly bowled by the rejuvenated, slimmer and distinctly Stokes-like Will Hammond. The innings rapidly went the Philanderers way with a near hat trick care of Hammo’s express pace, a catch behind for Rob Gill (despite his lurid, youth sized gloves) and a fine ankle high catch by Tom Sherwin, having only just that ball placed himself at 3rd slip. Another slip catch, this time at 3rd slip by Martin Leary from the Davidson edge off Rhino, who was now bowling to a right hander with a 9-0 offside field. Reid returned to undo Ruttie with a perfectly pitched in-swinger and “Bumrah” Holmes finished the game with another middle stump bulls-eye.
Special mention to the over 50’s contribution, 101 runs, an impeccable display at 1st and 2nd slip (don’t mention the phones, at least one was being used for a valid purpose) and giving Sherwin a good run for his money to the third man boundary.
Thank you to Deano for spending the entirety of his new bat sponsorship on some post-match beers, and to Rakesh for standing at both ends for the full match duration, including one very correct LBW decision.
Final result: Philanderers won by 112 runs
Philanderers 224 for 6
Buccaneers - 112 all out (Hammond 3-10, Stephens 2-39, Josh Holmes 2-13, Jake Reid 2-26. Wides were second top scorer with 18!)
The Philanderers extended family!