Our first visit of the season to Babraham was not an auspicious one for the Fuhrer's midweek minions. In the words of certain Scandinavian commentator (Bjørge Lillelien), “Maggie Thatcher can you hear me? Maggie Thatcher ... your boys took a hell of a beating!”
I had hoped, as someone who had much ‘doings’ with GOC (Gents of Cambridge, previously Camden Thursday XI), that I would recognize a few old friends, not so. Only their manager/ringmaster - Gavin Ayliffe. Given the way their openers shaped up, early wickets were key and thankfully all the early chances went to the young, athletic and capable Philanderers - Picton-Turbervill, Rodgers and Carew, and all were ‘shelled’. Only Henry Cambell (0-12 off 4 overs) escaped the barrage that then followed. Burnett and White decided the reason why their bowling had suffered at Babraham last year was a case of ‘wrong end’, not so. Charlie P then fed the beasts that the batters had become. In fact the only fun for many Philanderers was, on the very odd occasion the ball did pass the wicket, seeing how many byes may ensue. The book records 12 and I’ll settle for that. That’s 3 x 4 byes, two way down the legside (should really be called wide in T20) and one ‘nutmeg’ that never left the ground and I’d already made it clear I took no responsibility for anything below ankle height.
As the prospect of a 200 plus score loomed, the openers started to tire, and around 170 a catch was eventually taken, by Henry, who then threw well enough for a run out and a final ball stumping meant all former Felsted players had a wicket. The score at the end of the 20th over amounted to 179 for the loss of 3 wickets.
The reply did not start well. Rob Gill lasted two balls before being caught, Tom P-T one less. The panic in the batting order was surpassed by John Burnett with the scorebook who was in near meltdown as we subsided to (approximately) 45-6. At this point Henry nailed down the Man of the Match with a splendid innings of 45 (8 x4s & 1 x6) in a 7th wicket stand of 85 with Nigel Gadsby, just three runs short of the club record. Then the Felsted boys, Gadsby 34* with 5 fours (always one for a ‘red inker’) and Dodson, joined up to bat time out and save Hugo White and John Burnett an unnecessary walk to the wicket as the pub was calling. The losing response of 131 for 7 wickets did not diminish their thirst.
'David Pimblett at maximum bend'