What presented as a lovely sunny Sunday for cricket was overshadowed as late fitness tests meant that the squad had still not been finalised 40 minutes before what should have been the start of play. Whilst the Fuhrer had been presented with enough options to replace injured Philanderers, we awaited a final decision whilst their cricketing credentials were googled. It was decided that a suitable replacement was Finn Karsten, currently plying his trade in the East Anglian Premier League…
Having been put in the field for a 35 over aside game, Karsten was given the cherry first up. An initial aggressive bodyline attack induced one or two exquisite pulls and hooks, but Finn then found his off stump line. He eventually combined with his Saffron Walden teammate-cum-agent Mihir, who took a catch at gully off the edge of an ambitious shot. This induced early calls to a rebranding as “Saffron Walden Sunday XI”.
Meanwhile our resident overseas player Ryan Stephens opened from the other end to both little success and little failure with a first spell of four overs for nine runs. Stick bowling. The run rate stagnated early.
Captain Pearson decided to accelerate the game by introducing the inimitable bowling of George Dean, who might have bowled a maiden first up if it wasn’t for a screaming beamer. Fortunately there wasn’t a Pimblett present to whine on about the rules of the game and official warnings, because he proceeded to bowl another screaming beamer in his second over.
Dean’s bowling induced a drop and two catches from Nick Co
x at cover as bats 2 & 3 were sent back to the pavilion. Dougie Turner had been brought on to replace Stephens but continued in similar vein. With the score 56 for 3 off 18 at the halfway point, Mihir was brought on to bowl out the remainder of one end taking two wickets in his stint. He partnered Karsten and Stephens who each took two wickets in their return spells.
With the opposition’s top scorer managing 36, having repeatedly just bunted the ball at Mihir and run, he was generously given 5 lives before Mihir decided to run him out. The innings culminated with 117 all out in the 33rd over.
Having waved through the ball whenever it was hit at him in the field, Cassels’ hands and body were feeling fresh enough to open the batting. He did so alongside our other Aussie, veteran Trevor Lawrence. However, unlike his compatriots, this Aussie fell foul to an English bowler in the opening power play trapped LBW for 0.
An injured Holmes, who could not bowl but could somehow sprint and perform a diving stop on the boundary, was inserted at 3. Rumour has it, he intermittently looked as though he could bat. Meanwhile Cassels was dealing mostly in fours at the other end, his total of 42 containing eight boundaries. Having bored of the spinner, Holmes tried to sweep off middle stump and induced a collapse of 3-13 across 5 overs as Cox came and went to a “stonewall” LBW and then Cassels followed him back to the pavilion.
Will Wright was under heavy pressure as his father-in-law to be had turned up to cast his judgement, but luckily for him he was joined by Karsten at the crease. Wright provided ones and twos whilst Karsten smoked a 45 not out (including two maximums) to seal both his position as ringer, and the win as we reached 121-4 in the 22nd over.
Needless to say, Phil acquired contact details for the debutant. It hasn’t been confirmed whether Wright won the appreciation of his guest.
'guest Finn Karsten launching a six'