The Philanderers v Swaffham Bulbeck, Wednesday 22nd July at Mingay Park, Burwell

Not quite the one and only for all you Chesney Hawkes fans but the first and penultimate mid-week evening fixture took place on a warm sunny evening at this East Anglia Premier League ground (where is “Premier League” this season?). Great wicket and tiny boundaries promised for a high scoring match especially given the strong batting side that the Fuhrer, in attendance from the start (local venue), had summoned.

George lost the toss and with the opposition inserting us he selected his batting line up, and obviously deciding he wouldn’t be required to pad up he relaxed and removed his shirt (much to the shock/astonishment of Anne Lorimer who, attending with Big Al, prudently placed their deckchairs midway between the two camps not knowing whether to cheer on the Phillies or the opposition, captained by their son and former Philanderer, John. (Was he dropped by the Fuhrer when he remembered he was an Old Leysian?)

Ed P and Rob Gill opened the innings and 11 off the first over set the tone for the ensuing 19 overs of carnage. Rob was triggered (“their wickie said it was missing the leg stump by miles”) for 15 with not a single 6!! This brought Nick Cox to the wicket for what is his last match for the Philanderers before his move to Yeovil to pursue his medical career - I see a Dorset Tour on the horizon? An all too brief cameo of 14, including a straight six into the neighbouring garden (I won’t repeat George P’s description!!) came to an end with a slap to point which brought Mel Ragnauth to the wicket to join his fellow Blue. What followed was a mixture of elegant class (apparently a Pearson trait – such a nice family!!), mixed with bludgeoning power as the two added 154, including 13 sixes and 17 fours, with Ed bringing up his 50 off 22 balls and his hundred off 45. Mel was not much slower, taking 25 to get to his half century and with the fielding side scattered to all parts even miss hit skiers found wide open space. Mel was eventually bowled for 67 bringing Tom PT to the wicket with 7 balls left. How difficult is it to come in after a thumping partnership, LBW first ball which left Ed D to make a fluent 0* without facing a ball in a partnership of 20 as Ed P farmed the strike for the last over to finish 129*. Records galore for a Philanderers 20 over evening game at Mingay Park?

As we took to the field rumblings could be heard from the Bunker over the ineptitude of the batting in again failing to get to that elusive 300 (he has still not forgiven Holkham!!). JB opened from the top end with George D from the Pavilion End his usual mixture of seam, cutters and leggies bamboozling Lorimer Jnr into picking out Nick Cox at mid-off followed by more catching practice for Ed P and George P off JB at mid-on and mid-off respectively. JB had earlier been given an official Protocol warning for touching the bails followed by the statutory application of sanitiser. The opposition never really got going despite the generosity of Pimbers behind the stumps (less said the better!! the slip cordon was taken through the new Pimblett fitness regime in some detail, swimming, cycling, walking and tennis), and some remarkably acrobatic attempts at catches, particularly George D with a salmon-like leap at gully to tip it round the post. Ed P slightly blotted his copy book with a difficult dropped catch followed by a spat of animal cruelty as he trod, he claimed accidently, on an innocent canine interloper who had come to say hello. After a slight delay when a rare opposition maximum could only be retrieved from the neighbouring garden after lengthy negotiations by the Pearsons, Mahir replaced JB and a cocktail of classic leg spin and double bouncers (“how can I grip the ball” after the mandatory team sanitiser application at 14 overs) accounted for their top scoring left hander. Tom PT bowled with some gusto from the pavilion end without success with Nick and Ed D completing the overs. Nick took 2 wickets, one stumped (if at first you don’t succeed…) and accounting for one Westbrook brother with a perfect leg spinner hitting the top of off stump, his sibling somehow contriving to drag Ed D’s first delivery, a rank leg side long hop onto his leg stump off the back of his back. The innings closed at 131-7. A rather significantly large victory.

Ed Dodson

Batting stars Mel Ragnauth & Ed Pearson trying to level up their height difference

​© The Philanderers Cricket Club 2020