top of page

Chippenham v The Philanderers, Sunday 21st May, 2023 at Chippenham Park

Chippenham Park seems to be the home of thrilling draws, having produced squeaky-bummers in two of the last three encounters - The Philanderers having survived nine down in 2019 (Gerald and Davo batting for 13 overs) and Chippenham eight down in 2021 (2020 was lost to Covid-19).

No-one therefore should have been surprised that here we were again, the light fading, the arrivals home latening, and Chippenham nine wickets down with two overs and five balls remaining. Predictably, and heroically, the final pair survived the final 17 deliveries and the draw was secured, cricket once again the only winner.

This is not to say that the game had always been heading towards a draw, indeed with five overs left just 32 runs were needed for victory, and James, the Chippenham opener, was well past his 100. The Philanderers still required three wickets and it looked as though the infamous seven-year unbeaten run (excluding overseas games: thank you George that comment has not escaped the Fuhrer’s eagle eye) may at last be at an end. Davidson however made the crucial breakthrough, and suddenly all hope of a Chippenham victory was gone.

The Philanderers switched immediately from defence to offence, loading the slip cordon and even, for comical effect, including a short leg. Miraculously the very next ball from Davidson found the inside edge, hit the pad, and was caught by a diving short leg - the first catch at short leg this correspondent can ever remember in Philanderers colours. This completed a well-earned five wicket haul for Davidson to combine with one from Rutt and three run-outs. Debutant Farad Pardess, a brilliant signing from Afghanistan over the winter, had earlier bowled beautifully but with no reward - at what we all hope will be an enjoyable and successful career with the club.

The game had begun with a strong Philanderers batting display leading to a total of 269–9 declared, underpinned by 98 from Cassels and 96 from Pearson E. Though Cassels grew in stature towards the end of his innings, he began by not striking the ball particularly cleanly, and in typically goofish fashion was busy apologizing to the bowler for his miscellany of mishits around the ground. After one such shot through the offside, which looked an easy two, he was so busy seeking forgiveness from the bowler as he turned for two, he missed the fact that Dillon had slipped and was busy asking his partner to settle for one. Large headed and thick eared however, Cassels was dead to his partner's protestations and ambled back, entirely unaware of the situation. Dillon, sensing communication was not his partner’s strong point, fell on his sword and was run out at the non-striker’s end. Such was Jack’s obvious disappointment in the situation, he immediately announced his retirement from the game. Ed’s innings was somewhat less eventful, as he showed no nerves at suddenly being promoted to second most senior Philanderer in the family to compile a classy 96.

A few final words. Once again it was a delight to play at the resplendent Chippenham Park, a home of proper cricket, proper teas and eternally a pleasure to visit. There was however one note of sadness, Alan Wright, long time skipper of Chippenham Sunday side had sadly passed away between fixtures. A good cricket man, who will be much missed.

George Dean

With his usual reticence George omitted to mention that the outstanding catch at short leg was actually taken by himself - The Fuhrer.

The nearly victorious side minus Jamie who had to shoot off

The new youthful club elders Pearson & Davidson sagely watching the play

Quality teas at Chippenham Park


bottom of page