Philanderers stuck in poor form Rutt
The Philanderers winless run continued for a second consecutive Sunday as Rutt and Sir George Pearson were forced to doggedly block out the final few overs to secure a draw in a highly competitive declaration game against the Gents of Essex.
We were greeted to the superb facilities of CtCC (Coggeshall Town Cricket Club) by the opposing skipper who announced that “The Gents usually bat first”. Bat first The Gents duly did, and an hour and a half or so later, we wondered if they usually found themselves 100 - 5. The Philanderers it has to be said were quite superb for that opening period. Rutt and Munday began with three maidens, the third over including a wicket for Jonah and continued in misley fashion, the Gents 25-1 after 10.
The first change pair of Tom Picton-Turbervill and Ben Cross provided no let up for the batting side, the next 8 three overs yielding two wickets for Cross, including a regulation legside stumping for John Howe (at least he made it look regulation, unlike the fuss made by Hammo and acolytes when he pulled off the same feat to the same bowler last season), and one for TPT. It should be noted that, despite only fielding with 10 players after Phil had caused a great deal of confusion with the start times, resulting in poor Rob Gill running late, we also fielded quite brilliantly, led by Mihir and debutant Wajewardena.
It was fielding in fact that turned out to be the key point in the game, ironically however through more luck than judgement as TPT deflected a straight drive onto the stumps running out the non-striker, and in a double irony, not in the Philanderers favour as it bought CtCC’s club pro to the wicket (a veteran of 55 professional appearances for Cape Province in South Africa). Cross however was certainly not intimidated, eliciting an edge that flashed by Hammond before the pro had reached double figures. Sadly, he didn’t give another chance as he proceeded to score 76, the mainstay in The Gents total of 196-6 declared.
It’s unclear if The Gents usually bat past tea, but in order to get enough on the board that’s what they were forced to do, eventually declaring leaving The Philanderers only 45 minutes or so before the final 20 overs began. The skipper calculated we would need to score at 6 an over, and we’d need half an hour of vintage Gill to chase it down. Gill duly obliged with a typically belligerent 58, ably supported by an excellent 44 from Hammond which left us in a strong position to push for the win; 78 required off the final 17 with 7 wickets in hand. Sadly, however none of the middle order managed to get going, and despite a brave effort from TPT with 29 it was left to Sir George and Jamie Rutt to block out the final few overs and hold out for a draw with the score at 173-8.
So, we enter June with just a solitary win to the Sunday XIs name and in desperate need of a win.
A trifle harsh George! - The benign Fuhrer
At play in deepest Essex