48 hours out from the toss The Refreshers had just 9 men willing to travel to Exning - noises from the bunker were that the game wouldn’t happen at all. The Refreshers’ skipper was however determined not to let anyone down (Point of order - Phil had received a call from their club president, a QC, two years previously to apologise that his club had failed to send a team - your writer wonders the look on Phil’s face when Wendy told him he had a QC on the line and what crimes he confessed to before the real subject was revealed) and suffer the embarrassment of forfeiting the fixture. Quite how he felt 46 minutes into proceedings (point of order - what a delight it is to have a proper scorebook thanks to Norm and not have to deal with Pimmers nonsense when writing up the scorebook) when, having had to bat by virtue of not having many players by the allocated start time, the Refreshers were reduced to 16-5, your writer would be somewhat intrigued to know…
(Point of order - your writer won’t give details of the situation 24 hours out from the toss when we had 20 players between the two sides, a tea, a ground, a scorer and two umpires when the bunker agreed the game could go ahead, but wouldn’t be “officially” sanctioned, whatever that means)
… in those opening 46 minutes Campbell (3-5) and Rutt (2-13) were simply too good and bowled beautifully. Coteman and Dean were perhaps not too good but both added wickets to leave Refreshers 42-7 with only two wickets in hand (Point of order, the Refreshers were up to X thanks to the selfless offer of Davidson to cross the house, whilst Philanderers fielded XI thanks to the most welcome last-minute addition of friend of the club Harry Eastman, thanks, Harry). Total embarrassment for the Refreshers was however spared by a gritty, although crushingly boring 50 partnership between the on-loan Davidson (24* from 58) and P. Stuart (22 from 74). Farid Pardess, a wonderful addition to the club’s bowling ranks this season, took the last two wickets stumped Wright to leave the Refreshers all out 91 from 37.5 overs (Point of order - the case against the Philanderers bowlers would like to point out that this included 28 extras or 31% of the total, whilst the case for the defence notes they bowled a combined 10 maidens, which it feels like must be a long time since we managed).
The Philanderers response was brief, the runs knocked off in 51 minutes for the loss of two wickets thanks to a classy 42 from Mihir and 27* from Wright. (Point of order - Wright’s 27 came off a hardly rapid 51 balls, which made his libellous claim against P. Stuart’s “tortuous” innings seem somewhat rich, particularly given he missed a number of chances to the aforementioned batsmen, which the batsmen had not been shy of pointing out).
All in all, a nonsense of a game of cricket but an enjoyable one nonetheless in the ever- delightful Exning Park and warm September rays.
(Point of order, your correspondent notes that the oppositions website listed a certain N.J. Dillon match manager, a sad loss to the game)
Davidson bowling for the other lot!