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Monday, 2 September 2013

Two tonnes, two Brewers and one leg... 

Maladroits, 35 Overs, 367-5
Footballers, 17.1 Overs, 74 all out

Maladroits win by 293 runs.

If their general attire didn’t give it away, their first delivery certainly did. We were not dealing with cricketers here.

An pie of the highest (and widest) order served up outside leg and well above it with mash, gravy and all the trimmings. Dispatched for 4 and the tone was set for the next 35 overs. The Maladroits had an average-increasing, confidence building batting practice session on their hands…and practice they did.

A steady opening partnership developed quickly but the lure of the game’s first 6 proved too much for Staffy who attempted to heave what must have been the first straight delivery of the match over his shoulder and apparently (given the swing) over the adjacent Richmond Park and onto the nearby A3. Unfortunately all the Maladroits opener managed to heave was the warm summer air of East Sheen cricket ground. Bowled.

Debutant Appleton marched in at 3 and hit a quick fire 38 off 19 balls before the 43rd full toss of the match landed on his right foot and he was controversially sent on his way by stand in umpire Nick Dearman. I’ve been told that if anyone ever did a sense of injustice better than Kevin Pietersen we would probably have to go back to the Maid of Orleans when they lit the flame or Anne Boleyn just before the blade came down, but Appleton certainly gave it his best shot as he trudged off to the clubhouse and away from what he was certain would have been the first half century of his limited cricketing career.

Suffice to say the decision made for a somewhat frosty car journey home with Appleton continuing to protest the delivery was sliding it’s way past his leg stump. Dearman has since declined to comment after allegations that should it have been hitting middle the stand-in umpire had therefore given the wrong guard position in the first place. Awkward.

Next up, Henry Fray. The dusty cricket baseball cap. The custom Newbury bat. The newest pads in the locker. All the gear. But literally no idea. No idea how he ended up walking back to the pavilion on zero that is. Another tame delivery swatted away by opener Tom this time back in the bowler’s general direction…the fielding being of a similar quality to the bowling the attempted catch was inevitably dropped but quite incredibly deflected onto the stumps before Henry had managed to make his way back to the crease from a generous backing up position virtually in his partner crease. Run out in quite spectacular fashion and simply devastated, though he hid it well.

Next up, 3rd debutant Harry. This time is appeared that all the gear meant every idea as he swatted away boundaries with consummate ease reaching the 50 mark in no time whilst Tom kept anchor at the other end gently cruising his way to what must surely be the most straightforward century of his young career. This is not to take anything away from opener, it is important to note that there is no such thing as a straightforward century.

As the bowler’s began to tire and those on the boundary were only kept awake with the regular rattling of boundary benches as yet another delivery of the lowest quality was dispatched by an ever increasingly confident partnership, both gentlemen at the crease reached said 100’s and were gracefully retired, the former ignoring the original request to retire and feeling it necessary to smash 4 off 1 final ball for 105 to give himself some breathing space should it be found that not every ball had been recorded accurately in the Maladroits scoring book. If he’d been at the boundary as said book was passed from one scoring virgin to one mathematical dyslexic to another he’d probably realised he’d made the right decision.

The duo trundled off to a polite applause and were replaced by final debutant Joshua and Dearman, still reeling with guilt after his dreadful LBW decision just an hour earlier. Josh’s walk to the crease was not a march of Kevin Pietersen like confidence, indeed it was more one of the night-watchmen as he realises during the walk-on that the opposing team have just requested the extra 10 overs at the end of the day, realising he’ll be walking back this way rather shortly. And walking back he was after hoisting a straightforward catch down the throat of deep midwicket which remarkably remained held and the self-professed bowler was back to the pavilion in record time.

The final overs approached and it was fellow bowler and ex-hockey player Paddy Milburn who took it on his (remarkable underdeveloped) shoulders to finish the innings with partner in crime Dearman. The 2 batted with ease, flair and outstanding athleticism (much to Dearman’s disgust as Milburn called for the 3rd 3 in succession) against the weary and quite remarkably untalented bowling attack to close the 35 over innings out at a mammoth total of 367.

Tea was served. An interesting and eclectic mixture of cheese and ham sandwiches, Percy PigsTM (all varieties), chicken drumsticks, but ultimately, no malt loaf. There’s just no pleasing some people.

The second innings approached. A record run chase was required. The over rate set at a daunting 10.51 was surely out of reach for the football-come-cricket (but should of stayed with football) XI. Milburn was handed the gleaming cherry and proceeded to fire down 6 of his finest outswingers much to the disgust of the opening Footballers batsmen who, having painfully watched from the field for the past 2 hours was now of the confident view that batting in cricket is very easy.

A hugely fortunate 4 top edged to the third man boundary and a scampered single off Josh’s corresponding first over provided the only runs from an otherwise excellent opening 2 overs, whilst the 3rd over brought what most had expected sometime earlier…wicket #1. And what a wicket. With Milburn hooping the ball on his imaginary strings from the bowler’s end the Footballers opener simply couldn’t resist a nibble outside off stuff attempting a lusty cover drive/slash towards the pavilion but only managing a thick top edge sent flying of the bat. 1st slip Staffy sensed his glory moment and took an absolute crackerjack catch diving full length to his right. The team crowded round to celebrate what must have been for all and sundry the best catch they had witnessed live, and one which will surely live long in the memory.

Not to be outdone, 2nd bowler Josh fizzed another unplayable delivery past off stump the very next over, the very same nibble, and well, not quite the very same catch with Appleton employing the old ‘deflect upwards and pouch the rebound’ method at second slip, but it was a second wicket all the same and a very welcome one at that. Surely now they were going to drop the big guns on us, surely now the real cricketers would come out swinging, surely now…OH HE’S GONNNNNNNE! FIRST BALL! The timbers are everywhere, the batsmen castled, the stumps are splattered, the bails are battered…and Josh is on a hatrick. 6 slips, a short leg and an awful lot of pressure, but the batsmen number 4 survives and plays out the rest of the over.

Time for some leg spin from resident finger roller Stevo…after getting his bearings with a couple of opening wides Stevo produced some absolute rippers snorting off of the line and over leg stump one after another. Josh continued peddling his trade from the other end and was devastated not to pick up another wicket due to the inept fielding of Henry Fray who appeared to have forgotten to wash the butter of his hands from lunch and spilled a straight forward looper at mid off. Sometimes you’ve got to sit back and admit it won’t be your day. And that day, Henry Fray, was today.

Stevo picked up where he left off from the pavilion end and it only took until his second over before he picked up a deserved wicket, batsman number 4 swiping the slower ball and top edging a comfortable take for Boozer behind the stumps. Appleton was thrown the ball by JC after an impressive 3 over spell by Josh and decided that bowling at (or anywhere near) the stumps was hugely overrated. After 3 wides (and multiple opportunities to practice his ‘no justice’ face at the umpire upon signal of said wides) Appleton finally managed a few on line but was batted for 2 boundaries in what was the first time in the match the opposition had managed the original over rate, an over rate which had now crept its way into the unobtainable early 20s.

Appleton persisted and whilst marginally improving showed no danger of snaffling a wicket of his own which Stevo began to pick up for fun from the opposing end as the opposition were whittled down to a quite startlingly poor 45-8. Harry took up where Appleton had left off with some improved line, length and pace but the lower order had their eye in now and it was surely time to turn back to opener Milburn to depose of this final stand and wrap things up in time for the imminently starting USPGA Open final afternoon. Wrap it up he did with another fine spell finally earning him a stump shattering 2nd wicket and the team’s 9th of the afternoon.

A twist at the tail saw the opposition march in their final batsman (with one leg) for a flourish, and with 293 runs to spare the bowlers offered the chap the chance to enjoy his time in the limelight looping down a couple of gentle rollers on the leg side, a lovely sight which most would agree encapsulated everything cricket stands for and one enjoyed by not only those in the field but those that had gathered round the square on what had turned out to be sun drenched Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately, no-one told Tom. Nick Dearman’s first ball finally struck by the plucky chap up towards an empty space at mid off and surely runs were on the card. As his runner set off on what would surely be a historical landmark in the young man’s recovery from what was clearly a serious and life-changing operation Tom sensed an opportunity to close the match off on his own terms and leaped in the space snaffling the low flying ball before gravity had finished its job, cruelly sending their final batsman back to the hutch run-less. A brutal, cruel twist of fate the rest of his team could scarcely believe. And a well deserved Dick of the Day.

Man of the Match – Harry
Fielder of the Match – Staffy
Dick of the Day – Tom
Teas – below average. 37%

Match Report by Apple

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Maladroits just lose out as they live up to their name...

MCC v Sheen
Sunday 22nd June 2013
MCC lost by 7 wickets (off the last ball of the game!)
Matty Bolland reporting

It was a day for the fans. A crowd in excess of 12 turned up to watch the classic annual fixture of the Maladroits v Sheen. Strangely, both teams were playing at their home ground, and both teams entered the contest as the underdog. With rain on the horizon (as is common in an English summer) the Maladroits won the toss and elected to bat. Carrington and Brewer strode to the crease purposeful, knowing a fast outfield and hard pitch would reward positive batting. The Sheen bowling was a mixed bag; line and length with movement both ways from one end, and moon balls being floated up from the other end. With Dusty running late Sheen had implemented their secret weapon, mini-Dusty. Eventually mini-Dusty managed to find the pitch and caught Carrington in 4 minds - forward, backwards, sideways, forwards again and then miss the ball to be bowled for an aggressive 25. Staff, on debut, looked to get himself settled and not wanting to succomb to the sheen-new-comers-curse. Another healthy partnership ensued; Staff, continuing his good form in the nets, played elegant cricket shots along the ground. 

However, Staff would also fall to mini-Dusty, snicked behind for a quickfire 24. Fray, one of the few Maladroits under 30 and able to perform athletic feats such as hitting the ball continued the momentum. After hitting the only 6 of the innings, several balls later he was a little unlucky to cream the bowler over his head for what would've been another 6. The bowler, head down, shouted out "shit" as he was hit for what the thought was another boundary; this was quickly followed by a loud "fuck" from the batsman after he realised it was down long-on's throat. Fray departed for a handy 24. Meanwhile Brewer was milking the bowlers like a frantic milkmaid late for a barn-dance and not wanting to miss out on the fun. Cut shots were mixed together with powerful pull shots. One lofted drive tried its best to go for six, but dropped just inches short. A chanceless innings, he soon brought up his maiden ton with a pull shot to square. With the innings coming to a close, the run rate was lifted and wickets fell. Brewer departed; Dearman played a classy 32 before being stumped upping the tempo. Greenback wasted no time in running himself out without facing a ball, a fantastic selfless act to help the team. Finishing as the Maladroits started, the final ball of the innings was smashed through mid off by Herlihy, giving him a good-for-the-strike-rate 4 runs from one ball. Dusty had been ineffective, and a total of 259 from 35 overs seemed a good score. 

Following a pretty good teas, it was time to defend what looked like a good tally. Boland opened the bowling and managed to find some line, some length and even some seam movement. Beating the bat and finding the inside edge he had Ingrim shouting MIDDLESEX at the young batsman, reminding him that wearing your Dad's Middlesex jumper doesn't make you any better at cricket (and in hindsight it may be worth the Maladroits making a trip to the Lords gift shop during the week). Herlihy opened at the other end and after finding his line managed to get one to nip back and bowl the opener middle stump. He created several chances, but nothing went to hand. Sheen accumulated well, but were just beyond the run rate. The openers bolwers were soon changed, and Zabadme pickup up a wicket to leave Sheen two down. Lees was almost fatally wounded after falling on his arse taking the catch, and had to retire from the field. 

Dearman newly into the attack, produced a gem first ball, getting the Sheen batsman probing outside off-stump. The edge flew fast and high, but Brewer lurking behind had the reactions of a trodden cat. A spectacular one handed take sent the batsman packing and the Maldroits a few wickets from the tail. The young Middlesex jumper wearing opener was joined by the last recognised batsman and it was still a long way to the total. Fray bowled some accurate offspinners - troubling bother batsmen with the turn and bounce. Ingrim and Carrington both chipped in to try and remove the pair who were now building a healthy partnership. Seeing the ball well, both batsmen started hitting the ball cleanly - finding the boundary for most bad balls. 

A few chances were shelled, and a clear caught behind not given on grounds that the umpire wanted to win the game more than wanting to be a decent human being. The batsman's explanation for not walking was that he was batting well and he wanted to keep going. Fair enough. With an unlikely 18 needed off the final over, it was the Maladroits game to lose. The young opener had gotten his century, so he could focus on winning the game again. A series of misfields and dropped catches meant that it came down to the last ball; 2 to win for Sheen. Boland produced a low full-toss which was skied. 

Zabadne, filling in for the wounded Lees, trembled underneath. Knowing that this one act could win the game, he promptly dropped it, fulfilling the Maladroit debut curse. The ball was thrown to the bowlers end, but the batsman had crossed (twice) to run the two needed for victory. Match-fixing allegations were denied and the Maladriots hurridly scurried to the pub to discuss the heart wrenching defeat. 

MOM: Brewer for 110
DOD: Greenback for running himself out without facing a ball
FOD: Brewer for classy catch, and general tidiness with the gloves. 
Teas: 67% 

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

MCC back to winning ways (a bit too comprehensively!)

Match Report 10th June: Maladroits v Wandering Brothers – 
Sheen Park
Garry Barry Gaisford reports
Maladroits won (by a lot of runs)

On an overcast day, with rain threatening (the only thing threatening in the entire match), it was decided that overs would be reduced to 25 to allow everyone the chance to bat. With the opposition failing to produce 11 men, Boozer immediately offered them Dharmesh, making it 10 apiece. Despite some interesting chat about rather inappropriate tattoos, and current immigration requirements the team was in good spirits.

After deciding to bat first it was imperative to get off to a quick start, a notion that hadn’t quite registered with Glen who started off the batting in true night-watchman style. Luckily Ryan at the other end had rather different intentions, refusing the option of singles and striking the ball cleanly rapidly knocking up 50 runs. After Ryan’s departure, Glen came into his own, relishing the opportunity with James to destroy the bowling attack and both knock up half centuries, with Glen being top scorer with 67 (or something close). The temptation to finally slog out brought the end to Glen’s fine innings, and with only 6 overs remaining, Bobby like any good supporting batsman took to the field to enable James to keep scoring. With only one over remaining, the batting prowess that once graced the Uppingham fields was finally seen with 2 lovely edges going straight to the boundaries. At the end of 25 overs the excellent batting display from the 3 (sorry four batsman) had posted a challenging and impressive total of 213 for 2.

Tea was a quick affair, partly due to the quality on offer (special mention must go to Paddy’s wife for the delicious cupcakes) but the fear of rain, the Maladroits took to the field (some with extras) in confident spirits. The first over by Dearman set the tone with some ferocious line and length, backed up by Charlie from the other end yielding  a wicket for Charlie with a great take from Ryan. Confidence was high at this point with the visitors only posting 9 runs after 4 overs, but then their leading scorer Wide made a cameo appearance, and had it not been for the athleticism of fielder of the day Boozer behind the stumps Wide’s total may have been more.

Boozer then showed courage by changing the bowling attack bringing on the experienced left arm bowler of Paddy and the less experienced just back from retirement Gary. The move however was inspired!! Paddy was in exceptional form, moving the ball from side to side, causing all sorts of confusion in the batting attack, posting what must be a record for the Maladroits, 4 wickets for only 2 runs. Gary was nearly as good, getting into the heads of the batsmen, and delivering some deceptively slow balls. Between them they managed to take 8 wickets for 20 runs. The opposition were falling like flies and only with the arrival of Dharmesh (former Maladroit) did they show any composure in front of the crease. Strange then by doing them a favour they started him at no. 10?

Finally they were all out for 42 runs, fittingly the final wicket taken by Paddy, and a much needed win for the Maladroits. Rain held off, finished at 4pm sharp, a quick pint in the pub and still able to watch the footie. As Bobby said “you can only play what’s put in front of you.” 171 run victory. Job well done.

MOM – Paddy Drought
FOD – Boozer
DOD – Dharmesh (everybody else won)

Centurion brings down the Maladroits

MCC v Allsorts
May 27th  2012
Allsorts won  by 7 wickets

This is the first time the Maladroits had played the Allsorts and so there was no prior knowledge of what were up against- with that in mind Boozer encouraged to bat first by his team. What followed was a procession of early Maladroit wickets with Ryan, Dharmesh , Leesy and others all going relatively cheaply.  When JC came and went in the middle order MCC were left reeling at 98 for 5. However, Boozer with 47*, Ryder with 15 and Matty with a quickfire 20 odd brought the total up to 210 off the 35 overs- whilst well below par it gave us something to bowl at.

After a half time tea the Maladroit bowlers took to the field and some fantastic bowling from Matty had the Allsorts openers in real trouble. Despite looking out of sorts and too many 4 balls were offered to prevent us tieing down the batsmen. JC offering an over of multiple wides down both the off and the leg side summed up a patchy bowling performance.

Allthough MCC battled hard the opening batsmen (hailing from Uppingham- we hadn’t realized that school produced batsmen) sailed on to his 100 with some ferocious hitting.. Maladroits, despite a very committed effort in the field looked a little rusty and will look forward to taking on the Allsorts and seeking revenge in 2013.

200 runs and 10 wickets in 79.4 overs- ends in Thriller!

Oxted vs Maladroits

  • Bobby Gorgeous Lees reports
  • May 20th 2012
  • Master Park, Oxted

The Maladroits were looking forward to getting their first completed game under their belts after being rained off the week before against their landlords at Sheen Park. The Maladroits were up against a young Oxted side in what proved to be an even contest, but unfortunately the Maladroits came up short after Oxted chased down the low total, albeit with 9 wickets down.  The Maladroits chose to bat first on what appeared to be a seam friendly surface, and this proved to be the case as the opening bowler sent Nails back to the hutch in the opening over without troubling the scorers.
Lees and Retter tried to repair the damage, but an excellent opening spell from the Oxted opening bowlers made this tricky.  Retter especially enjoyed more than his fair share of luck and scoring proved troublesome.  Lees was the next to go bowled in similar fashion to Nails by the tall opening bowler.  The Maladroits were rocking further in the same over as JC came and went for a duck.  The Maladroit innings did not look healthy at this stage with the visitors reduced to 34-3.  Matters got worse when the opening bowler picked up his fourth wicket in his next over as Retter departed for a hard earned 22.
The introduction of spin did nothing to arrest the Maladroit slide as both Martin and Drought also departed for low scores and at 49-6 the Maladroit innings was in danger of imploding. Lowis and Brewer began to rebuild the innings, with Glen in particular paying some lovely shots and finally the scoreboard began to tick over at something slightly healthier than a snail’s pace.   Together Glen and Boozer put on 41 for the 7th wicket to give the score a semblance of respectability.  Boozer was out LBW for 12, but a solid 11 not out from Matty enabled Glen to push the score on until he was eventually caught for an impressive 34.  Both Gumbo and Brendan hung around at the end to give Matty support.
The Maladroits were all out for 105, a score that looked 20 runs light on that pitch.  With tea nothing to write home about, the Maladroits took the field for the Oxted innings hungry for some early success to make a game out of it.  Glen and JC shared the new ball, but it wasn’t until Matty replaced JC that the Maladroits started to make inroads in the Oxted batting line up.  Both bowled well with Matty especially bowling a testing spell that the nippers from Oxted struggled with.
Glen picked up two wickets with Matty claiming the Man of the match award with 4-17 off his allotted 8 overs.  Couple this with some calamitous running between the wickets from the youngsters meant that the game hung in the balance.  Excellent fielding from Brendan and Martin  in particular produced two run outs.  Boozer shuffled his bowlers with Retter looking impressive.  A further wicket was claimed by Lees towards the end, but Oxted snuck home by 1 wicket in an enjoyable game.  The Maladroits simply did not score enough runs batting first to win the game, but the team can take heart  from their excellent fielding performance which almost saw them sneak an improbable victory.


With a slightly reduced fixture list the MCC kicked off the season with a fixture against East Sheen which was rained off at half time. With MCC well placed it was a good warm up for the coming fixtures

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Winning close to a winning season

Ansty vs Maladroits, 18th September, Ansty

The day dawned cloudy and with rain forecast there was scepticism in some corners as to whether the game would go ahead or not. So as we all made our way to the ground in our own sweet time, Boozer replaced the embarrassment of losing the toss, with begging that we be allowed to bat first on the wet, artificial track, because we only had 6 players. And so it was.

Nails and Adam opened up with a couple of early boundaries, before Adam was bowled by a cracking ball that angled in and straightened to take the top of off stump. That bought Matty to crease and he was swiftly off the mark.

With the opening bowlers off, the time to prosper came, as an overweight middle aged man who barely knew what the ball was, took up the attack. For his opening act, he produced a loopy, slow, straight ball that David Blunkett would have caressed through the covers. Hell, even his little dog would have got runs from it. Not wanting to commit too early, Matty stood his ground and played straight – over the top of it – leaving a gap of 18 inches for the ball to comfortably bounce under and hit his off peg. The umpires conferred, and both agreed that it was hilarious. For one, a little bit of wee came out.

That bought Coles, Matty’s late ringer and on Maladroits debut, to the crease. He was the exact opposite of his predecessor, and smashed a couple of boundaries straight away. When Nails departed for a tidy 31, Boozer joined Coles and built a partnership until Coles’ forced retirement when he reached 50. That bought Retter to the crease, fresh from a stag do in Liverpool the night before. They set about destroying the attack, with Ash’s massive 6 over long on one of the shots of the day. Not wanting to retire, he was out on 45 and Lowis joined his skipper, with the score around 200 and 9 overs remaining.

Sensing that there were still great things to come from Coles, and not wanting to deprive him the opportunity of a dream debut, Lowis protested the wide bowling tactics by walking down the pitch 3rd ball and being stumpted. Although TV replays later showed that he was given out by Boland, still reeling from his disgraceful display.

Brenner came in and smashed a quickfire 14 and when Boozer smashed what looked to be a certain 6, before being caught short of the rope at cow, Coles came back in to join Crispin. With only a few overs left, Coles had bullied his way 79* when the final over started. He then hit the first two balls down the ground for 6, and a debut hundred was on. Sadly, he could only manage a single off the next ball and when Crispin was out 7, he was left stranded on 92*. Maladroits 268 for 8 (we were still 2 short).

A bit of light drizzle and a cracking tea later, the Maladroits took the field to defend their 268 in 40 overs.

Lowis and Boland opened the bowling, with Boland having an off day all round and being hit for 3 fours in his first over. Then the mood in the field changed dramatically as the ball was played deep to Lowis on the square leg boundary. Racing around from fine leg and producing a brilliant pick up and throw, Boozer had the bails off and the danger man was on his way back to the pavilion. Lowis then took the next wicket with the score around 30 and the hosts on the back foot.

A small partnership started to form before some inspired captaincy from Boozer saw each and every one of the Maladroits take to the bowling crease. With the troops bowling and fielding well, and Crispin mixing wickets with beamers, the run rate fell and the visitors confidence grew. Sensing blood, the skipper decided it was his turn to roll the arm over, and handed the gloves to Boland. Feeling confident behind the sticks, Matty took his position as Coles stood at the other end. After a loosener, Coles was looking sharp and ready to strike.

What happened next was perhaps the best moment of the entire season.

From behind the stumps, Matty chirped “Let’s find the edge now, I’ll take the catch and be keeper of the season.” Coles ran in, produced the ball of the season and drew the edge from the impotent batsman. The clear snick was heard throughout the county, but amazingly, the ball didn’t deviate at all and went straight into Matty’s gloves. Then out again.

Crispin then chipped in with a wicket, and big Mike Brenner came on to destroy the mid-lower order and took 3 wickets. Boozer’s spinners kept the scoring down, only going for 4 off his 4 overs, but he was ready to go home so called Crispin and Lowis back into the attack to finish off the hosts.

Maladroits won by about 120 runs.

Honours board:

Coles – 92*
Retter – 45
Brewer – 37

Brenner – 3 – 23 of 4
Lowis – 2 – 18 off 5
Crispin – 2 – 19 off 5.4

MoM - Rich Coles
Fielder – Crispin
DoD – Matt Boland
Quote of the Day – Matt Boland