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Thursday, 7 October 2010

Burnt clutches, butter fingers, wheelchairs and childrens boxes... what a tour- La Manga 2010

Maladroits tour to La Manga - September 2010

Edward Bowes reports...

Squad: Brewer*, Carrington, Retter, Ryder, Drought, Roundell, Lowis, Boland, Bowes, Toovey (& Lees)

Final position: Defeated in the semi finals

After a flight cancellation debacle on the day we were due to travel, it was with immense relief that 11 Maladroits made it to London Gatwick on time and in good heart, early on Friday morning. Good fortune was already on our side as it turned out that Boozer was right at the front of one of the longest check-in queues in world queuing history just in time for the other 10 members of the team to rock up and place their bag down.

A flight, some more queuing and a drive later we arrived at La Manga Club Resort fit and raring to go, and also quite hungry. No game that afternoon meant we had three lined up back-to-back on the Saturday - a daunting prospect but well within the fitness capabilities of the Maladroits team. It was lucky we had brought a large squad…

A beer and some food followed at one of the most expensive cafes in world café history (hope that dry chicken leg was well worth the £6 Tooves??) before a night out on the lash began. Some wimped out early, in the knowledge that 3 games in a day was a big ask, but some went long. Dressed up in garish jackets and ties (Simon) and surrounded by chavvy golf tourists, the Maladroits did themselves proud by absolutely nailing the Pulp classic ‘Common People’ whilst pointing at all the revelers in the bar…. superb choice of song by Leesy, probably the high point of his tour.

10am Saturday morning. First match vs. Buckhurst CC Maladroits to field first.

Simon ‘Round as in circle e double l’ opened up from the top end and immediately dug in a sharp bouncer that took the surprised batsmen on the glove and ballooned to the slip and gully region. Bowesy leapt forward like a salmon, doing incredibly well to even get to the ball on the full. Unfortunately he put it down but it was a really fantastic effort.After that the ‘droits bowled and fielded pretty well with memorable performances coming from Tooves, who bowled tidily for his 2 for 24, and Paddy who bowled well but also took a great catch. Maladroits had been set 112 to win from 20 overs – a target that was well within reach and looked even more achievable after JC and Ash got after the bowling in the powerplay overs. JC got 37 and set up an opening match victory, with Ash (24) and Glen also playing their part with the bat.

The second match was against Combined Colleges CC and Maladroits fielded first, preferring to chase down a target. The bowling and fielding was slightly less tidy but Simon again bowled well, and threateningly, as did Matty. A few catches started to go down, setting the trend for the day and living up to the Maladroits name. A target of 146 was always going to be tough but was certainly gettable. An early wicket brought Bowesy to the crease and he managed to make up for the first game by hitting a few sixes and getting the run-rate going again. He was soon to be joined by Ryder (rural destroyer), the soon-to-be Dad, and together they gelled like Haynes and Greenidge, or Langer and Hayden. Ryder batted like a dream, nudging and nurdling his way to about 30 before powering on like a hungry farmer (which is what he is) to take him past 50 and take the Maladroits to victory. Played two, won two. You can’t do better than that. 100% record. No mistakes. Clinical and efficient.

Then we played the third match (v Sahara CC). A match characterised by the most amount of drops ever seen in one innings in the history of world cricket. It was comical at times and spectators must have thought, having seen our previous two games, that we taking the p*ss in an attempt to push their total up and give us a real challenge. However, this was genuine eponymous ineptness. It would be remiss to list the ‘dropees’ here, mainly because it would basically be just a list of the whole team. In amongst the catching, or lack of it, there was some good bowling. However we bowled 15 wides, which, at 2 runs a wide, was simply not good enough and cost us dear. A target of 192 was a lot. Ash strode to the crease for his last sober innings of the tour and proceeded to play the sort of innings that the Mongoose bat was made for. He made 50 and only actually connected with the ball 9 times, hitting seven 6’s and two 4’s! Some of the shots he played have never been seen before in world cricket – a six over extra cover off the back foot. Bowes made a few at the other end and others chipped in, in a valiant attempt to keep up with the run rate. At one stage the oppo were getting a little quiet but it couldn’t be maintained and we were soon out of it but not before a comedy over from Lees. Fearful of a seeing off a maiden over, not a good thing in 20/20 cricket, an increasingly sweaty Lees looked to hit a 6 over long-on off the last ball. Unfortunately he only succeeded in turning it into a wicket maiden!!

A good effort to chase down a big score but a defeat nonetheless. However, we had made it to the semis on Sunday morning so all was not lost.

Saturday evening saw all the players and administrators gather in the resort’s Mexican restaurant for an unexpectedly decent buffet. The Maladroits also put up a good show in the raffle, buying a lot of tickets and taking home 50% of the prizes, including 6 bottles of wine and a child’s box. Another victory for us and La Manga CC, our opponents in the semis sensed that we meant business.

The usual tour high jinx then carried on late into the night, highlights being the drinking of jaeger bombs out of the aforementioned box, Glen wiping out and effectively ruling himself out of the crucial semi-final and Ash getting more drunk than any other human in the history of drinking.

10am Sunday morning. Semi-final vs La Manga CC. Top pitch.

Maladroits sent into the field again, La Manga to bat first. Simon ‘Round as in circle e double l’ opened up from the top end again and again looked sharp. He accounted for a quick opening wicket and this brought a familiar-looking Yorkshire lad to the crease. We had played against him before, for Sporting Alfas, and Boozer dropped him on 0 before he went on to get 80. We were hoping this wouldn’t happen again but, sure enough, a thin nick from Simon presented itself as a very tough diving chance to Boozer. Like Groundhog Day, he dropped it again! Some good bowling from the spin twins Bowes and Toovey as well as tidy stuff from Matty, Paddy and Ed Ryder meant that La Manga were being well restricted. That was until the number 5 batsman came in and smacked it to all parts, making 50 odd in 15 balls! There was a not a lot the Maladroits could do about it but it meant we had been set another total over 180.

Ash and Bowesy opened the batting, with the former prepared to take on the quick Spanish international opening bowlers with no lid, half a bat and still drunk. After his innings the evening before expectation was high. This was short lived however as his swung and missed the first three balls before being castled by the fourth! Top quality Maladroits cricket – awesome one minute, dreadful the next! JC soon departed, unluckily guiding a bouncer straight down third man’s throat before Ryder and Bowes put on a bit of partnership. We were always behind the run rate but at one point there was a glimmer of hope. Ryder was bowled, playing the sort of shot that his job title would suggest, and Bowes was caught in the deep and the Maladroit effort was close to being over. Not before another comedy batting effort from Lees, who set off up the other end after one of his trademark late cuts only to be sent back. Dropping his bat and then dipping for the line like Usain Bolt didn’t save him unfortunately and he was run out by some way! Some nice batting from Simon and Boozer showed La Manga that we weren’t going to be rolled over and they both had a nice gentle end of season knock.

A defeat in the semis. Some great cricket played against a pretty high standard of opposition. Maladroits can be proud that we played, and competed, at this level. Above all that, we played in the right spirit throughout and all had a jolly good time.

Huge thanks to JC for organising the tour and to Boozer and Ash for their administration work to make it all run smoothly.

Scintillating final ball win to do the double on Sheen CC

East Sheen CC vs Maladroits CC – 12th September 2010-09-14

East Sheen

Maladroits won by 2 runs

JC Carrington reports…

The last game of the season on UK soil saw a somewhat depleted team of 9 men turn up to an unusually sunny East Sheen Common. Typically, we lost the toss and where put into bat. Nails and Ash opened the batting and got off to a steady start with Nails holding down one end as Ash took on the opening bowlers in his usual aggressive manor. The first wicket fell as Ash missed a good away swinger and was promptly ‘stumped’ whilst standing a foot outside his crease and practicing the shot he should have played (this as later to earn his DOTD award).

As so often happens, 1 wicket will bring 2, in fact it bought 3 with Glen and JC only just avoiding ducks whilst competing on who would get a chance to bat again (lowest score had another go since we were short on numbers). Who did the captain turn to when in need to stead the ship, none other than Mike Brenner! Nails continued to play some lovely cover drives and work the ball around the field while Mike took his opportunity batting up the order and smashed some classical straight drives past the bowler. The opposition captain was running out of ideas and as a result bought on his strike bowler in the form of Dusty the Destroyer. Whilst his first over was dispatched for 15, he recovered by taking the price wicket of M Brenner, who holed out to cow corner – great knock for 41!

This bought Matty to the crease, who was under pressure to score some runs on this ground having produced some match winning performances away from home but not quite converting this form at East Sheen. Needless to say, he got off the mark with a tick outside edge through the slips. He was then bowled by the ever present Dusty with a ball that apparently turned. By this point, Charlie had recruited a 10th man from Gumtree, who he promptly put into bat. First ball, a little nervous on debut and with Dusty in fall swing there was only going to be one result....OUT. This was a first of Dusty and in unknown territory bowling a hatrick ball, the field was bought in and the pressure was on the new bat – Simon, another debutant who hadn’t picked up a bat in 3 years. If in doubt, hit across the line....OUT!!! Scenes like this will never be seen again on Sheen Common. With Nails departing for a very well played 54 (thank you to the Drovers for loaning your player out) and the score in the balance at 125 for 6 we needed a captains innings. Boozer did not disappoint! A very well timed 63 not out lifted the total score to 225 all for 9, with a little help from 9 lives Toovey.

With 40 overs and 10 wickets to make 226, East Sheen where in confident mood during tea (which were to the usual high standard to which we have become accustom). Some tight bowling and solid fielding was required, and despite only having 10 men, the Maladroits where more than up to the task. Opening Bowlers Glen and Venu both made up for their issues with the bat with tight, aggressive bowling, immediately putting East Sheen under pressure (1 for 28 off 8 and 1 for 31 off 8 respectively). However, the run rate ticked along nicely (not helped by JC’s 2 overs!) and the captain had had only one option – Toovey and Matty Boland took up the challenge. Matty bowled well for his 2 for 34, however Toovey was the stand out bowler, himself having a chance of a hatrick. His final figures of 3 for 39 were rewarded with the Man of the Match award. Despite some heated exchanges towards the end of the innings, the Maladroits held firm with Ash bowling a quality final over for just 3 runs when 8 were needed.

Great finish to the domestic season. Onwards and upwards for the Tour to La Manga!

MOTM – Toovey

Fielder of the Day – Simon

DOTD – Ash

Outstanding performances – Boozer (63*) / Nails (55)

Teas – 78%

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Chasing success run comes to an end in valiant chase

v Jesmond Jaguars
UCL Pitches, Dulwich, Sunday 1st August 2010.
Lost by 24 runs
Ash Retter reporting.

The early start many had been waiting for half worked as we kicked off 30 minutes late at 12.30. We went into field first, and the first ball promptly got dispatched for four, and under the fence - with a locked gate it took 10 minutes to retrieve. This was not the start the intrepid 10 had been looking for.

Bowling was generally good, Bolland and Drought opening with 0 for 38 of 7 over with 1 maiden and 2 for 41 off 8 respectively. First change Retter tried hard but was expensive, uncharacteristically, and Watts chipped in with a cracking spell of 6 overs for 38. Bowler of the day was Dusty II with - Tooves bowled exceptionally well. Burton-Brown completed the attack with a respectable against his own team. Thank you sir. Notable performances in the field for Ed Lock, after introducing himself as a specialist fielder to new recruit Paddy, and most amusingly seen crawling on all fours swearing after a ball as it trickled over the boundary just out of reach. Mikey also earned himself the DOD title after taking a boundary catch at least 5 yards over the boundary rope at long on, more heartache for the wounded Retter.

The Jags batted well and on a quick outfield the boundaries flowed. After 40 overs and a long spell in the field at tea the MCC had been set a mammoth 283 to win.

Tea was good, the dinner ladies served up some nice hot pizza slices and jammy dodgers, amongst other things, in what was a pretty good spread. Added bonus was larger on tap, something to think about at fortress sheen.

The MCC openers took on the first wave of the Jags attack well. Lock defending and Retter keeping the score board ticking over. 7 an over was always going to be tough. The stand lasted about 7 overs with Lock falling. In stepped Watts with a message from the captain for Retter - to control himself as the illusive maiden 50 was close. True to form he did not and was caught spectacularly at deep backward point whilst slogging the first ball of the new spinner. Captain was polite, batsman was furious. 54 for 2 off 10 overs. It was to be Ed Watts’ day, stroking a fabulous 90 odd, ably supported by the other stroke playing lefty Mr. Drought who notched up a solid 40 exactly when it was needed after quick departures of Lees (8) and Bert (3). 87 for 4 off 20 overs. Drinks. At 30 overs Watts and Paddy had got us to 189 for 4. What looked like an un-reachable total was not and we were just about in the game. Unfortunately Paddy fell. We were running out of overs and the run rate was ticking up. Boozer was steadying the ship and pushing some runs, with an injured Bolland was disappointed, but also probably slightly relieved, to leave the crease run out on 6. It seemed harsh pushing the singles with an injured Matty without a runner, but we had no choice. 206 for 6 off 33 overs. Mikey went in with one express mission, to slap it over the rope every ball (no change there I know). A excellent partnership between Brewer and Brenner ensued, until a superb catch downed an on fire Mikey. 249 for 8 off 39 overs. He came back out with a respectable 15 and handed the baton to Tooves. I think we needed 34 off the last over, 5 sixes and 1 four. Unfortunately this was just out of our grasp, we manged 6 in the over. A tough loss for the Droits in what should go down in the annals of MCC cricket as a gallant run chase, and an all round good game. We were left ruing fielding with 10 men, we could have won if we could have kept the runs down a little.

MOM: Ed Watts with bat and ball.
DOD: Mikey.
FOD: Mikey.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Eight out of eight for Maladroits chasing down scores..

  • v Mike Leas team
  • Bank of England
  • Sunday 25th July

It was a hot muggy day at a dry Bank of England ground. The track seemed flatter and with less movement than Stephen Hawking in a swimming pool. The Maladroits only had 9 players with Ed ‘Will he’ Ryder running late, but sadly the opposition had even less. This meant the decision on who would get first use of the batters paradise went down to who had the most late players and not the toss.

Mike Lea’s team opened with perhaps the least scary opening batsmen of the season. One was so old he had played alongside W.G Grace and the other had the body shape of W.G. Grace. The Maladroits sensed early wickets. Several maidens from Tricky early on and sharp bowling from Blinky kept the score reasonable. However, with the loss of the shine on the ball, and the batsmen’s aging joints warming up, runs started to flow over the lightening quick outfield. A few loose balls were dispatched with disdain by the largish batsmen and even his free-bus-passed partner joined in. It wasn’t long before the unlikely opening batsmen had brought up a 90 run opening partnership with very little risks and even less footwork.

This led to a change in the attack with Glen “The LigerLowis brought into the attack in combination with Matt “Rod Latham” Boland. Lowis found line and length immediately and bowled some rippers, finding the spot and nipping the top of off stump to remove the larger of the two batsmen. Boland soon removed the other batsmen, who happened to be playing in his 63rd consecutive year of cricket. Ryder eventually decided to turn up and signaled the start of even more wickets falling.

Glen started ripping through the top order like a German machine gunner on d-day, cutting them down with perfect line and length. One wicket saw the bail fly nearly to the boundary on the full. Ryder chipped in with a wicket to remind the crowd he was worth waiting for. By this time Scouse had lost about 3 stone through running (for charity?) from fine leg to fine leg and Mike had invented a new fielding position at close-in gully/point. Pick of the day for fielding was a close call. JC was challenging himself in the field by walking after balls, waiting until they got close to the boundary and then sprinting and diving at the last minute; thus making himself look much flasher than necessary. Meanwhile, Tricky was commanding at the top of his voice for someone to back up a sharp throw at the stumps, only to nutmeg himself with the ball and concede 4 runs. Luckily Both redeemed themselves with catches, although Tricky put on a show to the crowd by not only catching a ball, but juggling it as well. Not satisfied with the performance he also pulled a long series of handkerchiefs from his sleeve, bent a spoon and sawed the umpire in half.

With Mike Lea’s team on the ropes, and with a falling run rate, Blinky was brought back on from a different end where he soon discovered the mythical Line And Length. The ball was whipped down at near world-record pace and wickets were smashed. He bowled with venom and guile and cleaned up the middle order. At the end of the 34 overs (1 short due to the scorers confusing the 3 bearded kiwi bowlers) Mike Lea’s team had set a total of 191. Glen finished with 3 for 24, Blinky 2-20ish and Boland and Ryder with 1 apiece. Total figures were hard to determine due to the scorers’ screwups.

A pleasant tea of sandwiches and scones was topped off by two (probably of legal age your honor) young ladies doing their best to flit around in tiny skirts distracting most of the Maladroits. Rod Latham was heard to announce that he had cream on his scone.

With an imposing total ahead of them, the Maladroits were confident as the pitch was flat and outfield fast. Promised no match fees if he got a 50, Tricky opened up and bludgeoned the attack like a Canadian Seal Clubber. Playing all the shots in the book (not a cricket book) he dispatched the ball to all parts of the field. JC was his usual self at the other end, latching onto anything loose and punishing it like a hire car. Tricky eventually fell for 30 off about 3 balls to bring Lowis in. Lowis partnered with JC and continued to keep the run rate racing along. JC brought up yet another classy 50 which signaled his time to get himself out (some say just to give someone else a turn). Captain McBain came in fresh from jetting around Europe’s cheapest destinations and he picked up where JC left off. Hitting a few huge shots to the boundary he was looking good until missing a straight one and getting cleaned up. (Surely Boozer was tempted to inflate his match fees with ‘taxes’ and ‘surcharges’ just to get one back for the British holidaymaker.) Glen’s hitting eventually stopped when he was also cleaned up by a straight one, so a new fresh pair of Boozer and Mike were at the crease. Mike creamed one for six before departing almost straight away.

With still a few runs to get another Maladroit collapse was on the cards. However, Boozer played his anchor role with the text book in his back pocket, while Beale entered and opened the shoulders and smashed. One six nearly went back past mid on and straight over the tree on the full. The highlight of the innings was the shot that smashed into the bowler, felling him. Not content with nearly killing the bowler, Beale ran down the pitch and hurdled the him, almost literally rubbing dirt into the wound. Boozer and Beale (playing the innings of the season) continued to entertain the supporters until no runs were left to chase. The Maladroits cruised to victory with 6 overs to spare, wondering what total they could’ve set if they had only been able to bat first.

MOM Chris Beale for a great second spell and 29 not out.

DOD Tricky for ‘back up’ comments

Fielder of the Day: Scouse for running all over the field.

Honorable mention: Captain Baino for bringing down two cute girls

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Matty’s maiden ton seals big win in Bradfield

  • v Bradfield
  • Saturday 24th July
  • Bradfield College
  • MCC won by 7 wickets

Glen Lowis reports

News came through earlier this month, with the promise of the best pitches and a hog roast that could break all Maladroit records for match teas. As we drove along the M4, knowing we’d only have 10 to take the field, it was fair to say that we were all focussed on the hog roast, not the cricket.

Arriving at Bradfield College, it was immediately evident that this school was both older and bigger than my native New Zealand, and rather awe-inspiring. The wireless, electronic scoreboard was an early nominee for MOM honours. This was a setting that some of the Maladroits were more used to than others, and the pressure was on for a first-class performance.

Although we couldn’t smell the hog roast, we took to the field with the determination to earn the best tea of the season. It was a two pronged Kiwi pace attack to open the bowling. Pace and venom from Blinky ‘The Fist’ Beale (0–20) at one end, swing and guile from Lowis (1-10) at the other, and loads of energy from all in the field set the scene early on. With the Bradfield openers trying just to survive and not overworking the scorers, the first wicket fell courtesy of a Lowis swinger that curved around the lefthanders bat and knocked over middle stump.

Beale was given a few tips from Boland and found renewed vigour to send down a couple more tight overs, and when the bowling change came after 10 overs, Bradfield had struggled to 1 for 30. Paddy (2-5) and Ash (1-10) took to the bowling crease and the run rate dipped even further, and once they’d picked up three between them, Bradfield were in trouble. More inspired bowling saw the hosts limp to the drinks break at 5 for 60-odd.

Back from the drinks break, and it was more of the same in the when the sixth wicket fell to Rick (1-15) with the score on 83. With the match turning somewhat farcical, Boozer brought on the big guns of Mark Bowden (0-23) and the newly reformed spin-bowler Matty Boland. Bowling a mix of leggies and big full toss pies, Matty’s first (10 ball) over went for about 15 but strangely wasn’t in the scorebook.

The Maladroits proceeded to provide the Bradfield 7 and 8 plenty of scoring opportunities to ensure that we’d still have a game on our hands. Blinky came back on as a ‘spinner’ and JC took up the ‘attack’ from the school end. Offering up a loopy full toss first ball, JC was smashed, through the gaping hands of Lowis at mid-off and to the boundary. When questioned later, Lowis said that “the bowling didn’t deserve a wicket” and was proven right as it only got worse. After putting on 103 for the 7th wicket, the two batsmen were denied their 50’s in the final over, finishing on 48 and 49 respectively and lifting Bradfield’s total to 6 for 186.

Out came the tea, as Bradfield put on a fantastic spread of ham, sausages, salmon, salads, strawberries and cream – and finished it off with some fine locally brewed ale. It was a tea of the highest order, but without having seen a pig on a spit, there was a little bit of disappointment.

As light drizzle swept over the ground, Matty and Mark walked out to the middle, keen to make a positive start. The bowling was solid enough, but on a good track and with 40 overs to chase down an average score, the Maladroits were optimistic from the start. With positive intent they kept out the good balls and hit anything that was short. The outfield was still relatively slow, but with their weight behind the ball, the boundaries didn’t take too long to start flowing.

Mark was out cheaply (10) before Baino joined Matty at the crease and upped the tempo. Baino quickly collected a couple of boundaries as both batsmen were level on 11. Matty had had enough and started to let loose as he sensed that this would be his day. At drinks, the Maladroits were slightly behind the required run rate, but well ahead of where the hosts had been at the same stage in their innings. Matty passed 50, for the second time this season, with a boundary, while Baino continued to build his innings.

Having brought up a chanceless 50, Matty unleashed a flurry of boundaries and was well into the 60’s. Baino, keen to make 50 on his ‘droits debut, was cut short on 38 bringing Paddy to the crease in the 25th over, with the score 2 for 142 and a win looking inevitable. The question was, could Matty push on and bring up his first ever hundred.

Into the 80’s, Matty was like a man possessed - possessed by a demon who wanted nothing more than to get him out - as he was dropped/missed three balls in a row. He ticked through over into the nineties and, when on 95, was all but out.

Rapped on the back pad in front of leg stump, his heart sank as the bowler appealed wildly, supported by his field. His fate in the hands of Lowis, he couldn’t bear to look and by the time he raised his head he saw the umpire’s index finger signalling the ball would have missed leg (and maybe a little bit uppish too). He hadn’t heard the NOT OUT decision and on thinking he had been fired, started to trudge off. Lowis yelled to a distraught Boland, telling him to come back while the fielders all began to celebrate seeing him walk on a dubious LBW shout. Lowis was left with no option but to call over, run back to square leg and hide out.

Play settled down a bit, until on 96, Boland lobbed a sitter out to square leg – only to be dropped again. His innings rapidly deteriorating, Matty squared up and pulled one to the boundary, raised his bat in triumph and retired before his average could be ruined.

That brought Rick (7*) to the crease, and by the time Paddy (12) fell the damage was done and it was up to JC (11*) to knock off the last few runs for a Maladroit victory with 5 overs to spare.

  • MOM: Matty Boland (101*)
  • Fielder of the Day: JC
  • Debut: Baino, Paddy, Rick
  • DOD: Glen (for ‘firing’ Matty on 95 and having to call him back)

Monday, 26 July 2010

MCC scrape home in last wicket thriller

  • Bedford Row X1 vs MCC at Hampstead Heath
  • 4/7/2010
  • Ash reporting.

After an underground adventure and quick walk from Golders Green tube we gathered on Hampstead Heath (extension - who knew there was one) on what promised to be a fabulous English summers day. The scenery looked promising up here in the North, there were no planes and no oppo. Roll forward 30 minutes and Boozer typically lost the toss and Droits were into the field with the biggest dog pile you have ever seen on a cricket pitch, and to sweat it out on an un-kept wicket with a very wide crease.

Tricky opened things up with flair and unfaltering stamina. His first two overs were the best so far this season for me. As usual the batsmen were kept alert and the constant peppering unnerved a few. He actually hit one poor sole with a wayward beamer this time and ended 7 overs with 2 for 32. JC backed him up bowling well down the hill and finished 1 for 35 off 6. Matty chipped in with his usual line and length picking up 2 for 25 off 7 overs. Locky (none for 4 off 2) and Retter (1 for 30 off 6, 1 maiden) contributed a couple of good overs, as did Edd Watts with 2 for 27 off 7 with 1 maiden - a cracking contribution. Adam Goodyer was like a cheetah in the field, pouncing on anything that came anywhere near him. No drops, apart from Boozer on the last ball of the innings, only to take the wicket for himself with a run out. Top score from Bedford was 27, a testament to the fielding side. At one point we thought we were romping in, but their steely determination, small boundary with good slope down one side and relentless no balling of anything above their thighs, Bedford set 177 to win.

Having sacrificed his figures for the last over, Retter was given the number 1 slot, so sacrificed his tea. Up rocks the quickest bowler of the season, running in from the boundary, stopping 1/2 way in for a breather then delivering a pacy rocket. Not what you want on said furry wicket without a lid, you just feel it was going to get in your eyes, on your chest and everything. The first few runs were extras, and it took the openers three overs to get off the mark, when Locky unleashed smashing his first six. The openers both did a good job, said quicky was dispatched back over his head for a one bounce four (4 fours off the over from Retter), which quickly saw the first bowling change after 8 overs. As we have all see before Locky and Retter both fell un-necessarily with the first changes. Mark and JC arrived at the crease, a few swishes and some lovely stokes only to see bails fly too early. Then our first bit of Karma for the day, Ed Watts stepped up and was caught behind, luckily the ball was a shoulder high beamer so after some crying from the field and some authoritive umpiring from Trigger Tricky and Locky we managed to squeeze Ed Watts back to the crease. He duly foudn the boundary a few times with some lovely shots, then fell. Cheetah Goodyer came and went. Boozer and Matty arrived. Stroke play ensued after some pretty good bowling to be fair. Boozer was triggered (it was out) and Matty was caught pulling a head high bouncer, second bit of Karma - we were able to reverse as a no-ball much to their chagrin. Leesy came in, played some solid looking shots for one with a shoulder injury (be careful on the stairs next time old man) and got off to what looked like it would be a great innings, smashed a boundary or two, but unfortunately made way for Tricky. We were collapsing and it was all down to Tricky and Matty, not forgetting a visibly nervous Cheetah as 11th man. What an innings would follow. With protection of his average at the forefront of his mind Tricky set about the bowling like a chav in Lillywhites. Boundaries were hit, the score ticked on. Matty was holding up his end and without exact figures we were getting very close with plenty of overs left. We had one wicket to spare, the Cheetah was allowed to bat again after his quick warm up outing at number 4. It became nail biting stuff. Third bit of Karma for the day, Tricky was hit with the second beamer of the over. As umpire at the time I was highly amused with the comments coming from the batsman - along the lines of ‘I have never seen anything like this in all my days’. Weather it was deliberate or not we all enjoyed it.

The bowlers got Tricky, and up stepped Adam. The relief when he got off the mark was evident, a loud whoop as he grounded his bat at the non strikers end, and Matty was able to hit the winning runs. Well that was how I remember it at least. We made a meal of it and it ended up getting very close, and as our skipper has mentioned a fine MCC win, a contender for game of the season.

Highlight of the day and fourth bit of Karma, the lady walking her dog, that when asked to leave the pitch and walk round the flags (for the saftey of her and her mutt), turned her back moodily, and stepped in said huge pile of shit. Could have been a Mastercard advert.

MOM: Matty- match winning 50* . Tricky a close second.
FOD: Adam Goodyer

Tea: thank you Bedford CC. More Haribo next time, Evian a nice touch.

Full Tossers Whitewashed for 2010

v Full Tossers
Wandsworth Park
Sunday 20th June
Won by 3 wickers

With 24 hours to go before the match, we still had no pitch lined up- drastic phone calls to most of Wandsworth Council a pitch was finally found alongside the Thames in Putney.. On winning the toss we inserted the Full Tossers into bat and Moore and Newman got to work, both producing some great bowling.. Both took early wickets and the wickets continued to tumble as Tooves (MOM with 3 wickets), Fran, Bobby Nelson and the new boy Sam Armour all gave the batsmen problems.. Our fielding was the usual concoction of good, bad and comical but we managed to knock over a weakened FT line up for 124.

Ash Retter got the innings off to a lightning start and in partnership with new boy Rick added forty for the first wicket. After one heave too many Ash was bowled- Mikey Brenner came to the crease and after a nice 4 was poleaxed by a spitting length delivery that put him out of action amongst the "married female contingent" of his work colleagues for a few weeks- he was bowled next ball trying to knock the bowler into a different post code.. Although we did see the ubiquitous Maladroits batting collapse as our middle order tumbled the MCC scraped home to another good win with 3 wickets in hand.

MOM: Tooves
Fielder: Fran
DOD: Tricky

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Bobby and Matty with the Ball, Bobby and Mark with the Bat seal MCC win

  • v Princes Head Pub
  • Sunday 13th June
  • Sheen Park
  • MCC won by 7 wickets
Dusty Tooves reports (it has been reviewed for bad language)
Maladroits hosted the unknown quantity of The Kings Head Pub from Richmond on what is fast becoming known as 'Fortress Sheen' (at least, it will be until the match report on last week's loss to the Drovers is uploaded) on a Sunday where English optimism had dipped to the traditional post-world-cup-opener low. Boozer, ever the believer, elected to bowl first and looked to Tricky to conjure up a miracle. He provided one immediately by sending down a maiden via the crafty technique of utilising the corridor of uncertainty... that being the channel between the batsmen's pads and the leg side popping crease in which a hungover umpire doesn't want to set a dangerous precedent in calling wide. A second miracle was conjured when Tricky picked up the opening wicket with a rank longhop to set the Droits on a merry dance through the opposition batting lineup. An Asian player with a genuine accent is enough to send the 'imported superstar' chills down the spine. And after several balls were marmalised to various parts of the ground, it was with great relief that Matty induced an outside edge to first slip that Mark swallowed up with the eagerness that a hungry tramp snaps up the sandwiches that Prêt discards at the end of each day. Matty snavvled one next ball, and with the hat-trick on, Boozer turned the pressure up by arranging most of his field into catching positions. Unfortunately one of those wasn't at deep mid off as the hat-trick ball was dispatched most of the way to Mortlake.
At the other end Dom had kept it tight, unlike the previous evening, and Glen - determined to get more than 2 overs this weekend - bowled with determination, speed, and controlled aggression. 2 overs later he was hauled off for Bobby 'Stump Rattler' Nelson to begin a spell of bowling so good that it bought raucous roars of approval every 90 seconds or so from the crowd. Either that it was the reverse thrusters on the engines of the 747's... both noises are eerily similar, yet a damn sight more tuneful than that of a plastic horn. Using the old adage of 'you miss, I hit' coupled with a new theory of distracting the batsmen with a (frankly) ridiculous choice of footwear, Bobby sent stumps and bails flying. At the opposite end of the carnage, Tooves shuffled his way in to give Bowden some more catching practice. Unfortunately Bowden wasn't made aware of this and shelled 2 chances before Dusty removed the Greg Davies lookalike with the last ball of his 2nd over. Boozer thought this was the ideal time to haul him off and bought on Crispin to clean up the tail. A generous offer to let 2 of the opposition batsmen bat again briefly looked like it was going to backfire until Bobby cleaned up the returning batsmen on his way to a well-deserved 4-for, leaving Maladroits 146 to chase.
Tea's were, yet again, of a high quality. So good that the recently acquired Antipodean contingent were heard worryingly murmuring about the setting of a dangerously high quality precedent. The lovingly home-made sandwiches, sausages, cake, scones, and the ever-popular Haribo combined to make a spread that surely not even the Delia-inspired Norwich City FC would be able to match. Next weeks opponents should bring a mini DV cam to film this all important part of proceedings, with a view as using as an instructional video.
With the insistence of a certain team members (ill-advised, in hindsight) eagerness to see a football match at 7:30pm that evening ringing in their ears, The Maladroits top-order pursued their target with the vigour and vim of a recently fed Crusader. Slashing through the unexpecting infidels were Mark Bowden, using his blade on a rampaging pillage through the oppositions bowlers, and the slightly more sedate Leesy, who took the more circumspect and sophisticated Bond-villain approach to the disposing of an opponent. Both posted commendable 50's, however Leesy's was the subject of some confusion after Boozer's new toy, the iphone cricket scoring app (Man of The Match in the reporters opinion) placed him 5 or 6 runs higher than the traditional pen and paper method. In fairness to the opposition, their best bowler took an early shower due to an unspecified injury, and surely sensing the fervour of Bowden, the skipper decided not to change any of the the bowlers for fear of him destroying their fragile confidence. Tricky finally managed to contribute in the field by letting through a couple of boundaries whilst fielding for the opposition, combining with some (very) brief cameo's from Ash, Tooves, and Glen that saw Maladroits salute the judges with a furlong to spare.
All in all a right royal stuffing that was done and dusted by the pleasing time of 5pm. There was barely a bad performance from within the playing group, with Bowden making up for shelling 3 catches by taking a sharp one and belting 65 off about 13 deliveries, Leesy hitting the winning runs to confirm his 50, Bobby taking 4 wickets and Matty chiming in with 3.

  • MOM: Bobby Nelson (4 wickets)
  • Fielder of the Day: Dom (few great stops and some world breaking stone drifting)
  • DOD: Tricky (for getting out of bed the wrong side- just wait till he's got two little ones)

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Carrington drives Drovers to misery on May heatwave

Vs The Drovers 1st leg

Boom Boom Billington reports

  • Bank of England Ground
  • Sunday 23rd May
  • Maladroits won by 6 wickets

A glorious summer’s day at the Bank of England ground saw another fine Maladroit performance and the 3rd win of the season.

After losing the toss and incurring the wrath of Dom who was all set to do some sunbathing, Boozer led us into the field in the heat of the day. The absence of opening bowler Tricky due to ‘heavy traffic’ meant that Moore and Ryder started the attack. After a few classic Maladroit looseners from Dom he started hitting the mark and ended up getting 1 (bowled) for 27 of 7, while Ryder kept it tight barring the last over where he got slapped around like Tina Turner on her wedding night, final figures 1 (bowled) for 33 of 5.

Eventually Tricky arrived and was bowling within minutes. Some beamers kept the batsmen on their toes and he managed to floor one of the oppo and then bowled him the next ball, classic Maladroit aggression. (1 for 22 of 3).

Matty bowled well to contain the drovers attack and some nifty fielding including a run out gained him Fielder of the Match. His nifty footwork in flicking the ball straight to his hands was also a definite highlight. (0 for 34 off 7)

Although the wickets took a while to fall, after some nifty bowling by Leasy we broke though with a rare LBW decision going our way. An even rarer Ryder catch secured Leasy the most wickets of the day and he ended up 2 for 27 off 4.

Turning to part of our antipodean contingent, Tooves “Dusty’s love child” shuffled his way to almost taking off Wes’ head who obligingly nutted the ball onto his own stumps. (1 for 33 off 5)

Carrington came on for a quick spell and kept it tight conceding on 10 runs of 3 overs.

A miscalculation from Boozer meant that Matty was lined up to bowl an 8th over and as the maximum was 7, Chad was put into the fray. After getting his first wicket of the season (bowled) he then managed to put one about 3 metres wide, showing true Maladroit consistency. (1 for 8 off 1)

Score at the turn was Drovers 223 for 7.

Tea was a sedate affair with scones, cakes and sandwiches as well as a choice of Earl Gray or Builders, a huge step up from the previous day’s effort but not a touch on an average Maladroit match tea.

Carrington and Brewer started off the Maladroit batting and although JC managed to get dropped first ball and then twice more he went on to score an impressive 111 retd. Boozer’s excuse that he couldn’t hit an attacking shot were proved to be a fallacy as he went on to get a commendable 34, eventually being caught behind.

Matty then step in and smacked a few to the boundary before being caught behind for 25, and Ash got to 7 before facing a straight one and being bowled.

With only 15 runs to go Chad stepped in to join JC only to see him retire, then in walked Jamo. It only took a ball for Leasy to reach for the trigger finger to see a discuss Jamo storm of the field shaking his head. Sorry Jamo I saw it and it was plum. Ryder then turned up half dressed as he thought it was all over and was half way to his car. He scored a couple of runs before Chad finished off the game with 2 swipes for 6 that Timmy would be proud off, ending another fine Maladroit performance.

Stats for day:

MOM: Carrington

Fielder of the day: Boland

DOD: Tricky (punctuality)

Sunday, 23 May 2010

MCC canter over the line in low scoring feisty thriller

Maladroits vs Full Tossers, Saturday 22ndMay 2010.

Regents Park

MCC won by 5 wickets

Ed "raw knuckles" Lock reports

Confidence was curiously high following a loss to a bunch of kids the previous week and a real schlep to even locate the pitch at Regent’s Park. This was likely due to the sunny 21oC weather with a constant force 2 making for near perfect playing conditions.

So, as usual, the Droits were first to field and the high performance bowling line up soon took hold. Ryder and Byrne piled on immediate pressure and Matty at first change bowled consistent line and length to ensure a steady trickle of wickets to reduce the oppo to 67 for 6 at drinks.

After drinks things hotted up as the oppo’s ‘nothing to lose’ attitude peppered Byrne and Ryder on the boundary. However, above average fielding pinned the Tossers (sorry, “Full Tossers”) down, in particular JC’s direct hit securing the first of two run outs. Even with 5 dropped catches to 3 secured and a constant pitch invasion from wayward Europeans and 8 year old chavs, strong bowling and attentive fielding ensured the oppo came to a premature end of 123 from 29 overs, with Matty and Watts taking 3 wickets each.

On leaving the field for a well deserved tea, our high spirits were quickly shattered. Blue cheese sandwiches in the hot baking sun? Simply unacceptable. Ryder conveyed the team’s frustrations with a slightly raised voice.

After tea, JC and Locky took the stand to a particularly aggressive opening pair whilst the rest of the oppo seemed content supping beers and heckling (badly), most likely consoling their own fear that 123 was short against an on form Droits attack. JC notched up a quick 22 before being bowled followed by Tooves out to a young Gough-esqe in swinging yorker. After a stoic Lock was bowled for 17 from 18 overs (another record broken), Watts and Mikey steadied the ship against what were now a particularly inebriated and irritating oppo. Mikey’s quick and commendable 17 including a ma-hoosive 6 over long on, was supplemented by constant byes from a pink gloved and possibly blind oppo wickey. As the target grew closer, it was now playtime for Chad and Lees. The very obtainable 123 was achieved with a stylish 4 from Chad epitomising an all round strong performance from the Droits.

Quote of the day –

Oppo: “Let’s not heckle the umpire lads, he’s got it wrong twice but I’m sure he’ll get it right soon”.

JC: “That is heckling you f*cking idiot!”

DOD: Ryder (by default due to no individual gaffs)

MOM: Watts (22 runs and 3 wickets)

Fielder: JC (direct hit for run out)

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Charterhouse Schoolboys take the honours again..

Alex "Bobby" Less reporting
  • v Charterhouse Maniacs
  • Charterhouse School
  • Maniacs won by 5 wickets

The Maladroits arrived at Charterhouse eager to make up for the drubbing they took the previous year at the hands of the young Maniac side. The omens didn’t look good when an admin oversight by captain Boozer meant that the Maladroits fielded only 10 players. With Glen and Tooves running late and the Maladroits down to 8 players, the Maniacs graciously conceded the toss and allowed the Maladroits to bat first in the wet and miserable conditions. It was due to the Maniacs eagerness that the game went ahead as this reporter feels that if the game was played at Sheen then it would have been called off a long time before the start.

The Maladroits opened up with Ash and Lees, and they provided a solid start with Ash playing the Botham role to Lees’ less flamboyant Boycott. Runs flowed from Ash in a torrent, with rather more a trickle from Lees at the other end. Ash looked in fine touch with the ball coming out of the middle of the bat and set the Maladroits innings off at a fair lick. He got slightly fortunate a couple of times with dropped catches and some big swings and misses, but these were far outweighed by some cracking shots to the boundary ropes.

Ash was finally out agonizingly short of his half century for a well played 46 as he was clean bowled attempting another big hit. Next in was the newly wed Ryder, but I hope he lasted longer on his wedding night as he departed for a first ball 0 after edging behind. Tooves stopped the rot momentarily but was out soon after for 10, and he was soon followed by Lees for 35 and another Maladroit collapse looked on the cards. With Boozer out for a second ball duck, a low score looked a distinct possibility but fortunately Chad and Glen steadied the creaking ship and started a useful partnership.

Both batsmen looked in good nick and dispatched the bad ball to the boundary. Chad was out caught behind for 22 and was soon followed by Dom for a duck. Tricky joined Glen at the crease and hit a couple of boundaries early on to push the score along. Glens dismissal for a well played 27 meant the ever improving Fisher came out as the Maladroits last man. Scouse added to his lifetime average with an assured 1 not out as Tricky was last man out for 14, with the Maladroits making 176 (need to check as didn’t put that in email to me!!). The Maladroits fought back well to reach this score, but it looked slightly below par with the short boundaries and quick outfield.

The rain continued to fall as the Maladroits took the field for the Maniacs innings. The new ball was given to Tricky and Dom, and they opened up strongly with Tricky providing pace down the hill and Mustaq swing at the other end. Tricky was rewarded with 2 early wickets and showed good early season promise. Both wickets came from catches as was to become a theme in the match as the Maladroits took their chances (apart from Boozer and Ryder) in the field. Dom ended up with 3 catches, Glenn 2 and Chad pulled off a nonchalant one handed fine effort. The game moved on at a fast pace as the Maniacs looked to hit boundaries and it was obvious that the match would come to a swift conclusion either way, much to the Maladroits relief in the persistence rain. Ryder and Glenn came on as the change bowlers and tried to stem the flow of runs. In the whole they were successful as Ryder, with his new stock slower ball claimed 2-24 from 4 overs and Glen bowled a lot better than his figures of 1 for 45 from 7 overs suggests.

Wickets did fall, but this bought the Maniacs best batsman to the crease and all the bowlers suffered as he plundered the attack. Lees, Ash and Tooves all tried their luck, with mixed fortunes against well set batsmen, but Tooves did pick up a wicket through Chads great catch. The Maniacs cruised to victory in the end as the Maladroits couldn’t force a break through and it always looked unlikely that they would be able to defend their total. There was some crumbs of comfort for the Maladroits to reflect on with a solid display in the field, good catching, some cracking shot making from Ash at the top of the innings and a fine all round performance from Glenn.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Maladroits off to winning start...

  • MCC v Sheen CC
  • Sunday 18th April 2010
  • Sheen Park
  • Maladroits won by 6 wickets

The Maladroits got their 2010 season off to a winning start with a fine victory over their landlords.. On a glorious early summers day and with the peace and tranquillity and with the Heathrow flightpath silenced for once (there are some things money can't buy!) the Maladroits were even heard to be appreciating the local tweeting birdlife..

The Maladroits inserted the Sheen batsmen on winning the toss and began with some tight bowling from Bealo and "Mushtaq" Moore although no chances came our way (thankfully for most of the close fielders..) and Sheen built up a 50 opening partnership... Looking to liven up the game Boozer called on his first change pairing of Matty and Glen.. Some sharp and lively bowling from Matty got the deserved first wicket with a lovely away swinger- Bealo woke from his stupor just in time to guzzle the chance in the slips...

As to be expected from the Maladroit fielding there was some comedy moments to behold- Locky and Crispin clutching air under high chances and Crispin running in the wrong direction when the ball came in his direction- Maybe the Maladroits could get a discount at Specsavers? Other useful contributions with the ball came from Ash and Crispin but it was Scouse who continues to surprise all with his electric fielding- what does Esther feed him before games? Fran also showed some promising signs in the field..

Sheen finished on 186 for 4, and then it was left for everyone to enjoy a fine tea. Highlights featured home made sausage rolls, some home made cakes and even some gluten free sandwiches for the "special needs" contingent.. JC and Locky held off from overdoing it on the teas to open up and speed to a 80 opening partnership- JC, in his pinch hitting role and Locky cleverly playing second fiddle to both notch 50s.

After making it look like it was going to be an easy chase the MCC then succumbed to a collapse with JC going for 63 and unlucky Matt Bolland adjudged LBW first ball.. Ash Retter added a few more with Locky including one mammoth strike into the sightscreen but Ash lamely succumbed (possibly concerned that Dusty may be coming on to bowl at him). Locky completed a fine 50 before being stumped going for a glory shot and it was left to Bealo and Glen Lois to finish off the chase..

A fine win for the Maladroits and a great start to what promises to being an exciting season with some good débuts from Matty and Glen.. Next game is Charterhouse- let's try and beat the schoolboys this year!!

  • MOM: Jim Carrington

  • DOD: Crispin (for dropped catch and running the wrong way in the field, and stalling his new car!)

  • DOD (2nd): Dom (for giving a wide when the batsmen hit the ball to cover for 2 runs)

  • Top Fielder: Scouse (top commitment)

  • Notable contributions: JC 63, Locky 51, Bealo 31*, Matt 1 for 8 off 5

  • Catches: Phil, Boozer

  • Drops: Locky, Crispin