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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

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Maladroits chase down their nomad rivals with 5 balls to spare

v Drovers CC

Sheen Park

Sunday 14th August 2011

Maladroits won by 3 wickets

James Horton reports

On a fair mid-August Sunday, Maladroits once again inflicted a crushing victory over the Drovers, casually knocking off the required 223 with 8 balls and two wickets to spare.

The result was only ever really in doubt when Boozer strode confidently back from the toss and announced that he'd lost and that we were fielding. But we swallowed our doubts and having fended off Boozer's offers of new kit, we took the field for some relaxed catching practice. The attack began fiercely from the Park End with Ryder rumbling in to pepper the opening pair with a series of unplayable balls and Dom delivering the more of the same from the Plough End. Drovers capitalised on the extras that these deliveries had gifted them, took advantage of some lapses in concentration behind the stumps and built a troubling opening stand. It was time for a rethink.

With Dom retired to a bench at deep backward square/deep extra cover and Ryder lounging in the slips, Matty and Charlie took up the reigns and restored order. Sweepers were deployed, traps set at cow and the wickets began to fall. The openers fell in quick succession and the middle order failed to make the most of a commanding position. We agreed afterwards that this may well have been caused by the deployment of some seriously vintage equipment: not for some time has Sheen Cricket Club been graced with a pre-Hick DF, a GN Elite and the suspicion of buckle-up pads. Yearnings for a Gooch-esque white helmet and a SS 333 sadly went unsatisfied but we all enjoyed the trip down memory lane.

Perhaps it was the hint of moisture in the pitch following overnight rain, perhaps the short leg side boundary or perhaps our inability to come up with new fish-related puns, but whatever it was, the Maladroits' spinners took some fairly serious tap in the overs around the drinks interval. The field dropped as a result (Dom moved benches), Drovers piled on the runs and a challenging chase began to look likely. But heads didn't drop and some good fielding ensured that the target remained manageable: Chad's cat-like reflexes bagged him a truly remarkable one-handed caught and bowled that he made look sickeningly easy, and James H held a ball skied so high that passing jumbos were diverted. Such was the confidence at the end of the innings that Brenner called upon to put the finishing touches to an otherwise solid performance.

Tea was stunning. Home-made sandwiches with a dizzying variety of fillings, combined with crisps, sausage rolls and other snacks to whet appetites for dangerously good rocky road and brownies. The opposition shook their heads in helpless admiration and were heard remarking that the Maladroits could always be relied upon to put on a good tea.

The innings got off to a shakey start with Matty bowled going ugly early and James H walking for nicking a off cutter; the pitch had evidently livened up during the tea interval. Cool heads but contrasting styles shored things up, with Brenner yielding his club like a rioter outside Curries and Ryder carelessly stroking ball after ball to the boundary. Chad went for an unlucky duck and was replaced by an irrepressible JC, who followed a strong bowling spell with a match-winning 69 not out. When Ryder finally fell for 57 (apparently because of a low sun, Dom walking in front of the sight-screen with his tea and the keeper breaking wind), Charlie picked up the baton and added a priceless 27.

By the thirtieth over, we were confident that victory was in our grasp, especially when Matty refused to be bullied into dismissing JC at a critical point. Umpire Brenner finished his phone calls in time to see the winning runs dispatched through extra cover and the day was ours.

The Drovers took it well and over a drink in the Plough it was agreed that overall, honours were about even.

Man of the Match - JC and Ryder for match-winning all around performances

Fielder of the Day - Chad and James H for two lucky catches

Dick of the Day - Dom, for sleeping on benches (and taking advantage of drunk pikeys).

Teas - A strong 75%, which goes only some way to represent the extremely positive all-round experience.

A king pair of Locks

  • Sunday 7th August 2011
  • Opposition.: Lock Senior Rural XI
  • When, where and what: 2 pm at Arundel Cricket Club. 30: 30 match.
  • Conditions: Really nice, overcast and sunny.
  • Team: Ryder, Brewer, Retter, Lock (Junior), JC, Lees, Bowden, Lowis, Toovey, Moore, Bolland
  • Ash reports.

This new fixture on the MCC sheet saw Lock Junior captain a strong MCC XI playing Lock Seniors Rural XI. With the MCC uncharacteristically loosing the toss and being put into bat. The pitch had one of the shortest boundaries seen yet this season at one end, and the main road between Chichester and Arundel (full of August summer holiday traffic) at the other – admittedly screened by some massive trees. So it promised to be an interesting innings, if we could score runs. JC turned up and before he knew what hit him he was kitted up and strolling out to open with Junior. Junior went for 1 and Lees came in and continued his solid form leaving the strip with a very respectable 40. JC retired on 50 after a solid innings. Retter came and somehow managed to hang around and scrape a nervy 19, dropped three times but the fourth was held. Bowden smashed 37 for his first outing of the year. Ryder came in and was not distracted by the harvest scenes and cows in the fields behind. True to form the rural destroyer went for it and managed to hit the largest 6 of the day - over the trees and miraculously it missed the cars and bounced back onto the pitch. Bizarre. And he carried his bat with 31. Bizarre. Other contributions were Boozer with 4, Matty with 10 and Glen with 14*. Their keeper didn’t have a great day, nearly 10% of our runs came from byes, and I was surprised and pleased to see only one batsman was bowled, the rest caught. 225 for 6.

Tea. Lock (Mother) dazzled the team with a masterclass in the art of a cricket tea. Our southern hemisphere boys hopefully learned a valuable lesson on this day in tea making, apart from the obvious that you need to actually bring the sandwiches. Sandwiches, superb and crucially enough for seconds and a plate for the changing rooms après match. Baking both savoury and sweet - perfect (we won’t mention the carrot cake packaging). I won’t go on except to give the customary score – a very healthy 90% and definitely in the running for the coveted ‘Tea of the year award’ at the annual MCC end of season feast.

I think there were some tactics at play with this tea though, an MCC XI with a food hangover took the field and barely moved, except for Dom and Brewer who skipped the carbs etc.. The first few overs were quiet and they got off to a slow start, losing 2 wickets at the hand of Ryder in his second over (ending up 35 for 2 off 6 overs). With Moore terrorising the batsmen with wides at the other end (23 for 1 off 3) it was not a strip to be batting on. Lowis was tight and straight (28 for 3 off 6 overs), Bolland his usual tricky length (14 for 0 off 2) and Nick ‘dusty the second’ Tooves shuffled superbly for 2 wickets from 5 overs for 39 runs.
The small pitch provided some comedy dives, floundering and misses as anyone that has watched a Maladroit in the field can imagine. Of note (unfortunately) was the author putting down two sitters – he would probably argue atoning for the three drops while at the crease, and Ryder managing to consistently stone drift to a seat on the boundary, much to the dismay of fellow fields who fancied the seat too. Boozer bucked the trend and pocketed three catches behind the stumps, and we managed to dismiss three batsmen for ducks. Lock, Lees and Retter contributed with the ball but neither could get a break through.
Roughly mid way through the innings we had them on the ropes at 75 for 5. All were bowling well and fielding …just about. But they had a couple of tricky characters who were pushing the run rate. What looked easy to start actually turned into a valiant chase by the oppo. And with 10 over to go they needed about 100, with a few tight overs this ballooned to 12 an over at one point. Not content with showing (Lock) Junior, Retter and Moore how to play golf on the Saturday (Lock) Senior finally came to the crease. But unfortunately for him he was not able to show us how to bat, and his son scored outscored him by 1. A plucky number 10 knocked up 25 and out, but this saw their two in form batsman return to the fray having retired earlier at 50. With a hand full of overs left and about 50 runs needed they set about savaging the MCC. Lock (Junior), Lees and Lowis did their bit with the ball, and JC was given the last over, 193 for 9 - 32 needed, with their two strike batsmen at the crease. Retter managed to make up for his drops and held onto the toughest of his catches of the day, and they were all out in the last over for 198. Top scores on their side were 60 and 54*. JC 5 for 1 off 1. A good days cricket and MCC win.
MOM: Mark Bowden
DOD: The two Locks, top organising but two Ducks!
Fielder of the day: Glen

Marlyn reels in the Oxted middle order

Match report to come

Sunday, 17 July 2011

MCC come out top over 3 other teams in one day

  • v Brasted CC
  • Sunday 10th July
  • Sheen Park
  • Maladroits won by 6 wickets

A fairly comfortable victory in the end for the Maladroits after a workmanlike but effective performance in the field graced by a couple of moments of brilliance, backed up by a superb run chase littered with brilliant shot making

The Maladroits encountered three problems before the game that meant skipper Boozer was running round even more than usual; Firstly, the game was scheduled the day after JC’s epic wedding which meant a few of the team turned up either with sore heads or still drunk after over doing it the night before on the Rams Head Snuff– this reporter for one never wants to see Dom’s nipple again. Secondly, the Antipodean tea making crew (Glen, Matty & Tooves) managed to excel themselves by forgetting to bring the sandwiches they had so lovingly prepared the night before (did they ever make them? Topic to discuss).

Ever resilient, Boozer detailed people to pick up sandwiches from Sainsburys and the crisis was adverted. A third issue presented itself to the Maladroits even before they had taken the field, namely that our landlord’s had managed to double book the pitch. Faced with four teams all wanting a game, Boozer suggested a 20:20 tournament so that all teams played at least some cricket. This met with approval from the Maladroits as it meant less time in the field for the hungover players and a chance for the Antipodeans to hide their pony sandwiches amongst the other tea.

Muttering from some Geography teacher types from the other teams aside, a 15:15 game for both sets of teams was agreed. Maladroits took the field in the first game (cant remember who won the toss but doesn’t really matter as we always field first) and Glen opened up the bowling. A tidy first over produced a chance in the slips but alas, Lees moving like a disabled seal, flapped at the chance and it went down. Dom opened up from the other end and performed admirably considering he had contracted Gingervitis in one eye the previous evening from a girl he met in 151’s.

After 2 overs, the Geography teachers on the side lines decided it was best if they just left and found another pitch somewhere else. If ever there was a time to thank God for the English trait of not making a scene it was this as they trooped off in their sandles chuntering to each other about it “not being cricket” . The game reverted back to the original 35 overs a side and Glen and Dom continued to bowl tightly without forcing a break through. The opposition though were scoring at a moderate rate and the Maladroits had not let the game get away from them.

A change in the bowling introduced Tooves to the attack and Dusty’s doppleganger produced a testing 7 over straight spell. Tooves was unlucky not to claim a wicket for his endeavour. From the other end Paddy joined the attack and again kept it tidy, but didn’t threaten as much as he has previously in the Maladroit colours. The opposition meandered along to 72-0 but had used up 15 of their overs so had not run away with the game but the Maladroits needed wickets.

Cue Matty’s introduction to the game: smarting from losing both his keys the night before and the (unmade) sandwiches, Matty had something to prove. A disciplined spell produced all three of the first wickets to fall and put the Maladroits in the ascendancy. Two good catches from Paul and Tooves assisted him. The wickets started tumbling as the opposition innings stuttered – a great direct hit run out from Nails being the highlight of the fielding display. Paul and Ash both chipped in with wickets at the end as the Maladroits restricted the opposition to 147-6 of their allotted 35 overs.

At the interval the teams had a chance to sample the Antipodean tea. A home made Bacon & Egg pie scored highly but it was generally felt a busted job on account of the forgotten sandwiches. Ash and James opened the Maldroit innings, and after the mandatory straight clump for four, a hungover Ash was clean bowled. Nails announced himself to the attack by smacking a straight six to get off the mark. James and Nails then produced some cracking shots to eat into the opposition’s meagre target. James was particularly strong though the offside and the Maladroit score raced along, but James perished for a quick fire 43 and Paul soon followed for a solitary four. However, Nails was still at the other end playing his classy shots and a Maladroit victory was never in doubt.

Glen was stumped off the oppo best bowler for 18 and it was left for Paddy (12 not out) and Nails (56 not out) to coast home with plenty of time to spare. All in all, an effective performance from the Maladroits against an opposition who probably didn’t produced their best on the day.

Lowis 5 overs for 13
Moore 5 overs for 25
Paddy 4 overs for 16
Tooves 7 overs for 34
Bolland 7 overs, 3 for 19
Paul 4 overs, 1 for 11
Ash 3 overs, 1 for 13

Retter bowled 5
James Horton- quick 43
Nails 56*
Paul bowled 4
Lowis stumped 18
Paddy, not out 12

MOTM: Nails (consummate performance at the crease)

FOTD: Nails (dead eye run out)

DOTD: Matty (sandwiches, or lack of)

Teas: 65% (massively, massively more than should have been awarded – helped by the causal players vote who haven’t experienced a proper tea without the sandwich debacle)

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Schoolboys humbled in historic MCC victory

Match Report – Maladroits CC vs Charterhouse Maniacs
Saturday 7th May
MCC won by 5 wickets
Edmund Buzz reports....

Following golf and a pub lunch 11 men arrived at the field of dreams fully prepared to be thrashed by a bunch of schoolboys again, as is the usual custom. Two things were different this year. Firstly, it wasn’t raining. Secondly, Maladroits welcomed back their founder Charles Bathurst Norman following a two year absence. This gave everyone a spring in their step and, when asked to bowl by Boggers, we entered the field of play quietly confident that this could be the year.

It didn’t start well though. Maniacs got off to a flying start off the bowling of Moore and Drought and were fairly rocketing along, helped by a bone dry track and a lightening outfield. Moore soon struck though and what followd was one of the best over’s ever bowled by anyone (including Marshall, Lillee, Hadlee, McGrath, Flintoff, Newman). He was unlucky to only snare one victim but did pick up a second wicket later on.

Captain Brewer brought on his second change bowler Bolland who bowled tightly from the tree end. Toovey soon came on at the dip end and, in his own words, bowled poorly as he wasn’t sure which strip to aim at. Following a quick start the rest of the innings was spent trying to claw back the run rate and some good bowling from Retter, Bowes and Carrington did a pretty good job of restricting the home team to 230. They got way more than they should have done though – one of their batsman nicked it so loudly that we didn’t even bother to appeal but was not given out and eventually went on to make a century. Other highlights included a highly amusing dropped catch by Toovey who literally didn’t get a hand to it, the ball crashing into his chest and bouncing off. “Sorry chaps, I wasn’t concentrating”.

A poor tea in what used to be Mrs Cole’s Crack was disappointing but Maladroits were confident that we could chase down 231 to win. BN and Retter opened up and unfortunately Retter didn’t last long. In fact, not even long enough to even try out his new bat! BN played some nice shots before falling to his usual late cut, bringing Brewer to the crease. He and Lees put together a lovely partnership, with Lees looking classy and playing as well as he has ever done for the Maladroits. Brewer went for a well constructed 43 and Bowes came with the run rate required at about 7 an over. Some buffet bowling was dispatched and Lees continued on his way (despite looking knackered and being covered in sweat) past 50 and beyond. The loss of Bowes to a full toss brought in JC, the urban destroyer, and before too long the run rate had dropped considerably and Maladroits were closing in on an impressive victory. Lees was eventually out for a superb 87 and JC bashed 41 in no time to win the game with an over or so to spare.

M.O.M – Lees for 87
Fielder of Day – Bathurst Norman, a commanding and energetic display at short extra
D.O.D. – Toovey – dropped a sitter and kept everyone waiting for 40 minutes at Clapham Junction!!
Tea – 43%

Saturday, 23 April 2011

No Dusty?

MCC come up just short in early season run chase

Ed Lock reporting...

Sunday 17th April 2011

GAME 1: 2011 Season

East Sheen 238 for 5 (35 overs), Maladroits 223 all out

The usual opening match against Sheen had a promising start with the sun in the sky, a newly refurbished pavilion and Boozer winning the toss with his trusty weighted coin.

Unsurprisingly, Boozer opted to field first at which point we were greeted by the best wicket that this Maladroit has seen in the last 5 years; flat and true for the batsmen yet full of bounce and turn. Unfortunately, Tricky as opening bowler, opted out of using the test grade track and instead chose to bowl either over the batsmen, straight to slip or behind him, immediately earning him both Quote and Dick of the Day.

At the other end, Glen was the yin to Tricky’s yang, bowling consistent line and length and keeping the batsmen pinned to the stumps. However, as the game progressed, even with Ash and Matty bowling well, wickets were hard to come by. And, once the oppo’s number 4 tonked 10 runs off his first two balls, Mala morale began to ebb. A few regular dismals could not contain East Sheen obtaining an honourable score of 238 for 5 off 35.

An unusually low cal lunch of coronation chicken, rice and flap jack raised the team’s spirits, except for the bearded kiwi contingent who yearned for a more diverse meat selection.

So, on a full stomach, Carrington and Lock marched into bat, admittedly rusty but confident due to the short boundary and fast outfield. Carrington quickly got into his stride tonking fours over the bowlers head and accelerating the run rate to the required 7 per over before being caught on 29. Lock fell shortly afterwards for 32 and allowed the already beading Lees to enter the fray and hit an aggressive 42. Bowes with his usual MCC grace strolled to 36 whilst the new mini Bowes looked on. By drinks, the Droits were on course, but Sheen’s soft middle order underbelly was about to be tested. Boozer looked comfortable at the crease, but unfortunately the wickets fell around him until our hopes were pinned on Scouse at no.10 with his new sledgehammer. Some creative running from Scouse worked temporarily before he was run out allowing Tricky to come in needing 15 off the final 5 balls. The anti climax was sealed with a golden duck, leaving the Droits scratching their heads for a game that should have been won.

Special thanks to Tricky for making an ordinary game thoroughly entertaining.

Match Summary


Glen – 2 for 32 off 7

Fielder of the Day

Nick (trusty debutante at long on)


Tricky – 12 ball over and smacking his ankle with a practice shot before going in and getting a golden


Tricky x 2

1. ‘I am not stone drifting, I just don’t know where I am’

2. Tricky to Umpire: ‘How many balls do I have left?’

Umpire to Tricky: ‘4’

Tricky: ‘Aaaaaaah F*#K!!’