Kelsall’s costly drops and more batting woes bring Camden back to earth
Madingley (20pts) 200-7 beat Camden (5pts) 116 by 84 runs
With more glorious weather, more sight screens, and a hard flat Kings’ & Selwyn College pitch, it was a shame that Captain Redders lost the toss. Still, the visitors – neighbours, really – could at least take the field with 11.
Hugo Batley, making his first appearance of the season, took the new ball with Kelsall – the latter, keen once more to make Chris Clarke earn his corn behind the stumps, bowling his eight overs straight through. Karan replaced Batley, the wily spinner dismissing both openers thanks to catches by Bulusu and Adler (via Clarke’s cushioning wrist). With Vish, a last-minute call-up following a dash from the Norfolk coast, consistently beating the bat, the hosts’ 56-2 wasn’t much to write home about at the halfway point. Unlike Vish’s stunning caught and bowled, the highlight in a spell of 8-3-22-3.
The move to 8-over allocations has made for a richer game, with fewer ‘bollards’ and greater tactical intrigue. In retrospect, Camden wouldn’t have minded a return to the old days, however, when teams could get by with just four bowlers. Between them, Batley, Kelsall (0-28), Karan and Vish bowled 32 overs for 115-7. The fifth bowler – Liam Wallman and Redders – went for 78 off eight overs. But the raw numbers don’t tell the whole story. Unless we’re counting dropped catches (3). Or dislocated fingers (1). Liam was particularly unlucky, Kelsall twice grassing straightforward chances at long-on. The bustling education executive wasn’t finished. He was a ball magnet, taking one nervy catch off Vish, and then colliding with Adler as a top edge looped between the two of them. Given the bulk involved, the damage – a dislocated finger suffered by the Big Aussie Unit – could have been a lot worse. Needless to say, the catch wasn’t taken. Amongst the carnage, Karan (3-15) returned to pick up a third wicket, and Clarke claimed a smart stumping off Batley (1-49). But by then the home side’s number five had benefitted from Kelsall’s largesse to the tune of 73. With a four from the last ball of the innings, Madingley finished on an even 200-7.
Perhaps eager to up a pitifully low balls per boundary percentage, or maybe because the second ball was short and wide, Sutton started strongly. But, perhaps afflicted by the same delusions as Foxy last week, the bearded greengrocer was soon LBW. Fans of such things will be heartened to know that the Bulusu upgrade has retained the rapid dismissal feature in umpire mode. Batley joined Redders in the middle, and immediately looked at home. Sadly, there was to be no repeat of last week’s heroics for the skipper – three runs not the same as a hat trick, really, is it? Still, with Batley (28) and Robinson (17) rebuilding nicely, the scoreboard read 56-2 in the twentieth over. As it had in the first innings. By the end of the over, with the wicket of the ex-former-ex-all-rounder, Camden’s reply had struck a divergent path. The road to ruin, it turned out, five wickets tumbling for just nine runs. Kelsall (21 not out) and Karan (13) ensured a fifth bonus point with a partnership of 24, and another might have been gleaned had the umpiring skipper not mistaken Clarke’s thigh pad for his bat. It was a fittingly rueful end to proceedings. With Adler absent injured, Camden had folded to 116 all out.
Miraculously, Camden – with a fifth loss in six – remain outside the relegation zone. Next week’s first home fixture of the season – against second from bottom Chippenham – might give an indication of how this is possible. It could also be a chance to determine whether fenland crooner Matthew Fox-Teece is a lucky charm. Or if Robbo might be the opposite. Meanwhile, unlike the confidence of the thick-skinned Kelsall, the state of Adler’s finger will be a cause of concern. Medical opinion has it that the post-match sights enjoyed at the Red Bull will have done the red- blooded Queenslander the world of good.
Man of the match: Karan Derekar
Score Card: https://camden.play-cricket.com/website/results/4160657
Will Sutton (June 16, 2021)