It was time for our annual fixture against the Jesus College Long Vac team led as usual by Sybil. Unfortunately the game couldn’t be played at Jesus College due to the college installing heat pumps under the outfield While the skipper thoroughly approves of such green endeavours, it really isn’t cricket doing it during the summer months. So Camden hosted the annual fixture at Kings.
The Camden team was full of bowlers but rather light on batting so when Baker lost the toss as the coin did a roulette wheel action landing on the favourable heads, pause, then jump over to tails, it was down to Sybil to decide to bat first.
The challenge for the skipper would be to give everyone a game, which rather messed with the preferred bowling line up as our two most likely opening bowlers were pressed into batting duty (though they did willingly volunteer at the time). Thus it was the variety of James Fincham and the slingers of Ginto that opened the bowling. The Jesus openers initially scored at pace, but then James cunning variety induced a middle to square leg, where Andy Thurman playing his first game in several years caught the ball saving himself from a broken nose and two black eyes in the process. The other opener edged Ginto to the ever reliable Justin Lee behind the stumps. Enter Fahim, turncoat for the day. Karan came on and immediately the runs dried up as he bowled 7 miserly overs for 10 runs. At the other end the skipper replaced Ginto, and Liam eventually replaced Karan. However, Fahim and the no 4 both proceeded to score 50’s. Eventually Baker and Wallman took two wickets a piece, each returning a catch off the others bowling. Karan took a spectacular diving catch and the declaration came at 171 for 6 off just shy of 40 overs. This seemed like a fair target off the likely 40 overs Camden would face, though in hindsight perhaps the skipper should have bowled Vish and Ritish a little in spite of their impending higher order batting.
Jesus had kindly supplied individual lunch boxes again, so a quality tea was rapidly consumed so Camden could get a good 40 overs in. Robbo and Ritish opened the batting, but the run chase was almost immediately in danger after Robbo edged behind. Vish joined Ritish and slapped a couple of fours to midwicket, but the runs were drying up a little and the inevitable fall of wickets followed. No one manage to get beyond the teens and Camden were 40 for 4, with the last twenty overs commencing. The run chase disappeared as the wickets kept falling 45 for 6, 55 for 7, 65 for 8 and 68 for 9. Of these wickets 4 had been played on, including Justin Lee doing an excellent Ali Khan, as the ball hit his leg two feet outside leg stump and rolled onto the wicket.
Cometh the hour, cometh the boy! There was still 6 or 7 overs to go and enter stage left Douglas Mitchell, to join the skipper. Rather than any attempt at boring professional farming the strike, he skipper made an early decision for Douglas to hold up one end (actually, the skippers batting is so poor that he didn’t have the ability to do any farming). However, the opposition threw everything at young Douglas including hand grenades, moon balls, wides and the odd straight ball, every one of which was stoutly defended with 10 fielders around the bat. As the skipper batted away the last over and the draw was secured, Doug received applause from both sides and was carried from the field on Vish’s shoulders. Camden very much came 2nd, but match drawn.
Man of the Match: Doug Mitchell
Score Card: https://camden.play-cricket.com/website/results/4898745
Martin Baker (June 30, 2021)