2009 3rd XI Match reports

Cricket Stick CCA Junior League 2B League Table

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HADLEY HAMMERS GILES AGAIN

29-08-09 - AWAY TO ST GILES

St Giles II (4pts) 118-7, Camden (20pts) 234-5. RESULT - CAMDEN WIN

The season ended at Solway, as it had the year before, with a big win against St Giles and a Richard Hadley hundred – his second this year and fourth in all. Hadley became the fourth – and quickest – to 1,000 Thirds league runs, in his 21st innings (David Mitchell took 28, Steve Robinson 46 and John Sutton 49), and when he was out for 112 had scored 498 league runs in 2009 (by a long way a record for a season), at an average of 49.8. Before the records tumbled, Hadley had opened with the toss-winning captain, and when Mitchell was bowled for 17 by one that kept low the score was already 54 in the 14th over. Robinson, cutting deftly as usual, joined the Kiwi in an 18-over partnership of 118 which ended when the former ex-all-rounder was bowled for 39. It was a surprise when Hadley edged to the keeper at 205, but in the last three overs the dashing Andrew Redfern slapped a quick 15, Alex Raha (17*) hit some epic straight drives into the trees, Andrew Matthews tapped 7 and brutally-axed Second-team left-hander Nick Bright ended 2* as the innings closed on a total way beyond an inexperienced St Giles team nowhere near as strong as the one which had annihilated a feeble Camden at Trinity Hall in June

So the second half of the game was really a bit dull: St Giles were never going to get the runs, and Camden had no real incentive to bowl them out – but there were some entertaining highlights as the season wound down amiably in soft autumnal sunshine. The last three matches in Division 2B are next week and Camden – briefly relegation-haunted in mid season – are likely to finish fourth-ish in a league where only one point covers seven clubs. Seamers Dave Coutts and Redfern bowled tightly against St Giles’ two best bats. Coutts found the edge with one that reared and gloveman Duncan Gibson – a former Giles star – took the catch. Two overs later Coutts hit the stumps, and when he finished with 2-26 and the smoker-philosopher with an unlucky 0-26 the home side were 53-2 after 20 overs. Martin Baker and Al “Own Sawdust” Armstrong took over after drinks. Armstrong produced the game’s champagne moment when a ball pitched perfectly on middle stump turned just enough to beat the outside edge of Giles’ most accomplished bat and hit the top of off stump. Game over. Armstrong (2-15) took another wicket to end with 28 for the season, equalling Dave Warren’s former record, now eclipsed by Baker (31, but 0-20 this time). The game ended with Gibson passing on the pads and gloves to Mitchell and taking 2-4 in three overs of excitable seam, while at the other end Robinson had his first bowl of the season, overcame the trauma of an initial wide and took a wicket. St Giles ended 116 short to give Mitchell and his men a sixth win on the bounce and 236 points – the Thirds’ most in a season since Division 4 was emphatically won in 2003. It was the Thirds’ fourteenth win by over a hundred, and they have now won 63 of 98 league games in eight seasons. Ten wins in a season is the best since 2003, the last season in which no games were lost to the weather.

Apprized of the Thirds’ success and beleaguered Twos’ skipper Nigel Dixon’s last-gasp escape from relegation, popular Thirds stalwart Dave Warren – sidelined by a back injury and unable to join his team-mates for an evening of temperance beverages and improving conversation at an exclusive Panton Street venue – texted to ask: “Has she got a sister?” He and the rest of Camden’s crowd-pleasers will be back in 2010 for another crack at Division 2B, led again by the jolly, successful and portly Mitchell.

Men of the Match - Richard Hadley

Match report - John Sutton


22-08-09 - NO GAME

See updated league table on the link above before the 3rd XIs final game of the season

IN-FORM RECORD-BREAKERS STORM TO THIRD

15-08-09 - AWAY TO CHERRY HINTON

Cherry Hinton (4pts) 113 ALL OUT, Camden (20pts) 196-4. RESULT - CAMDEN WIN

Camden, Division 2B’s form side, cruised to a fifth successive win (their best run since the Division 3 Championship year of 2005) at Quy and soared to third in the table. With only a game left, by comparison with other sides’ two and three, this is probably as high as Camden can go in what has turned into a satisfying season in which some long-standing records have been beaten.

David Mitchell won the toss, chose to bat and sent out Richard Hadley and ex-all-rounder Steve Robinson. The hosts began accurately, and in the fourth over Robinson (soon to add “ex-opener” to his CV) unluckily played on, for his twelfth Camden III duck (a record), while with the score only 7 Hadley clipped firmly to short mid wicket and was smartly caught by the League Secretary for 6. It was time for burly Marlburians as Steve Hodsdon joined the captain. Thanks to Hodsdon’s well-guided boundaries off the menacing James Ordish, the score rose, slowly at first, but to 54 at drinks – a good platform for a productive second half. So it proved as Mitchell drove, cut and pulled powerfully and Hodsdon was especially severe when the home leg-spinner pitched short. It came as a surprise when, attempting another pull, Hodsdon was bowled through his legs for a stout 44 by one which kept low. The partnership of 91 was the pair’s fifth of over 50 and the second this season. Andy Caines joined Mitchell and immediately put bat to ball, including a big six. Mitchell reached a well-deserved fifty and survived a confident lbw shout turned down by a myopic Dave Warren. After a rapid partnership of 57, Caines was bowled for a handy 18, bringing in Justin Lee for his first appearance for two years. A violent last four overs saw Camden add 41. Lee hit two sixes – one an enormous VTOL affair – in the last over to end on 24*, while Mitchell reached 87*.

Warren and Andrew Redfern opened the bowling, Warren with a maiden and the exams-syndicate-bound smoker with a wide and a wicket as the last ball clipped the off stump. Although the sixth over went for 13 as tall left-hander Dan James hit out at Redfern, Warren finished with 5-2-12-0, and in the tenth over Redfern trapped Dix so palpably in front that even Camden’s hard-to-please umpire upheld the appeal, leaving Cherry Hinton 39-2. Baker bowled James in his first over, then Redfern had another likely lbw appeal turned down before provoking No 4 to poke a simple catch to mid off, where Hadley made it look exceptionally difficult. It was suddenly 44-4; Camden had the hosts by the throat and weren’t going to let go. Redfern conceded only two scoring shots in his last four overs and ended with a smart 10-3-28-3. As always, Camden then put their trust in the spinners and Baker and the newly-introduced Alec Armstrong chipped away at the middle order. When Baker took his second wicket, he beat Warren’s record of 27 wickets in a season, and two more – one thanks to a good catch by Hadley at cow corner – took him to 4-40 and a remarkable 31 for the season. The Ordish brothers had lofted a few, but when Redfern caught the younger at long off as he tried to hit Armstrong out of the ground, it was 103-9. Richard Shannon bowled two tidy overs before Armstrong (3-19) hit the last man’s off stump to leave the hosts 83 short. It was the iconic spinner’s 26th scalp of the season and his 150th Thirds League wicket. They have cost only 13.75 each and turned up, regular as clockwork, every 21 balls over the last eight seasons. Baker is 60 behind, with 90, while Warren has 87: between them, the Statsguru™ program reveals, the trio have taken 42% of the 771 opposition wickets the Thirds have taken in 97 league matches. Camden have bowled the opposition out 51 times, but have only been bowled out 24 times themselves.

“That’s really interesting,” yawned Camden Wag Helen Robinson. Asked about her husband’s loss of form, she added: “Never mind about his batting. There are other things he can do. Like shelves.”

Men of the Match - David Mitchell

Match report - John Sutton


FOURTH SUCCESSIVE CLOSE-RUN THING

08-08-09 - HOME TO LONGSTOWE

Camden (20pts) 127-9, Longstowe (6pts) 114 ALL OUT. RESULT - CAMDEN WIN

There may be a limit to how many low scores the Thirds can defend this season, but it hadn’t been reached on Saturday, when Camden followed up their narrowest-ever win (against Cambourne) and the lowest total ever defended (against Fulbourn) by defeating high-flying Longstowe.

With David Mitchell testy at Headingly, stand-in skipper Steve Robinson won the toss and was persuaded (by the Cambourne-based seam bowler himself) that David Warren would be a suitable opening partner. Robinson twice cut neatly, once for four, but with the score 11 girled to mid off for 7. Tom Midgley’s run of success ended with a duck as he hoisted his fourth ball a very long way into the air and was caught at mid on. Alert to the crisis, Warren stroked the next ball straight to cover and called a single, and Andy Cairns was run out by a direct hit without facing a ball to leave Camden 11-3 after six overs. Steve Hodsdon began to repair the self-inflicted damage with some meaty boundaries, including a signature six over mid wicket, but the visitors’ first bowling change was instantly successful when a straight ball proved too straight for Warren (4). Martin Baker (12) helped Hodsdon take the score from 30 to 64 before poking a tame catch to silly mid-off. Will Thwaites – son of substantial eighties Camden II medium-pace legend Paul – made an adven turous 3 before being bowled. Lately disembarked, a piratical Duncan Gibson then took over, with three big sixes, while Hodsdon played the anchor role. Gibson was eventually bowled for a splendid 37 with the score 116 in the 36th over and Hodsdon caught for 36 with eight balls remaining – time for Richard Shannon to score 2, Dave Coutts 4* and Alec Armstrong, clearly certain a winning total had already been achieved, to block the last two balls of the innings for his 25th red-inker.

Runs are not easy to come by after tea at Trinity Hall. Longstowe laboured against Coutts and Warren, reaching 16 after ten overs and 30 two overs later after Coutts was surprisingly hit for four and six. In his next over, however, the tall Kiwi found the edge and Cairns took a nice slip catch. Robinson rested Warren and turned to Baker, who had No 3 lbw for 0 in his third over. Coutts finished with a fine 10-3-21-1 and Longstowe were 44-2 at drinks, after which Armstrong bowled two overs for 11 as the score rose menacingly to 65 – but in his next over the Camden talisman had a wildly optimistic lbw shout surprisingly upheld by the villagers’ own umpire. Baker then took two wickets, thanks to long-on catches – one superb – by Midgley. The visitors were 82-5 with ten overs left. Armstrong went for a single: then disaster. Baker’s last over went for a catastrophic 19 and Hiles to a fine fifty. Longstowe had eight overs to get 26, with five wickets in hand, and were clear favourites. But the village umpire awarded Armstrong another debatable lbw before Hiles decided to do it in sixes and was splendidly caught by Robinson on the long-on boundary to give Armstrong a third scalp. Three wickets had fallen for six. The returned Warren was turning the screw at the other end, and suddenly it was all over in a flash as Shannon caught three catches off Warren, one at point, the other two at short extra cover; the second, howitzered by a large man, might have killed him had he not taken it so nonchalantly. Warren added 3-18 and Armstrong 3-24 to Baker’s 3-49. Five wickets had gone for 12 in six overs and Longstowe and their fair-minded captain plummeted from fourth to seventh. In an astonishing weekend in which leaders Histon were bowled out for 76 and second-placed Shelford for 56 (both lost heavily, of course), Camden’s 127 was the highest score in Division 2B, enough to take them to sixth in a very tight competition.

Men of the Match - The Team

Match report - John Sutton


SPINNERS AND RUN-OUTS WIN LOW-SCORER

01-08-09 - AWAY TO FULBOURN

Camden 103 for 8, Fulbourn 80 ALL OUT. RESULT - CAMDEN WIN

Camden seem to be returning to their roots. For a third week running the Thirds did what was once their speciality and defended an absurdly low total, eventually winning comfortably against a team now virtually certain to be relegated. The weather forecast was not encouraging and the village wicket was damp and pudgy, but David Mitchell nevertheless opted to bat and, in the absence of more usual partners, strode to the middle with Steve Robinson. The pair dug in against accurate bowling and apart from two booming drives down the ground from the ex-all-rounder, progress was slow, and after 15 overs the score was a meagre 33. Aiming to up the pace, Mitchell top-edged to point for a hard-won 9. The increasingly svelte but decreasingly prolific run-machine’s worldwide fanbase will be pleased to know that he departed testily. Almost immediately, Andy Collings (1) scooped limply to mid-off, and at the start of the next over Robinson was caught at cover for 26 to leave the visitors 38-3. Steve Hodsdon and Alex Raha began to rebuild, but at 58 Raha was caught for 9 and Hodsdon (12) quite remarkably, low on the mid-wicket boundary as the Fulbourn skipper intercepted what had seemed destined to be a flat six. A third wicket fell at the same score when Peter Batley was bowled by a full toss, and it was 61-9 shortly afterwards when Dave Warren, paying little attention to his partner’s age and mobility, ran Andrew Matthews (1) out savagely, then Dave Coutts chose to leave his first ball and be bowled. Ten overs remained for Camden to try to set some sort of total, and very sensibly Warren and Martin Baker blocked, scampered and hit the occasional boundary to do just that, a Warren six into the mid-wicket trees bringing up the hundred in the last over as he ended on 23* and the wildlife supremo on 18*. If wickets could be had early, 103 could be a difficult target for a side dismissed for less than 90 five times already this season.

Warren began with a maiden, then Coutts had an lbw appeal immediately upheld. Fulbourn’s canny bowler Skead came in as a pinch hitter, but was bowled for 13 by the accurate Coutts with the score 18. The home captain was batting neatly and the score had risen to 36 after 12 overs when Mitchell turned to his spinners. In Baker’s first over, the village No 4 tried a quick single and Warren threw down the stumps. Alec Armstrong struck in his first over, Mitchell taking an untroubled catch at deep mid-off, then Collings snaffled a low edge to give Baker his first wicket. Baker’s starring role in the proceedings was confirmed in the next over when he fielded sharply at square leg and threw down the wicket at the bowler’s end to run the skipper out for 22. Four wickets had fallen in four overs: Fulbourn were a sickly 41-6 and Camden in the ascendant. The Fulbourn keeper put bat to ball before being trapped lbw by Armstrong for a meaty 21. Hodsdon then pouched two catches off the iconic tweaker as Armstrong bagged his third 4-for of the season (4-19) before joint Man-of-the-Match Baker (2-25) brought proceedings to an end when Coutts took an athletic one-handed catch at mid-wicket. A margin of 23 in such a low-scoring game counts as a big win and a tactical triumph – and it was a third win on the trot for the rampant Mitchell and his determined side.

Man of the Match - Alec Armstrong and Martin Baker

Match report - John Sutton


25-07-09 - HOME TO CAMBOURNE

Camden 140 for 7, Cambourne 137 for 8. RESULT - CAMDEN WIN

A genuine team effort and an increasing knowledge of our new home ground did for Cambourne and allowed the thirds a little revenge for the defeat in the controversial Cambridgeshire new town. The team work started before the toss with knowledgeable tutting and sucking of various gums about the state of the wicket, even though for a second week running it was, if not blameless, a lot less worrying than when it is dry. This “mental disintegration” (an Australian habit the skipper couldn’t be said to approve of) led to his opening the batting after being invited to on a pleasing sunny afternoon.

The story of Camden’s innings is largely one of the obduracy of Richard Hadley, the first of us to pass fifty (61) on our home ground. The remainder contributed bits and pieces (including extras chipping in with 25 as second in line to be batsman of the match…), but as soon as they looked settled our star bat would usually run them out. The most remarkable moment was perhaps in the first over when Andrew Redfern, in the white coat, tempted a riot by reversing a decision to send David Mitchell packing L.B.W. after reviewing the replay in his addled grey matter and concluding that although destined to send stumps everywhere, it was outside the line when the hapless bat had attempted his defensive swipe. Quoted as professing it was “better I look a fool than make the wrong decision”, he successfully achieved the former and evaded the latter. Martin Baker and Alec Armstrong ended undefeated yet again (no doubt the statsguru™ will tell us how likely this was next week).

140 for 8 at tea, the opposition were confident, so, in a strange way were the home team….. Tea was ample enough to slow everyone down, except Redfern and Dave Warren who restricted scoring to 54 off the first half spectacularly assisted by tight, tense and downright enthusiastic fielding.. As the urgency of the situation impinged itself on the opposition they began to try to step up the rate, at first unsuccessfully and then at the cost of wickets. Alex Raha took a spectacular diving catch coming in from long on to dismiss the most obviously talented Cambourne batsman as Armstrong (4-40) and Hadley (2-29) gradually took the game away. Hadley even had time to take two catches off Armstrong. 43 were needed of the last 4 overs when the burley Cooke came to the wicket and dispatched Armstrong’s last two balls for 4 and into orbit. His rapid 22 looked like turning the game.

However, Warren returned for a spell of death bowling, Steve Robinson took a fine deep catch, Duncan Gibson continued a near flawless (and bye-less) session behind the stumps, Steve Hodsdon (overheard ”he can really move” (sorry Steve, in a surprised tone of voice…)) scuttled all over the field and Chris Tapping proved an able backward point leaving Cooke the prospect of 6 from the final ball. Then Warren bowled a wide (collective groans, despite the fact that the situation hadn’t changed), but followed it with a toe-crushing single. Camden could all return from the boundaries to which we had retreated and celebrate another squeaker we’d emerged on the right side of.

So, the thirds have already won more games than we did last year and still have four more to go. Trinity Hall will not help any batsman’s averages much or the blood pressure of the captains, but we are getting to grips with it and are continuing to improve. On the news front half the side appear to have turned to reading books about cads in order to improve their cricket, but fear not, the indomitable skipper will always remain a calm and soothing influence on anyone tempted to question the umpire’s authority, suffer “white line fever” or generally otherwise bring the game into disrepute.

Man of the Match - Richard Hadley

Match report - David Mitchell


SHELFORD SHELL-SHOCKED BY WIDEBOY WARREN

18-07-09 - HOME TO LITTLE SHELFORD

Camden 125 for 6, Little Shelford 105 ALL OUT. RESULT - CAMDEN WIN

On a damp Saturday afternoon, a Camden team containing three debutants was asked to bat on a green-looking Trinity Hall wicket by second-placed Little Shelford.

The home team started steadily against bowling suited to the conditions. Skipper Mitchell and Kiwi number one Hadley put on 40 for the first wicket before the latter was surprisingly bowled for 17. This brought debutant number one Andy Cairns to the crease, and he and Mitchell took the score to 66-1 by the 20 over drinks interval. Cairns entertained with some lofts over midwicket before succumbing LBW for a breezy 19. Robinson joined Mitchell, and with runs hard to come by the portly-run machine was bowled by a full, inswinging delivery for a patient 34. The almost immediate departure of Kiwi number two Gibson (0), brought debutant number 2, thirteen year-old Chris Tapping to the wicket and there he calmly stayed until the end of the innings, unfurling some stylish shots on either side of the wicket. Robinson eventually fell for a turgid 18, which contained no boundaries, and Warren was soon bowled for 4. Baker injected a little urgency into proceedings with some enthusiastic scampering en route to a quickfire undefeated 10, while Tapping finished undefeated on 9. Although 125 -6 seemed at least 15-20 runs below par on the testing Trinity Hall track, it represented the second highest Camden total there this season, after the 154 against Elsworth, and there was some hope that early wickets for the home side would prove crucial.

In years to come cricket historians may ponder the question, ‘what was in Warren’s drinking cup at tea?’ Such was the virility of the bowling produced by the Cambourne business guru. Before this, however, things had rather limped along. Taylor pulled up lame after his first delivery, tweaking an ancient groin in the process. Although the Sawston-based trading standards inspector continued for three more painful balls (none legitimate and all wide), Armstrong was summoned to complete the over, presumably on the basis of looking most like Taylor. Despite the likeness to Taylor, Armstrong (0-26 from 3.5) received some severe punishment, and with debutant/Kiwi number three Dave Coutts initially struggling with his rhythm, Little Shelford progressed untroubled to 44-0 after eight overs, seemingly well placed for an easy victory. Coutts then took two quick wickets and Warren, after last week’s brief break from the game to spend more time with his family, began a miserly spell - the first four overs of which yielded just 5 runs. All of a sudden there was a game on, and although still favourites, Little Shelford began to dance uncertainly with the shadows of doubt. Little did they know that the beast of the inner Warren was soon to be unleashed. Coutts finished a tidy spell well, with 2-29 from 10 (including a good catch from the sprawling Hadley), and in over number 20, a Warren delivery just outside off stump was called wide by the umpire. Obviously perturbed, Warren increased his pace, hit the pitch harder and appeared to unnerve the opposition batsmen, though this may have just been the effect of his grunting. He took three wickets in five deliveries spanning two overs, including two in two balls, to rip out the heart of the Little Shelford lineup. The stumps were rearranged three times, and Gibson, who conceded just two byes in the Little Shelford innings, took a smart catch behind the stumps. Warren finished with figures of 10-2-15-4 to swing the game dramatically Camden’s way. Kiwi number 1 Hadley (4-2-3-2) and club treasurer Baker (1 for 22 from 8.1) kept the remaining Little Shelford batsmen quiet during the tense final overs, which saw Hadley win an LBW appeal after a huge appeal, and Baker catching injured Shelford captain and star batsman Nigel Tegg, off his own bowling. Little Shelford had been dismissed for 105.

Later that evening at The Panton Arms, an ecstatic Camden team sat with the gracious opposition and reflected on the day’s play. Warren confessed that his enforced absence on the previous Saturday had been so hard to deal that he had almost turned to golf, to fill the void. Malcolm Taylor did not make it to the aforementioned alehouse, but will be updating anxious Camden fans, with daily bulletins on the state of his groin. We wish him well.

Man of the Match - David Warren

Match report - Steve Robinson


LEADERS MADE TO WORK HARD

11-07-09 - HOME TO HISTON

Camden (4pts) 109 ALL OUT, Histon (20pts) 110 for 5. RESULT - HISTON WIN

Camden batted first on a fiery Trinity Hall wicket. In the second over David Mitchell (1) gloved a rearing ball to the keeper. Though convinced that that hand was not on the bat handle, the captain retired philosophically, keeping his opinions to himself. As usual, Tom Midgley attacked. Excited by the wicket, one of the visitors’ young pace bowlers pitched too short and was pulled repeatedly, two overs going for 29. But with the score 50 after six overs, Midgley (30) swiped at the first ball he received from the change bowler, an off-spinner, and looped a catch to cover. Opener Steve Hodsdon, whose 10 included a fine hook for four, and Jeremy Moss took the score to 65, when disaster befell Camden as three wickets fell in four balls: Hodsdon was caught, Moss (10) bowled and Josh Gaw guided a fast long-hop to gully. Steve Robinson and Duncan Gibson took the score to 82, when the introduction of a left-arm-over quick brought two wickets immediately: Robinson was bowled for 5 and Andrew Redfern caught behind second ball for a duck. Gibson hit a fine straight four into the hedge, but when the lost ball was found he tried to repeat the feat, skied and was caught for 14, the second-highest score of the innings. Martin Baker was stumped for 3 and it was left to Alec Armstrong (3*) and Malcolm Taylor (1) to take the total to a disappointing 109. Taylor’s elegant single was his first run for the Thirds, his previous five appearances (spread over seven seasons) having only yielded two scoreless not-outs.

The wicket remained uneven after tea and Mitchell hoped a combination of the veteran Taylor’s nagging left-arm seam and Baker’s left-arm spin would bring early wickets and keep the score down. The strategy was immediately successful as an impatient opener lashed the last ball of Taylor’s second over to cover where Gibson took a fine catch one-handed at the second attempt. Baker then took two wickets, the second thanks to a stupendous running catch by Midgley, and the visitors were in some trouble at 12-3. Taylor ended a mean spell with 8-1-13-1 and at half-way, with Histon 48-3, Baker finished with 10-3-30-2. Change bowlers Redfern and Armstrong bowled very well and, thanks to Baker catches, took a wicket each, but from 67-5 the league leaders ground their way steadily towards the twenty points, reaching the target, despite the introduction of seamers Moss and Gaw, at the end of the 37th over. Camden had done well to keep them out there so long and Mitchell had managed his bowling resources astutely – but 109 was not a score easily defended and the Thirds remain third from bottom of the Division 2B table. The batsman will need to find how to stay in and score big runs on the difficult Trinity Hall wicket in the remaining home games. High-flying Little Shelford are the next visitors.

Man of the Match - Tom Midgley and Martin Baker

Match report - John Sutton


MIDGLEY MASHES BASEMENT BOYS

04-07-09 - HOME TO ELSWORTH

Camden (20pts) 154 for 7, Elsworth 134 (6pts) ALL OUT. RESULT - CAMDEN WIN

After one look at a hairy, straw-coloured Trinity Hall strip David Mitchell chose to bat and opened with Richard Hadley. After a slow start the pair doubled the score in the eighth over, but it was a surprise when an in-ducker bowled the Kiwi off the inside edge for 11 a few balls later, with the score 18. There was mayhem for the next six overs as Tom Midgley smashed eight fours and a six and played one defensive shot before skying to long off for 42. Mitchell, largely a spectator, had advanced to ten. Former Camden Firsts slot bowler Jeremy Moss, on a welcome Thirds debut, joined the portly run machine, who contrived his own version of the Tillekeratne Dilshan “starfish” shot over the keeper’s head for 4. The Mitchell approximation did not involve kneeling down. Obviously. The captain was eventually out for a sturdy 24, but although Steve Robinson began with a confident and stylish late cut for four, the innings stagnated for a while and only 21 runs were added from the change bowlers’ first 10 overs. Moss reached an untroubled 13 before nicking a sweep to the keeper. Andrew Redfern then upped the pace before being bowled hoicking across the line for 15. Chris Rice (1) was stumped and Robinson caught on the square-leg boundary for a chirpy 28 before Martin Baker (15*) and Dave Warren (2*) guided Camden to 154-7 after 40 overs.

Elsworth had lost all eight previous matches and did not seem, until it was too late, to know how to chase down a modest total. Warren bowled a neat five-over spell before Mitchell turned to Redfern, reasoning that the taller bowler might, as Elsworth’s seamer had, find the ball that popped from the inconsistent surface – and in his second over the smoker-philosopher found the edge and keeper Midgley took a remarkable, corkscrewing one-handed catch. Meanwhile, at the other end, Hadley had embarked on the second-most-miserly ten-over spell in Thirds history, which gave him the remarkable figures of 10-8-7-1 as the travelling outfit staggered to 46-2 at half way. The next ten overs saw Redfern, bowling well, bag two more wickets to finish with 3-36 and leading wicket-taker Baker bowl his 19th victim of the season. For the last ten overs, with Elsworth needing an improbable seven an over, Mitchell opted for the gnarled experience of Al “Wild Thing” Armstrong and the 14-year-old promise of leg-spinning debutant Dylan Spielman. As the rate rose to more than ten an over the youngster took two wickets – one a smart caught-and-bowled – and Armstrong one. Elsworth’s young No 10 then put bat to ball to top-score with 26 before being outwitted by the wily left-arm spinner and stumped by diving Man-of-the-Match Midgley. The game ended when Spielman bowled the Elsworth captain with the first ball of the last over. Mitchell had marshalled his bowlers well and a cheerful side repaired to The Pig and Frogman for well-earned lemonade.

Man of the Match - Tom Midgley

Match report - John Sutton


WOEFUL SHOW DESPITE ALEC DOUBLE

27-06-09 - HOME TO ST GILES

St Giles (20pts) 207 for 7, Camden 82 (5pts) ALL OUT. RESULT - ST GILES WIN

David Mitchell won the toss at the Thirds’ new home ground, Trinity Hall, in the faintest drizzle and invited St Giles to bat on a pudgy green wicket everyone thought would be bowler-friendly. For the first 19 overs Dave Warren and Andrew Redfern were friendlier than anticipated, and although Warren had a shout for lbw upheld, the visitors proceeded calmly to 88-1 at the half-way point. Martin Baker soon induced an outside edge and Steve Hodsdon pouched a swirly catch confidently at deep cover. Third seamer Duncan Gibson went for a couple of sixes and the next wicket was a long time coming, but after a partnership of 90 Alec Armstrong made ground at short fine leg for a fine catch off a top edge to give Baker a second wicket. Then Armstrong himself took a wicket, lbw, before Baker’s third came thanks to a fine catch at deep extra cover by Alex Raha, the wildlife supremo ending with 3-44. Richard Hadley bowled the penultimate over and two suicidal run-outs – one off the last ball of the 40 overs – completed the entertainment. A much better St Giles side than the ones easily beaten in previous seasons might have scored more than 207-7, a score which looked reachable on a sunny evening.

Not by Camden, however. The visitors had two good seamers to open the bowling, a confident leg-spinner and former captain Chris Badger (10-3-15-3), a purveyor of niggardly round-arm medium pace. This was all too much. David Mitchell (3) scooped a catch to mid wicket in the fourth over. Hadley and Hodsdon took the score to 31, when the sturdy Marlburian ran himself out before the leading run-scorer shuffled across and was lbw for 21 to a ball that kept low. Apart from Baker (13), no one else made double figures, most patting fatuous catches and departing quickly as the innings crumbled to a lowest-ever score of 82 and a third successive defeat, by a dismal 125 runs.

A chastened Camden – including gloveman Andy Collings, otherwise not mentioned in this report after a quiet game – took comfort from the fact that when iconic spinner Alec Armstrong scored the second of his 4 not-out runs his Thirds career aggregate reached 100 (in 34 innings, 22 of them not out, in 76 matches) to give him a unique double of 100 (currently 133) wickets and 100 runs. “We all thought he was bound to get to 150 wickets before he got to a hundred runs,” confessed Steve Robinson, scorer of 2 on this occasion, whose return to Trinity Hall (where X marks the spot) had not been a success, “but what do we know?” Despite Armstrong’s milestone, enraged Camden chiefs withheld the coveted Man-of-the-Match award.

Man of the Match - See Above!

Find the match score card here.

Match report - John Sutton


Cricket Stick CCA Junior 2B as of 20-06-09

PwlBPPenPtsAve
Little Shelford CC6517010717.83
Histon CC6516010617.67
Cherry Hinton CC541408416.8
Cambourne CC6332208213.67
Longstowe CC7431509513.57
Cambridge St. Giles CC6331807813
Camden CC7342708712.43
Fulbourn Institute CC826370779.63
Elsworth CC707330334.71

'p' = Played
'w'= Won (20 points)
'l'= Lost (0 points)
'bp' = Bonus Points
'pen' = Penalty Points
'nrr' = Net Run Rate
'ave' = Average Points
'pts' = Total Points


TOO MANY TWOS

20-06-09 - HOME TO CHERRY HINTON

Camden (7pts) 198 ALL OUT, Cherry Hinton (20 pts) 200 for 6. RESULT - CHERRY HINTON WIN

With the captain unavailable and gouty, Steve Robinson won the toss, decided to make use of a splendid Queens’ wicket and sent out Richard Hadley and Steve Hodsdon to open – another unsuccessful experiment as the burly Marlburian feathered a catch to the keeper and was out for 0 with the score 3 in the third over. Tom Midgley grew bored after one defensive hoick and hit five aerial boundaries in an explosive three-over 22 which ended when he was predictably (and well) caught on the long-on boundary. Alex Raha joined the circumspect Kiwi. Raha drove powerfully and elegantly and the pair had added 106 (the fifth best stand for the third wicket) when, just after reaching a maiden Thirds fifty, Raha played on in the 29th over. Hadley also reached 52, but trying to up the pace was caught at the wicket. There were brief and lusty cameos from Andrew Redfern (8), Duncan Gibson (11), Steve Robinson (14), Andrew “Angelo” Matthews (1) and Dave Warren (7, including an orgasmic lofted drive), but the last six wickets had fallen for 45 when Alec Armstrong (4) was run out off the last ball, leaving Martin Baker not out – yet again – on 7.

For most of the first twenty overs the Cherry Hinton looked unlikely to win as Warren (10-3-32-0) and Redfern (10-3-28-2) restricted them to 64, Midgley and Robinson taking good catches. Camden’s spinners, Baker and Armstrong, proved expensive, however, and when the first seven overs after the drinks break had gone for 50, Robinson turned to the Southern Hemisphere pairing of Hadley and Gibson and looked to defend the boundaries. Queens’ is a big oval, however, and hard to defend as distant fielders are a long way apart. Without hitting that many boundaries, the visitors eased to victory – despite three wickets for Gibson – with two balls to spare, thanks to twenty-odd twos and threes and a lot of singles in the last ten overs. Camden had been run ragged by the team that played the cleverer cricket.

Redfern’s day grew still more disappointing when the Cambridge-Assessment-bound smoker-philosopher acquired a parking ticket outside an exclusive Panton Street venue. He will have to shelve plans to buy a duck island. Meanwhile, despite last week’s débâcle at Cambourne, Camden chiefs have decided after all to make the sought-after Man-of-the-Match Award retrospectively, to Martin Baker for his fine all-round showing. Not for his bowling this week, obviously.

Man of the Match - Alex Raha (despite his expanded-polystyrene pads)

Find the match score card here.

Match report - John Sutton


THIRDS POOR BUT 10th-WICKET RECORD GOES

13-06-09 - AWAY TO CAMBOURNE

Camden (4pts) 96 ALL OUT, Cambourne (20pts) 97 for 4, RESULT - CAMBOURNE WIN

Camden lost the toss and were invited to bat at Lower Cambourne. Gout-stricken and immobile captain David Mitchell sent brutally-axed Seconds gloveman Andy Collings and Andrew Redfern out to bat. The soon-to-be former maths and philosophy teacher was quickly into his stride, hoisting the hosts’ experienced slow seamer towards the Prince-Charles-approved retro cottages on the long-on boundary. Had he been present, lifelong Camden fan Charles Collins of Radio Derby would undoubtedly have reached for his mysterious catchphrase: “No need to run – thank your mother for the onions.” However, attempting to repeat the feat, the sunhatted dasher was bowled for 8, and when Collings was caught behind for 10 in the next over Camden were 19-2 after nine. Alex Raha (1) and Steve Robinson (8) struggled against Cambourne’s accurate attack before falling lbw in consecutive overs. Dave Warren strode in at No 6. His tedious duck may well have been the Thirds’ second longest, but by the time the Cambourne-based No 9 was caught-and-bowled most onlookers had lost interest and Camden had slumped to 41-5. Gavin Ayliffe opened his Thirds account at last with a thumping drive for four, but when Andrew Matthews called a sharp single the substantial Trinity Hall graduate had bat and both legs in the air as he crossed the line and a direct hit ran him out for 7. The 63-year-old former Ofsted inspector was caught for 5, Mitchell slapped his first ball to deep gully, and when Richard Shannon was out hit wicket (a Thirds first) for 6 the innings was in ruins at 63-9. Unfazed, Martin Baker (31) and Alec Armstrong (6*) beat their previous 10th-wicket record (30, against Great Chishill in another catastrophic defeat) by 3 before the innings ended at 96 when the wildlife supremo was caught for his highest Thirds score. An excited archivist revealed that Warren’s duck was his tenth, putting him level with Robinson on the List of Shame.

It was important to get wickets quickly, but although Warren and Ayliffe bowled well, the home openers took the score to 41 after 12 overs. Robinson had been denied a fine catch when a Warren full-toss was judged a beamer and no-balled. Baker replaced Warren and bowled one opener in his second over. Ayliffe trapped the other lbw shortly after, finishing with 10-1-1-34. Armstrong took over at the Bus Stop End and bowled well, but despite a run-out and a second wicket for Baker (2-31) Cambourne eased home with eight overs to spare.

Meanwhile, Camden has been rocked by the news that Hollywood star Cameron Diaz (36) intends to remain child-free. “I don’t want babies. Especially Steve Robinson’s,” the alluring actress told camdencc.com

Man of the Match: No Award

Match report - John Sutton


MIDGLEY VIOLENT, AYLIFFE RAMPANT

30-05-09 - HOME TO FULBOURN INSTITUTE

Camden (20pts) 174 FOR 8, Fulbourn Institute (7pts) 122 ALL OUT, RESULT - CAMDEN WIN

On a glorious afternoon David Mitchell won the toss and had no doubts about making first use of a splendid-looking Emmanuel College wicket. Andrew Redfern watched his captain defend two lavish inswingers, but after running a single for a wide had no answer to two more and was bowled through the gate for nought. In the second over Richard Hadley edged limply and was caught behind having added only a single to the 430 runs he had scored in his previous five innings. Camden were 3-2. Defensive strokes are alien to Tom Midgley. Fresh from a week of massage in Coventry, the chunky 17-year-old smote a succession of lofted fours and two huge sixes and cleared the field with a number of mis-hits. By the fifteenth over the partnership had reached 83, of which Mitchell’s share was a stout 14, but Midgley hoicked at a full toss and was bowled for a hugely entertaining 66. Massage fantasist Steve Robinson began a confident cameo with a sweet cover drive for four. At half-way drinks the score was a promising 98. Thereafter, Fulbourn’s change seamers bowled tightly, and only 29 runs came from the next ten overs, during which the ex-all-rounder fell for 14. Mitchell took 12 from an over before being run out, backing up at the non-striker’s end, for 45. Steve Hodsdon soon followed, for 15, as, after one godlike driven four, did the returning Alex Raha (13). In eight seasons of Third XI League cricket only the much-missed Nadeem “Go, Nads!” Ahmed had begun a career with successive ducks, but Gavin Ayliffe now shares the record, with power to add. Although Alec Armstrong did not bat for the 42nd time, both Dave Warren (the self-styled “best No 9 you’ll ever see”) and Martin Baker scored 4* as Camden closed on 174-8 – about 50 short of expectations according to expert opinion, which included former Camden II star Mark “Banana” Robson, a welcome spectator, with wife and new baby.

Camden’s umpire was not in the giving vein and turned down a confident Hadley lbw appeal first ball after tea. The visitors advanced steadily to 54 by the fifteenth over, by which time Ayliffe – apparently superfluous to the Seconds’ Senior 1 relegation bid – had replaced Warren at the Pavilion End. The bulky spinner’s first four overs went for a gentle ten, but in the next six he speared five wickets, three of them bowled, including the reprieved Fulbourn captain for 40. His 10-2-19-5 is the sixth-best Thirds league tally, one behind fellow Trinity Hall graduate Richard Snell’s 5-14. (Former Trinity Hall all-rounder Robinson has of course never taken five wickets for the Thirds but, it will be recalled, did dump Rachel Weisz after a massage-related incident.) Baker – so far the season’s leading wicket-taker – chipped in with two more, the second courtesy of a Hodsdon stumping, the versatile Marlburian having succeeded immobile knee-injury victim Midgley behind the stumps, and Fulbourn slumped to 100-7 in the 29th over. There was time for Robinson to stop a hook with his knee and refuse a massage offered by Redfern, and for Armstrong (3-22) to hoover up the tail thanks to a fine catch in the deep by Baker and a second Hodsdon stumping (the outwitted batsman lying prostrate several yards up the wicket), while the recovered Midgley brought the game to an end with a spectacular two-handed diving catch at mid wicket.

Popular regional TV star Susie Fowler-Watt revealed afterwards that at Trinity Hall Robinson had always shown a keen interest in tapotement and other forms of manipulation, “so it must have been nice for him to have played in a massage-themed game.” The Thirds have a week off before a trip to promoted Cambourne on 13 June, but beleaguered Seconds skipper Nigel Dixon is not thought likely to see Andrew Redfern as the solution to his problems next weekend.

Men of the Match: Tom Midgley and Gavin Ayliffe

Match report - John Sutton


LEADERS LASHED AS RECORDS NEARLY FALL

23-05-09 - AWAY TO LONGSTOWE

Camden (20pts) 251-3, Longstowe (4pts) 158, RESULT - CAMDEN WIN

The sun shone on the hitherto-unbeaten leaders’ picturesque ground, and after winning the toss David Mitchell had no hesitation in choosing to bat on what looked a good wicket. The captain and Richard Hadley were wary as Longstowe started tightly, only 8 runs coming from the first 5 overs – but then the boundaries began to flow. At the half-way point the visitors had reached 83-0. Hadley was the first to a half century, the eighth time he had passed 50 in thirteen Thirds innings. Mitchell soon followed, and with ten overs left Camden had reached 156. The Thirds’ oldest batting record – Mitchell and John Sutton’s opening stand of 193 in the first ever league game – was threatened, but after Hadley reached his third Thirds century, with 13 fours and two sixes, at 187 the tiring Mitchell was lbw for a sturdy 73. Hadley hit two more sixes and Tom Midgley immediately put bat to ball. It came as a surprise when the Kiwi clipped to square leg and was out for 121, the fourth highest individual score in Thirds history. Two final overs of mayhem saw Steve Robinson bowled for a perky 12, more massive boundaries from the combative Midgley, who ended on 37*, and a cameo 5* from Duncan Gibson. Camden then made short work of the Home-made Tea of the Season.

Camden began with the nagging seam of Callum Wilkinson and Dave Warren. In the fifth over Hadley took a fine one-handed catch at cover to give the teenager his first wicket. The second came two overs later, keeper Midgley pouching the edge, and when Warren yorked the dangerous Wareham the hosts were an unpromising 10-3. Mitchell soon turned to the spin of Richard Shannon and Martin Baker, both of whom proved to the taste of Longstowe’s Hiles, who raced to 72 of 107 after 22 overs. Baker (0-33 at this point) then bowled an eventful over: Hiles drove the first ball to long off, where Gibson took the catch nonchalantly; then his partner was bowled next ball; and the Longstowe keeper was acrobatically stumped first ball. At 107-6 there was no way back for the villagers. Mitchell turned to Alec Armstrong, who was hit for a six and a four before inducing a lobbed catch for the dependable Robinson. Baker then struck twice more at 128 – Wilkinson taking a good catch in the deep – to finish with 8-2-43-5, his second consecutive five-wicket haul. Although the popular Longstowe captain smote some boundaries – one waved past by fly-in-the-eye Robinson – he was eventually bowled by Andrew Matthews, who became, at 62, the oldest to take a wicket for Camden III. Longstowe fell 93 short and plummeted to third in the table, a place above the visitors, who departed amiably for a Mitchell barbecue in nearby Arrington.

Camden sources later denied late withdrawal Andrew Redfern was, like Shoaib Akhtar, the victim of genital warts. “He was just a bit thirsty the night before,” an insider vouchsafed.

Men of the Match: Richard Hadley and Martin Baker

Match report - John Sutton


KIWI AND KEEPER IN HEROIC CHASE

16-05-09 - AWAY TO ELSWORTH

Histon II (20pts) 212-7, Camden (8pts) 202-7 RESULT - HISTON WIN

With David Mitchell away shooting people or things and the former skipper donning the umpire’s coat, it was left to stand-in skipper Steve Robinson to inspect a fine batting wicket and lose the toss. Martin Baker induced an early edge to keeper Andy Collings and Richard Hadley had an lbw shout upheld, but Alec Armstrong’s spell was expensive and the home side’s score mounted rapidly to 120-2 in the 24th over. A total of 250 looked inevitable, but the hosts’ skipper, who had scored an untroubled 60, skied Andrew Redfern to long-on, where Hadley took the catch comfortably. Some burst of mind saw the Camden captain turn to a bowler he had never seen, Duncan Gibson. “With Wazza getting hammered for the Twos at Horseheath I thought it was worth a punt,” the former all-rounder told mystified journalists later. In a five-over spell Gibson was hard to hit, and when Redfern finished with 10-1-45-1 the run rate had dropped. Hadley and Baker returned for the last seven overs, and thanks to two smart Collings stumpings, a catch at cover by youthful debutant Hugo Batley and a fiendishly slow final ball which hit the stumps, Baker finished with 5-61 (the most expensive five-for in Thirds history). Camden had done well: 212 was not so far out of sight as to be unattainable.

The Histon attack consists largely of young pace bowlers. Hadley was circumspect, but Redfern slammed two fours and a straight six before being well caught low down at cover. Stephen Hodsdon joined the Kiwi for a period of attrition, and the score was only 53 in the 17th over when the recently-engaged Marlburian was caught for 8. Collings began confidently, but the rate was 7 an over at the half-way point. Histon’s spinner materialised, and some lesser seamers: Hadley opened his shoulders with sixes straight and over mid-wicket and Collings stroked the ball into the spaces. With eight overs left, Camden needed 48, but after a partnership of 112 Collings shuffled across and was lbw to the returning paceman for a neat 38. Hadley steamed on towards a third Thirds hundred, but with only 27 needed from 5 overs and an improbable victory seemingly in the bag, Camden imploded: Robinson (4) flashed at a wide and was caught at the wicket, two balls later Hadley edged to the keeper for a fine 96, and Gibson was bowled first ball. Richard Shannon (3) perished hitting out and it was left to Baker (8*) and another youthful debutant, James Freeman (1*) to secure a fifth batting point as Camden ended 10 short after a splendid game. “Hadley and Collings’ third-wicket partnership is the third best for that wicket and 202 the highest score Camden III has made batting second,” revealed an excited archivist. “Hadley’s career batting average for the Thirds is now 82.88.”

Man of the Match: Richard Hadley

Match report - John Sutton


WARREN FLOURISHES AT THE EXPENSE OF RABBITS

09-05-09 - AWAY TO ELSWORTH

Camden - 212 for ?, Elsworth - 178 ALL OUT. RESULT - CAMDEN WIN

Confusion over start times still stalks Junior IIb, but gave the visitors time to familiarise themselves with two new club-mates. After winning the toss the captain and Andrew Redfern resumed their opening partnership, which to date had lasted only one ball… From the outset the theme was set by Redfern’s enthusiasm for putting the ball as far away from him as he could. Described by one observer as “not wasting balls” his 30 out of a stand of 37 established the tone and saw off Elsworth’s irascible opening bowler after one over. This bought Steve Hodsdon in for a protracted stay. Supported by Mitchell (victim of an “into the wind” run out (not exactly aerodynamic) and Andy Collings (31) Hodsdon made 51 before initiating a string of departures that was steadied by debutant Duncan Gibson’s violent 19 and Dave Warren’s “kick it or hit it” undefeated 28, the latter ably supported by Baker (16*).

As the opposition had been saying we had enough from 130, the total of 212 looked formidable and the thirds tucked into a fine tea, a little light personal abuse and an analysis of the place religion has taken in young people’s lives (reported: “why’s this pope bloke so important in Italy then?”). The (dis)advantage of so many educationalists in one place. The impression that the opposition may have been telling the truth was reinforced as Warren took three wickets in an over, assisted by a fine catch by Armstrong and adhering to his “new” full and straight “theory”. The second debutant Gavin Ayliffe bowled tidily taking 2 for 28 in his ten overs. However, soon the fielding side were paying for profligate grassing of catches as their tormentor of last season flayed the bowling to distant parts.

Martin Baker achieved some control, and was unlucky to have two relatively straight-forward chances off the dangerous-looking opener dropped. The captain then called on Redfern to work some magic, which, after a false dawn of excessive and unproductive finger wagging by the umpire, succeeded in removing Lewis for 95 of the inside edge. Redfern ended with 3 for 42, but Warren (3-18) secured his man-of-the-match status by securing the final catch, off the luckless Baker. Elsworth having gone from 25 for 6 to 178 all out Camden could breathe a sigh of relief and contemplate the cost of not taking catches.

“With the catching ends the pleasure of the chase” – Abraham Lincoln, who could have been talking about Camden’s pursuit of victory or the pursuit of giggling bar-maids….

Man of the Match: Dave Warren

Next week something apposite from A.S.Byatt and some more stuff about T.V. weathergirls.

Match report - David Michell


ROBBO FIFTY IN VAIN

02-05-09 - AWAY TO LITTLE SHELFORD

Little Shelford (20pts) 177, Camden (8pts) 124. RESULT - LITTLE SHELFORD WIN

New Thirds Captain David Mitchell immediately endeared himself to his team-mates by losing the toss at The Wale. The home side began cautiously against Callum Wilkinson and Dave Warren, and after eight overs were 26-2, Warren (who later ended with 2-37) having hit the stumps twice. However, despite the welcome but ineffective return of popular Fenland vocalist Matt Fox-Teece (0-23), the next wicket did not arrive until the 25th over, when the score was 124, by which time the spinners, Alec Armstrong and Richard Shannon, had been introduced. Armstrong accounted for the two big scorers, one stumped by Andy Collings, the other bowled. Shannon finished with 1-41 after Wilkinson had taken two nonchalant catches – one off each spinner, one one-handed – in the deep. The teenage sensation then returned to take 2-29 as the home side subsided to 177 (Armstrong 4-45). It had looked like being a good many more. Camden could take some satisfaction from having stuck to the task.

The die was cast in the first over after tea. Shelford’s Mansfield bowled fast and straight: Mitchell was bowled first ball by one that kept low, and the stylish Fox-Teece followed four balls later, also bowled without scoring. Andrew Redfern put bat to ball, his entertaining 24 including a straight six, but he was caught at the wicket with the score 32. Collings and Steve Robinson took the score to 68, when the Camden keeper was caught for 16. Andrew Matthews kept an end up as Robinson cut and drove elegantly to 51, but the recently-married exams executive was then bowled with the score 107. Matthews, John Sutton, Wilkinson and Shannon followed in very short order, and it was left to Warren and Armstrong – not out yet again – to edge Camden to a third batting point before the all-rounder was caught at the wicket.

Steve Hodsdon and Martin Baker return for next week’s game at Elsworth, but John Sutton has announced his retirement after 45 years of intermittently successful batting, 28 of them with Camden and seven as captain of the Thirds.

Man of the Match: Steve Robinson

Match report - John Sutton