GREEN BOWS OUT, TRIPATHI ANNOUNCES HIMSELF, EXTRA THIRDS ARE ‘BADDERED’
Stapleford (20pts) 300-9 beat Camden (8pts) 188-9 by 112 runs
Fifty for the first wicket, 188 for nine; it all sounds pretty promising, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, as is so often the case this is only half the story …
Stapleford, who the last time we had faced them had sprung Camden old boy James Johnson on us to score a 100 and be the difference, once again were fielding an Old Camdonian (is that a thing?), which given the long, occasionally distinguished history of the club should not be a surprise. This time, though, the difference was ‘Badders’, as James Badcock is known, returned from a mid-season injury last season to demonstrate a sort of one-day clean hitting that left the skipper, in as ‘keeper as well, and his bowlers a bit lost for answers. There were chances in his 131, but none that actually went to anyone…..To round off the picture; the first wicket came at 48, his partner had made 10, the next at 132, this time the partner’s contribution was 27. Economy rates were flayed, the first real chance came after his century when the keeper – brandishing vast flapping gloves – came nowhere near a straight up and down chance! Thankfully, soon after Ritish Raghavan had him caught at the wicket and some sanity returned. The remainder of the side had been kept well in check by some good bowling from Hridoy Dutta (2-51), Ritish (2-54) and Ramesh Bulusu (3-75). The pick of the bowling was new signing Abishek Tripathi whose 1-21 off six overs was in stark contrast. Nick Green, playing in his last match for us before heading South (a long way South) picked off a nonchalant catch in the deep, Paul Crossley, Douglas Mitchell and Mags Haworth (called in at the last moment) joined the general scurrying and chasing of leather as the skipper tried to plug gaps in a 360 target range. In the end, though, 300 at tea concluded a hot, bothersome 40 overs and left us clutching at the straw of the artificial pitch being pretty well behaved and short boundaries on one side for us as well.
Once Ramesh’s homemade (“not in my home, you understand”) delicacies were done with and we’d all admired the opposition’s flagpole and Union Flag combo, and decided that perhaps we should get a Camden flag made up (tender for designs is now open …), it was time for Nick’s last hurrah. He and Sourav Bhattacharya put on 52 for the first in good time and we began to dream. However, both returned disappointed in fairly close company. Hridoy kept the hitting up, Paul and Abishek played brief cameo supports and then it was time for the game-changer. Whenever and wherever he plays, Ginto George has impact. The game just isn’t fast enough for him and having been punished when bowling he was in the market to dish some out. His just under a run a ball 42 was a pleasure to watch and constant entertainment. For the remainder, the game degenerated, in the face of the target, into a pursuit of batting points. The highlights were Mitchell nearly killing Ramesh with a, well let’s be generous and call it an on drive shall we, that hit him squarely in the chest without a chance for movement. He wobbled, briefly, but, made of sterner stuff, shook it off, only to be run out by Mitchell at the earliest opportunity. The other moment of note came when Nick called a wide to, well, a wide ball and former Camdonian George Rolls took vast exception, so irritated in fact that he resorted to running out Mitchell backing up. Now Ritish, I’ve checked this and we are both right, he is entitled to, but not after the point at which he should actually have delivered the ball! While this is becoming more accepted in professional circles, here their skipper was quickly on the scene to withdraw the appeal and George himself managed a grudging apology an over or so later. Carried away by the competitive spirit in what was a testing spell as he mixed a lot of different bowling styles in an action he claimed had been taught by John Carter. Eventually, Doug came to the crease when Ritish had the misfortune to play on, again! As last man – or woman for that matter, his mother having left at tea so at least one parent was looking out for the “other child” – he saw out his over, relying on his father to farm the strike, hit the boundary, impart advice, set him on the path to greatness … or hole out to mid off first chance he got.
From the look of results before and after it seems Stapleford just reserve this sort of thing for us, but for the most part did it in good heart and with modesty. We wish Nick a great career in New Zealand, despite other old Camdonians (well one actually, you know who) telling him about snow on the ground in Dunedin and thank him warmly (!) for his time with us. As far as the homilies that are expected here go, I can only offer Stapleford this “Just wait ‘til we get you home”.