A new captain, a new era for Seveno
One of the delights of playing for Seveno CC is the opportunity it gives to visit areas of
London one would never otherwise see. Preston – I think we were in Preston – was once
a small hamlet which suffered terribly during the Black Death. More recently, a local
nobleman sheltered a plotter against Elizabeth 1 and consequently had his land seized.
For a long while, not much happened. Then came Seveno. And then again.
Our team was very different to the one that bashed Queensbury by 52 runs at the start of
last season. With Woz being exiled back to the antipodean colonies for being too intense,
and with Gautam still fine-tuning his ‘commuting to cricket from Spain’ plan and Clive
Kirk AWOL, we had a hatful of debutants and a glorious new captain, Randolph Rann.
Those wondering how the new regime would differ from Rez’s long and arduous reign of
terror had an early clue in the dressing room, when Randy announced that the man of the
match* would win a porn DVD. Latin Cum Queens, I believe. A fine troupe.
The second point of difference was that Randy won the toss (this sentence is unrelated to
the last paragraph). He set an attacking field, with two slips in place, and unleashed a
double Paul opening bowling partnership. Paul Harker soon found an excellent line and
length, tying their openers in knots and barely leaking a run. At the other end Paul Briant
started well, but lost his radar and suffered at the hands of Queensbury opener Adil, who
smote some mighty, uncomplicated blows. Suddenly other-opener Paul was
bellowing “That’s the 50 up”. He had contributed about 2 of them.
Finally Paul H got the breakthrough he deserved and had Paul plumb LBW; this started a
collapse. Young debutant Callum replaced Paul B and found a superb line, just clipping
the top of off stump. Three Queensburians were bowled in this fashion, and with fellow
newbie Stewart causing trouble at the other end, his hair catching the breeze like a young
Ryan Sidebottom, the wickets came in a flurry. He had Captain Randy to thank for a
superb low catch at silly mid-off, and Harx for bucket hands at cover point. His third
wicket came courtesy of a pea roller of a delivery, which did for danger man
Ryan. “Sorry”, said Stew to the departing batsman. How English.
Things were going so well that Harxy was getting tired from running in from the
boundary to celebrate wickets. “Who needs CK?”, he remarked after the fourth or fifth
went down. This was to prove premature.
First, we were held up by a stubborn last couple of partnerships, which dragged
Queensbury from an iffy 100 for 8 to a more respectable 178 all out, thanks to some
clean hitting, a dodgy LBW decision and a dropped catch (hi!). Matty B bowled
economically for no reward, Callum ended with an excellent, McGrath-like five for.
Second, we had to bat.
The fact that a) Paul Harker was promoted to number three and b) there was serious
consideration given to the idea of me opening tells you all you need to know about our
batting strength. By the end of the first over we were already 2 down, with Rann and
Harker back in the pavilion. Queensbury dangerman Ryan was bowling at a decent
pace, but not much in the way of resistance was offered. In a blink of an eye we were 20
for 7, and it was only thanks to Sean, Callum’s dad, coming in at 11 scoring a solid 25
not out that we reached our total of 48, with the match coming to an end courtesy of a
comedy run-out and a despairing dive from Stewart and a ‘I guess I can’t get away with
not giving this’ decision by square leg umpire Rann. Ryan, incidentally, ended with the
faintly unlikely figures of 5-2-6-6. Oh well. We have our chance for revenge later in the
*Never announced, so presumably still up for grabs. Hopefully didn’t go to the 14 year
Best Old Man Watching The Match From The Boundary
This award goes to the old man watching from the boundary, who turned up for the latter
stages of the Seveno innings to offer his words of wisdom:
On Stewart’s batting: “I wonder how he’d cope with someone tossing them up. He’s only
got that forward prod.”
On Seveno batsmen’s betwixt-over fist bumps: “What’s all this fist bumping? You
haven’t achieved anything”.
On the observation that things weren’t going well: “You could say that. It would be a
masterpiece of understatement.”
“Great stuff Seveno, this is great stuff” – Randy… shortly after he himself had taken a
spectacular low catch.
Denny, the D-Train, whose well-placed hoik up in the air resulted in his FIRST RUN for
Best super-sub fielding while technically at work
“Hang on control, I’ve just been called to the field of play’. Paul’s mate Ian takes leave of
his BBC radio van to field in tight jeans and loafers.
Best filial loyalty
Matty B, for giving his brother out LBW