Kent Over 50s
22 Apr 2012 - Gavan Burden
It was a glorious sunny morning when I took the covers off, on my own, at about 10.15 to let a bit of fresh air get onto a wicket that was in remarkably good shape bearing in mind the drought we are having. Strategy meeting sorted for 12.30, plus a bit of sewing (my, how versatile) and a warm welcome to three “new boys”, Jamie Rose (our very own Chronicle reporter), and Alan (the bat) Skilton and Mick (the stumps) Goodrich who are introductions of Gibbo from Wateringbury. I hope you all enjoyed your first game for the club.
My negotiations with Jim Phillips (overseen by a suspicious Fingers) resulted in Over 50s batting first in a 30 over contest with leniency on legside wides. Mikey (Rocket) Smith opened down the hill and once again provided a very sound opening spell that had Nigel Keys hopping around all over the place at one point, his 5 overs costing only 11 runs, 9 of which came off one over – but alas no wicket this week. It was the 10th over before we broke the first wicket partnership with the sedentary Keys lured into holing out at deep mid off to a catch, running backwards, by debutant Alan Skilton off Allan Churchman. 5 overs later Yeehaa Pettit yorked the dangerous Mark Alexander to much fist pumping delight which brought Jim Phillips to the crease to stroke an elegant 4 through the covers first ball. But a strategic knee injury to Bernie Clifton forced a change in field placing forcing him to 1st slip and Skip to the circle, a tactical move exploited by the cunning Gibbo who forced a dab straight into the new 1st slips hands! That brought the new Messiah to the crease from Bromley who also glided his first ball through the covers for 4 and bringing another tactical change (fielders on the boundary). Meanwhile Derek Towe was scratching singles here and there, aided and abetted by some rather wayward bowling – 24 wides in all (which seemed a bit non lenient in my book!!). Jamie Rose managed to hold one back and surprise the New Messiah which bowled him playing a week too early. Our fielding had been respectable, Mick the stumps was stretched to the limits, literally on some occasions, and was very tidy keeping wicket. The rains came as BT was struggling to grip the ball and we adjourned for a sumptuous tea prepared by RHB. The new strategy was to stuff Over 50s with cakes and batter pudding so they couldn’t run around and it partially worked – well, that and leaving the top-end bowlers footmarks uncovered 😉
Play resumed an Tommo and Skilton opened for us, proceeding steadily to 29 off 8 overs before Tommo played-on to Rupert Staples with help from his foot, and very next ball a yorker surprised Jamie Rose, but not Mark Alexander who “flapped the ball” onto the stumps to put paid to our debutant first ball. Paul Nash Joined Alan Skilton before the latter was Rogered by a ball from Terry Edwards that seemed to be clearing the stumps by a couple of inches bringing Nigel Taylor to the crease. Instantly looking at home and playing with plenty of time Nigel started gliding singles; meanwhile Paul was bowled by Rupert Staple (not an embarrassing way to get out at all) bringing Skip to bat and the New Messiah on to bowl. Back foot, front foot, back foot – all through the covers, Nigel put paid to the second coming and 15 off his first over brought us right up with the run rate. Skip stuck Amos for a couple of lusty swipes to leg before being Rogered too after a partnership of 35 giving Bernie Clifton his chance to shine. A partnership of 32 ensued keeping us in the hunt before Nigel chipped one up to his namesake Keys and ended a bright innings of 44. We then dwindled out of batters and overs to end on 118 for 8 after 28 overs, so technically I suppose we can claim a draw; though if we take away the wides and add a couple of 4s for the 2 overs we didn’t get we would have won.
Len Morris, the manager of Over 50s presented Skip with a tie after the game (which he said I’d probably never wear, and he’s probably right) and a few flattering words so that he could try to keep the fixture. I can’t wait for next year already!!
Next game Friday Vs Judd. The Rocket will be playing for them so don’t forget to pack your box!! Charlie is back in charge.
Charlie, I think we have pretty much full availability from those who played, but I guess you may have a few other OOs available now we have done the hard yards for you?