1. Cricket is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy (Stephen Fry)
2. FOOTBALL offers the world clichés; RUGBY produces facial deformity; HOCKEY provides an acceptable outlet for psychotic violence; CRICKET alone breeds myths... More quotes here.


Near but far: In which our heros nearly pull it off...: vs Rotten Livers 06 Aug 2017 (Season: 2017)
Report by: The Monty Red Barron

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Duck shoot
Surveying the carnage at Waterloo, the Duke of Wellington remarked that it had been "a damned near run thing". Captain Dills could have been forgiven for a similar sentiment in our most recent game, although tragically fate cast Dills in the role of Napoleon, not the Iron Duke.

Sunday dawned bright and to Wimbledon we trundled for a second matchup with the Rotten Livers. The mood was jolly, even more so when Yesterday's Man turned up to wish us well and dispense some sage advice to Dozy.

Dills, the complete deal as stand-in Captain, won the toss and elected to bat. The wicket looked generally reliable, although a Lord's-esque slope added some intrigue. Steady opener Dozy and in-form Daveski opened the account in the usual style. The former watchful, patient, composed, whilst the latter went big, with almost the first ball dispatched to a distant boundary. Unhappily the luck which has stuck to Daveski this season deserted him as opening bowler Umar rearranged his stumps with a beautiful ball. Padders found the mercurial Umar similarly hard to play and was caught on one.

In went new man Sai (nickname pending) who looked in fine touch, until he too misjudged the slope and the ruthless Umar to see his timbers redeployed to the deck. Sai was followed up by Asanga, making a welcome appearance for Salix. With Dozy now timing the ball nicely, and Asanga in similar good form, runs started to flow. A partnership worth 20 was soon on the board and at 52 for 3 things started to look brighter.

Alas it was not to last. Dozy was run out and Asanga was LBW soon after. However, Granty proved a good replacement for Dozy and with your correspondent getting a few of his own at the other end, the total continued to mount. When Granty feathered a ball to the slips (and, gentleman that he is, didn't even wait for the finger to be raised) we knew we were in trouble.

Nevertheless, the Salix tail has wagged on more than one occasion this year, and there was no reason to think that we might not make 100 on a slowish pitch that seemed defendable. However, the RL bowling ripped through the Salix tail like grapeshot through the Imperial Guard.

I should, at this point, take some responsibility. Whilst my batting was an uncharacteristic "not dreadful", my calling was...less accomplished. Having earlier sent Granty back to regain his ground in a bit of a hurry I then managed to top that by leaving Smutty some distance short of his crease. I can only apologise. I'm sure it will not be mentioned again.

In the end we were 82 all out.

Scoff was delightful and taken al-fresco, with many excellent Mr Kipling goodies. Dills is an employee of the company and as such the following, wonderful, exchange was heard:

Dills: Good choice of Mr Kipling, I work there. Dozy: What is the man himself like? Dills: Exceedingly good.

As cricketers we may leave something to be desired, but as raconteurs we are peerless.

As the RLs took the field we were in a thoughtful mood. True, our total was smaller than St Helena (I'm getting a lot of mileage out of this metaphor) but had we not rumbled Islip in a similar situation?

Our hope was well founded. Bala bowled a beauty first ball which induced an uppish drive which Sai took in excellent style just above the grass. With the first over gone Padders emerged and it was a sight to behold.

With all the aggression of Marshall Ney (still going) Padders ripped through all who opposed him (including a caught and bowled at ankle level). A maiden was followed by a wicket maiden followed by 3 more wickets in the next 2 overs. Finishing with figures of 13-4-7, only a drop denied him a fivefer.

At the other end other Salix members also contributed. Granty was economical as was Sai, and with Dills adding two to his total. The fielding was also superb. Smutty held one at point with Granty and Sai both snaffling tough chances. At one point, with the RLs 5 down and less than half way to the total, we dared to dream, but it was not to be.

A display of excellent technique and application for a 9th wicket stand saw the Livers home and we were denied a very real chance. 20 runs more to defend might have been enough. If only we had batted slightly better. If only I hadn't run out Smutty. If only Grouchy had marched to the guns (last one I promise).

However, full credit to the oppo, who bowled superbly and batted well. Excellent hosts and a very fun day. To the pub for much talk of these events...

Salix CC versus Rotten Livers at Raynes Park on 06-08-2017(Timed Game)
Salix CC (batting first)82all outoff32overs Match Lost
Rotten Livers83for 7off23overs
NoPlayerScoreHow Out
1.Dave Henig5Bowled
2.Chris Lamont22Run Out
3.David Padmore1Caught
4.Sai Balasubramaniam2Bowled
5.Asanga Fernando14LBW
6.Andrew Grant7Caught
7.Oliver Ferrari7Not Out
8.Tim Collins0Run Out
9.Irwin Sarif0LBW
10.Dillan Unadkat0Bowled
11.Balakalyan Kakumanu0Caught
1.Balakalyan Kakumanu3015115.0018.005.00
2.David Padmore731343.2510.501.86
3.Sai Balasubramaniam50150--3.00
4.Dillan Unadkat5026213.0015.005.20
5.Andrew Grant30130--4.33
Sai Balasubramaniam1catch
Tim Collins1catch
Andrew Grant1catch
David Padmore1catch
Asanga Fernando1drop
Dave Henig1drop

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