Sunday June 10, 2018: 1.30pm. 40 Overs
Toss: Nepotists, Bat
Nepotists: 8-162, 40 Overs (Mason 49, Hoar 26, Werren 22)
Chingford: 3-166, 30 Overs (Balden 1-18, Styles 1-39, Mason 1-34)
Opportunity to learn never fails to impress and by the time I arrived at Chingford at 1pm I had learned many things about many Nepo’s, some not seen or heard from in a long time.
1 – Debutant Karthick Co-op very uncooperatively decided to stay home with an ill child. Isn’t that why kids have mothers? Because of this late cry-off I subsequently learned -
2 – Roddy was flying 150 odd passengers and crew to Seville. We expect Roddy to supply the half time oranges when next donning lime green and magenta.
3 – Nick Grice (uncapped) was departing Southend International to not necessarily sunnier skies but certainly better beaches than that of the Thames estuary.
4 – Ron Elliott is in Tel Aviv, perhaps championing for the US embassy to return or simply lazing under sunnier skies, on better beaches than those of the Thames estuary.
5 – Bonza was ‘not around’. Wherever that is, not too many Nepo’s are around Chingford, ever!
6 – Chris Ellegard now has two children; I barely recall him having one, that’s how long it’s been.
7 – Stoney has an Achilles. Whether that’s the tendon in his heel or his cricket, but possibly both.
8 – Courtney Keep is in Canada, a suitable place to be during Canadian Grand Prix weekend.
9 – Stuart Fraser is rather ambiguously ‘out of town’ for summer as one way to avoid selection.
10 – Terrence Ford is rather ambiguously ‘not in town’. None of us are when in Chingford!!
11 – Alex Hayde is in Albania, a forthcoming member of the EU and perhaps his new European home. At least the Albanians and Alex know what’s right for them!
12 – Steve Jones is in Merseyside scouting for new Nepo’s that will be ‘in town’ in July / August
13 – Keith Scott is living in Leicestershire, revelling in the fading successes of the local football team rather than living in London and shining a light on fading Nepotist availability.
14 – Paul McCubbin is in Australia. I knew this but wanted to keep the bridge of communication just in case he was feeling the absence of Lime Green and Magenta and decided to leave his child with his mother. This is what mothers are for Karthick!!
15 – Nathan Coleman is developing the Nepo’s Italian arm in preparation for his return in 3 weeks to take on Royal Household.
16 – Roly Monk lives 60miles from Chingford, which should make him available for all other fixtures knowing they are not 60 miles from home, if distance was the only issue.
17 – Dave Blackman is caring for his 2-day old new-born! Congratulations Dave but again, mothers!
18 – A Nepo stalwart is under-going cancer treatment. Not for me to say whom as it’s not for me to assume it is already publicly known but do spare a thought for our favoured beverage name-sake.
19 – Basher is marking exams. Or should be.
20 – Leckers, Morris, and Andrew Cullen are incognito, like Kahuna’s internet browsing.
21 – Deep Sanganee should never field in a catching position
22 – Most learnedly, I discovered many Nepo’s are unavailable, which would be good to know before imposing myself on their quiet Sunday morning at home, abroad, or somewhere ‘out of town’.
My quest for education followed debutant Karthick's last minute cry-off with the need to personally contact almost every person I knew. When chasing up next week's availability I now know I can at least halve the number of people I need to hassle. Many hats off to Steve for having to do this each week for 6 years!!
I suppose they are all valid excuses for not answering the ‘11th hour call’ to make up the 11 to take on Chingford, except for debutant Karthick. For 20 years I’ve listened to my brother’s wife use their daughters’ ‘cold’ for their not visiting my mother; I've never known children to be so regularly ill that didn’t appear on a Sunday night current affairs programme or midday charity hand-out advertisement. So using an ill-child to justify your decision not to play does not warm me like a good rub of Vicks.
Heroically for the Nepo’s, Bruce ‘Basher’ Balden (ENG) dropped the red-marker, seeing the Nepotists more important than exams! So, with 11 on the card, after the longest pre-toss talk undertaken at all levels, and with one of the weakest teams I’ve commanded, I elected to bat to get some runs on the board. The sum of 162 in fact. Compared with our losing 274 last year, that was never going to be enough.
With few Nepo’s present by the time the toss was won, Steve Werren (AUS) was elevated to #2 with Carl Hoar (ENG) padding up at #1 by default. A solid opening of 48 in 17 overs ended when Steve was castled for 22 off 39. 18 runs later Carl was caught after a very casual 26 off 76. Magic Mike Sheldon (AUS), one of the two selection stop-gaps for the weekend, decided to pad-up to see which way the ball was turning. As bad luck would have it, it was turning into middle stump and he was fired for 0.
Jim Mason (AUS) came in at 4 and bludgeoned a four to announce his intent on reversing what was until then a rather lethargic performance. Rich Price (NZ) at #5 was his usual self, looking to hit big runs and run few. Alas he was rolled by the Bomber Dale of Chingford for 15 off 24, not before he and Jim put on 45 for the 4th wicket, which fell when we didn’t really want it to.
The ever-improving Jack Phelan (NZ) joined Jim and together they added 20 before Jim crucially was run-out for 49, a deserved 50 gone begging with the Nepo’s 5-133. This brought young Kahuna (AUS/POL) to the crease and with his repertoire of forward defence, stood-fast for 22 balls whilst amassing his highest score for the Nepo’s of 3.
In the meantime, Kahuna saw Jack walk off for 12 from 16, Lenard Co-Op (SL), from the Co-Op, run out for 2, and Kiso Kanth (SL), from the Co-Op, bowled for 0 off 2 earning him kit-duties, which he didn’t do, probably because Karthick’s child was ill!
I partnered Kahuna to the end, which I should have done last week, albeit with 2 lives. Running back for the 2nd to keep strike the keeper took a good throw from the deep, whipped off the bails, and stood shell-shocked at the not-out decision. Overcome with that, the keeper was at the forefront of further dis-grunt in the next over after the umpire reversed his OUT, LBW decision against me.
I’ve never-before been out LBW to a ball that went straight-through to the keeper and though with amazement I accepted the initial decision, a short debate resulted in the umpire changing this decision. I also accepted this change by yielding 13 runs off the next 4 balls, to take the Nepo’s to 162 and a tea that amassed a whopping 9.5 on the RichTea Scale. Pizza is always a winner.
30mins later, to reward his ‘answering of the call’ Basher rewarded the honour of opening inning by delivering a maiden. So comfortable he was, he chose to have another during which he got the breakthrough. Bring him on from both ends!! His success granted him a third over, with his spell ending 3-1-7-1, though ultimately finishing with 4-1-18-1 with another dip late in the inning. Rich opened from the other and bowled a luckless yet excellently restricting spell of 8-1-21-1, his final over yielding 10 and few NACA nominated chirps toward the batsman.
I replace Basher bowling 7 overs of inconsistency to drinks, finishing 7-0-38-1, that wicket being the first time we’d taken 2 Chingford wickets in one inning!
Drinks done, Jim continued where he left off replacing Rich, bowling 5-0-34-1 with an all-too-late breakthrough. Kiso replaced myself to deliver 2-0-30-0. Lenard subsequently replaced Kiso to deliver 2-0-12-0. Basher replaced Kiso for this 4th over, and Magic replaced Jim to roll over 2.2-0-10-0 to see Chingford home, all too easily, in all too fewer overs, with 7 wickets still in the shed.
No excuses. We didn’t have enough with the bat. We didn’t have enough with the ball. We didn’t have enough to play. Sums up the season really. I’ll have to start shopping at Tesco where I am sure there is a deeper talent pool.
Yours in Nepotism,
SCHWIM MOMENT: Jim Mason’s straight drive for four to open his account
NACA: Rich Price for suggesting Sri Lanka needed a ‘long boundary’ during the 2004 tsunami.