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Nepotists CC v Northwood CC

Sunday May 13, 2018: 1.30pm. 40 Overs
Toss: Northwood, Bat
Northwood: 9 - 226, 40 Overs (Mason 3-29, Price 2-26, Styles 1-33)
Nepotists: 10 - 215, 36.5 Overs. (Styles 42, Hoar 40, Price 32)
Scorecard: Here

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I don’t think I’ve been as angry before a match as I was against Northwood. I don’t know if it was the frantic nature of my morning hastily spent trying to finish the ‘Haus Frau-ing’, getting Kahuna packed into the car (which takes more effort than shoe-horning 7 kit bags in) and fighting through London traffic to arrive later than I wanted, or the known fact that I just don’t enjoy playing Northwood.

As it was, that late arrival saw me walk angrily, virtually from the car to the middle to lose the toss and be asked to bowl. If there as some pleasure in the day, that was it. I wanted to bowl and release the anger on Northwood and, like last year, get it over inside 20 overs and go home.

As it was Rich Price (NZ) and Ryan Styles (PER) opened the bowling because in very un-Northwood style, they were all on the field for an on-time start and I wasn’t. I was dicking about trying to shoehorn the kit back out of the new dressing room (smaller than Kew’s) whilst getting the online scoreboard ‘online’ via network that was offline, whilst trying to find the key to open the window so I could run the power cable from the kitchen to the computer, whilst waiting 15mins to receive the name of the Northwood players, all of whom were strangely present, which is something I did not allow for. There hasn’t been a match since 2010 inclusive that 11 Northwood players were on the field until 30mins post start. So just when I needed them to be late, none were. Bugger!

As it was, with much shouting (something I excel) at young Kahuna (AUS), he was kicked off the field to score. With much reluctance or speed to get back to the computer to click ‘PLAY’, I was alerted to the shameful fact that debutant Kiso Kanth (SL), my recruit, had not shown up. With much shouting back at Kahuna to get back on the field to make up numbers, there I was the deserved villain. Late, one man short, fired up, and not opening bowling!

As it was, it took 17 overs for me to have a bowl after Rich and Ryan bowled their 8 overs straight in two very good spells that restricted Northwood to 59-3 off their 16 overs; Rich 2-26, Ryan 1-33. Nilesh Thacker (IND) replaced Rich, whereas my anger (POL) replaced Ryan, and together we allowed Northwood to add 55% of their current total in the 4 overs to drinks. Time for a change? No.

As it was, Nilesh continued. Though going for 8 in the first over after drinks, he carried on with a tight 7 over spell, taking 1-30. Conversely, the batsmen increased my anger through my 7-overs by putting the ball 49 times throughout Northwood for the loss of just one wicket. Conveniently, along with Nilesh, I only had one over remaining as I miscounted the overs with the scoreboard always behind. We both had to come on for just one over each at the end knowing we were short of bowlers and I for one am not very good ‘at the death’ so I couldn’t go for more than 36 more!

As it was Jim Mason (AUS) replaced Nilesh for 5 excellent overs, including 3 wickets in his final over, including Northwood’s righteous Rasta, whom should have been out for 0 twice, but whom went on to get 87, something that would keep Ryan awake most nights since. At the other end Dave ‘Mr Speaker’ Blackman (CBR) was entrusted to bowl 3 overs even though his 2 overs went for 30. Faith was not repaid as Dave ended with 44 to his name, something which we both hoped would be negated by a solid standing at #3.

As it was, chasing 227 for victory, Mr Speaker maintained his near equilibrium of runs versus position with 2 at 3 today, following 4 at 4 last week. To get the best from a very text-book stylish left-hander he should come in at 11. I digress as Dave replaced Nilesh after he very un-Nepo-like failed to warm-up appropriately, ‘pulled a hammy’ and retired hurt after a strong opening with Carl, and wouldn’t bat unless required, certainly hoping he won’t be.

As it was, Nilesh was required at the end as the Nepo’s failed to fire except again for Carl Hoar (ENG), bowled for a stylish Carl Hoar 40 off 66, Ryan whom took his season average to 101 with 42 off just 32 balls, and Rich whom clobbered 32 off 28 before clobbering an un-catchable return catch to the bowler. Aside that Jack Phelan (NZ) magicked his way to 15 off 33 after being bowled off a no-ball for 0. Jim was caught and bowled for 8 off 6, I dicked about for 9 off 13, while Steve Werren (AUS) maintained his red-ink with 7 off 12.

As it was, this wasn’t enough to protect our little NOTY’s in the making. Jai Thacker (IND) and Kahuna Sparrow (AUS) failed to trouble the scorers off a collective 3 balls and though Nilesh coming back at the end adding another 8 to reach 28, the Nepo’s fell 11 runs short, with just a few arguments for good measure knowing we claimed a minor victory at 140.

As it was, when Northwood’s Barmy Bajan (at 3) was given out LBW for 0, he raged to the umpire saying he hit it. With barely an argument, the Nepo’s invited him to stay. 87 runs later, the Nepo’s were chasing 227 instead of 140. It doesn’t help that he was also dropped on 0, again at 40, and probably twice more for all I care, as at this point, like Ryan, that decision has played on my mind for much time since. Good sportsmanship only feels good if the Nepo’s still win of course.

As it was, the Nepo’s once again just didn’t do enough when it counted. I let too many batsmen get comfy by allowing bowlers longer than usual or required spells, we (including myself) dropped too many catches and, more importantly, just didn’t get enough runs when it mattered (including myself!). At one point we only needed 38 runs with 5 wickets in hand so Barbados or not, we should not have fallen short by 11, with little to take from the game.

As it was, we did achieve a new world record (TBC), the first 6 Northwood wickets falling LBW with Steve breaking that trend stumping the 7th wicket. Nonetheless with just one feather in our cap from Northwood, the Nepo’s head to Kew still on top of the Non-League League, but with my anger still burning, fuelled by the disappointment of heading into the 5th match without a win to our name.

As it is, that is all.

Yours In Nepotism,

Lukey Sparrow

SCHWIM MOMENT: Jack Phelan. Attacking the ball at deep square leg to prevent the 2nd, Jack’s powerful throw, instead of over the bails, found its way to fine leg and to young Jai Thacker whom of course was not expecting the ball to come his way. Between Jack’s Noodle arm and Jai being only 15 and very match-unaware, the batsman ran 4. Just brilliant!

NACA: Dave ‘Mr Speaker’ Blackman for not only putting his shirt on backwards and not realising it, before he went out to bat he handed his phone to other Nepo’s saying, “My wife is 38 weeks pregnant. If it rings will you take my wife to hospital and give me an update!” FOTY!

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