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Harrow-on-the-Hill played us on a bank holiday Monday in a fine game with Simon Goodrham (71), Simon Christy (42), Simon Wigmore (46*) just falling short in a good draw.
Farnham Common started the league season. It rained, Wiji in good form 67. 162 not bad on a wet wicket. We bowled well but failed to take the last wicket but a winning draw.
Chalfont St. Giles lost the toss again but the early batting clicks. Fernando (57) hits his only fifty. Old Doug catches Boom Boom, if only he had played and caught their opener when their innings started we would have won as they hold on for a draw.
Fine bowling from Les Andrew and good batting from Scott and Wiji plus big hitting from Boom Boom brings our first win at White Waltham.
Coleshill - A fine looking track on a lovely day. We bat very poorly - six ducks all out 56 lose by 8 wickets.
Next the New Forest tour - four days of cricket. At Pylewell Park father (60) and son (126) Paskins put on 189 for first wicket before Paskins the younger retires. Only one man can bowl with 269 on the board - bring on Singing and the Old Git takes seven wickets but they just hold out. Cadnam the ever boring Graeme Paskins hits 102 batting at six but day two on the piss and bowling and fielding are starting to look ragged - lost by 8 wickets.
Brockenhurst a lovely ground full of cowpats and horse shit with a wicketkeeper to suit 26 byes - they mass 237. A good chase by Taplow sees everyone chip in but with four runs wanted with four wickets left we some how lose - Hutch for 11, Footlight then finds the middle of the plank he calls a bat and goes first ball, 2 runs later Simon Wigmore and Singing follow. Lost by 1 run.
Paultons - the game was set up for a good finish before the rain came down.
Back to the league Amersham Hill a match versus the Aussies. Paul Tarn hits a fine ton but not much at the other end. We bowl well but drop O'Keefe (124*) five times and lose by 5 wickets. Little Kingshill and little Billy boy gets out of barstool and top scores with 38 but its poor batting against a very poor side. Yet again we drop some one on 0 - he makes 87 and we lose by 2 wickets. Losing the toss on a wet wicket is a bad habit of mine and we lose to Littlewick Green.
Hurley blast their way to 257-3 from 44 overs. Scott (41), Paul (54) and Wiji (52) set us up for a win but the wind goes from our sail and it end a draw.
The best fielding was saved for Denham. Jonny, Les and Paul pick up a brace each. Batting Paul (41), James take us close but it was left to old heads Simon (21*) and Les to see us home.
Little Marlow they cheat and we just fails to win with Scott (45), Wiji (55), Lewis (32) all batting well.
Next it's the not so Great Hampden. They win the toss and bat - all out 54. Game over at 4.50. Pissed by 6.30. Waste of a day.
Stoke Green everyone again chips in as we bat okay but they hold out with two wickets left.
Braywood, it's wet and I lose the toss yet again. We survive just for 52 overs but only make 87-9. At 35-6 they're in trouble but we drop Ashton (45*) three times as they creep home.
Kingston not in our class as Lewis takes charge again and wins by 6 wickets.
Wiji (89*) back to form at Richmond but we bowl badly - lose by 5 wickets. The last game Royal Ascot. Billy Boy (47) gets us off to a good start. Graeme (78*) finishes it - 219 in 40 overs. It's been a long season so we field like we're glad it's all over. Drop Green (107*) three times and lose. My last game in charge.
Thanks to George, Dave and Doug for umpiring and Mrs Paskins and the not so little Laura for scoring. Last but not least thanks to our excellent tea ladies.
Our first match was against Wraysbury at home, putting them into bat first and restricting them to a reasonable total we made hard work of the reply and in the end fell way short in what was an uneventful game.
Chalfont St. Peter brought us another draw, Graeme Paskins dominated the batting hitting 165* leaving Chalfont 265 to get. Despite a good bowling performance from Mike Bradley we could only pick up six wickets and another draw, as Chalfont never looked like getting our total.
Our next game saw a mixed bag of first and second XI players as we faced Wooburn Narkovians. Good bowling from Dave Thornley and Mike saw Wooburn dismissed for 153 but again we failed to make a decent reply picking up our third draw in succession.
The next Sunday we took on a strong Windsor side who hit us to all parts of the ground with Fryer smashing a ton in rapid time. We couldn't match their total and only William Midlane and Scott Bradley put up any resistance.
Odney, our next opponents, saw Andy Mills pick up his first century for the Club seeing us to a total of 219. However we missed out on our first win of the year as Odney fell behind the run rate and dug in for a draw. Tim Isaac was our best bowler picking up four wickets. It was matches like this and Chalfont that our inability to knock over the tail was costing us victories. In previous seasons we could let Tony loose.
Chenies gave us another draw in a rain-interrupted match. The following Sunday was a new fixture against Frensham Pond. A good batting performance by Taplow and some charitable bowling by Frensham got us 218. Glen Plowman showed us a glimpse of his ability hitting 73*. Frensham made a good reply falling 18 runs short of our total even though they had eight overs less than us.
The following fortnight was a complete washout with no cricket played, I escaped to France and Jon Wrapson took charge of our next game against Addlestone. Our first nine batsman could only produce 31 runs and it was left to Dave Thornley and Chris Lowe to put some respect to the total. Addlestone knocked over our total without too much trouble.
A local derby against Burnham faced us the following Sunday. I put them into bat and they knocked up 199 for only four wickets. We couldn't reply to this with the exception of Andy Mills who was adding more runs to what was turning into a good season. Burnham skipper Colin Davies opened the game up early on but we failed to capitalise and he brought on his quick man Aubrey Bryan to try and mop up our tail. He started off well as Mike Bradley backed off to square leg revealing his off stump that was clattered with some pace. Jonathan Kellett and Andrew Lavender were of sterner stuff though as they hung on for the draw.
Holyport came halfway through the season and was somewhat of a burning point for us. I seemed to be winning the toss every week and started to employ what I thought was our best chance of a win. This was to put the opposition in, restricting them to a reasonable total and chasing. We did this well at Holyport not only restricting them but bowling them out for 149. Wickets for Simon Wigmore, Keith Paskins and Andrew McKersie and a spectacular caught and bowled from veteran Dave Thornley. Our reply was good; William Midlane and John Clark put on 113 for the first wicket. We reached the total for the loss of three wickets for our first win of the year.
Jon Wrapson took charge again for the following week and followed up our win with an excellent one against Bledlow Ridge. Chasing 201, we lost the first three batsmen for only 11 runs. The middle order dug in, Glen hitting 69 and Jagarth Fernando smashing 38 in the last five overs to win the game. Things were looking up.
We had Wraysbury the next week for the second time of the year but faced a weaker side. I lost the toss this week and was put into bat with only one regular opener in the side. I plucked up the courage and put myself in. This produced my first century for the Club as John Clark and myself put on 179 for the first wicket. I eventually got run out on 120 and declared the innings on 236. Apologies to Andy Mills as it left him stranded on 49*. However we couldn't bowl Wraysbury out despite using seven bowlers we had to settle for a draw. In our next game we picked up another win against Old Latymerians. Back to winning the toss I put them in. The bowlers responded well, bowling them out for 132 with Simon Wigmore picking up five wickets, Our youth policy was flourishing as William Midlane and Glen Plowman produced some top class batting putting on a century partnership to lead us to a good win. Jon Wrapson took the reins again the next week and we got a draw against Long Marston. A game perhaps we should have won falling seven runs short of a victory.
Redingensians were our next opponents. On what was a dreadful pitch we restricted them to 191 runs. Our reply however was not so good; we began dropping wickets rapidly and were starring defeat in the face. With nine overs remaining and only two wickets in hand, one being Tim who is more renowned for his attacking batting qualities rather than his defensive ones, we had to hang on for a draw.
Jonathan Kellett and Andrew Lavender showed us so called experienced players a lesson in concentration as they faced a hostile attack of two good Pakistani bowlers who insisted on appealing for anything and everything, and a field that didn't stray more than twelve feet from the bat. Despite the unwarranted sledging from their players they dug very deep. Unfortunately, Andrew got caught behind with the first ball of the last over. Tim came in to bat and saw his off stump flattened off a no ball, his next ball he dispatched to the outfield and it was left to Jon to negotiate the final four balls. Our best draw of the year!!
Braywood was next, another toss won and I employed my usual tactic of putting them into bat. However they posted a reasonable target of 208. Andrew Mills however was on excellent form who, together with Glen Plowman and an uncharacteristic innings from John Clark, took on the Braywood attack with some superb batting. Victory number four.
A draw against I.C.I. Paints left us with our traditional last game of the season against Datchet. Datchet won the toss and put themselves in, hitting 194 for seven, a generous declaration. Our reply was good, William Midlane finishing a good season with 48 and Graeme Paskins 38. But it was left to a guest player Graeme Fisher, who kindly played for us at short notice, to see us home hitting a rapid 44. Another win was a good way to finish the season that turned round halfway through, seeing us picking up five wins. With only two defeats it was a fairly good season and one that I was pleased about. Hopefully, next season will be even better.
My thanks to Jon Wrapson who stood in for me in my absence, Doug and Gerry Mills for umpiring. To Di Mills, María Paskins and Laura Kellett for the scoring and finally to all the tea ladies who keep me fed during the weekends of the cricket season.