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Sutton Old Boys Cricket Club (SOBCC) v Elephant Wanderers

SOBCC entertained Elephant Wanderers for their season opener, seeking to build on the success of 2017 where they finished first or second in each game.
Marsh (MCS) skippered the side and won the coin toss – with only a 50% chance of success this proved to be the high point of the day. Having chosen to bowl first it was with some relief that the opposing skip decided to bat.
Jeff Brooks took the field in his son’s cricket top. Unfortunately his son is only 9 and a third of Jeff’s weight. Michael Flynn (Mad Mick) was the last to enter the amphitheatre of dreams after making the most of his complimentary gifts from his personal sponsor for this season - Benson and Hedges. Mick and Hazlewood Jnr opened the bowling and restricted the opening batsmen to just 57 runs and over for the opening 8 overs (insert eye roll emoji). Hazlewood unlucky not to claim the first wicket of the season with Bebb (HOP) shelling a simple chance at point. MCS took responsibility having allowing someone with the reactions of a sloth and courage akin the lion from the Wizard of Oz to field in a catching position. It wasn’t a costly drop as their opener only added another 87 runs to his score of 8. Roger Hazlewood (VCVC) came on as first changed and bowled ‘sieve-like’ to concede 53 off his 7 overs, admirably matched by the scattergun bowling of Trevor McCarthy (SQ). 46 off 5 miserable yippy overs.
Despite ample vocal encouragement from MCS off his bowling, the same opener was dropped by Adam France (Frenchie). To empathise, VCVC repeated the dose twice – the same bowler and batsman involved. Paul Rees (Nick) demonstrated full commitment by throwing himself over the metal covers in a futile attempt to stop a boundary. The openers retired at the 25 over mark to allow the rest of the team to feast on the buffet bowling being served up by SOBCC. Mad Mick entered the spirit of the occasion by accusing both batsmen and umpires of cheating when not walking following audible nicks – a few B&H at half time calmed him down. Frenchie was asked to complete a quick 4 over spell. Why he chose to bowl all 24 balls in his first over was a mystery to all. Nick entered the ‘attack’ late on and claimed the first wicket – Jeff defying the constraints of his son’s top to get his shovel-like hands around the ball at backward point. Nick’s second wicked soon followed with a C&B. The only blemish on his figures being a swiftly run 3 to square leg where McGowen was his usual athletic self in open toed sandals.
VCVC, Martin Russell (MOP) and HOP, supplied a tea that would have graced any Venetian dining table………………….…during the great Plague of 1629-31.
With the strength in depth of the SOBCC batting line up it was evident to all that Elephant Wanderers faced an near impossible challenge to defend their measly 253 – 2 off 35 overs. MCS and VCVC confidently strolled out and took the opening bowlers to pieces scoring 24 off the first 7 overs (9 in extras). With SOBCC on the cusp of victory, the skipper departed for 11, having offered up 5 chances in his 17 ball innings. VCVC’s batting was so laborious that he celebrated his 58th and 59th birthdays during his innings of 16 off 22 overs (yes overs not balls!). He watched numerous batsmen come and go, offering similar resistance to that displayed by the French in WWII. Once VCVC departed, Elephant Wanderers found a couple of kids at the local park to polish off the tail, only HOP threatening double figures with a PB of 9*. SOBCC capitulated to 113 all out, narrowly avoiding first place but claiming a morale boosting second.
1st Innings: Elephant Wanderers 253 for 2 off 35 overs
Mad Mick            5 -0 – 35 – 0
Hazlewood Jnr 5 – 0 – 34 – 0
VCVC                     7 – 0 – 53 – 0
SQ                          5 – 0 – 46 – 0
MCS                       5 – 0 – 31 – 0
Frenchie              4 – 0 – 34 – 0
Nick                       4 – 0 – 22 - 2
2nd innings: SOBCC 113 all out
MCS 11, VCVC 16, Nick 5, SQ 7, Mad Mick 6, Jeff 4, Hazlewood Jnr 0, Frenchie 9, Doc 4, HOP 9*, MOP 5.
MOM – Martin Lewis – Club Doctor (Doc) – for taking time away from the surgery on a Sunday and being redder than the ball by close of play.
Team: Richard Marsh ©, Roger Hazlewood, Trevor McCarthy, Paul Rees, Michael Flynn, Jeff Brooks, George Hazlewood, Adam France, Martin Lewis, David Bebb, Martin Russell
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