Take a stroll down memory lane with club news and match reports from the Jesters CC 2007 season.
Updates appear in reverse chronological order...
1st October - Annual dinner at Lord’s
The 2007 AGM and dinner will take place on Friday 23rd November in the MCC Committee Dining Room in the pavilion at Lord’s.
26th September - Final tally
In 2007 we won 9 games, lost 8 and drew 4. Not quite as good statistically as recent summers - but with the large number of limited over games we now play comparisons with previous seasons are difficult. There were a lot of close games - especially in the second half of the season - which made for enjoyable cricket. And we were rarely outclassed (although this did happen). Most memorable victories were probably those at Amersham, Ashtead and Canford.
23rd September - Barnes Common
For the second season running we needed six to win off the last ball - and didn’t manage that remarkable feat.
Our new fixture with Barnes Common was a great success and we are already looking forward to next year. One novel feature was the use of an orange ball to counter the background of dark trees surrounding the ground.
Match manager Nick Mumby tells the story
"Jesters won the toss and decided to have a bowl. Barnes got off to a flyer, with the orange ball disappearing to all parts of the ground. Even two early wickets failed to stem the flow of runs, as the fast outfield, short boundary and aggressive hitting from the Barnes top order kept the scoreboard ticking over at an alarming rate. Having removed S. Beri -caught by Ollie Doward off Sandy Ross - for a whirlwind 58 off only 28 balls, we eventually managed to pull them back. Good spells of bowling from Murphy (2-36), Dodd (2-35), Ross (2-39) and Bridcut (2-41) kept them to 220 from their 35 overs.
“To chase this we needed to get off to a decent start, and openers Ponniah Vijendran and Simon Cleobury set about providing a platform for the team to build on. Cleobury looked in good touch, with some lovely driving through the covers, before he lost his off stump to a ball which barely got off the ground. At this point the scoring slowed, and the loss of Will Drake to a sharp return catch soon after led to another rise in the required rate.
“Bob and Ollie Doward got us back on track, and when Bob succumbed to their Aussie skipper for 69 the Jesters still looked favourites. Barnes, however, now tightened the screw and runs dried up, and when Doward was dismissed for a superbly made 54 we still had 40 runs to make for victory. Despite the valiant efforts of Wilson and Dodd their bowling at the death was just too tight and we failed to make the target by 3 runs.
“It was a splendid day out, and a very fine addition to the fixture card, but a great shame not to have ended the season with a victory. Let's hope we can change that next year!"
11th September - Great win at Amersham
Amersham’s total of 255 in a 45 over game was a formidable target. But we pipped them at the post after a thrilling run chase.
Amersham had turned out a strong side so we were delighted to reduce them to 137-7, including their giant Australian who’d recently scored a 52-ball century in the league. Their captain and tailenders put together an excellent recovery against tiring Jesters bowling and we thought 255 possibly beyond us.
This was not a view shared by Ponniah Vijendran who raced to 50 off 37 balls. Will Evans - a man who had scored a century at Hurlingham earlier in the season - could only watch in awe, contributing just 8 to an opening partnership of 67. Runs continued to flow but Amersham began to work their way through our batting. 80-3 became 150-4 and then 176-5, with the required rate hovering around seven an over.
At this point Ollie Doward and Roger Greenslade came together in what turned out to be the crucial partnership. Deft deflections and stealthy running kept the runs mounting. But we were falling behind the rate against a tight attack with the spinners particularly hard to put away. Ollie launched a six over extra cover and the opening bowler was recalled in response.
His first delivery slipped, running to the boundary for five wides. The second was dismissed over long off by Roger for a truly cathartic six. To be followed by three consecutive fours all through the covers. 23 off the over!
That was turning point and we cruised home with two overs to spare. A margin that doesn’t reflect how tight a finsh it really was. Roger’s 48 came off 31 balls and Ollie’s 47 off 44.
Many thanks to Amersham for a great afternoon’s cricket.
5th September - Tight scrap at Bray
We won a low scoring dogfight with Maidenhead & Bray.
Jesters: 127 for 8 (40 overs) J. Bridcut 47, A. Short 20,
Maidenhead and Bray:108 all out (33.1 overs) A. Dodd 4-25, J. Murphy 3-10
Match Manager John Murphy tells the story:
“The captain's decision to bat first on a slow track looked to be a poor one, as the Jesters collapsed to 29 for 5 in the fifteenth over. However, the lower middle order put in a battling performance to restore credibility and to give us a target to defend.
“The recovery started with Charlie Wilson's patient innings. Wilson played himself in sensibly before he was trapped plumb in front. Jonny Bridcut and Andrew Short then added a crucial partnership of 53. Scoring 47and 20 respectively, both were stumped trying to increase the scoring rate in the last few overs of the innings.
“Chasing any three figure score would not be easy and tales from yesteryear of low-scoring Jesters victories at Bray gave the bowlers confidence. Bridcut got an early breakthrough, the fourth LBW of the day, and Matt Berry bowled tightly. John Murphy took three top-order wickets, returning figures of 3 for 10 from his eight overs. Murphy was supported well in the field. Brian Pote-Hunt took a superb diving catch at cover point and Roger Greenslade took a sharp chance standing up to thestumps.
“With Maidenhead and Bray 94 for 5 the game was on a knife-edge, but fortunately the Jesters' bowlers and fielders stayed cool under pressure. Off-spinner Allan Dodd claimed 4 for 25 from his eight overs and one of his wickets was due to another excellent catch, this time by Roger Wilcock in the covers.
“Perhaps the most satisfying moment of the afternoon was a father-and-son run-out, as George Greenslade's accurate throw from point was taken by his father, Roger, who removed the bails. The match was brought to a close when a grubber, delivered by Short, rattled into the number eleven's off stump.”
26th August - Chobham
We registered a comfortable five wicket victory at Chobham. Playing a 40 over game, we restricted them to 132-8 on a slow pitch which made both run-scoring and wicket-taking difficult. Jonny Bridcut (4/21 from 10 overs) and John Murphy (3/28 from 10 overs) were our leading lights.
In reply we ground through some early overs until Roger Greenslade arrived at the crease and began playing shots all round the wicket with sublime timing that had previously seemed impossible in the conditions. He raced to 54 and we won with 10 overs to spare.
The most noticeable aspects of the game were the Jesters debuts of two youngsters: George Greenslade aged 11, and Isaac Swann aged 9 (has there ever been a younger Jester?). They fielded with guts and skill and clearly have big futures. Isaac’s attempted full-length diving catch at extra cover was one of the moments of the season. He would surely have made the catch if his hands had been just a little larger.
13th August - Rickling Green
We lost a tight game by 13 runs in this delightful new fixture on the green at Rickling Green near Stranstead. Match manager Ollie Doward takes up the story:
“This excellent addition to the fixture list was played on the beautiful village ground at Rickling Green with the road doubling up as the boundary and the local pub handily situated at fine leg.
“Due to the area's unique micro-climate (according to local folklore), very little rain had fallen this summer and we were presented with a parched, cracked surface. Invited to bat first, Rickling struggled to a total of 153-7 off 43 overs. John Murphy and Matt Berry bowled tight opening spells without much luck before Andrew Short continued his fine form, operating unchanged for 11 overs to take 5-29.
“This left us very little time to make the required runs. Robbie Hudson and Roger Wilcock got us off to a rapid start, but their tall opening bowler bowled with considerable venom and ripped out the top order - this in spite of refuelling between overs in the fine leg beer garden.
“With only 9 overs bowled before 20 overs was called the odds were stacked against us. Charlie Wilson and Ollie Doward (32) set about the bowling but when the former played on and the latter fell victim to the infamous Rickling peashooter, the innings fell away. John Murphy made a valiant effort to haul us over the line by peppering villagers' rooftops but we fell just short, bowled out in the penultimate over for 140.”
9th August - Cuckfield
It was another enjoyable day out in Cuckfield’s cricket week. We finished just 14 runs short of their 254-5 with two wickets remaining. Matt Hepple and Brian Pote-Hunt both scored half centuries in the chase but we crucially lost a bunch of wickets around the 20 over mark when seemingly well set for victory.
5th August - 1 wicket defeat in last over
We lost a hard fought and gripping encounter with Lord Gnome’s XI - by one wicket in the final over. Those who played thought it the best game of the season so far.
We played on the Queen’s College ground in Oxford, a pretty spot on the banks of the Thames. Fortunately the college had the foresight to construct it on a small plateau so saving it from the flood waters that still covered a neighbouring pitch.
Our 194-8 was held together by a disciplined knock of 56 from new boy George Shepherd, a recruit from Canford Cygnets. In the face of tight bowling it was difficult to cut loose and the rest of got out trying. Except for an enterprising 26* from Jonny Bridcut which showed us how it could be done.
In response Lord Gnome were soon 9-2 in the face of a slippery opening spell from Bridcut and Matt Berry’s late movement. They recovered to 98-3 but then lost wickets regularly as steady Jesters bowling and energetic fielding turned the screw. The game swang back and forth. Until the ninth wicket fell at 184, just ten runs short.
There followed five overs of unbearable tension as they edged towards victory. A wicket seemed possible with every ball, Jonny Bridcut firing it in from one end and Nick Mumby running through his bag of tricks at the other. But it was not to be and they crept of the finishing line with just two balls to spare.
30th July - Dodd the Destroyer
The last Roehampton pair held out well - with fielders all round the bat - to secure a tense and honourable draw. Allan Dodd had the remarkable figures of 7-11.
Match manager Robbie Hudson tells the story:
“I had no drop-outs and two people phoning me in the week of the game to ask to play. Typically, we only had seven at the toss. I'd still have fielded if I'd won, because the pitch was green and soggy, but I didn't, which turned out to be the crucial moment of the day.
“In very difficult conditions, Fred Price struck the ball beautifully for 35, and then new boy Adam Johnson took over. His 59 was the bedrock for the Jesters' excellent 190, aided by late flurries from Will Evans and Dave Hancock. (Best moment: Will Evans strikes a beautiful six over midwicket. Keeper says, 'Great shot!' Will says, 'Yes, it was.').
“After a 35 minute tea break, Roehampton never got going. In their 36 overs, they scored 70-9. They were surrounded by fielders throughout, and the bowlers were backed up by excellent catching from the likes of Harty and Price. When I say the bowlers, I mean 'Allan Dodd.' Ali Evans needed no back-up for his two wickets, and Allan took the other seven, at a cost of eleven runs in eleven overs, including one brilliant return catch. Roehampton had a decent side - they simply got out whenever they tried to attack AD.”
26th July - History made at Horsham
The Horsham game was notable for three things. 10 overs of cricket, which seems quite a lot this summer. Gale force winds which blew over the sightscreens, narrowly missing nearby children. And the first lady ever to be a member of a Jesters side - Elaine Hardy, Simon’s wife. Sadly the weather prevented Elaine making it onto the field of play. In the 10 over before the deluge arrived we scored 58-1 (Alex Smith 34* including a six onto the Pavilion roof).
23rd July - Gemini
The less said about are performance against Gemini the better. Forced to bat first on a wet wicket, as several of our side hadn’t turned up by the start of play, we were bowled out before lunch for 77. They were 61-0 when the rain arrived - so we escaped with an ignominious draw.
20th July - Dorset tour
Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this year’s tour was that in this most dreadful of summers we were able to complete all four games. On the field of play we were rather below par all week - except for a good win at Canford. How much this was due to the amount of fun had off the field is an open question.
The Bryanston Butterflies game was most certainly not our finest hour. Embarrassingly, at 11.30 only four Jesters were at the ground. After a very late start we subsided to 81-5 with minds still on the motorways of southern England. Ollie Doward (35) and Andrew Short (44) doubled the score but we were soon all out for 180 after they went. Far too few. We fought hard in the field, taking some improbable catches, but never stretched a strong Bryanston batting line-up. 5 wickets was the margin of defeat.
Canford was a different story. On a very wet wicket after overnight rain, our 234-7 was an excellent total. Andy Newton’s 52 was as good a wet wicket innings as you’ll see. And on his solid foundations the Rawson brothers (Jason 52, Simon 26) and Ollie Doward (38*) built quickly. In the field, everyone contributed as we bowled out the Cygnets for 149. It was especially good to see Simon Rawson back in harness after injury, bowling a relentlessly accurate 14 over spell (3-32). Champagne moment was Ollie Doward’s salmon leap of a catch at backward point, clinging on as the ball went away from him.
Against the Hampshire Hogs we again failed to score enough runs batting first. Our very own Jonny Bridcut did the early damage for the Hogs, taking 3 wickets, before Will Drake and Joe Phelan led a recovery. But our 180 was never likely to be enough - and so it proved when the Hogs won more than comfortably by 8 wickets. For once, though, we did make it into the newspaper columns.
The final game saw us beat an under-strength Clayesmore Cormorants. After lending them several players we bowled them out for 110 and knocked off the runs with only a few alarms.
Many thanks to all our opponents for their hospitality. We will try to play better next year.
10th July - Great win at Ashtead
Ashtead 192 (45.3 overs). Mortimer 59, Berry 4-40, Murphy 3-17
Jesters 195 for 1 (37.0 overs). Drake 82, Hudson 61*, Extras 45
Match manager John Murphy reports on a 9 wicket victory at Ashtead:
“Almost a month had elapsed since the Club's last fixture, so a strong Jesters side was eager to show the cricketing world what it had been missing. The team did not disappoint, and the all-round performance was as good as any I have seen by a Jesters side.
“The Ashtead skipper had no hesitation in opting to bat first on a decent surface in what were near perfect weather conditions. Ali Evans opened the bowling with pace, making an early breakthrough as he trapped the opener leg-before. At the opposite end, Matt Berry exerted pressure throughout his fourteen over spell. Four batsmen succumbed to Berry's nagging line-and-length.
“Berry was ably supported in the field: Alex Smith took a brilliant diving catch in the covers of which Paul Collingwood would have been proud, Robbie Hudson claimed a stumping and Nick Mumby held on to two sharp chances in close.
“Mumby went on to take a third catch, this time off his own bowling, in a variation-packed thirteen-over spell. He was unlucky not to take more than two wickets. John Murphy then wrapped up with innings by taking 3 for 17. The innings came to an end with a superb running and diving catch at long-on by Tim Harty, who kept intact the Jesters' perfect catching record for the afternoon.
“Few risks needed to be taken early on in our reply as the opposition bowlers provided a steady flow of extras to keep the scoreboard moving. The openers, Will Drake and Hudson, took time to play themselves in, but, when established at the crease, they scored freely. Spectators were treated to the rare sight of a Hudson cover drive (his first in three years apparently).
“The opposition bowling improved, with leg-spinner Luke Mursaleen bowling a particularly good spell, but the Jesters batsmen were always on top.
“By the time both openers had reached their fifties, the weather had begun to turn. Sensing the possibility of a rain-affected draw, Drake accelerated the scoring, elegantly hitting boundaries all around the ground. By the time he was caught at long-off on 82, only a few runs were required for a Jesters victory. Richie Patel knocked these off in style.”
3rd July - Rain, rain and more rain
The last three games have all been cancelled. Deutsche Bank and Merrow both called their games off on the morning after heavy rain. HAC were unable to raise a side - but it rained anyway.
9th June - Perfect summer’s day at Jesus
We beat Jesus College, Cambridge by 4 wickets on a blissful summer’s day with the college buildings gleaming in the background.
Match manager Ollie Doward writes:
“After a week of wet weather in the Fens, the Saturday fortunately dawned clear and blossomed into a picture-perfect day in the cloistered calm of Jesus College, former stomping ground of blade-wielding legend Ted Dexter.
“Brushing off the misfortune of impounded cars and shoeless bowlers, a depleted Jesters won the toss and inserted the opposition. Things looked ominous as their openers immediately took the aerial route and raced to 60-0 off the first 10 overs.
“However, exceptional spells of tight bowling from Simeon Douse and Tim Harty reined them in and paved the way for the spinners to wreak havoc. Their middle order was bamboozled by the flight and dip of Andrew Short's wily left-armers (4-22 off 8 overs), drawing awe and wonderment from the watching students basking pitchside in post-exam reverie.
“Off-spinner Anush Newman (3-16), one of five ex-Jesuans on view, mopped up the tail as the students subsided to 145 all out in the 40th over.
“We made rather heavy work of the chase. Robbie Hudson (68) was the mainstay, cutting and pulling his way to yet another half-century on this ground. And after a mid-innings wobble, James Douse stayed calm to guide us home, assisted by some meaty blows from Sam Grimshaw.”
3rd June - Second best at Epsom
We lost to Epsom by 39 runs in a limited overs game. The scores were:
Epsom: 279-8 (40 overs), W. Moore 104 (from 78 balls), B. Hudson 77, P. Vijendran 5-82, M. Berry 3-37
Jesters: 240 all out (39.5 overs), P. Vijendran 76, A. Jones 64, A. Smith 58, Secchi 5-69
Special thanks to Alex Smith for taking on the captaincy at no notice when the match manager failed to turn up.
One Jester who did turn up has supplied this account of the match:
“The game was a good one and was played in very good spirit. Tthe opposition provided us with three players; two of whom were very good (including an excellent wicket keeper).
“The Jesters won the toss and elected to field. The pitch was a good batting track. Tight bowling and fielding early on ensured that the Jesters took an early advantage with Bob (Ponniah Vijendran) taking three early wickets with his medium-pacers. However, a fourth wicket partnership of 169 between Messrs Moore and Hudson ensured that Epsom reached a strong position. Mr Moore’s innings included some very large hitting, whereas Mr Hudson’s was much more controlled. Nick Mumby bowled well, with lots of variations, and was unfortunate not to take a wicket. Matt Berry claimed three late order wickets (including a stumping off a wide) and was on a hat-trick.
“In our reply Alex Smith and Bob shared a quick-fire opening partnership of 138. They had few problems against the seamers, however the introduction of the spinners brought about their downfalls. Our guest player, Mr A Jones scored a very good 64, which included some big hits, however the run rate required in the last ten overs was just too high for us to achieve. Allan Dodd played an entertaining innings in the last few overs.
“Thanks must go to Alex Smith for taking on the captaincy at short notice and to Epsom for providing us with guest players, an excellent tea and a good game.”
20th May - 10 wicket win at NPL
To the accompaniment of the green parakeets from nearby Bushy Park, we beat NPL by 10 wickets before the start of the 20 overs. Although, as we only had nine players, that margin of victory is probably a mathematical impossibility.
Star of the show was Ponniah Vijendran who smashed 102* in the 19.1 overs our innings lasted. At the other end, Robbie Hudson’s 30* latterly included much self-denying blocking to ensure enough runs were available for Ponniah’s century. Well done both.
Earlier in the piece we had bowled them out for 150 on a decent wicket, slow men Allan Dodd and Andrew Short doing much of the damage. NPL were somewhat weakened by the late withdrawal of their overseas pro.
This game also saw the debut appearance of Patrick Allen’s labrador puppy Coltrane. We look forward to further contributions from him later in the season.
13th May - Rain at Broadhalfpenny Down
The game with Broadhalfpenny Brigands was called off due to wet weather the previous week.
6th May - First win of the season
We recorded a good victory at St. John’s College, Cambridge, chasing down their 218-7 in the penultimate over with three wickets remaining.
A good wicket and short boundaries made for fast scoring, as their openers proved by racing quickly to a hundred without loss. But once they were separated the scoring rate slowed against our spinners. Nick Mumby with three was our leading wicket-taker.
We were left 33 overs to score the runs, a very fair declaration in the conditions. After some solid early partnerships, a century stand by Tony Crockert (59) and Adnan Mohammed (72*) took us to the verge of victory. A minor wobble saw us lose three quick wickets but Adnan calmed our nerves by launching a six over mid-wicket to win the game.
1st May - Misfire at Missenden
On a curious wicket, we lost a game we probably should have won against Little Missenden Misfits. The Misfits had done well to prepare any sort of pitch with their heavy roller out of action for weeks. But conditions were dead slow with erratic, sometimes extravagant bounce and plenty of sideways movement.
Robbie Hudson (47) and Andrew Short (40) took us slowly to 120-2. But it was difficult for the lower order - mostly batting for the first time this season - to force the pace before tea. We thought our 154-9 was perhaps 30 runs short.
Our bowling was similarly rusty. Even so the tasty array of long hops we served up to their powerful opening batsman was disappointing. When he was eventually lbw for 66 with the score on 93 it began to look a different game. John Murphy and Sandy Ross both bowled well, but time was on the Misfits’ side. We eventually lost by 5 wickets in the penultimate over but felt at any moment we could have taken the last few wickets..
Thanks to the Misfits for their hospitality. It’s a pretty setting and the tea was first class.
25th April - Run feast at Hurlingham
The 2007 season began with runs galore at Hurlingham. Baked by April sunshine the wicket was even more a batting paradise than usual and our 335-7 was not enough. We lost by six wickets. For those of you who don’t know the Hurlingham ground, successful chases of over 300 are not uncommon.
Match manager Simon Cleobury reports:
“The Jesters season began in glorious sunshine at Hurlingham. There was not such a glorious start for Simon Cleobury who edged the first ball of the match to the keeper. However, we soon recovered through some big hitting from Ponniah Vijendran. Sadly, his innings came to end with a rapid 50 in sight. Two more wickets fell to leave us 73 for 4. Will Evans and Alex Smith then consolidated in style seeing us through to lunch with no further alarms. After the usual leisurely Hurlingham lunch, Will and Alex opened up and the scoring rate increased massively. So much so that Will scored his second fifty off only 20 balls to reach a very entertaining century. Meanwhile Alex was making his way to an assured 77. Once those two had gone (Will for 124) some big hitting from Nathan Reay and John Murphy took us to 335 for 7.
“In response, Hurlingham got off to a flyer and by tea we had lost a number of balls out of the ground, seen tiles fly off local roofs and Hurlingham reach 98 for 1. Andy Sutton came on just before tea to end the mayhem by taking the wicket of their left-handed opener. John Murphy struck soon after tea to remove the other opener - a well judged catch taken by Paul Durban. At the other end Andy Sutton was in the middle of a long, accurate spell of line and length, ably helped by Matt Drew standing up to the stumps. Sutton and Nick Mumby bowled well in tandem for a while, but the runs were always easy to come by on an excellent batting track with one very short boundary. With Hurlingham cruising to their target we did finally manage to break the big third wicket partnership, wickets being taken by Nathan Reay, made by a stunning catch behind the stumps by Matt Drew, and Will Evans. In the end we lost by 6 wickets with 4 overs to spare. So a comfortable win for Hurlingham, but an excellent game of cricket on a lovely April day.”
28th March - No midnight revels
Sadly Midnight Cricket Club have cancelled their game with us on 15th July. They fear they will be unable to raise a side as many of their regular players will be at a club member’s wedding the day before.
10th March - Another new fixture
We’ve just arranged to play Epsom on Sunday 3rd June, the day after the Derby which takes place nearby. Epsom dropped off the fixture last season but many of you will remember playing there in previous years.
20th February - New fixtures for 2007
This season we can tempt you with as many as six new fixtures: Little Missenden Misfits, Deutsche Bank, Hampshire Hogs, Midnight Cricket Club, Rickling Green and Barnes Common. With possibly one or two more to come. There is now a game on almost every weekend of the season.
Many thanks to Simon Cleobury for his hard work arranging these and filling the several gaps in last year’s fixture list.
15th January - Dates for nets at Lord’s
This year nets at the Lord’s indoor school are on Tuesdays, 7-8pm. Dates are 6th and 20th February, 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th March, 3rd, 10th, 17th April. Cost is £6.00 per person per net
To book you place contact Andrew Short. The usual rule applies - if you drop out and we are unable to find a replacement you will be charged for the place.