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Archive: 2007 News & Reports

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 then launched a quite remarkable inside out six over extra cover, the ball still travelling like a rocket as it crossed the rope, 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