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Archive: 2010 News & Reports

Take a stroll down memory lane with club news and match reports from the Jesters CC 2010 season.

Updates appear in reverse chronological order...

13th November - Simon Cleobury is new Hon Sec

At the 2010 AGM Andrew Short stood down as Hon Sec and was succeeded by Simon Cleobury. Jonny Bridcut becomes Fixture Secretary. All other committee members were re-elected.

13th November - Annual Awards

The annual awards were presented at a very enjoyable annual dinner at Chez Gerard Southbank. This year’s winners are:

Arnold Woods Trophy (best individual performance) to Adnan Mohammed for taking 7-48 from 17 overs against a very strong Jesus College Cambridge side and comprehensively outbowling their Blues spinner. He narrowly pipped Louis Harris who scored an astonishing 144* off 82 balls against Barnes Common.

Most Jester-like performance - Ned Morrell for a scoring hiccup in the Lord Gnome game that might have denied us victory. The scores finished level but an extra run was discovered in the scorebook after the game. The committee also presented Ned with a print of Worcester County Cricket Ground, a ground dear to his heart, in appreciation of all the scoring he has done for us over the years.

Michael Meyer Trophy for big hitting to Louis Harris for blasting seven sixes in his Barnes Common innings.

23rd September - Streatham & Marlborough off

Streatham & Marlborough have cancelled our game with them on Saturday. Disappointing to miss the last game of the season - but 9 wins outof the last 10 games isn’t a bad record to take into the winter!

21st September - Barnes Common centurians

Jesters 306/2 (35 overs) (Harris 144*, Butler 101)

Barnes Common 202/8 (35 overs) (Smith 4/17)

Match manager Jonny Bridcut describes the action:

“Upon arriving at the ground for a customary pre-match pitch inspection, it was only the stumps that gave away where the wicket lay as the entire square blended seamlessly into the yellowy-green late summer outfield. It was therefore with some trepidation that the Jesters accepted the opposition's skipper's kind pre-toss 'suggestion' to bat first, no doubt the result of him recalling our opening salvo last season that had reduced his top order to 8/4.

“Two hours later, after we had ruthlessly compiled a stunning 306/2 from our 35 overs, it was clear that we would not be receiving such a generous offer next year.

“The innings began steadily with the two Simons, Cleobury and Butler, reproducing their fine form from last summer's encounter to ensure that the new tangerine soon lost its shine. When Simon Cleobury was unfortunately defeated by one that jagged back and kept low, Louis Harris strolled purposively to the middle, eager to distance himself from Liverpool's impending struggle against their rivals from Manchester.

“Louis and Simon set about dismantling our opponents' attack with relish, and were soon breezing along at around 8 or 9 an over. The fact that Louis did not register a single until he was in his forties showed the brutal nature of his onslaught. Simon was the first to a very impressive three figures, in only his second Jesters innings, though fell shortly afterwards for 101 (in an almost coincidental fashion to last year), thereby ending a dominant 182 run stand between the pair.

“After a slightly nervous nineties, Louis went through to his first ever hundred, off just 67 balls. However, that did not signal the end to his fun as, in partnership with the commanding Alex Smith, he walloped a further 44 off his last 15 deliveries to finish with a lofty 144* from just 82 balls, with 7 sixes. This was surely an effort that would threaten Adnan Mohammed's bid for performance of the season.

“It would have been easy for Barnes to have crumbled when faced with such a total, but to their credit they played out all their allocated overs for a respectable 202/8. However, the required run rate was always beyond them, and given that we had the all-conquering Adnan in our ranks, victory had never appeared beyond doubt.

“Some expansive blows from the Barnes middle order ensured they both entered and exited the Coach & Horses in good spirits, although Alex Smith rekindled the all-round credentials of his heyday with a useful 4 wicket burst towards the end. It was a shame that we could not quite bowl them out, though a 104 run victory meant that the contests over the years were now level at 2 apiece.”

14th September - Excellent victory at Ashtead

We beat a good Ashtead side by 70-odd runs with one of our best performances of the season. Jesters who have played at Ashtead over the years may be interested to know the club is flourishing, now in the premier division of the Surrey Championship (finishing 5th this year) and with an attractive new pavilion just opened.

We played a 40 over game and arranged to bat first as several Jesters were caught in traffic. Simon Cleobury and Robbie Hudson batted with great composure against a good new ball attack who found plenty of late movement. Robbie went on to make 45, a vital innings that gave us a platform and protected our middle order stroke-players from the moving ball.

The stroke-players duly went to work. Chief among them was Louis Harris whose 72 was a well constructed innings, careful defence and good running between the wickets mixed with his usual scintillating shots. Ollie Doward and Matt Williamson lent good support against a bowling attack that never let us cut loose. Matt and James Douse finally did well to take us beyond 200.

We thought our 210 was defendable, but were mindful the Frogs had lost by 9 wickets to Ashtead the previous weekend with a similar total.

Our bowlers made an excellent start, Jonny Bridcut - playing his first game of the season after six months in Shanghai - persuading their star opening bat to edge one behind. But their other opener looked in good form, bashing a series of robust boundaries, and seemed quite capable of taking the game away from us.

The vital moment came at the end of Phil Berman’s opening spell, when he drew a big leading edge from the opener which looped up to the vacant mid-on area. We held our breath as James Douse ran round from mid-off to make a tricky catch look easy.

At this point our spinners came on and - as so often this season - kept quiet batsmen looking to accelerate. Adnan Mohammed (2-10), Louis Harris (2-39) and Andrew Short (3-19) all bowled well.

They were supported by good catching. James Douse judged a skyer perfectly on the long-on boundary, while “champagne moment” was Ollie’s catch on the mid-wicket boundary. The ball came to him flat and fast, and needed a sudden late adjustment as it dipped wickedly at the last moment.

We worked steadily through the middle and lower order and Ashtead were finally all out for 137 with half a dozen of their 40 over remaining. A good win.

Thanks especially to the several senior Jesters who made it along to watch. It’s always great to have support. It was particularly good to see former Jesters umpire David Le Shirley who is still going strong at 88 not out.

6th September - The Sawbridgeworth Seven

Our season of poor availability reached an embarrassing low point as we turned up at Sawbridgeworth - a strong club - with only seven players (despite a huge effort from match manager Alex Smith).

Sawbridgeworth kindly lent us two players, including a keeper, and we played nine-a-side. In the end it was a good game, Jesters (+ 2) winning by 22 runs, but it was all most unsatisfactory. Thanks to Sawbridgeworth for their hospitality and understanding.

In the game itself, we batted first with the 15 year old Sawbridgeworth keeper playing for us scoring a good half century. When we bowled, Adnan Mohammed wrapped up the game with another excellent 5 wicket spell (5-41).

1st September - Max’s Maidenhead marvel

Max Harris - Louis’s brother - led us to victory over Maidenhead and Bray with an unbeaten century, scoring exactly 100. Skipper Ponniah Vijendran was 65 not out at the other end as we won convincingly by 8 wickets.

Maidenhead and Bray had earlier been dismissed for 184. In a good all round bowling display, the star of our attack was 12 year old Sachin Rawson with 3-36 from 6 overs. Well done Sachin!

24th August - Chobham run us close

We beat Chobham by four wickets, but only after a dramatic late collapse had threatened to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Chobham won the toss and chose to bat in the traditional 40 over game. Their 124 all out was worth more than it seemed on a pitch used for a league game the day before and which gave a little help to all bowlers.

After tight opening spells from John Murphy and Phil Berman (who took the first two wickets), it was spin triplets Mohammed (3-15), Mumby (3-39) and Louis Harris (2-28) who did the serious damage, all taking wickets against a predominantly young side who would have preferred to knock around the seamers.

Louis in particular will bowl much worse for far better reward, his faster ball prompting several loud shouts for lbw. It was Adnan, though, who took the key wicket - and escaped serious injury - when he clung on to a tracer bullet drilled back at him by their hard-hitting no.3.

The fielding held up throughout, which was good to see after some poor performances this season. Adnan made a catch over his head in the covers look easy; James Douse hurtled round the boundary to good effect; Andrew Short emerged with a mouthful of dirt after a successful diving effort in the gully; and Charlie Wilson - making his only appearance of the season on a rare visit from France - nearly pulled off a spectacular one-handed diving catch, the ball unfortunately dislodging on impact. Matt Williamson did a very tidy job standing up to the spinners, which is never easy.

125 to win seemed well within range, and our openers took the field with the skipper’s pep talk uppermost in their minds (he hoped) - “make sure you win it by ten wickets”. Jesters are not the only side to have a let a low target get the better of them.

Louis Harris mixed his usual exuberant strokeplay with watchful defence and Ollie Doward’s late Saturday night had equipped him perfectly to play the anchor role. Ollie was bowled for a calm 24 with the score on 72 and Louis went for 60 with the total well into the nineties. Job done, we thought.

At 116-6 we thought again. Especially as our number 11 wasn’t on the ground and we would only bat ten. Their skipper’s slow spin - 3 for 16 from 8 overs - had done much of the damage.

At this point the redoubtable John Murphy - clearly bucked by his recent engagement - was joined at the wicket by Adnan. They took stock before Adnan unfurled a couple of delightful boundaries to see us home. Sighs of relief all round.

Many thanks once again to Chobham for their hospitality. Nice place. Nice people. It really is somewhere we look forward to playing each summer.

16th August - Final over thriller at Middleton Stoney

“The local crowd were kept well entertained by a nail-biting run chase and thrilling final over when the Jesters travelled to Middleton Stoney, deep into the Oxfordshire countryside.

“On a pitch that was damp from the previous day's rain, the home side won the toss and chose to bat first. Jesters debutants Andy Harris and Ryan O'Sullivan started proceedings. Left-armer O'Sullivan found some excellent swing back into the right handers and struck in his first over. The hosts then consolidated - Harris and O'Sullivan continued to bowl well but a few chances were missed and soon the hosts were up to 50.

“Finally there was reward too for an excellent spell from Harris to get the much needed breakthrough. With Harris' accurate pace bowling from one end and Nick Mumby's off spin at the other the home side's innings was checked for a while. They lifted the tempo again, though,