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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, and it needed the introduction of Adnan Mohammed to break the partnership, when he got one to turn and bite to give a sharp chance to skipper Cleobury at slip.

“Middleton Stoney's opener was compiling an excellent innings with some very big hits into the surrounding trees. He was eventually cleaned up by Mohammed 16 short of his century. The scoreboard continued to tick over, but Mohammed also continued to take wickets, including one with a brilliant catch by keeper Matt Williamson. Mumby was unlucky not to take a wicket at the other end as he found some turn and was flighting it nicely. His replacement Louis Harris got some turn as well and chipped in with a couple of late wickets. At tea the hosts had reached 171, leaving the Jesters an hour plus 20 overs to chase the runs down.

“The Jesters got off to a solid start through Cleobury and Harris, with Harris in particular playing some excellent attacking shots through mid wicket. He couldn't keep it going though and was out to a shot he would rather forget. Russell Ewings was up next but played round a straight one that kept low. Cleobury and Mohammed then started to build a platform, but always found the going tough. Acceleration was difficult due to some accurate bowling from Middleton's skipper at one end and good off spin at the other.

“Skipper Cleobury was out trying to force the off spinner for 41. Mohammed and Williamson then built a good partnership and were going well, albeit slightly behind the rate. The pressure told though, and they were both out soon after, Williamson for 20 and Mohammed for 38. Andy Harris and James Douse continued to go for it and through some aggressive running from Harris the Jesters were just about staying in touch.

“When Douse was out O'Sullivan continued the good running until he was run out going for a third. Harris struck some lusty blows and an excellent reverse sweep to keep the Jesters in the chase.

“The final over arrived with 13 still needed by Harris and Nick Gregori. A dot and a scrambled bye was not the start they wanted. However, Harris struck the next ball for four and then hit two twos off the next two deliveries. So it was 4 required off the last ball. There was no fairytale finish as Harris was unable to get the ball away so the game ended as a draw.

“As always, Middleton Stoney fired up the BBQ and we all enjoyed the beautiful early evening sunshine. We even participated in Middleton Stoney's fines court - Louis Harris continuing his earlier generosity by stumping up a fine for his dismissal!”

Many thanks to match manager Simon Cleobury for this report.

8th August - Rickling Ramblers

Another victory! We notched up 194 on a tricky, slow surface at Rickling Green. Louis Harris, Simon Cleobury, Matt Williamson and Mike Palmer all made good contributions (Mike smashing a tile on the pavilion roof). Tim Harty did the damage with the ball in a superb five wicket spell (5-28), ending the game - and claiming his fifth wicket - in the most satisfying fashion, knocking out middle stump. They were all out 120-odd.

7th August - Two wins in a day at Cuckfield

It’s not often you wake up on the morning of a match to hear the place you’re playing singled out on the Radio 4 weather forecast for its record rainfall the day before. Haywards Heath, next door to Cuckfield, had had 48 millimeters of rain in just one hour!

Yet there was no call to say the game was off. So we made the long drive to Sussex wondering what we would find.

Fortunately Cuckfield is on chalk and the ground dries quickly. We arrived to find groundsman John Mole working on a very damp wicket but one that was just playable. The storm had hit at lunch the day before, a river of water running in front of the pavilion from the direction of the car park and flowing out through the nets. It was the worst deluge any of the Cuckfield members could remember at the ground.

The wicket may have been just playable but it would be a nightmare for the side batting first, and mean almost certain defeat. So to salvage better entertainment from a Cricket Week fixture the captains took the unusual decision to play two, back-to-back twenty-five over a side games under T20 rules. As it turned out this worked really well with both sides full of younger players.

To cut a long story short, we won both games! We chased 120-odd in the first game and set 150 or so in the second (which was reduced to a 20 over game). First up the strip really was a pig to bat on, fully justifying the novel arrangements.

Match details have already faded into the mists of time, especially as there were very few regular Jesters on display. But Louis Harris was the star of the first game, bowling his five over spell for just 15 runs and striking a calm 43 not out to see us home. Those who think Louis is a slow bowler should have seen the bouncer he bowled at Cuckfield’s Sri Lankan pro!

Another novel feature was the first example (I think) of the Dilshan scoop in a Jesters game, played by the pro (he was caught at fine leg). This provoked memories of the first time a Jester scored a boundary with a reverse sweep - Brian Pote-Hunt at Cuckfield almost 20 years ago. Brian won a bottle of champagne that day - put up as a prize for precisely this feat by Richard Johnson. This made us wonder if any modern-day Jester would be prepared to sponsor a similar prize for a boundary from the Dil-scoop?

Many thanks, once again, to Cuckfield for their splendid hospitality - and especial thanks to John Mole for getting the square playable. A really heroic effort.

On a final note, we were delighted to welcome veteran Jester Dick Nelson who came along to watch proceedings. Dick played his last last game for the Club so long ago that it was even before the Hon Sec’s time. Dick and his wife are flourishing and send their best wishes to all who remember them.

3rd August - Deutsche Bank succumb

Thanks to match manager Patrick Allen for the following match report.

“We agreed to play a 35 over a side game. Deutsche Bank won the toss and batted. But after two wickets in the first ten balls the Jesters were on track for what turned out to be a resounding 7 wicket win.

“With a partnership of 85 for the third wicket by Gold (53) and Fahad (32) the Jesters struggled until the advent of spinners on drying wicket enabled them to re-assert control. After a good opening spell from Adnan Mohammed supported by Manget Singh with his nagging medium pace and Simon Rawson’s bustling swing bowling, the Deutsche Bank side capitulated against some excellent spin bowling from the versatile Adnan who finished with 3-17 in his seven overs, leg spinner Louis Harris with 3-36 and Will Taylor 2-19. They were bowled out for 165 off the final ball of the 35th over.

“Some good catches were held in what was fine team effort. Eleven-year-old Sachin Rawson gave an excellent exhibition of ground fielding having come in as a late replacement.

“On a pitch still moving around, and after a watchful beginning by Tom Bodeker (22) and Ponniah Vijendran (44 not out), a couple of quick wickets were lost before Vijendran was joined by Louis Harris (41 not out). Their unbroken stand of 85 brought the Jesters home in style in only the 24th over - an excellent victory.”

3rd August - Victory at Roehampton

We beat Roehampton by 2 wickets in a thrilling finish after finding ourselves 78-7 chasing their 180 (Adnan Mohammed 4-19). Dave Hancock (48*) and new Jester Alex Brookes (53) rescued us with a century partnership.

Despite this epic ending, the game will go down in history as the first time a lady took the field for the Jesters - John Twigg’s daughter Sonia Twigg. What’s more, she took two wickets! Congratulations, Sonia.

22nd July - More injury woe at Gemini

Our injury hit and poor-availability season reached a new low against Gemini at Sunningdale School. With match manager Ollie Doward out of action with a broken hand, we did well to scrape together eleven players. One was 11 year old Sachin Rawson and another John Murphy, not his normal gazelle-like self after putting his back out the previous weekend.

We won the toss and put them in, only for calamity to strike less than half an hour into their innings. Wicket keeper Simon Cleobury put his back out and we had no one with any keeping experience to replace him.

Our response was innovative - if not a little foolhardy. Our best bowler, Adnan Mohammed, took the gloves and Ollie Doward - complete with two broken bones in his right hand - came on and fielded one handed for the rest of the innings. In the circumstances, their 130-odd for 2 at lunch was not a bad effort on our part. Adnan even pulled off a stumping.

Over lunch, skipper Simon Rawson revealed he had been a wicket-keeping prodigy until the age of 13 and would take over from Adnan. His subsequent performance did nothing to dispel this claim as he put in a very tidy performance.

We fought hard after lunch but Sunningdale School is never the easiest place to bowl with short boundaries and aggressive batsmen keen to rekindle memories of school days by hitting the ball as far as possible. Their 279 was a big score but perhaps not that many more than we would have expected to concede with a full strength side.

Several Jesters batsmen got in but no one went on to play a match winning innings against a good attack. Their secret weapon proved to be a number of full tosses from their unusual 6’ 7” leg spinner. As so often in a really tight spell, it was these balls that took the wickets as we sought to break the shackles. Andrew Short was our top scorer with 48, poking and prodding at first before unleashing a series of front foot drives against their fastest bowler and then holing out to the leggie off a full toss. We were eventually all out for 200 or so, Ollie making a brave, one-handed appearance at number 11.

So another defeat. But an eventful one - and one where we didn’t disgrace ourselves. Many thanks to Gemini for their first class hospitality during and after the game. This really is one of the highlights of the Jesters season.

20th July - Dorset Tour 2010

We nearly made it a clean sweep on tour, winning two games and having the opposition nine down in the third.