Take a stroll down memory lane with club news and match reports from the Jesters CC 2012 season.
Updates appear in reverse chronological order...
18th December - New book featuring a Jesters history
During 2013 a collective history of wandering cricket clubs will be published by Chance To Shine and Fairfield Books and will include a piece on the Jesters written by Andrew Short. Members will have a chance to buy copies nearer publication
17th December - Nick Mumby takes charge
Simon Cleobury is still living in New York and has stepped down as Hon Sec, feeling the role should really be UK-based. Many thanks Simon for all your hard work as Hon Sec, and before that as Fixture Secretary, We hope to see you back in the UK before too long.
Fortunately the club has an ideal replacement in Nick Mumby who took over at the 2012 AGM. Good luck Nick.
16th December - AGM, Dinner and Annual Awards
The annual dinner was again a really enjoyable occasion. Only 28 Jesters and guests made it along this year but that didn’t seem to diminish the fun.
At the AGM Club President Robin Atkins announced his decision to stand down after the end of next season after 16 years as President and 50 years’ membership of the club. Well done Robin and many thanks! He made a short speech which is reproduced here:
“My 4 year term of office comes to an end at the next AGM in 2013. At that time I would have been president for 16 years ,which will be second longest in the club’s history ( Sir Pelham Warner managed 35 years).
“I first played for Jesters in 1963 so that will make a round 50 years of involvement : as a player until 1992 and then as a part time umpire.
“The club's affairs are in good order with 130 members in the card of which I guess 40/50,a good fixture list of 25+ games, a reliable administrative set up and adequate finances with assets of c.£4000. I would like to pay a special tribute to Andrew Short and John Murphy for their good work over a large number of years,
“My only negative comment is that the club's history needs to be done for the period post 1975 before we all forget the key and enjoyable experiences . I ask the committee to tackle this project.”
Eight committee members were re-elected - Nick Mumby, John Murphy, Jonny Bridcut, Ollie Doward, Simon Rawson, Matt Williamson, Robbie Hudson, Andrew Short - and the Committee retains the right to co-opt others. Simon Cleobury is still living in New York and has stood down from the committee, with Nick Mumby stepping into his shoes as Hon Sec.
The club’s finances remain in a good state, with one slightly curious result of the wet summer being a particularly healthy financial surplus. Perhaps we should play even less in future...
The annual awards were presented at the dinner to:
Arnold Woods Trophy (best performance of the season) to DJ Chak for his century against a strong Lord Gnome’s XI (and also taking a stunning boundary catch in the same game).
Commended were Mike Palmer for his century at Sawbridgeworth and Louis Harris for his 120 from 112 balls at Maidenhead & Bray. Either of these would have won the award in another season.
Jester of the Year: the award for the “most Jester-like” performance went to Matt Williamson - to be known ever after as “The Juggler” - for a truly spectacular piece of, well, juggling at second slip at Jesus College, Cambridge.
Michael Meyer Award for big-hitting went to Simon Butler for launching a six onto the roof of the clubhouse at Hurlingham.
5th October - AGM and Dinner
The 2012 AGM and Annual Dinner will take place at the same restaurant as last year - now rebranded as a Brasserie Blanc - on Friday 16 November. Full details and how to book your place are here. See you there.
19th September - Fine win at Barnes Common
We ended the season with a 66 run victory against Barnes Common always strong opponents.
Jesters: 173 all out (34.2 overs)
A. Smith 40, Chak 37, S. Douse 33, Mohammed 29
Barnes Common: 107 all out (31.2 overs)
C. Smith 7-5-10-3, Murphy 7-0-32-3, Chak 5-2-5-2, Berry 7-1-29-1, Harris 1.2-0-5-1, Mohammed 4-1-16-0
It was particularly good to see Chris Smith back in action after missing most of the season with a foot injury. His spell of 7 overs, 3 for 10 has drawn rave reviews from all who saw it.
Hopefully a longer account of the game will appear here soon.
4th September - Beaten by Bray
We lost by 6 wickets at Maidenhead & Bray but many congratulations to Louis Harris on his century.
Match manager Adnan Mohmammed takes up the story:
“Jesters arrived at Maidenhead & Bray on a cloudy Sunday afternoon with 10 players. But the balance was even as M&B also only had 10. The format was 40 overs per side with a maximum of 8 overs per bowler. Our bowling was somewhat depleted with the two intended openers both injured.
“The skipper won the toss and decided to bat first thinking it would tough to bat second in failing light. The Douse brothers, opened the batting, batting together for the first time since their colts days. They saw off the new ball and posted 58 in their opening partnership. The calling for runs was often telepathic. Simeon was the first to be dismissed, receiving a good ball that nipped away and popped.
“Louis Harris then strolled out full of confidence after his recent good form. He played, initially, within himself, pushing singles with James Douse supporting him shot for shot at the other end. James was unlucky to chop one on to his stumps and was out for 29.
Alex the “General” Smith joined Louis at the crease and the two starting running lightning singles and taking advantage of the gaps in the field.
“Louis began to open up and play his usual aggressive shots. His heart would have been in his mouth on 88 when he hit one straight back over the bowlers head and was dropped on the long-off boundary.
“Alex departed for 22 with three overs remaining and Matt Williamson manipulated the strike wonderfully to Louis. In the penultimate over Louis hit three boundaries in a row and ended with 120 off 112 balls and the team on 215-4. The Captain would have been happy with 180 so 215 looked very good.
“The first over bowled by the skipper was a maiden. The seamers plugged away with Matt Berry fighting injury to bowl 8 overs 1-44. Ben Shereen in his opening spell was unlucky bowling in the right spot – but the M&B opener proved too strong, playing through the line, making full use of the short boundary and hitting the ball extremely hard.
“Then our recent injury curse returned with a vengeance. Simeon Douse was struck violently on the shin at mid-wicket from a full blooded drive and had to leave the field. In the next over Matt Berry was hit hard on the arm while following through and also had to go off.
We were left with 8 fielders and the batsmen in the mood to score only in boundaries. After four overs desperately trying to plug the gaps both wounded soldiers returned to the field - well done boys!
“The onslaught continued with M&B now scoring comfortably at 7 per over. Nick Mumby wheeled away with no luck bowling 8 overs 0-55; the skipper bowled 8 overs 1-50. The only ray of light was Louis Harris whose first ball to turn significantly and had figures of 1-7 off 2 overs.
“The M&B opening bat reached 94 with 10 runs needed to win. Then their No 5 hit a boundary, leaving the young opener requiring 6 for his 100 and 6 to win. At which point the pressure told: Ben Shereen hit the top of middle stump and the bat slipped from the batsman’s grasp endeding up at the square leg umpire’s feet!
“M&B reached 216 for 4 off 33 overs. It was a well played game and we lost to a better team. Thanks to Maidenhead &Bray for once again providing a good game of cricket.”
29th August - Pitch the winner at Chobham
We beat Chobham by 75 runs on a difficult, wet wicket after storms the day before. Neither side looked comfortable on an incredibly slow surface that “popped” throughout the game.
Our 153 was mainly thanks to a 56 run opening stand between Louis Harris and Andrew Short, and a top score of 49 from DJ Chak.
In response they were 78 all out, with Adnan Mohammed unplayable as the wicket dried. A longer account will appear here soon.
23rd August - Ashtead game cancelled
Sadly Ashtead have cancelled their game with us on Sunday 9th September. Their charity match against a Surrey Masters XI that was rained-off earlier in the summer has been rearranged for that Sunday.
20th August - Great win at Middleton Stoney
A ten man Jesters side beat Middleton Stoney by 30 runs, a great result as it is always difficult to bowl sides out on their placid track.
Put in to bat, our total was based around a 105 run partnership for the fourth wicket between Tony Crockert (56) and Louis Harris (45). A slow track, slow outfield, slow bowling and carefully placed fields made scoring difficult, and most of the century partnership came in singles and twos, an exhausting effort in 30 degree temperatures.
At the fixed 4.30 tea we had made it to 172-6, a decent score on a wicket where 150 can be defendable.
However, our bowling options were very limited. Andy Harris had dropped out on Friday evening with a shoulder injury, Mike Palmer could only stand at slip after a groin strain batting, and early in their innings Louis Harris went off with what looked like a serious shoulder injury after a spectacular dive at long-on.
To the rescue came Adnan Mohammed who bowled unchanged through the entire innings with figures of 18.4 overs, 3 maidens, 4 for 60. DJ Chak’s return was even more impressive: 5 for 42 from 13 overs. Well done both.
The decisive moment was a double wicket maiden from Adnan to remove two of their best bats. With less than a hundred needed and only two wickets down Middleton Stoney had looked set to cruise home in comfort.
But suddenly the game had changed. Nick Gregori then persuaded their top scorer to top edge to fine leg, and DJ returned bowling rapid, inswinging yorkers.
We eventually bowled them out for 142 with a couple of overs to spare, Adnan teasing out the last two batsman with cunning flight. A remarkable feature of their innings was that eight wickets were clean bowled.
A great, hard-fought game played in exactly the right spirit. Thanks once again to Middleton Stoney for their superb hospitality and exactly the right attitude towards the game.
14th August - Narrow defeat at NPL
Rumours reach Jesters HQ of a last over defeat at NPL Teddington. Their website has the scores as Jesters 168-9, NPL 169-7 but with no other details. We await further news with interest.
10th August - Cuckfield
A young Jesters side drawing heavily on the resources of Brighton league club Preston Nomads lost by 60 runs to a strong Cuckfield team in their cricket week.
Cuckfield’s 272-6 was a typical score on this fast scoring ground. We played on the edge of the square and the short, downhill boundary towards the pavilion was particularly difficult to defend.
Best Jesters bowling came in a spell either side of lunch from Will Taylor, playing his first game in Jesters colours for several years. Bowling left arm round at a nippy medium pace he took 3 wickets and kept the scoring rate under control. He was well supported by Toby Glover’s off-breaks at the other end.
Our reply was built around an excellent 80-odd from 15 year old Ollie Deme opening the innings. Elegant driving was the most notable feature of his mature knock. We needed just 5 1/2 an over from the final 20 with 7 wickets remaining, but unfortunately the innings unravelled from that point. Both opening bowlers were recalled - one of them Cuckfield’s overseas pro - and wickets tumbled. We were eventually 212 all out, comfortably beaten but not disgraced.
Many thanks to Cuckfield once again for their splendid hospitality. And it was great to see so many youngsters enjoying Jesters cricket.
(n.b. statistics in this report may be modified when we remember to get a copy of the scorecard from Cuckfield)
5th August - Rickling rained off
A heavy local downpour on the morning of the match led to the cancellation of our game with Rickling Ramblers.
29th July - Not a victory but a triumph
Sutton: 235/6 dec
Jesters: 215 all out (Louis Harris 83)
Lost by 20 runs
Thanks to the Olympic Road Race that was weaving its way through Surrey this weekend, thereby ensuring a week's break in the league calendar, Sutton had kindly invited us to play against a composite side of all their Saturday teams, which we soon discovered included two of their Premiership 1st XI players.
Losing the toss on a sunny afternoon, we took to the field with the prospect of up to 55 overs of chasing leather (we were playing the Surrey league format - 100 overs in the day, side batting first can use up to 55 overs, and then the side batting second takes the remainder (min 45 overs)).
A couple of early strikes put us firmly in the contest, though we would have been in a far stronger position had Sean Oliver not overstepped when he had their best batsman caught behind by Dave Hancock.
With four league hundreds to his name already this summer, their number three continued to work the bowling around effortlessly, until he climbed into a vicious John Murphy short ball only to find an athletic Dhananjaya Chak on the midwicket boundary, who pouched an astonishing low catch in front of the faithful home supporters.
A Nick Gregori lbw and a sharp run out courtesy of Sean pegged the hosts back to 160/5, though from there their captain was ably supported by their wicketkeeper and they eeked out the runs to ensure they could set us a challenging total of 236 from 53 overs. A particular mention must go to Nick Mumby, whose 17 over spell for 57 runs kept us in the game on what was a flat track.
Our chase got off to a terrific start with a half century opening stand by DJ and Nick M, who both enjoyed peppering the off side. The platform had been laid for Louis Harris to remind us all of his caged talent as he thrived off the home side's youthful seamers, reaching his fifty off 47 balls. Louis was ably supported by James Williams and James Douse, and at 188/6 with 9 overs remaining we looked favourites.
However, the combination of their returning opening bowler and their wily leg spinner (who winters in Australia) was good enough to stem our flow of runs and ultimately our victory charge, despite the best efforts of John Murphy and Dave H in what was a gripping finish as we fell short by 20 runs.
Many thanks indeed to Sutton for a wonderful first fixture and we look forward to hopefully returning in 2013.
Thanks to match manager Jonny Bridcut for this report.
27th July - Horsham 80th anniversary game
Jesters v Horsham is the longest standing uninterrupted fixture for both clubs. 2012 is the 80th anniversary and we celebrated with a good 5 wicket win over a strong Horsham side.
You can see the scorecard here. Top Jesters performance came from James Silk, guesting from Preston Nomads, who bowled his leg-breaks beautifully and then stroked a confident 71 opening the innings. It turned into a classic chase with us needing six an over from the last 20, with sixes and wickets as Horsham kept the spinners on. We eventually made it home in the penultimate over.
Many thanks to Horsham for 80 years of good cricket.
24th July - Roehampton walloped
We bowled Roehampton out for 63 and cruised to a 7 wicket victory. Further details soon.
18th July - Dorset tour and Gemini
The weather seems to get worse. We managed to play a T20 game on tour with Canford Cygnets, losing by 10 runs. But the games with Bryanston Butterflies and Hampshire Hogs were both rained off - as was the match the following Saturday with Gemini at Sunningdale School.
3rd July - Good victory over Lord Gnome XI
We beat Lord Gnome’s XI by 13 runs in an exciting 35 over game. We made 176-9 and they replied with 163-8. Star of the show was DJ Chak who scored a rapid 102* and took three catches. Congratulations DJ!.
More on this game to follow soon...
18th June - Club Day this Sunday
STOP PRESS: Sadly Club Day is cancelled as the square is waterlogged after heavy overnight rain.
Don’t forget Club Day - featuring a match between two Jesters sides - is this Sunday 24th June in Chiswick.
If you’re not playing, do come along and watch - and enjoy a few beers in the bar. We’d be delighted to see you.
Venue: University of Westminster grounds in Chiswick. Here’s a map showing where it is.
12 noon: Arrival and bring your own picnic lunch.
1pm: First Innings
3.30: Tea (bring your own)
4pm: Second Innings
8.00: Ground closes
The bar will be open from 4pm until 8pm.
Hopefully see you there!
10th June - Easy win at Jesus
We beat Jesus College, Cambridge by 9 wickets. After bowling them out for 130, Robbie Hudson and DJ Chak calmly knocked off the runs. Although the calm was broken by Robbie’s four sixes as he made his way to another half century on the Jesus ground.
Their innings was a curious affair. Jonny Bridcut and DJ reduced them to 13-4 before a rapid century partnership threatened to take the game away from us. Then suddenly the innings was over. Nick Mumby made the vital breakthrough and their last six wickets disappeared for one (1) run, leaving both Nick and Adnan Mohammed on hat-tricks next time they play.
No doubt further details from the match manager soon. Including the identity of the Jester now known as “The Juggler” after his multiple attempts at a slip catch.
4th June - Amersham rained off
Yet more rain forced cancellation of our game with Amersham.
3rd June - Bedouins driven from the oasis
For the second week running we won by 7 wickets, bowling the Bedouins out before lunch for 93 and then knocking off the runs by tea. Nick Mumby took 3-11 and Louis Harris 3-9 as the Bedouins collapsed from 66-1.
You can read a somewhat reflective account of the game on the Bedouins website - with a link to the scorecard at the end.
2nd June - Good win at Sawbridgeworth
We beat Sawbridgeworth by 7 wickets, our innings rejoicing in a century from Mike Palmer and half-century from James Douse. Congratulations both!
Sawbridgeworth 213-2 (51 Overs). Berman 0-24, Palmer 1-25, Mohammed 0-68, C Smith 1-40.
Jesters 216-3 (34.5 Overs). Palmer 118 not out, J Douse 55
This is how match manager Alex Smith saw events:
“An intriguing game unfolded on the Herts/Essex border, thankfully in less blood chilling conditions than at Hurlingham several weeks previously.
“Rearranging the fixture to take place early in the season paid dividends as 11 eager Jesters took to the field to face a youthful Sawbo side, the more energetic of whom were still playing football somewhere else as play commenced. The strip was in its usual position, providing the customary challenge of the short boundary to defend, and attack.
“After successfully assembling a coalition of the willing to open the bowling, Jesters soon found it as difficult as ever to defend that boundary, and at 64-0 after 10 overs we were looking at a stiff target. But Berman and Palmer steadied the ship, and Mohammed and Smith C wheeled away economically to keep the run rate down, even if wickets were rarer than a Mohammed follicle.
“With an agreed 6pm start to the 20 overs, as 4pm came and went we were expecting the declaration and tea. However the Sawbo skipper had more of an eye on his opener scoring a first century, and with the scoring rate slowing with every over, there were mutterings that floodlights might be necessary to achieve the feat. Finally, after 51 overs, it was, and the Jesters could sit down to play After You Claude with the batting lineup. A target of 213 would require rapid scoring.
“So it was then that Palmer and Harris strode to the middle to take on Mr Angry, their Dorries-esque opening bowler. To the amusement of many, a succession of hefty cuts and pulls saw to it that the volcanic rumblings continued, before Harris was out lbw to one which kept characteristically low.
“With Gregori gone having kept up the required run rate, a promoted James Douse joined the fray. It will come as a surprise to no-one that he almost ran himself into the ground to add runs to the total. But not only that, he took on a returning Mr Angry with aplomb, and when finally dismissed he breathlessly declared that he had absolutely nothing left in him. For his maiden Jesters half century he was applauded all the way back to the pavilion.
“In the meantime Mike Palmer was accumulating runs efficiently and with occasional flair, despite being bamboozled by the very flighted spin of their teenage wunderkid. A steady 7 an over was required for the last ten, and with Richie Patel and his IPL monstrosity in glove, the target was in sight.
“However boundary-side nervousness and superstition prevailed in the face of the skipper's optimism, even with Mike reaching his personal maiden century, in front of his personal maiden. Patel, though, had read the right runes, and carted the ball repeatedly to the long on boundary to seal victory, with 7 balls to spare.”
15th May - Strange, comprehensive defeat at Radley
We were absolutely walloped by a strong Radley Rangers side, replying to their 256-3 with a measly 54 all out.
Here’s how match manager Jonny Bridcut saw the day:
“This was a day when nothing quite went right for the Jesters. With none of us having bowled a ball or wielded the willow for a month, or for some not since last summer, a well-drilled Rangers side proved too great a challenge at this stage of the season. Our heroics at Hurlingham seemed a distant memory.
“Having lost the toss on a relatively balmy May morning, the Jesters' attack fared promisingly on a typically benign Radley surface, with Sean Oliver picking up two deserved wickets before lunch with his teasing away swing. The bowlers were well supported in the field, with particular mentions for Louis Harris prowling at backward point and Dave Hancock, who didn't concede a single bye all innings.
“At lunch the hosts were 121/2 from 35 overs and were in need of quick runs after the break to set a worthy total. Unfortunately the delicious lasagne took its toll and the standards in the field dropped slightly in the hour after lunch when a few chances went begging, allowing the home side to post a healthy total of 256/3.
“Our reply in search of the 257 to win was brief. Everything that could go wrong went wrong, and was summed up on two occasions: firstly, when Chris Smith flicked their opening bowler off his pads only for the square leg fieldsman to stick out a long left arm and pluck the ball out of thin air at full stretch; and secondly, when Adnan Mohammed, while attempting a not unusual lower order salvage job, cut a ball on to slip's foot only for it to rebound in the air to be taken at the second attempt.
“However, nothing should be taken away from an extremely disciplined bowling performance by the Rangers; their relentless accuracy meant runs were hard to come by - we only scored three boundaries.
“Nevertheless, a trip to Radley College is always a treat. Their hospitality was as generous as ever and we greatly look forward to a more competitive outing in 2013.”
12th May - HAC game cancelled
The game against HAC has been called off because the square is still unfit for play after all the recent rain.
10th May - Great win at Hurlingham
We began the season with a convincing victory against Hurlingham. Match manager Jonny Bridcut takes up the story.
Hurlingham 220 all out (Mohammed 4/47)
Jesters 226/1 (Butler 105*, C Smith 71*)
Jesters won by 9 wickets
“When Chris Smith smoked the final ball of the match over the ropes, the Jesters completed a remarkable 9 wicket win and only their second against Hurlingham since the fixture began some twelve years ago.
“The victory was founded upon an extremely disciplined bowling performance, with all members of the attack building up significant pressure that took its toll on the talented Hurlingham top order. Vital wickets just before the lunch break proved decisive, as the home side slipped from 109/1 to 149/5, one of which was a swift legside stumping by George Shepherd.
“Dismissing a side for 220 on this placid pitch was a fine effort, especially one containing three former first class players. Adnan Mohammed was once again the leading wicket taker with 4/47, though the off spinners Nick Mumby (1/27) and Chris Smith (3/29) operated beautifully in tying up the other end.
“However, with the impressive George Brooksbank restored to the Hurlingham opening attack, and the rain clouds gathering, chasing 221 was by no means a given. DJ Chak and Simon Butler negotiated the swinging ball with expertise usually reserved for later in the season and thwarted the ferocity of the home seamers with a dashing opening stand of 91.
“When DJ succumbed to a Brooksbank special, Chris Smith joined Simon Butler and the two repeated their heroics of 12 months before (where they compiled 195 together) with an unbroken match-winning stand of 135. Simon scored his third Jesters hundred in five innings off just 68 balls and Chris worked through the gears to finish with 71 off 57 balls.
“A very early candidate for the six of the summer was when Simon effortlessly deposited a Brooksbank bouncer onto the Hurlingham club roof - that ball was not seen again. We reached our target in just 27.3 overs, with unused firepower of the class of Louis Harris and Alex Smith still waiting in the wings.
“The Jesters would like to thank the Hurlingham for their wonderful hospitality in what is one of the fixtures of the summer and we very much look forward to returning next year.”
3rd May - Rain, rain go away
After beating Hurlingham by 9 wickets the weekend after Easter (a match report will hopefully appear here soon), all four subsequent games have been cancelled.
The game against Streatham & Marlborough and both games of the Cambridge weekend were all casualties of the dreadful recent weather.
18th April - Beamers game cancelled
The game against Beamers CC on Sunday 22nd April has been cancelled as they are unable to raise a side.
10th February - New fixtures for 2012 season
The 2012 fixture list is almost complete and should be appearing on the website soon. Potentially as many as 29 games. There are three new opponents and the return of several old friends.
The additions this year are:
Beamers CC - which promises to be a fun early-season afternoon game against a slightly unknown opposition - it will be played at North Middlesex CC in Crouch End;
Bedouins CC - a fellow wandering side organised by Jesters Rob Harrison and Joe Phelan (www.bedouins-cc.co.uk/). The match is to be played at the glorious Ascott Park ground in Buckinghamshire;
Sutton CC - a strong Surrey Championship side who should present quite a mid-season challenge.
Returning to the fixture list are Streatham & Marlborough CC in Dulwich and the Cambridge Weekend with games against St John’s and Magdalene.
9th February - Club Day announced
Plans are afoot for another Club Day this summer, a repeat of the hugely enjoyable event at Shenley in 2010.
The date will be Sunday 24 June and the venue is likely to be the Quintin Hogg memorial ground in Chiswick. Please put this date in your diary now. There will be further communications with all the details nearer the time.
9th February - Golf Day
We are looking at holding a Club Golf Day on one of the weekends where there is no cricket fixture. It should be a highly entertaining day, and will be organised by Matt Williamson. More details will follow in due course.
7th February - 2012 nets at Lord’s
It’s time to dig out the kit and reach for the Ralgex. Pre-season nets are booked as usual at the Lord’s indoor school.
The first is Tuesday 28th Feb and after that every Tuesday until 10th April. There's one Wednesday - 14th March - as Tuesday 13th was unavailable. All sessions are 7-8pm.
Exact dates are: 28 Feb, March 6, 14, 20 & 27, April 3 & 10.
The cost is £8.00 per person per session. And the usual rule applies: if you cancel and we are unable to find a replacement you will be charged. Contact Andrew Short to book your place.