Take a stroll down memory lane with club news and match reports from the Jesters CC 2014 season.
Updates appear in reverse chronological order...
20th November - John Murphy takes charge
At the recent club AGM Nick Mumby stood down as Hon Secretary and was replaced by John Murphy. Thanks for all your hard work Nick - and good luck John. You can read about other committee changes and the annual awards below.
19th November - Report on AGM and Awards
Brasserie Blanc on Chancery Lane was the venue for the annual dinner. 28 Jesters turned-out and a good time was had by all. Ollie Doward should be thanked for putting together an excellent quiz, the result of which is still the matter of dispute.
At the AGM, Nick Mumby stood down as a Hon. Secretary. He was thanked by all for his service. He was replaced by John Murphy, whose previous position of Hon. Treasurer was filled by Chris Smith.
Jonny Bridcut was re-elected as Hon. Match Secretary, as were all other Committee members (Ollie Doward, Louis Harris, Robbie Hudson, Simon Rawson and Andrew Short).
Jonny provided an entertaining summary of the season, and John reported on the Club’s finances which remain in a healthy state.
The highlight of the award ceremony at the dinner was the unveiling of the new Roger Greenslade Trophy for the “most Jester-like” performance of the season. The annual awards were presented at the dinner:
Arnold Woods Trophy (best performance of the season) to Nick Gregori for his match-winning 86 against Carnegie
Roger Greenslade Trophy to Adnan Mohammad for the distinction of being dismissed caught and bowled from a delivery that bounced twice.
Michael Meyer Award for big-hitting went to Jackson Locke for his enormous six at the Hurlingham Club
10th October - AGM & Dinner
The 2014 AGM and Dinner will take place on Friday 14th November at Brasserie Bl;anc in Chancery Lane. See here for full details and how to book your place.
14th September - Perfect ending at Barnes Common
A stone’s throw from the heart of sophisticated Barnes Village lies Barnes Common cricket ground, a delightful throwback to the rustic origins of the game. No changing rooms, no sightscreens, a rough looking square and a ground surrounded completely by trees.
The Jesters’ end of season pilgrimage to these sylvan groves traditionally involves a hard fought game against Barnes Common CC, and 2014 was no exception. 35 overs a side – and a bright orange ball for visibility against the trees.
In truth the square plays much better than it looks. But a shooter or snorter is rarely far away – at least in the batsman’s mind – which produces exciting cricket as the runs need to be scored quickly before the unplayable delivery arrives.
So with Jackson Locke striding to the crease expectations were high. But sadly it was not to be as he quickly became the day’s first lbw victim. He was soon followed by skipper Louis Harris, bowled by something shooterish. Then Ollie Doward, for the second game running, was pinned lbw when well down the track. 21-3.
Chris Smith had been batting serenely at the other end and was now joined by Alex Smith for what we hoped would be the innings-rebuilding partnership. Both stylish batsmen – and left-handed, which seemed to infuriate the opposition – they put together an attractive half century partnership before Alex fell for 30.
A third left-hander, the veteran Short, then appeared. Annoyed by what he considered – probably wrongly – the opposition’s excessive appealing he was in an especially grumpy mood and took limpet-like residence at the crease. They shall not pass.
The following passage of play was a batting masterclass from Chris. He appeared to be playing on a different surface from the rest of us. But it was actually a triumph of technique over the conditions. Watch the ball. Play late. Wait for the right ball and hit it hard into the gaps.
The score had more than doubled when Chris was out for a superb 80. We were now 154-5 in the 29th over – a strong position but with late impetus needed to give us a defendable total.
This duly came from Noah Hillyard (a run-a-ball 14) and Nick Gregori (13 from 5 balls). Even Short remembered a few shots he once used to play. 203 for 7 was definitely competitive.
When we took the field it was Ollie Doward who gamely strapped on the pads as we had no regular keeper in the side. Thanks Ollie. He was faced with an opening attack of Noah Hillyard and Phil Berman.
One of the great pleasures of playing for the Jesters this summer has been watching Phil’s bowling. Week-in week-out he glides in and at no great pace baffles batsmen with cunning variations of late swing. And so he did again today, bowling his seven over allocation straight through for only 17 runs and taking two wickets, both lbw. At the other end Noah also took two, one clean bowled plus another lbw.
Barnes Common were soon five wickets down for 30-odd but with their Australian skipper still at the crease we couldn’t take victory for granted. He looked a fine batsman and struck several powerful boundaries. Our change bowlers would need to maintain the pressure.
This they did, both Nick Gregori and Nick Mumby bowling tight spells. Finding sharp turn the Hon Sec was particularly unlucky to take only two wickets. Sonia Twigg also bowled a useful spell. With one extremely flighted delivery she nearly reproduced Spedegue’s Dropper, bowling the batsman on the full toss. Sadly, in these more restrictive times, it was called no-ball.
But what gave us most pleasure in the field was our ground fielding. Or, to be more specific, our ability to throw down the stumps with direct hits (as unlikely as that might sound to seasoned Jesters-watchers). We ran out two batsmen this way and should have had a third!
Skipper Louis Harris was the first Jonty, running round from slip as the batsmen tried to sneak a single with the ball dribbling towards fine leg. Nick Gregori was the second, swooping from the covers. Phil Berman also scored a direct hit with the batsman short of his ground, but it was ruled not out as Ollie had accidentally knocked off the bails with his pads moments before. Otherwise Ollie put in a fantastic performance behind the stumps, with several terrific leg-side takes.
By now we were so totally in control – 145-8 after 32 overs – that the skipper felt able to slip himself on for a bowl at the tail. His first delivery disappeared over cow corner for four; the second cleaned bowled the batsman; while the third had the number 11 plumb lbw. Fitting reward for having led the troops so well.
So a 54 run victory. Well done everyone. A lovely game, Jester-like performances all round, and the first signs of autumn gold spreading through the sylvan groves of Barnes Common.
As one Jester put it in a post-match email, “Perfect Ending”.
1st September - Last over drama at Bray
On a beautiful late summer afternoon at Maidenhead & Bray the Jesters fielded first in a 40 over game after skipper Adnan Mohammed lost the toss.
Late season games at Bray are rarely high scoring affairs, generally played on rather tired surfaces that have been used for the previous day’s league match. Even as few as 150 can be a tricky chase. So we knew early wickets would be important in keeping down the runs.
Phil Berman duly obliged taking three quick wickets to reduce them to 20-3. His opening partner, Jonny Bridcut, was battling the effects of a very late night and his bowling did not perhaps have its usual zip. But when Jonny clean bowled the Maidenhead number three we were in the driving seat at 40-4.
There followed a battling 50-run partnership that swung the game back towards our opponents. Skipper Mohammed set interesting fields in an attempt to finesse a wicket (or, as some claimed, to confound his bowlers) and the Jesters laid their bodies on the line in the field.
John Murphy was particularly in the wars. A massive blow on the thumb while fielding at short extra cover was soon followed by another when bowling, a tracer bullet coming straight back at him in his follow through and leaving a deep impression on his thigh.
Three quick wickets from DJ Chak turned the game yet again before an annoying 30-run partnership for the eighth wicket. Then the final three wickets tumbled in an instant and Maidenhead had been bowled out for 148. Certainly a chaseable total but far from straightforward on the slow surface. DJ finished with the splendid figures of 6-2-11-5.
Ollie Doward was playing his first Jesters game for twelve months and in the field we realised just how much we had missed him. He clung on to two tremendous catches – plus an easier third – a howitzer shell in the covers and an immense steepler on the long-on boundary made all the trickier by the ball disappearing into the sun as it returned from orbit.
In pursuit of 149 for victory, the veteran Short was dismissed for a sketchy 20 before the real batters went to work. But at 46-3 in the 15th over it seemed there was still much work to be done, especially with John Murphy perhaps unable to bat because of his damaged thumb.
Louis Harris and Ollie then chiselled out a crucial 48 run partnership, largely against a very promising young leggie who flighted the ball beautifully and a cunning slow-medium pacer who bowled his eight overs for only nine runs. Both batsmen fell around the 100 mark, Ollie amusingly adjudged LBW when yards down the pitch (the keeper later apologised for appealing). Louis scored 33 and Ollie 24.
The score was now 105-5, but such had been the difficulty of run-making that only 7 overs remained to score the remaining 44 runs. In other words we needed to double our scoring rate to win the game.
Fortunately the new batsman was DJ, batting down the order because of his earlier bowling achievements. He proceeded to stroke the ball around with calm authority and – with help from Rufus Frere-Smith and then the skipper – the total mounted. Eight from the 37th over, seven from the 38th, six from the 39th. Just four to win from the final over - and DJ on strike.
Veteran Maidenhead skipper Matt Armstrong brought up the field to cut out the easy single and DJ took up the challenge going over mid-off for the winning boundary. Unfortunately he didn’t quite get the elevation and mid-off took a comfortable catch. Five balls remaining. Still four to win. A crucial 23 from DJ.
Cue mild panic in the pavilion and rapid reassessment of the batting order. John Murphy decided he could just about hold a bat after all, and with his striking ability was sent in next. He biffed his first ball wide of mid-on for two and his second in the same direction for a single. Three balls remaining. Scores level. Skipper Mohammed on strike.
The fielders crept ever so slightly closer. A man came in to stop the easy leg-bye off the pads. Dot ball. Two balls remaining. Scores level. Skipper Mohammed on strike.
The fifth ball was slightly straighter and slightly shorter, and Adnan managed to turn it behind square on the leg side. In fact he’d struck it really sweetly and it sped away for four. We’d won! By 3 wickets. A nervy run chase in best Jesters tradition.
Many thanks to Maidenhead & Bray for their excellent hospitality. It really is a great pleasure to play on such a beautiful ground against a club who still take traditional Sunday cricket seriously.
23rd August - Rikki-Tikki-Middleton Stoney
We lost an enjoyable and hard-fought game at Middleton Stoney by 4 wickets, succumbing to a brutal assault from a Mongoose MMi3.
Match manager John Murphy explains:
“After a wet week in Oxfordshire, we were happy to be able to start on time. Jesters won the toss, and opted to bat first on a surprisingly dry pitch. We got off to a steady start, although the wet outfield meant some good shots were not fully rewarded.
“The star of the Jesters innings was newly-wed Louis Harris who made a very impressive 70. Other valuable contributions were made by Fred Price and Rufus Frere-Smith.
“It became increasingly easy to score as we approached tea, and, whilst at one stage we would have been happy with our 164, it started to look less strong as the game progressed.
“The Middleton Stoney innings could not have started better for the Jesters, with Phil Berman and John Murphy claiming wickets in their first overs leaving the opposition 0 for 2.
“An innings by R. Simpson then turned the game. Batting with a short bladed bat (the aforementioned Mongoose, Ed.), he smashed the Jesters seamers all around the ground (now with a fast outfield), reaching his fifty in just 30 balls. Adnan Mohammad and Louis Harris applied the brakes somewhat, and when Adnan bowled Simpson for 72 thoughts of a Jesters victory returned.
“With the score at 118 for 6 it could have gone either way. However, a very sensible unbeaten partnership between M. Simpson and D. Clark took the opposition to victory.
“Thanks for Middleton Stoney for an excellent game, and their usual great hospitality.”
9th August - Ashtead game cancelled
Unfortunately yet another Sunday game has been cancelled, Ashtead having managed to accidentally double book the 7th September. Always sad not to play at Ashtead as it is our oldest continuous fixture dating back to the 1930s.
9th August - Cuckfield: Rufus returns
We spent another enjoyable day at Cuckfield experiencing their usual excellent Cricket Week hospitality. This year the result went against us, losing by 56 runs after they declared with as many as 302-5.
The day was perhaps most notable for the return of Rufus Frere-Smith, playing his first Jesters game for twelve years after a spell living in the Far East. Welcome back Rufus!
Jesters won the toss and elected to chase as is traditional in this fixture. A very short boundary on the pavilion side made the ground even more fast scoring than usual and we leaked runs from the start.
Freddie Garth bowled a brisk opening spell downhill and was unlucky to take just one wicket. He was well supported by a tight eight overs up hill from Simon Rigby.
But after that the wheels rather fell off. Several bowlers struggled manfully to bowl up hill with the short leg-side boundary and their figures don’t make pretty reading. We dropped the big-hitting number three early in his innings and again before he finally went for 95. And at lunch Cuckfield were more than 150-3.
The assault continued after the break. Finally, when a second batsman was out in the nineties with the score on 282 we assumed the declaration had arrived. Twenty runs later it actually did.
It would be fair to say we set off in pursuit of this substantial target in hope rather than expectation. The scale of our task was reinforced when Cuckfield’s overseas player - Nick Beard a New Zealand “A” slow left-armer - was introduced into the attack with our score barely 30-0.
Sakib Ikram batted beautifully for 64 but once he went we lost wickets at regular intervals without ever being up with the required run rate. Rob Dancey (29), Tom Bell (23), Rufus Frere-Smith (23) and Nick Beck (37) all started promisingly without going on to play the major innings we required.
We were finally all out for 246 when Beard castled the skipper for a golden duck. Perhaps a fitting end to a rather one-sided encounter.
28th July - Rickling Green game cancelled
Sadly Rickling Green are unable to raise a side so the game on Sunday 3rd August has been canceled.
28th July - Good victory at Roehampton
Always one of the most enjoyable games of the season, we had another very pleasant afternoon on Putney Heath against Roehampton CC.
It was one of those days when everything seemed to go right for us while the opposition were rather unlucky. Roehampton won the toss and batted, making 106. We eventually won by 8 wickets. Many thanks to Roehampton for their excellent hospitality.
Skipper Robbie Hudson shares his thoughts on proceedings:
“The clear highlight of this game was Roehampton's number eleven smacking Adnan Mohammed through long on with immense authority. A young woman was lying in the sun reading a book. Everyone shouted out to warn her. She paid no attention. The ball crashed into her bare shoulder. She barely reacted. She watched the ball roll down towards her feet and went back to her book.
“John Twigg or possibly Matt Williamson picked up the ball and chucked it back in. The woman never looked up from her book. The slip cordon couldn't take their eyes off her for about ten minutes. Would she, at least, go for a rub? Nothing. It was a very impressive display.
“Other points of interest, Jackson Locke's first spell in twenty years showed a bustly sort of hooping inswing - the missing link between Bridcut and Twigg, if you will, on the way to Andrew Short.
“Short's mesmeric 'seamers' dealt with two very decent Roehampton batters, and another who might have been good but went to his first legitimate ball after watching a pair of teasing wides. The idea that this could be called a golden duck practically blew Jackson Locke's mind. Their number three also went first ball, this time to Mohammed, caught Short, very sharply to his left side, at slip.
“Dan Jordan and Mike Palmer, a hockey-heavy opening partnership, looked entirely untroubled until a poor captaincy decision - the skipper reminded Palmer that the Michael Meyer trophy could be in play if he landed a ball on Dan Jordan's car and Mike instantly played a shot which would have cleared the car handily if he had connected, but he didn't and was out (for 30).
“As for the specifics: Roehampton, with a longer batting line-up than they have often had, got out pretty much every time they played a false stroke and fell to 106 in the sultry summer heat. Berman (3-31), Mohammed (3-8), Locke, Short (3-18) and Willis all bowled well, and the Jesters didn't give the very sporting wicket a chance to cause any middle-order wobbles. Dan Jordan scored the first of, hopefully, many Jesters fifties (60*). He had dropped a sitter, so he owed it.”
23rd July - Bedouins bounce back
We put in a lacklustre performance at the lovely Ascott Park ground enabling the Bedouins to gain revenge for defeats in the previous two seasons.
Performance of the day came from Saif Zaib who had bowled us to victory at Bryanston last year. Unfortunately he was playing today for the Bedouins so we weren’t able to appreciate his 88 as we otherwise might. No one else scored more than 18 in their total of 174 so it really was a crucial innings.
In reply a decent Jesters batting line up collapsed to 34-5 and after that there was no way back. Nick Gregori (34) and Adnan Mohammed (30) took us to 99-6 but we then folded to 114 all out. Not one of our better days.
16th July - Close finish with Carnegie
New opponents Carnegie gave us an excellent game on their Wandsworth ground, the Jesters sneaking home by 10 runs.
Your correspondent wasn’t present at the match. But from the scorebook it seems we owe a huge debt to Nick Gregori who smote a swift 86, rescuing our innings from a perilous position.
In a 40 over game the Jesters batted first. Mssrs Chak, Dancey, Harris and Mohammed all made double figures but no one went on to play a major innings. Wickets slipped away and we found ourselves 86-6 in the 18th over.
Cue Nick Gregori who strode to the crease at number eight. 21 overs later we were bowled out for 228, Nick’s being the final wicket to fall. En route he had walloped four sixes and eleven fours. Well done Nick!
In response, Carnegie began well. The first wicket fell at 90 in only the 17th over and the second at 149 in the 26th. After that it was nip and tuck all the way with DJ Chak taking three wickets (for 38) and Rob Dancey two (for 16). Carnegie eventually closed on 218-7 just ten runs short. The crucial over looks to have been the 39th, a wicket maiden from Rob Dancey.
10th July - Dorset Tour 2014
The 2014 tour began with an excellent 52 run victory over a good Hampshire Hogs side.
On a fresh summer’s morning at the pretty Warnford ground skipper Simon Rawson elected to bat after winning the toss. It looked a decent batting surface but with a touch of green to keep the seamers interested.
59 overs later we had amassed 258-7. The innings was built around a superb 147 run partnership for the second wicket between DJ Chak (66), continuing his good mid-season form, and Sajid Zaib who completed a commanding century, finishing on 136.
Jonny Bridcut steamed in down the hill, reducing the Hogs to 35-3 in a penetrating opening spell (8-2-19-3). They recovered to 134-4 before losing three wickets for one run and the game seemed up. But a hard hit 41* from the number nine kept the game in the balance until Will Russell took two key wickets with his leg-breaks. Having faced the first ball of the game, DJ Chak then closed proceedings in style, castling the Hogs’ number eleven.
Many thanks to the Hogs for a great day. We look forward to returning next year.
Against Bryanston Butterflies the skipper again chose to bat, this time rather more controversially on a used wicket with a large damp patch on a length where overnight rain had seeped under the covers.
The Butterflies unleashed the rapid Teddington 1st XI opening bowler who took two early wickets. The damp patch produced another and at 20-3 our rather thin batting line up was exposed. We finally crawled to 137 all out, Sajid again top scoring, this time with 37.
By now the wicket had died and was slow and low. It offered sometimes extravagant turn for Will Russell who bowled throughout the Butterflies’ innings, finishing with 3-54 from 19 overs. But the lack of pace or bounce and patient batting from the Butterflies’ top order meant the result was never in doubt. We finally lost by 6 wickets.
Thanks to the Butterflies for their generous hospitality. It was pointed out to us in the bar afterwards that this was the first time we had lost at Bryanston for a number of years, so perhaps we shouldn’t feel too bad about a disappointing performance. But we will look to play better next year.
Remarkably, the skipper again won the toss next day at Canford. This time his decision met with general approval - to bowl on what was a very green wicket.
The Canford Cygnets were soon 40-5 and all seemed well with the world. Surely it would be no more than 120-odd all out and, with the pitch easing, a straightforward victory. But somehow we contrived to take our foot off the gas and the Cygnets even had the luxury of a declaration at 212-9. Perhaps bodies were flagging after two days (and two nights) on tour. Our bowling hero was John Murphy with splendid figures of 13-5-34-5. Liam Donaldson also bowled a couple of good spells taking three wickets.
In response we were well placed at 95-2, with 40 from Neil Weston and Sajid again going well. But then our own George Shepherd, keeping for the Cygnets, turned the game, brilliantly stumping Saj off a brisk seamer who was swinging the ball late.
That stunning dismissal prompted a collapse and we soon found ourselves 106-7. The Cygnets had a useful seam attack and it was difficult for new batsmen to maintain the required run rate without taking risks. We were eventually dismissed for 153, the end of our innings enlivened by a brisk 41* from John Murphy that included ten fours.
Sad to relate we also lost the evening’s “boat race” for the umpteenth time in this fixture. But otherwise it was a great day out and many thanks to the Cygnets for being such good hosts. Lunch, tea and the post-match barbecue were a delight.
Finally, many, many thanks to Simon Rawson for organising the whole tour and skippering so valiantly. And thanks to everyone who played. It really is a huge shame that more Jesters can’t find it within themselves to take a day’s holiday to support the club in these great fixtures. Perhaps next year.
30th June - Hurlingham success
Hurlingham 179 all out
Jesters won by 7 wickets
Match manager Jonny Bridcut describes the day:
“The Jesters were asked to have a bowl first on an unusually green Hurlingham wicket, to which the visitors’ attack responded well despite the occasional tendency to overpitch.
“Noah Hillyard’s debut in this fixture got off to a flying start as he ripped out the off stump with his first ball, in only the second over of the match. After the first hour the home side had slipped to 45/3 after further wickets courtesy of Messrs Harty and Bridcut. However, the hour before lunch was dominated by an increasingly assured fourth wicket partnership of 90, featuring several meaty blows into the manicured Hurlingham rose beds.
“The fielding highlight of the morning session was a dogged chase by Louis Harris to the deep midwicket boundary, in a desperate attempt to aid Adnan Mohammed’s ailing bowling figures, only to mistime his dive at the crucial moment and, in doing so, trip himself up right in front of a highly amused Harris Senior. Louis never quite recovered.
“Just at the point when the hosts were pulling away, the skipper turned to the part-time slow medium of Simon Butler, who rolled back the years and removed the chief protagonist’s middle stump with his second ball. With another wicket falling in the following over, thanks to a wonderful flying grab by Shorbo Nag off a very quick delivery, the Jesters strolled off to lunch with the score at 137/5.
“Whatever DJ Chak feasted on during the interval remains a mystery. Given the responsibility of opening up after the break, he proceeded to take three wickets in two overs without conceding a run. With Andy Wigmore’s assistance from the other end, Hurlingham collapsed to 146/9. However, a spritely last wicket partnership, defying ever-aggressive field placings, ensured a slight recovery to 179 all out. DJ finished with the remarkable figures of 3-3-0-3.
“In pursuit of 180, the Jesters lost an unusual early wicket as Simon, a centurion in this fixture in each of the past three years, launched into a cover drive but forgot to thread it past the cover fieldsman. However, Louis Harris, no doubt sympathetic with the fashion of the early dismissal, and DJ carefully constructed a solid platform for the chase, before allowing Jackson Locke and Andy Wigmore to enter the arena and unfurl a wonderful array of attacking intent (if you can have an array of intent) to all parts of the ground.
“Jackson reached his fifty off just 29 balls, one of which disappeared on the full into the shrubbery beyond the pavilion, a certain contender for biggest hit of the summer and one of which Craig MacMillan himself would have been proud.
“With 8 needed for victory, and Andy needing 11 for his fifty, nothing could hinder the control that these two had on the match and, with one run required, Andy lofted a cover drive into the boundary boards to bring up his own fine half century from just 40 balls.
“Many thanks, as ever, to the Hurlingham Club for their superb hospitality. This fixture is always a highlight of the season and we very much look forward to returning in 2015.”
26th June - Pink Elephants
We recorded a great victory at Vincent Square against the Pink Elephants, winning by 6 wickets after dismissing them for just 91.
The Pink Elephants won the toss and chose to bat, but were bowled out in exactly 29 overs. The wickets were shared around: Bridcut (5-1-16-3), Chak (5-1-16-2), Noah Hillyard (6-2-8-2), L. Harris (5-1-21-2), plus a run out.
The Jesters knocked off the runs in 21.1 overs, 20 to 'keeper Sahil Kher, a classy 40* from Matt Williamson (off 52 balls, including 8 fours), and the winning runs from Rob Dancey (18* off 10 balls).
A good all round performance - and we’ve already been invited back next year. Many thanks to the Pink Elephants for their great hospitality.
24th June - SLICC
We beat SLICC by 53 runs.
Jesters 199 all out (40 overs)
N. Hillyard 52, E. Hart 24, S. Packer 4-50, P. Shepherd 3-43
SLICC 146 all out (30.5 overs)
Mohammad 4-31, Murphy 2-6, Berman 2-31
Skipper John Murphy explains what happened:
“On a glorious June afternoon in South West London, Jesters captain John Murphy had no hesitation in batting first against SLICC. His decision soon looked questionable, as the Jesters lost wickets steadily falling to 108 for 7.
“Noah Hillyard and Ed Hart then formed a superb 80 run partnership for the eighth wicket. Noah was dismissed for 52 off 60 balls, and the Jesters were bowled out for 199 from the last ball of the 40 over innings.
“Our score was respectable, but against big-hitting opponents on a fast outfield, victory was by no means certain.
“Jonny Bridcut opened the bowling delivering some unplayable deliveries in his eight over spell, claiming 1 for 23. Runs came from the other end however, and SLICC quickly reached 51 for 1. Adnan Mohammad then applied the brakes to their innings, before starting to rip through the middle order. SLICC were in trouble at 84 for 7.
“A fifty run partnership between Messrs Packer and Jenkins then brought SLICC back into the game, with the Jesters struggling to finish off the innings. Phil Berman bowled well, and was unlucky to finish with just two wickets. Mohammad (who ended up with figures of 4 for 31) and Murphy then claimed the final breakthroughs, and the Jesters won by 53 runs.
“Thanks to SLICC for an enjoyable occasion which we look forward to repeating next year.”
19th June - Emphatic victory at Sutton
Jesters 259-8 (40 overs)
Sutton 70 all out (31 overs)
Match manager Chris Smith tells the story.
“The Jesters recorded an emphatic victory over Sutton after a masterclass of an innings from DJ Chak.
“After choosing to bat first Jesters' openers DJ Chak and Jackson Locke made the most of the helpful conditions by plundering an opening partnership of 46 in no time.
“The Jesters lost regular wickets however in the middle order with Locke, Louis Harris, Adnan Mohammed and Jonny Bridcut all guilty of getting starts and then getting out.
“Particular mention should be given to the dismissals of Bridcut and Mohammed. Firstly Bridcut hit a long hop straight to the man at mid wicket who managed to catch the ball without using his hands. Then to follow Mohammed managed to hit a ball that bounced twice straight to the bowler.
“Despite all this Chak remained calm, scoring runs all around the wicket in sublime fashion as he raced his way to 121 from just 133 balls. He was supported well at the end by Robbie Hudson who hit a quick 31 in a 60 run partnership with DJ for the 8th wicket. This led to a formidable total of 259-8.
“The Sutton innings started in bizarre fashion. A fired up Bridcut charged in and slightly missed his attempted yorker, which struck the opening batsman on the shoulder (albeit it may have hit the stumps!). The batsman retired hurt immediately.
“Bridcut and Sean Oliver then set about the Sutton top order, bowling with good pace and much swing. Bridcut finished with 5 overs 1-11 and Oliver 2-12 from his 5 overs.
“The Sutton innings never really recovered from losing early wickets and Phil Berman and Nick Mumby soon had the middle order in knots. Phil's spell was perhaps the most unlucky spell of bowling you may see with edges falling short, balls looping over fielders and the odd dropped chance! His 8 overs cost just 21 runs.
“At the other end Nick Mumby bowled with guile and a good amount of spin. Nick's figures of 8-3-10-3 accurately reflect the control and threat that he provided.
“All that was left was for Louis Harris to steal the show with two wickets in three overs and the Jesters had cruised to a 189 run victory. A splendid effort.
“Many thanks to Sutton for their hospitality and we look forward to the fixture again in 2015.”
10th June - Jesus College Cambridge
Unfortunately a deluge on the morning of the game meant our match at Jesus was called off.
4th June - Amersham
We lost by 48 runs against a very strong Amersham side, our own side suffering from several late drop outs. We bowled and fielded incredibly well to dismiss them for 143 but them succumbed to 95 all out. A full report will appear here soon.
25th May - Chobham game cancelled
Unfortunately Chobham have had to cancel the game with us on Sunday 24th August. A rearranged cup game has had the knock-on effect of forcing the rearrangement of a Sunday league fixture to that date. We can hardly complain as we canceled on Chobham last year when we were unable to raise a side.
18th May - Last over glory at Sawbridgeworth
For the second week running a Jesters run chase went down to the final over. This time we held our nerve with Noah Hillyard biffing the fourth ball back over the bowler’s head for the winning runs.
In a 40 over game, our 206-7 played Sawbridgeworth’s 205 all out. Highlights of Jesters in the field were Chris Smith’s 8 overs for 17 runs and a magnificent all round fielding performance (yes, really). Highlight of our innings was a 22 ball fifty from new player Jackson Locke.
Hopefully a full report will appear here soon - and in the meantime you can see the scorecard on the Sawbridgeworth website.
13th May - Nailbiting finish at Radley
Radley Rangers: 181 all out
Jesters CC: 179 all out
Radley Rangers won by 2 runs
Match manager Jonny Bridcut reports:
“As the final over began, all four results were possible. The Jesters needed five runs to win. The Radley Rangers needed one wicket. On strike was one of the Jesters’ players of the decade, Adnan Mohammed. Armed with the ball was JWM Dalrymple, former Glamorgan captain and holder of 27 One Day International caps for England.
“The first ball was eased through the offside for a scampered two. The second a patient dot. The third was fired in flat and quicker, teasing Adnan’s appetite for a pull, before cannoning into the middle stump. The Rangers had somehow snatched an unlikely victory from the jaws of what had appeared an inevitable defeat.
“Earlier in the day, having lost the toss, the Jesters had bowled and fielded with great intensity. Wickets were initially hard to come by, despite the accuracy and endeavour of the visitors’ seamers, and the Rangers appeared well set when 90/2 a few minutes before lunch.
“However, they had not accounted for the wily expertise of Adnan Mohammed, who used all his cunning to pin Dalrymple in front of all three and then, on the stroke of the interval, have a further lbw appeal upheld to reduce the hosts to 94/4 off 31 overs in the morning session.
“Wickets and boundaries came in equal measure after the break, and the Rangers found their way to 181 all out, with Adnan taking a richly deserved 5/35 from 15 overs.
“Particular mention must also be made of Shorbo Nag’s glovemanship, which was lauded early in the game by Jamie Dalrymple. Lovely hands Shorbo.
“Two hours later, in pursuit of 182 to win, the Jesters had built a surely infallible platform of 126/2. The chase had been set up by a faultless opening partnership of 62 between DJ Chak and Chris Smith.
“DJ went on to score a fine 73, which included several terrific drives and cuts off an impressive home attack, and even featured a highly ambitious reverse sweep off Dalrymple (which trickled harmlessly along the floor to one of two close fielders on the offside…).
“However, this was a position that the Jesters are well accustomed to but one which we very rarely master. Today proved no exception. Once DJ fell, with 56 to get, it was only Louis Harris that stood up to be counted with a swashbuckling 41, though just when we needed only 16 runs with 5 wickets in hand, he fell on his sword as he deposited a gentle half-tracker down the throat of deep mid-wicket in a very uncharacteristic manner.
“Wickets then proceeded to tumble in unfortunate and mysterious ways as the pressure took hold. As the fateful final over began, all that stood between Adnan and glory was a former England off-spinner, though the Jesters’ hero from earlier in the day could not quite single-handedly carry the rest of his teammates over the line.
“Many thanks to the Rangers for a fantastic game and for their wonderful hospitality as ever. We look forward to hopefully returning in 2015.”
9th May - HAC in the sunshine
HAC 228-9 (35 overs)
Jesters 201-8 (35 overs)
“The Jesters were delighted to return to Armoury House on Bank Holiday Monday to take on the Honourable Artillery Company. The ground looked a picture in the early summer sun, and the ground staff had done excellent work in preparing what looked a very good wicket.
“Jesters lost the toss and were sent out to field. Sean Oliver and debutant Jake Smyth started brightly, beating the bat and finding the edge consistently through the opening overs. Both benefitted from the prowess of Adnan Mohammed who took two sharp chances, and ended with two wickets each.
“Sadly a number of other chances were either spilled or didn't go to hand, and a partnership of 67 for the 3rd wicket at more than a run a ball threatened to take the game away from us. Tight bowling from Adnan Mohammed (2-27) regained some control, but we never quite managed to stop the flow of runs. A total of 228-9 from 35 overs looked a good score.
“The response started in stark contrast and 2 maidens in the first three overs sent the required rate over 7. Despite some lusty blows from Harrison Folland (19) and DJ Chak (37), we never quite got on top of their slow bowlers, who were increasingly difficult to get away.
“A useful off-spinner had come on first change and cut off our top order finishing with 4-27 from his seven overs. A fifth wicket fell immediately after his spell and with the run rate continuing to mount the prospects weren’t good.
“The arrival of Jake Smyth prompted a renewed sense of urgency and whilst he and Adnan were at the crease, it looked like we might get close. Their partnership of 70 from 7 overs, of which Jake contributed 54 (including 4 sixes), was abruptly ended when Adnan smashed the ball straight back down the wicket only for it to clatter into the stumps via the unknowing bowler's boot.
“Adnan (35) carried on the onslaught and put on 39 with skipper Nick Mumby, but by now the run rate was beyond us, and we fell 27 runs short.”
Thanks to Nick Mumby for this account.
4th May - Cambridge weekend 2014
You may be wondering why there is no Cambridge weekend this year. It’s because the students no longer want to play us on the first bank holiday weekend in May but told us too late for this year’s games to be rescheduled. In future we hope to play the games on the preceding or following weekend.
The Sunday of the bank holiday weekend has recently become a “tradition” among Cambridge undergraduates. Known as “Suicide Sunday” it is the last drinking day before exams and seems to have become a huge Cambridge-wide party.
1st May - Season opens at Streatham
The 2014 season began with a 52 run victory at Streatham & Marlborough CC in a 40 over game.
Skipper Adnan Mohammed won the toss and decided to bat on what looked a decent, if slow, early season wicket. New member Harrison Folland and Andrew Short opened.
Harrison dominated the attack from the start and looked highly capable all round the wicket. With powerful straight driving and a couple of sixes over mid-wicket he moved to a brisk half century and eventually fell for 56.
We were well placed at 68-0 but quickly slipped to 89-4. James Douse and Sahil Kher, another new member, steadied the ship with Sahil making an elegant and controlled 51. Down the order everyone chipped in with some late hitting and we eventually closed on 205-9 which seemed a good total in the conditions.
A keen student of the IPL, skipper Mohammed opened with one over of spin (himself) before bringing on the seamers.
Our third debutant, Noah Hillyard, flogged some life from the slow surface and took a couple of wickets. At the other end Phil Berman bowled a beautiful spell of controlled, late swing and finished with the remarkable figures of 8-2-15-2. Champagne moment was a slick leg-side stumping by Sahil who stood up to Phil throughout.
Alex Smith, given a rare outing with the ball, continued the good work taking 1-29 from his six overs.
We were steadily working our way through the Streatham batting line up, but it had begun drizzling after tea and we were soon bowling with a very wet ball. Cue the leg-spinner.
Louis Harris’s three overs were, to say the least, eventful and his figures were in their own way just as remarkable as Phil’s, 3-0-23-3. Unplayable deliveries, long hops, a dropped catch, full tosses, more unplayable deliveries.
One chest-high full toss gave a catch to Phil Berman at short fine leg, prompting a lengthy delay while the umpires debated if the delivery was a no ball or not. The Laws say not, but the playing conditions of many competitions - including the Surrey Championship - have been amended so that all full tosses above waist height are deemed no balls. At the time we were unaware of these subtleties, but they do seem to have been the source of the confusion.
The batsman was eventually given out. His replacement reached the crease only to discover he had left-hander’s gloves by mistake. Another delay followed while he found the right pair - only for him to be immediately LBW to a Harris wonderball.
As batsmen came and went, the Streatham & Marlborough 1st XI captain remained at the crease seemingly scoring at will. He was eventually joined by their number 10 who played a sensible supporting role that belied his place in the order. With the total ticking over the target began to seem less distant.
Order was restored by DJ Chak, cunningly held in reserve until this moment. Unleashed, he dismissed the Streatham captain caught and bowled and then rounded off the innings to finish with 2.4-0-6-2.
Many thanks to Streatham & Marlborough for their hospitality. The tea was one of the best and there was a good turn out in the bar afterwards. We wish them luck with fundraising for the new pavilion.
25th April - HAC game rearranged
The cancelled HAC game has been rearranged for the upcoming bank holiday Monday, 5th May. Same venue, same start time.
14th April - HAC game cancelled
Unfortunately the HAC ground is still unfit for play after the dreadful winter and they have cancelled all their fixtures before May - including our game on Sat 26 April.
3rd April - Roger Greenslade
Our old friend Roger Greenslade passed away peacefully last month, losing his long battle with lung cancer on 4th March. Our thoughts and sympathies are with Tamsin, George and Eliza at this difficult time.
Roger first played for the Jesters as long ago as 1986. In his younger days he was a quite brilliant fielder, and into his fifties still a handy keeper and attacking batsman.
But above all it is as a friend and team mate that we’ll remember Roger: one of the friendliest people you could ever have in your side, always up for a chat – with Jesters or the opposition – and with a huge capacity for enjoying life.
We have published a longer tribute elsewhere on this site - and you can also read his obituary in The Guardian.
There will be a celebration of Roger’s life on Saturday 12th April at Crouch End Cricket Club, starting at 3pm. I’m sure many Jesters will be there, so do join us if you can.
4th February - 2014 nets at Lord’s
Pre-season nets are booked as usual at the Lord’s indoor school.
The first is Tuesday 25th Feb and after that every Tuesday until 8th April. All sessions are 7-8pm.
Exact dates are: 25 Feb, March 4, 11, 18 & 25, April 1 & 8.
The cost is £9.00 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.