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Archive: 2015 News & Reports

Take a stroll down memory lane with club news and match reports from the Jesters CC 2015 season.

Updates appear in reverse chronological order...

22nd 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 once again put together an excellent and occasionally fiendish quiz.

At the AGM, Jonny Bridcut provided an entertaining summary of the season, and Chris Smith reported on the Club’s finances which remain in a healthy state. The possibility of an increase in match fees, mooted at the 2014 AGM, has been postponed for at least another year.

All committee members were re-elected with the officers unchanged. DJ Chak was co-opted on to the committee.

The annual awards were presented at the dinner:

Arnold Woods Trophy (best performance of the season) to Sarbajeet Nag (Shorbo) for his graceful and match winning century at Eversholt.

Roger Greenslade Trophy to Alex Smith for “Lostbatgate” before the Cuckfield game - calling the match manager to explain he would be late as he had spent so long looking unsuccessfully for his bat; only to discover it much later tucked inside an unfamiliar pocket of his brand new cricket bag.

Michael Meyer Award for big-hitting went to Ollie Doward for a huge blow over extra cover at Warnford against the Hampshire Hogs.

2nd October - AGM and Dinner

The 2015 Annual General Meeting and Dinner will take place on Friday 20 Novembern - AGM at 6.45pm, dinner at 7.45pm.

We have managed to secure the Brasserie Blanc on Chancery Lane once again this year, where we will be hosted in the restaurant's private room. The restaurant is at the southern (Fleet Street) end of Chancery Lane, which is a short walk from Chancery Lane tube (Central line), or a ten minute walk from Temple tube (Circle / District line).

The cost is £36 - exclusive of drinks - and all members will receive an invitation by email listing the various menu choices. Please reply to Chris Smith asap.

17th September - Newdigate game cancelled

Unfortunately neither club can raise a side for the game at Newdigate on Sunday so it has been called off.

15th September - Roger Greenslade Memorial Match

It was a great day at Eversholt as we celebrated the life and playing career of our old friend Roger Greenslade.

The September sun shone, there was a great turnout of Jesters and Eversholt members beyond those actually playing, as well as Roger’s family, and the hospitality was first class.

The game itself was a cracker with an exciting finish and memorable individual performances.

Jesters highlights were a graceful century from Shorbo - one of the most elegant innings you could hope to see, full of effortless timing and deft deflections - and an aggressive knock from George Greenslade, Roger’s son, that ended just short of a half century. Together Shorbo and George took us to a four wicket victory.

George’s innings included one thundering six over long-on that had everyone reminiscing about his father’s batting exploits. The ball thudded into a bench on the boundary edge, scattering the Eversholt ladies who had occupied it moments before.

After the game there were speeches in front of the pavilion as dusk fell. Ollie Doward and Eversholt Chairman Dave Garrett recalled what Roger had meant to us all as they ran through the highlights of his involvement with the Jesters and Eversholt CC. There were smiles, much laughter and, perhaps, the odd tear.

Many thanks to Eversholt for hosting a perfect day. Some images from the day are below...

7th September - Not so slick performance

We were beaten comfortably by SLICC losing by eight wickets having been bowled out for only 142. Hopefully a little more on this game soon.

1st September - Heavy defeat at Bray

After losses to the Jesters in the two previous seasons, Maidenhead & Bray paid us the compliment of drafting in both their overseas player and a first eleven opening bowler recently on Middlesex’s books. Against our bank holiday XI they were too strong and we lost by about 125 runs.

After decent early spells by Jonny Bridcut and Phil Berman, their overseas and another batsman put us to the sword, the overseas scoring 95 and his partner 120-odd. We didn’t bowl badly but weren’t helped by some comedic moments on the straight boundaries.

260 from 40 overs was far too many - especially as our in form batsman Alex Smith had injured himself while fielding and would be unable to bat. And we were left wondering what would have happened had we accepted even a couple of the several chances.

Our reply never really got going after their brisk opener went to work and we gently subsided to 135-odd all out. Hopefully a full match report will appear here soon.

23rd August - Chobham game rained off

Unfortunately heavy rain on the Sunday morning meant the game at Chobham was called off.

17th August - Tie at Middleton Stoney

Jesters: 136 all out (39.4 overs)

A. Smith 75*, O. Selway 3-32

Middleton Stoney: 136 all out (37.5 overs)

Mohammad 6-34, Bridcut 3-19

Match tied.

Match manager John Murphy describes a dramatic afternoon.

Adnan Mohammad arrived unusually early at Middleton Stoney. It was almost as if he needed the extra time to tell us about his league century the day before and his latest injury which rendered him unable to bat or bowl.

The pitch was green, but we were not disappointed to be put into bat first. Miraculously Adnan was willing to open the batting, although he was calling for a runner in the second over. We got off to a slow start and lost wickets at a steady rate.

Most found runs hard to come by, although Alex Smith was able to resume his great form, looking at ease on a difficult pitch playing several glorious straight drives. The slow outfield limited the number of boundaries, and Alex's unbeaten 75 included just five fours. His contribution was worthy of a century elsewhere.

After a partnership of 59 with John Murphy (23) the Jesters went from 120-4 to 136 all out as we tried to add quick runs before the fixed tea. This total was reasonably competitive in the conditions.

After tea, the Jesters took to the field with Andrew Short demonstrating his true all round capability by serving as our stand-in wicket keeper. Opening bowler Jonny Bridcut rolled back the years bowling with a rare combination of pace, swing and direction. He ripped through the top order, claiming three for 18 in his initial nine over spell.

Adnan did not need much convincing to turn his arm over. He took wickets with good and bad balls. R Simpson - the Mongoose-wielding destroyer of 2014 - was again the danger man but this time with a regulation willow.

His big hitting had taken the opposition to 105 for 5 when he was out-foxed by Adnan's dragged down quicker ball and the stumps were destroyed by Short. Will "st Short, b Mohammad" ever appear in a Jesters scorebook again? Many hope so.

At 115 for 9 the game appeared to be going our way, but a few loose moments and some good batting from P Cranston gave the upper hand back to the opposition. With scores level, we thought the game had gone but Adnan bowled a stunning delivery which clipped the top of Cranston's off stump and the game was tied. Adnan, who started the game claiming to be unable to bowl, finished with six for 34.

Thanks to Middleton Stoney for a great game and their usual excellent hospitality.

7th August - Cuckfield

We had the usual lovely day at Cuckfield in their cricket week but lost comfortably. Their 282-3 played our 217 all out. We were well placed at the start of the last 20 overs but lost wickets immediately afterwards.

3rd August - Bishop’s Stortford epic

Bishop’s Stortford CC 230-9 dec (43 overs)

Jesters 231-8 (42.3 overs)

Jesters won by 2 wickets

This brand new fixture at the resplendent Cricketfield Lane ground in Bishop’s Stortford produced a thrilling Jesters victory off the last over of the match.

Match manager Ollie Doward tells the story:

With a flat white deck baking under blazing sunshine, this was a day that had 'bat first' written all over it. Acting skipper Jonny Bridcut went against the instinct of his 10 team-mates, the injured match manager, scorer Ned Morrell, the tea ladies, the locals and their dogs by electing to take the field. Home skipper Grahame Smith's smile could hardly have been wider as his teammates congratulated him for winning the toss on his return to the pavilion.

Captain Bridcut's theory was as follows - in a declaration game, it would be extremely difficult to take 10 wickets and force a result on such a good wicket and a deep Jesters batting order would be backed to chase the target down. It turned out to be a masterstroke, just.

It was the budding Brearley who steamed in with the new ball. Wicket-keeper Ed Pearce, making his Jesters debut, took just one delivery to move up to the stumps. Neither opener lasted long, both stymied by a deadly new combination of Bridcut and the eager forefinger of Umpire Attelsey. 28-2. On came DJ Chak first change. Ed immediately took a sharp catch, again standing up. Wicket maiden. 57-3 and Jesters tails well up.

An enterprising partnership of 102 between Tom Makin (63) and Matt Rogers (67) - Stortford’s New South Wales U19 batsman - allowed the home side to wrest back control. However, when Adnan Mohammed removed both men, Rogers to a fine stumping by Ed, Stortford slumped to 212-9. A late flurry led to a declaration at 230, Adnan fighting back to finish with impressive figures of 5-38 after being hit into a marquee early in his spell.

In reply, Chris Smith went off like a train, elegantly stroking the opposition bowlers to all parts. The score stood at 89-0 off 11 overs and Chris had 61 of them. A spell by the young left arm leggie Andrew O'Donovan (5-91) then threw our reply into complete disarray.

In a moment of madness reminiscent of Mike Gatting’s brain fade in the 1987 World Cup final, kamikaze Chris cut his dreamy knock short by reverse sweeping O’Donovan’s second ball straight to point. So well was Chris batting hat the watching Andrew Short was moved to observe that he had “just dropped the Arnold Woods Trophy”..

89-0 quickly became 95-4 off 18 overs. It was fantastic to see Mike Palmer back opening the batting for the Jesters, but he too fell victim to the slippery chinaman, bowled by a fizzer for an assured 26.

The recovery was launched by Jackson Locke (25) and Matt Williamson (24). Restrained at first, unusually so for Jacko, both gained in confidence and upped the run rate during a crucial partnership of 51, Matt smacking a memorable six over mid-wicket off O’Donovan. But when they fell in quick succession, we were on the ropes once again at 146-6.

Enter DJ, so often the man for the big occasion. His latest Chakattack yielded 55 off 44 balls, adding 52 with Adnan who contributed five! Victory looked assured but when DJ’s assault was ended by a brilliant catch at cow corner, 12 were still needed off the last two overs.

We were taken home by John Murphy (21*) who, second ball, smote a cathartic blow inches short of the long-off boundary and then hurtled down the wicket for several extremely tight twos, driven on by Sergeant Major Bridcut at the other end. Breathless stuff.

Hearty thanks to Bishop’s Stortford CC for their tremendous hospitality and a game played in the best of spirits, we look forward to another evenly matched contest next summer. Thanks also to the non-playing Jesters who turned up to cheer us on - Andrew Short, Robbie Hudson, Sonia Twigg and Patrick Allen.

28th July - Roehampton rained-off

Sadly the Roehampton game was called off due to overnight rain and a deluge the previous Friday.

22nd July - Bedouins too good for us

Match manager Chris Smith reports:

The Jesters took on the Bedouins at a sun drenched Ascott Park for the fourth year, hoping to overcome last year's batting collapse and get back to winning ways.

The Jesters batted first, which was wholly against tradition and Simon Butler was soon stroking the ball to all parts of the ground, putting on 43 for the first wicket with Andrew Short before falling to an excellent catch in the gully for 36 from 49 balls.

That wicket brought the Bedouins to life and their opening bowler proceeded to embark on a miserly spell of bowling including 7 maidens in a row. The Jesters tried to break the shackles but found it very difficult to attack the bowling, resulting in a number of wickets falling. At lunch, the Jesters had stumbled to 69-5.

Alex Smith and Adnan Mohammed (despite his broken finger) then restored order after lunch. Alex fell for 13 which brought Nick 'Moeen Ali' Mumby to the crease. Adnan and Nick played superbly crashing the bowling to all parts in an excellent stand of 60 before Adnan fell for 52 - a super innings. Nick then fell agonisingly short of 50, with a brilliant 45 from 48 balls. Chris Smith added a bit of impetus with 35 from 24 balls, and the Jesters made a respectable 217 all out.

The Bedouins' innings started in aggressive fashion and when Nick got the first wicket of the innings the score was already 62-1 in the 11th over. The Jesters looked like they might pay for missing some sharp chances.

Two very good innings from Saj Zaib and Ben Sudell (76 off 73 and 77 off 60 respectively) took the game away from the Jesters, before Louis Harris (2-45) and Andrew Short (1-35) took three late wickets. This did not affect the result and the Bedouins cruised to a 6 wicket victory, reaching their target of 218 in just 31 overs.

It was once again an excellent day of cricket in a truly superb venue, with fantastic food and facilities. Many thanks again to Ned for scoring.€

21st July - Jesters Golf Day, 9th August

This year's Jesters Golf Day will be held at West Byfleet Golf Club - home course of Jonny Bridcut. We will be teeing off in 4-balls from 2pm. The cost for the day will be £30.

Please contact Nick Mumby if you fancy playing.

13th July - Epic run chase against Carnegie

We chased down Carnegie’s 233-8 in dramatic style. Having been 124-6 we won by three wickets after an unbroken 59-run eighth wicket partnership between Alex Smith (63*) and Karim Sutton (27*).

7th July - Great win at Canford

Reports are filtering in of a Jesters victory against Canford Cygnets. We staggered to 222-9 - greatly aided by a 56 run stand for the ninth wicket between Ian Rabagliati and Rufus Frere-Smith - before bowling out the Cygnets for 134.

7th July - Amazing rearguard at Bryanston

Hats off to John Murphy and Andy Mortimer who batted through the final 25 overs - against a seriously good attack - to secure a draw at Bryanston. The innings scores - Bryanston Butterflies 322-7, Jesters 167-6 - probably say everything that needs to be said about the game as a contest.

6th July - Hampshire Hogs run glut

We kicked off the tour with an 8 wicket defeat at the lovely Warnford ground against Hampshire Hogs. Our 281-4 played their 284-2 on a slow but true surface.

It has to be said there could have been more wickets in the game as neither side fielded without blemish. But our display plumbed unique depths and could only be described as ‘heroically appalling’. Catching, ground fielding, you name it. One notable exception was Louis Harris who threw himself around the boundary all afternoon.

Winning the toss on an overcast morning skipper Rawson controversially chose to bat. He was completely vindicated as Saj Zaib (114) knocked up his second century in this fixture in successive years and Ollie Doward made his way to 87 not out before the declaration. Louis will be kicking himself. Opening up, he had reached 30 with his usual attacking intent when he picked out the lone boundary fielder with surgical precision.

282 is very gettable at Warnford but if we’d accepted even a couple of the several chances that came our way it might have been a good finish. Instead Hogs skipper Oliver Kelly and 17-year-old Harry Came eased their way to unbeaten centuries, both playing very well.

Jonny Bridcut bowled some threatening deliveries and Andrew Short caused a few problems in a longish spell, but the one ray of hope came from Australian chinaman bowler Daniel Hayward making his Jesters debut. Gaining decent turn he was unlucky to finish with figures of 2-69 from 15 overs. No one could remember a chinaman bowler playing for the club and it was a real pleasure to witness the art in action.

Many thanks as ever to the Hogs for their excellent hospitality - and it was great to come across Jester Michael Moore now running the show at Warnford. Next year we will endeavour to bring our fielding boots.

6th July - Hurlingham

Jesters 206 all out (Smith C 70)

Hurlingham 210/3 (Smith E 70)

Hurlingham won by 7 wickets

Match manager Jonny Bridcut tells all:

The pitch looked a belter and the sun was out, so, on winning the toss, the Jesters had no hesitation in batting first. The Hurlingham Club had a couple of slippery opening bowlers, who were a step up from their attacks in recent years, and they caused our top order a few concerns, moving the ball both ways.

However, two of the Smiths, Chris and Alex, led our recovery from a perilous 54/4 with a fine counter-attacking partnership of 68. C Smith pounced on anything with width and frequently peppered the offside boundary, much to the alarm of the resident peacocks.

A Smith continued his decent form this season and compiled an effortless 33, including a fine straight six down the ground, before cutting a wide one straight to point, with the lunch break looming.

Unfortunately, what had been 122/4 became 139/7 at the interval, as the hosts' spinners turned the screw and lured some mistakes from our middle order C Smith eventually fell, somewhat unfortunately lbw, for a wonderful 70; his year will come.

After the break, Nick Mumby and Rufus brother of Smith played very sensibly and helped steer us towards a respectable total. Their good work was continued by Noah Hillyard and it was not long before the 200 mark was breached.

However, the return of one of the opening bowlers from the top end unfortunately cleaned up the skipper with his first ball and the Jesters walked off with 206 against our name, which we would have taken at lunch though was probably 50 short of being competitive.

A few stray full tosses from the Jesters' opening bowlers allowed the hosts to get off to a fast start, though they were pinned back when DJ Chak held on to a fine catch at first slip to reduce the score to 22/1

Out strode Ed Smith, formerly of Middlesex, Kent and England, as he had reliably informed us. If there was any further confusion as to who he was, he was the only player with his name printed on the back of his county shirt.

All this meant that, as he took guard, we were in no doubt of the task at hand. He walked down the wicket to his first ball, prompting a few oohs and ahhs from nearby fieldsmen, though went on to stroke the ball all around the ground in an effortless 70.

His partner down the other end had been lucky to survive a couple of early lbw shouts but, once he had dispelled any Shane Watson resemblances, eased his way towards a near faultless hundred (definitely beyond the powers of S Watson).

Nick Mumby, bowling very accurately despite the threat of a short leg side boundary, and DJ Chak applied good pressure with the ball but it was not enough to bring the Jesters back into the game.

With just 30 runs needed, E Smith (of Kent, Middlesex and England, in case of any doubt) tried to deposit a full Chak delivery into the car park over the bowler's head, though only succeeded in thumping a low skimmer to A Smith at mid on, who clung on bravely (and celebrated with abandon at the sheer shock of his first catch since 2009).

With the game in its final throes, Nick Mumby slyly seduced a bright young 13 year old straight into A Smith's arms, but defeat proved inevitable. Hurlingham had been too strong on the day and claimed a deserved victory, though particular mention must go to C Smith for stepping into Shorbo's pads at the last minute and keeping faultlessly (0 byes).

We would like to thank the Hurlingham Club for a fantastic day, as ever, and greatly look forward to returning to our winning ways in 2016€

23rd June - Barnes Common