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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

Jesters CC 209/8 (Hudson 59, Locke 41) beat Barnes Common CC 174 (Sutton 3/35) by 35 runs.

Match manager DJ Chak explains why it was such a great game of cricket:

Choosing to bat first on a warm day in SW13, the new Jesters opening combination of Robbie Hudson and Jackson Locke got us off to a flying start. Every cut shot by Robbie was matched by a screaming cover drive by Jackson. Serving as a reminder of the brave new world we live in, Jackson slapped a booming forehand over mid-off while Robbie reverse-lapped the spinner. We rocketed to 78-0 in 12 overs before Jackson departed for a run-a-ball 41. A terrific beginning and very enjoyable to watch.

Oscar Howie and Robbie built upon the start, Robbie carrying on to bring up his 50 off 44 balls. Some interesting running later, Robbie fell cutting to cover, who took an excellent low catch. He departed for a well made 59.

The dreaded Jesters wobble duly arrived between overs 23 and 26. Louis Harris and Rufus Frere-Smith were defeated by deliveries that kept low and Howie got one that took off. We had slipped from 143-2 to 146-5 when Vasanth Padaki was joined by DJ Chak in the middle.

The pitch was playing tricks, the opposition spinners were on top and we had just lost 3 wickets in 3 overs for 3 runs. Time to counter-attack! Despite the occasional scare, the pair managed to put on a partnership of 44 in quick time before DJ was clean bowled by the opposition skipper.

The partnership broken, Vasanth followed soon after - another victim to the increasingly variable bounce in the pitch. It was left to the experienced Nick Mumby and Adnan Mohammed to provide the finishing kick. They duly obliged and the Jesters had set the home team a challenging total of 210 in 35 overs.

After the tea interval, Phil Berman showed just why he has been such a reliable operator for us over the years. He bowled a nagging line and length, moving the ball just enough to trouble the batsman. Bowling his quota up front, he finished with splendid figures of 7-1-19-1. He was ably supported from the other end by DJ Chak and then Oscar "the Enforcer" Howie, who picked up a wicket each.

With the opposition already behind the rate at the half way mark, the Jesters spinners began to weave their webs of magic. Adnan Mohammed struck first bowling the Barnes number 5 who was just starting to look threatening. Karim Sutton, on Jesters debut, then took three wickets bowling his leg spinners and googlies, including a beautiful piece of bowling to have the Barnes no.4 stumped on 75.

Nick Mumby was not one to be left behind. He was entrusted with the responsibility of bowling at the death and did a fantastic job. Keeping things tight, he picked up a wicket and then a few bruises, attempting some brave return catches and his second run out of the day. Fittingly, Louis Harris, the hero of previous Barnes outings, took the last wicket to hand the Jesters a well earned victory.

It was a great game, played in great spirit by both the hosts and the vistors and we look forward to returning to Barnes next year.€

12th June - Sutton game cancelled

Sadly Sutton are unable to raise a side for the game on Sunday 14th June so it has been cancelled. We tried the Club Cricket Conference’s emergency fixture bureau for an alternative but without success.

10th June - Close finish against Pink Elephants

We held out for a hard fought draw against Pink Elephants after an exciting run chase. Match manager Louis Harris tells the story.

On a day such as this, one wonders where to start. The sun was beating down on the beautiful ground at St Vincent’s Square and confidence and excitement hung happily in the air. It took a mere toss of a coin for this confidence and excitement to visibly drain away. We were in the field!

However, with DJ and Noah hitting their lengths immediately the Jesters were soon chirpier than ever. After a couple of confident appeals were turned down, the Jesters rolled up their sleeves and worked tirelessly on the ball to create an old-fashioned style shine on one side. The umpires were clearly impressed and asked to have a look at the ball.

Moments later DJ made the breakthrough. A good length ball nipped back slightly and trapped the opener on the crease and this time the finger was raised.

The old adage, one brings two, almost came true as an excellent delivery from DJ brought a great opportunity. A miscued drive sent the ball spinning towards cover. Alex Smith threatened to pull off an excellent catch but lost his footing on the sandy outfield and the ball slipped from his grasp as he landed heavily on his knee. Initially, the injury looked serious but after a few moments of contemplation and a helping hand from Jackson, Alex bravely resumed his fielding duties.

The Pink Elephants captain was keen to cash in on this stroke of luck. He unleashed a series of powerful drives and cuts and was responsible for the scoreboard effortlessly ticking over to 56-1.

Step forward Oliver Doward. Standing at mid-off, he had the perfect view of a blistering straight drive destined for the boundary. Doward was having none of it and embarked on a majestic full length dive, plucking the ball out of the air with both hands pointing to the sky. A seriously good catch. The game was now delicately poised.

Despite some excellent accurate bowling from Mohammed and Jesters debutant Oscar Howie, no further wickets were taken and after 44 overs in the field the Jesters were set a challenging 215 to win.

Opening up for the Jesters were Jackson and Shorbo. They quickly set about the task in style. Blazing cover drives and dashing singles were causing the opposition to reassess their plans. The pair had raced to 52-0 before Shorbo became the first of five Jesters to be dismissed LBW.

Jackson was the next LBW victim a couple of overs later, bringing to an end a characteristically dashing innings of 33. This brought debutant Howie and captain Harris to the crease. Howie immediately looked at ease and played a series of elegant drives and flicks.

The runs began to flow and the pair had raced to 114-2 when Harris was dismissed LBW for 38. In came Doward who looked comfortable and confident before his watch was ended courtesy of another LBW decision. Both Harris and Doward gave a wistful glance at their bats as they dutifully left the sporting arena.

At the crease now were Vasanth Padaki and DJ. Encouraged from the boundary edge by teammate's cheers, the pair set about running quick singles and putting away any bad balls. Before they were able to threaten the boundary rope further, two more wickets fell. Another LBW and a smart catch square on the offside, and the Jesters now found themselves 160-6.

Adnan Mohammed entered the fray and looked determined to bury the demons of a recent failed run chase. Sadly, before a partnership could be established Howie offered up a return catch which was gratefully received. Howie out caught and bowled for a classy 31.

Mohammed and Hillyard continued the run chase and mixed powerful stroke play with watchful defence. The balance looked to be tilting towards the Jesters before Mohammed was lured out of his crease and stumped for a well made 17.

This left the match on a knife edge. 185-8 with no number 11. Surely they would just bat out for the draw? Indeed, the captain made the decisive call while fielding on the point boundary for the opposition.

No sooner than Hillyard had taken guard, he looked up to see some frantic gesturing from the point boundary. Using an elaborate code, Harris managed to convey that the chase should continue.

Two overs passed and it was decided that the chase was too risky. Three balls later and the chase was back on. Clear, calm strategic vision.

With only 2 balls to go and 13 needed it was finally decided that the draw would be an acceptable result. The Jesters finished 203-8. A fair result and an excellent and highly entertaining game was brought to a close. The game generated memories and talking points that will last a generation.

A big thank you to the Pink Elephants for inviting us to play at such a splendid ground and for their hospitality and delicious cream teas!

A last thank you to our scorer, Ned Morrell, who does an incredible job and is such an integral part of the Jesters set up.

7th June - Convincing win at Jesus, Cambridge

Jesus College 118 all out (35 overs)

Jesters 119-4 (24.2 overs)

"Water, water everywhere

Nor any drop to drink"

(Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Jesus College 1791-93)

After last year's match was washed out by a monsoon, it was a relief to find water absolutely nowhere on a sun-soaked Cambridge afternoon for the resumption of a fixture we'd won just once since 2008.

The toss was lost which gave able seaman Murphy the chance to charge in with a considerable breeze at his back. Two Jesus batsmen were soon blown away, both snaffled by DJ Chak in front of his family entourage. The first of these was something of an eye-popper as DJ sprinted from conventional mid-off to deep mid-on to grab a huge Garryowen on the run.

With the wind in his sails, John continued to bamboozle the top order,finishing with 2-16 off his 8 overs. He was well supported by Noah Hillyard at the other end, a booming reggae soundtrack at his back from the adjacent Strawberry Fair. Noah shivered the timbers of two home batsmen in his spell of 2-30 off 10 overs. DJ, coming on first change and bowling at a fair lick, matched that feat.

Jesus skipper Dan Webster offered some resistance, top-scoring with 34, but it was our very own ancient mariner Andrew Short who ran through the opposition tail with two quick wickets of his own in a three-over spell.

With just 119 to win, swashbuckler Smith was sent in as pinch hitter. Perhaps still distracted by the women's doubles contest on the neighbouring tennis court, Alex attempted two almighty heaves at the opening two deliveries of the innings before settling down to construct a match-winning 57 and putting on 81 for the first wicket with Robbie (37).

Shortly afterwards it was 109-4 after a customary Jesters wobble. Two former Jesuans - Ros Atkins and Ollie Doward - were at the crease to navigate the good ship Jesters to a comfortable 6 wicket victory.

A hardy few remained in the college bar for many a drop to drink after the game. Thanks go to out-going Jesus skipper Dan Webster who we hope to see turning out for the Jesters on this ground in future seasons.

Thanks to match manager Ollie Doward for this account.

2nd June - Amersham game rained-off

Unfortunately heavy overnight rain meant our game with Amersham had to be called off.

18th May - Record score at Sawbridgeworth

When the opposition score 234 you think "tough target but could be a good finish". But when one opposition batsman alone scores that many the emotions are rather different.

Yes, 19 year old Harry Jerome put us to the slaughter, coming to the wicket in the second over of the 40-over game we traditionally play at Sawbridgeworth and his 234 is a new club record. Congratulations Harry!

On a beautiful batting wicket, with a short boundary down a slope, we found it difficult to avoid being hit for six or four, and in the end Sawbridgeworth amassed 371-3.

We gave it a good go in response, rocking along at nine an over as the hundred came up with no wickets down. But inevitably wickets tumbled amid the pressure of the chase and we were finally all out for 210 after 30 overs. Sahil Kher led the way with his second century of the season.

A full report will appear here soon once match manager Alex Smith emerges from his darkened room.

14th May - Ed’s Radley Thriller

Radley Rangers 206/9 dec (Chak 3/33, C Smith 3/48)

Jesters 208/7 (Butler 82, Wigmore 33, Willis 30*)

Jesters won by 3 wickets

Match manager Jonny Bridcut tells the story:

Having lost the toss on an unusually not-freezing-cold May day at the beautiful school ground at Radley College, the Jesters were asked to field first; not a problem at all, given our renowned expertise when faced with a tough chase later in the day.

We generally bowled and fielded very well in the opening session, regularly beating the edge and forcing false shots, and particular mention must go to Andy Harris' opening spell of 8-4-9-1.

However, as is so often the case, it took the introduction of DJ Chak into the attack for us to reap our reward, as, with the smell of lunch in the air, he removed both set batsmen to leave the hosts 112/4 at the interval.

The captain tried several bowling combinations after the break, though it was the return of Chris Smith, bowling well-flighted offies into the gentle Oxfordshire breeze, that caused the most damage, as he ripped through the Rangers' middle order and helped bring about their declaration on 206/9.

Chris had the considerable challenge of filling the shoes of Adnan Mohammed, our veteran leading spinner, following the latter's unfortunate broken finger suffered the day before. However, although unable to bowl, "fingers" proved to be a lethal weapon in the field, pouching a crucial catch at square leg and running out a Ranger who had severely underestimated the wounded soldier's fierce arm.

Despite the early losses of DJ and Louis Harris (who together underpinned our innings in last year's corresponding fixture), home favourite Simon Butler found an ally in Andy Wigmore as the two put on almost 100 for the third wicket.

For the second year in a row, the Jesters looked in total command of the chase. However, 120/2 inevitably became 135/4 and, when Simon charged down the wicket only to play on to his off stump for a fluid 82, the nerves in the Jesters ranks were starting to show.

As the overs ticked by, the run rate required tipped up above a run a ball; the experienced home attack, preparing for tougher challenges to come in the Cricketer Cup, were proving hard to muscle away.

Andy Harris martialled the middle order with some incredible running between the wickets, though not to the amusement of Shorbo Nag, our graceful wicketkeeper more accustomed to DJ's languid style of accumulation, who was rumoured to have joined in the Rangers' celebrations upon Andy's eventual dismissal.

With 44 needed off 6.3 overs, out strode our hero of the day at number 8, Edmund Willis. Playing his first innings of the season, it only took Ed a few balls before he began peppering the leg-side boundary with flicks off his toes and lofted drives over mid on. The Rangers had no answer. Ed's 30 not out (off 22 balls) took us home with unlikely ease and with more than an over to spare.

For the third time in five years, the game came down to the last two overs, with all four results still possible. Quite remarkable. We would like to thank the Radley Rangers for their fantastic hospitality, as ever, and we greatly look forward to another closely-fought encounter in 2016.

1st May - HAC game cancelled

Sadly we have had to cancel the game on Sunday 3rd May as HAC cannot raise a side. Disappointing - but the weather forecast looks poor so we may well not have played anyway.

26th April - Great win at St John’s

We beat St. John’s College Cambridge by nine wickets, chasing down their 206-7 with five overs to spare.

Star of the show was DJ Chak with 102 not out and 3-41 with the ball. After a century opening partnership with Tony Crockert (retired hurt 29), DJ and Louis Harris (46 not out) knocked off the runs in style.

A full match report will appear here soon.

21st April - Fine start at Streatham & Marlborough

We began the season in style with a convincing 156 run win in Dulwich against Streatham & Marlborough CC. In a 40 over game, Jesters 274-4, Streatham & Marlborough 118 all out.

Opening up, Sahil Kher looked like a man who had been batting all winter. Shots all round the wicket and beautiful timing. With the score on 52 he was joined by Louis Harris, who also looked in fine form, and the pair rocked along at nearly eight an over.

The half-century and century partnerships came and went before Sahil reached his own century off 87 balls. He was promptly run out on the some score with Louis following three runs later for 72. 198-3 in the 32nd over.

After one meaty six from Jackson Locke, our finishers were Alex Smith (36 not out) and Ollie Doward (29 not out) who both did well to maintain the momentum in their first knocks of the season. 274 looked a formidable total but you never quite know on such a fast scoring ground.

Streatham & Marlborough made a solid start (37-1 off 10 overs) but then the wheels came off. After 20 overs they were 77-6 and there was no way back. After some bright hitting from the No.8 they were all out for 118 in the 31st over.

All the Jesters bowlers looked in decent form and the wickets were shared around, James Brown, Noah Hillyard, Adnan Mohammed and Ed Willis taking two apiece.

New member James Brown looks a useful opening bowler. He’ll be particularly pleased with the brisk yorker that cleaned up their skipper - the perfect response to a ramp shot that had just dispatched the ball for four straight over the keeper’s head.

Praise too for skipper Mohammed who marshaled the troops efficiently and resisted all temptation for exotic field placement.

So a nice way to start the season. Many thanks to Streatham & Marlborough who are always great hosts.

9th April - 2015 fixture cards

The 2015 fixture cards were all put in the post before Easter. If you haven’t received yours - whether you’re a member or candidate - please contact John Murphy.

7th April - Highlights of the new season

With the 2015 season about to begin, here are a few dates to put in your diary now.

New fixtures against Bishops Stortford - Ollie Doward’s old club - on 2nd August; Newdigate near Dorking on 20th September - regular opponents of ours until fifteen years ago: and Eversholt in Bedfordshire on 13th September.

The Eversholt match is the Roger Greenslade Memorial Game celebrating Roger’s life and his exploits - on and off the field - for both The Jesters and Eversholt where he played for a number of years.

Don’t forget the Dorset/Hants Tour in early July. Great all day games against Hampshire Hogs, Bryanston Butterflies and Canford Cygnets - on lovely grounds and with fantastic hospitality. If you can’t make the whole thing you’d be very welcome for just one day or two.

For those who think golf is a worthwhile pursuit there’s also the club Golf Day on 9th August. Probably at a course in Surrey although the venue is yet to be decided.

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