Friendly Match vs Shakespeare, Sun 3rd June 2018, London Fields

A Sweaty See-Sawing Sunday against Shakespeare

by Phil Clark

With all its bizarre eddies and fluctuations, this match against Shakespeare resembled the Brexit negotiations, except that it was positively gripping, devoid of acrimony and never once threatened an appearance by Jacob Rees-Mogg.

On a crowded, sultry Sunday afternoon in the Fields, Shakespeare batted first and were quickly reduced to 4/61 then 5/83, due chiefly to one of Chris Murphy’s best spells for the club. Revelling in the humid overcast conditions, Murphy trapped one opener plumb in front then, next delivery, produced the ball of the match, a delicious late in-ducker that castled the Shakey number three. Too much swing was soon Murphy’s curse, though, as the hat trick ball curved narrowly past the batsman’s blade, to rippling ooohs from the portable barbecue gallery strewn in varying degrees of clothedness, sobriety and cricketing interest across the Fields.

The ginger tearaway finished with 3/25, which had Shakespeare in strife at drinks. But Shakey, as we know, bat deep: Tom A, Bob and Tom F, batting at numbers six, seven and nine, respectively, scored 47, 53 not out and 35. Accelerating in three-over bursts in the second half of the innings – punctuated by braces of wickets to VJ and Taz – they galloped to 7/242, which most in the barbecue brigade believed would be beyond the LFCC batsmen.

What the feverish masses hadn’t counted on was the alacrity with which Killian Toomey greeted the Shakespeare bowlers (a lesson the UK Brexit negotiators would also do well to remember: you forget the Irish dimension at your peril). Killian cut, pulled and hoiked his way to a rapid 42, laying the foundation for a serious dart at the opposition total, before a mid-pitch mix-up led to his untimely run out.

Wickets kept tumbling – Simon Hoare offering fewer concessions than a Brussels bureaucrat – but Taz (68), VJ (24) and Troy (21) reminded all concerned that the Fields also bat deep. At 6/159 with thirteen overs to go and Taz still at the crease, the total was eminently gettable. But with the match in the balance, the Shakey bowlers girded their grip and tightened their loins, ensuring the next seven overs yielded only nine runs. By the time the trundling duo of Turley (16) and Clark (14) joined forces for a rollicking last five overs which pushed the Fields to 200, the match was as gone as David Davis’s dignity.

So Shakey sauntered home through the smouldering ruins of abandoned picnics, much the happier of the two sides – but sweaty-palmed in the knowledge that equally bewildering negotiations are in store when the teams meet again in September.

Shakespeare Batting

242 for 7 in 35 overs

London Fields Bowling

1Phil Clark81300-
2Chris Murphy822839.33
3Paul Turley5030130.00
4Laurie Sayer20260-
5Vincent Croft40260-
6Vijay Shah6039219.50
7Troy Utz31230-
8Dave Miller4032216.00

London Fields Batting

 NameScoringHow OutBowlerRuns
1Paul Teasdale CaughtHoare1
2Killian Toomey RunOut42
3Steve Fernbank CaughtHoare0
4Vijay Shah CaughtLuke24
5Simon Marcus BowledHoare0
6Dave Miller LBWAli68
7Troy Utz BowledAli21
8Vincent Croft CaughtAli1
9Paul Turley NotOut16
10Phil Clark NotOut14
11Chris MurphyDidNotBat-
    Total 200 for 8

Shakespeare Bowling

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