Friendly Match vs London Itinerants CC, Sat 2nd June 2018, Victoria Park

The path skipper Tom Hughes had trodden before he walked out to the toss with the Itinerants skipper had been a long and painful one. A grand total of 2 players had been available for the game only 3 days earlier, the now traditional ‘whos-got-balls-and-bails’ dance had been particularly painful, and the Itinerants themselves had only brought 9 players to the game. Never-the-less, spirits were high in the Field’s camp as the sun shone gloriously on Viccy park and some promising ringers introduced themselves to their new team mates.

The toss won, Alex Turner and Leo Emmett strode to the crease to open the batting. The bowling up front was accurate and, at times, teasing but Leo and Alex batted serenely through to drinks without any drama bar the occasional Turner grunt.

Fields were still below the hundred mark at lunch leading skipper Hughes to ask the openers to play with a little more freedom. Unfortunately this freedom was the undoing of Turner as he was caught two balls after drinks 2 short of his fifty.

Ringer Orin Bovill came to the crease with a shaggy mop of hair and an unsettling look in his eyes. Although not having picked up a bat in a year, he quickly showed his intent by depositing the bowler back over his head for a mighty six. Bovill continued to smite the ball to all parts of the ground while Emmett played a more traditional game the other end; nudging one here, stealing two there. Eventually, Emmett was run out by Bovill for a watchful (and technically impressive) 31.

Ketan, promising his captain he had eyes only for the boundary, now joined Orin and the pair of them heaved the ball around the park for a few more overs. Sadly, Ketan’s pursuit of glory was his downfall as the full ball bowled him and opened the door for skipper Hughes. Hughes, in a rich vein of six hitting form, matched Bovill blow for blow as the two of them continued flaying a tiring bowling attack.

Sadly Bovill, having made a roaring 58, was bowled not long after. Ringer Karthik then glided to the crease with a serene air about him. Sadly for the bowlers this serenity did not extend to the flow of his bat as he set about them with brilliant and powerful stroke play that belied his slight frame.

Hughes was next to go but LFCC’s batting had more to give as Vidal made his way to the strip. Vidal played his usual aggressive hand and LFCC finished on a competitive 238 off their 35; a remarkable achievement of acceleration after their rather sedate start.

The bowling was opened by Tom Damant and Laurie Sayer but neither quite found the ideal length on the true astro surface. The bat was beaten (and at one point, broken) a number of times but the release balls were costing LFCC and it looked like the Itinerants were up for the fight.

Fortunately, Upendra was on hand to break the dangerous opening partnership, bowling their aggressive opener with one that skidded off a length. Karthik also bowled nicely for a couple of wickets at the other end – varying his pace and length to keep the batsmen guessing.

LFCC’s change bowlers all contributed admirably in this middle period of play with Upendra taking another wicket courtesy of a stunning Hughes catch at cover and John Turnbull chipping in with a couple with his leg-spin. Vidal also bowled a miserly spell at this point, gaining prodigious swing to beat the bat time and time again. It is also worth noting that Leo kept with aplomb throughout the game and LFCC’s fielding was a cut above that of the opposition.

It became clear at this point that the Itinerants were batting ‘for the draw’ which took a certain amount of excitement out of the game for LFCC. All the same, Damant and Sayer returned to close out the game, both with a point to prove after slightly disappointing opening spells. Fortunately their lengths returned with Sayer bowling the number 4 bat and both engaging in an enjoyable battle with an Aussie who seemed to be batting a few places too low.

The game ended in a comfortable victory for LFCC with the opposition having made 158 for 6 off their 35 overs. Beers were had, the ringers were congratulated for their undoubtedly positive contributions both on and off the field, and the team finished the day catching the closing bars of the ‘all points east’ festival and the final rays of another glorious June day in east London.

London Fields Batting

 NameScoringHow OutBowlerRuns
1Alex Turner CaughtStaples45
2Leo Emmett RunOut31
3Oren  BowledJimbo58
4Ketan  BowledJimbo0
5Tom Hughes CaughtDavies23
6Karthik  NotOut40
7Vidal Bharath NotOut20
8Tom DamantDidNotBat-
9Laurie SayerDidNotBat-
10Upendra Singh GusainDidNotBat-
    Total 238 for 5

London Itinerants CC Bowling

No Details

London Itinerants CC Batting

158 for 6 in 35 overs

London Fields Bowling

1Laurie Sayer7033133.00
2Tom Damant70380-
3Upendra Singh Gusain6127213.50
4Karthik 401929.50
5Vidal Bharath5180-

Copyright © Rob Harries, 1998-2019