Friendly Match vs Eastonians (Met Police), June 15, 2014, Navestock Side

All About The Benjamins

London Fields beat Navestock, and Ben takes the plaudits

by Richard Phillips

So it was, under ashen sky with heavy hearts that 10 brave men met at Pub on The Park to drag kit from the upstairs room and in to their waiting carriages. Little did they know what lay before them: history.

Well skippered by the magnanimous Arthur Smart, LFCC won the toss and elected to bat. Tim Stacey and Ben Sanders providing a solid base with an opening partnership of 50. Considering the line and length lesson being dished out by the Eastonian openers this was no small feat.

In came the skipper to mount a fairly rapid 45 but just as the game looked to get away from the home side, there was the all too familiar sight of an LFCC middle order collapse: Paul Turley and PA "I Pity The Ball" Alexander out cheaply playing shots that they both admitted to being unwise.

In came yours truly to join the skipper. Feeling the pressure, nearly ran out the skip in my first over in when failing to lift my bat at the non strikers end, the ball deflected off the back and narrowly missed the stumps when Arthur had called a run. Much apologising from the strikers end and the innings got under way. A nervy, and at that point crucial 17 mounted with great assistance from Tedore who got 7 after Arthur's exit and Carl's retirement following a dispute over a caught behind decision and some choice words from the oppo's keeper. Vince faced the final balls of the innings with aplomb, but sadly could add no further runs to the total of 143.

Tea ensued, a mighty fine tea it must be said, with the chilli being the pick of mid innings snacks. But heavy were the LFCC hearts, knowing, certain that we had let ourselves down with a very poor total against some less than fearsome bowling. That said, there was one thing we didn't factor in to our calculations, namely, Ben Sanders.

Now, how does anyone go about recounting club history? I could talk of how great Ben's line and length were, how joyful it was to see the movement he generated on an overcast day in Essex. I could, but sadly, truth be told fielding square of the wicket does not lend itself to witnessing line, length or swing particularly well. So, I think I'll tell the story with the traditional, and every cricket fans favourite medium: statistical analysis.

Sanders bowling figures:
Overs: 5.2
Maidens: 3
Runs: 11
Wickets: 8
Average: 1.375
Strike Rate: 4

Considering that "The Colonel" with his secret blend of 11 variations of swing bowling went for a 4 and a massive 6 (which gets special mention for hitting a car in the car park at Alec's!) these figures are really quite something. So, Sanders 11 runs came from 3 balls. The other 29 were just unplayable. 5 of the 8 wickets came as bowled, 2 were caught by Tim and Arthur) and 1 was an LBW.

The spell included not one but two hatrick balls, sadly neither coming to fruition and a double wicket maiden. It's the kind of form that we all dream of and the kind of form that may well earn The Colonel a call from Peter Moores.

Whilst obviously this was a momentous occasion and one not likely to be witnessed again in the history of the club, we can't just talk of Sanders and his record spell. He was ably assisted by all that bowled.

Special mention should go to Vince and Felix (appearing in his LFCC debut) for their tidy opening spell going for 0 for 16 and 0 for 15 respectively. Arthur for his devilish spin ending up with 1 for 16 and Paul Turley who specifically requested that his bowling of 0 for 4 off 1 over not be described as "miserly". As agreed at the Pub On The Park after the game, Turley's bowling shall from here on in be described as "dryer than a nun's crumpet" (or "dryer than a nun's nasty", as Ricksta used to say - ed).

London Fields Batting

143 for 9 in 35.0

Name Scoring How Out Bowler Runs
Tim Stacey Bowled Glumart 16
Ben Sanders Caught & Bowled Jessop 33
Arthur Smart Caught Eilworth 45
Paul Turley Caught Light 2
Paul Alexander Bowled Light 1
Richard Phillips Bowled Carter 17
Carl Death Retired Out Unknown 0
Tony Tedore Not Out Unknown 7
Vincent Croft Not Out Unknown 0
Extras None Extras 27
Eastonians (Met Police) CC Batting

99 for 10 in 19.0

London Fields Bowling
Name O M R W Eco Avg S.R
Vincent Croft 3.0 0 16 0 5.33
Unknown Denton 4.0 1 15 0 3.75
Paul Alexander 2.0 0 10 0 5.00
Ben Sanders 5.0 3 11 8 2.20 1.38 3.75
Carl Death 1.0 0 12 0 12.00
Arthur Smart 3.0 0 10 1 3.33 10.0 18.00
Paul Turley 1.0 0 4 0 4.00