London Fields (183-9 off 30 overs) beat Duke of Hamilton (120 all out off about 27 overs) by 63 runs
by Richard 'RJ' Johnson
Krohn spurs Fields to victory over valiant Duke of Lord
Following a week of uncertainty as to whether the game would occur at all, 11 fielders marshalled in sunshine for a jaunt to Hampstead. The day saw not only Paul Teasdale's first match as Fields captain but also (I believe) the first time the Fields have put out two XIs on the same day. When we arrived at the pleasant environs of Hampstead Heath extension, the Duke were struggling to put out one XI. They eventually fielded 10, one of whom (a plucky Columbian) had never played cricket before, and some of whom were of such a vintage that they only wished to play 30 overs.
Would this doom us to a tedious afternoon? Fear not, for whenever cricketers are in distress, the sign of a huge bat will appear in the sky and Jason Lord will haul himself out of some boozer, whip up some kit and arrive at the ground in his oversized motor. So it proved on this occasion with Jason sportingly turning out for the Duke.
I believe Teasdale won the toss and chose to bat, placing himself down at 9. Fields' openers were Colin Wood and New Andy, but Colin fell in the first over, top-edging a pull. This started a nervy opening period for the Fields, with New Andy surviving an appeal for caught behind that I as umpire turned down because I hadn't seen or heard an edge. New batsman Andy Wyatt looked in good form but was soon out, this time given LBW by yours truly, the first of 6 LBs on the day. New Fields member Owen smashed a few boundaries and New Andy played some textbook drives, but with wickets falling regularly the Fields looked in some danger of failing even to bat out 30 overs. After the drinks break, however, Dave Krohn started finding the boundary with some frequency, including some pretty big sixes. Aided by some poor DoH catching, Dave reached an entertaining 50 before marching out to a spinner, missing and, it appeared from the boundary, being stumped by a distance. Though given not out by the square-leg umpire, Dave walked off after a quick discussion with Duke keeper and spirit of cricket purist, that man Jason Lord.
There were smaller contributions from other members of the cast and the Fields ended with a respectable 183 off 30 overs. After a tea fuelled by my wife Livia's home-made banana cake, Teasdale's army took to the field for that most epic of sporting contests, the Fields' bowling attack versus Jason Lord, whom DoH had kindly promoted to opener. Simon produced a good opening spell, taking two other wickets, and Colin 'Killer' Black whistled a few deliveries past Jason's chin, but Lordy had started to find the boundary fairly regularly when your correspondent came on to bowl to the Duke's stand-in dangerman. My first ball was forward-defended, the second smashed to the cover boundary, and the third was edged to the right of first slip, where Misha dived to take an excellent one-handed catch. For once, we can say 'Cricket was the winner there' without this being a joke.
I bowled the next batsman first ball and Teasdale pulled the field in for the hat-trick ball. This the new batsman spooned over the close fielders, the ball flopping down beside the square-leg umpire. Such is the hard school of Hampstead cricket. Dave Krohn came on to bowl his leg-spinners, took two wickets with the last two balls of an over, and Teasdale promptly took him off! To be fair, our pint-sized general did a good job of spreading the bowling around, with Misha bowling a tidy spell and Colin Wood taking a wicket.
The remaining hope for Duke's batting was the ample Nick, who hit me all round the park and looked pretty handy. As Darrin Lewis came on to bowl his teasing spinners, anything looked possible. At I think Darrin's first or second ball, Nick put a foot down the wicket, swept and was out LBW. The Duke never really got back in the game after this, and subsided for about 120. Darrin took another wicket and amazed the crowd with his fielding style, which involves stopping hard-hit balls with his right calf, hands nowhere near the ball. As he quoth later in the pub, 'I did the same thing with the same leg twice last week - it's not sustainable'. Quite so.
The Fielders retired to the Duke of Hamilton pub itself for the novelty of a pint among million-pound houses and thence returned to their spiritual home of Hackney. Quite a fun day out, man of the match award going to Dave Krohn and of course woman of the match going to my wife Livia for her home-made cake. Paul Teasdale proved a good captain and a brave Columbian played his first game of cricket. Not too bad for early May.London Fields Batting
183 for 9 in 30.0
|Paul Teasdale||—||Not Out||Unknown||28|
|Simon Yates||—||Not Out||Unknown||6|
120 for 10 in 27.0London Fields Bowling