London Fields beat Coach & Horses (190 all out)
by Paul Teasdale
Author's note: The term 'professional' in cricket has not always enjoyed the revered status it now holds in the modern game. In ancient times, when Messrs. Charlton and Turley were but young boys in short trousers playing happily with their abacuses and hoops, the term had a distinctly pejorative finish, referring to those players from the lower classes who were paid to play the game as opposed to the 'Amateurs' of the upper class. Because of this shift in sense and the broad range of ages in the club, may I highlight that I use the tem in the modern sense, though fully aware that the more geriatric amongst our ranks will find it offensive, both for historical and perhaps moral reasons.
London Fields kept themselves in the NELCL title race with a professional win over Coach and Horses in a match that saw almost 400 runs scored on the perennially soggy wicket of Springfield Park. A delicious blend of aggressive and responsible batting from the Fields' top order saw them comfortably chase down 190 with overs to spare, Dave Hickey top scoring with 58.
With the heavy rain of Friday night persisting into Saturday morning, the chances of a game looked pretty slim as the Fieldsmen of the day awoke on Saturday morning/afternoon with and in various partners/beds, perhaps not their own or of their choosing. Thankfully the skies cleared and the pitch was deemed playable by the respective captains at lunchtime, resulting in a competitive and highly enjoyable game of cricket, played in good spirit and ending in the right result as far as the Fielders were concerned.
With the Fields fielding first, Will and Misha opened the bowling.
Will, who is often accused of spraying it around like an angry mentalist and who often provokes from his own players the encouragement 'pitch it up you b*stard', defied his critics with two exemplary maidens first up. Misha likewise kept the Coach openers tied down with his more unorthodox, but in this case effective, approach of keeping them guessing.
Not being able to remember much about our bowling (or the match as a whole come to think of it), in consultation with the book and fellow players I am told Misha made the breakthrough and Will was unlucky to go wicketless. Karl bowled nicely, though his wicket came courtesy of a rank full toss. Other people bowled too, like Ben who did pretty well, and Dave L and Chris, who perhaps didn't. Hickey, who somehow always manages to get wickets bowling at the death, got two.
Coach skipper Adam held their innings together well with an aggressive 60, but despite some pretty sloppy and languid fielding, wickets towards the back end of the Coach innings allowed Fields to put the pressure on the lower order batsmen and rein in their scoring rate.
Despite some desperate late hitting by Mo (32*) of Coach, 190 all things considered was a score that Coach would certainly think defendable, but that Fields, with the better of the pitch conditions, were pretty confident of chasing, requiring just over 5-an-over.
The Fields opening pair of Friend and Teasdale – batting together for the first time in the league this season – got off to an aggressive start looking to get ahead of the run rate, punishing anything short in particular. Teas matrixed a couple of 4's through the covers and Friend, finally finding some form, Chris Gayled a full toss for 6 into a love van parked on the road. Duuuuuude!
From my vantage point in the middle it looked like everyone was having a really super time. Waiting batsmen were playing bat-tennis and football on the boundary, giggling and squealing like schoolgirls in the first flushes of teenage love, and Coach, to their credit, seemed to be having a pretty jolly time of it in the field seeing how many puns they could get out of their player Mo's name. Six, apparently.
With Teas caught off a leading edge for 20, Hickey came in and kept things ticking over. Friend went for a well constructed 43 to an awesome catch at square leg, bringing the reliable Steve Fernbank to the crease. Dave and Steve settled into a competent and eventually match-winning partnership of about 80 with Steve, who hit a patient 40, favouring the clip through midwicket as Hickey (58), who loves to pump it in the V, did just that. Both went at some point towards the end of the innings leaving Will and Dave L to finish things off after Arthur, presumably thinking he was at the WACA, got out trying to play a Michael Vaughn-esque front-foot pull shot (thankfully for Arthur, this shot was far more effective on the sticky dancefloor of the Dolphin later that evening).London Fields Batting
191 for 5 in 0.0
|Will Isaac||—||Not Out||Unknown||9|
|Dave Lane||—||Not Out||Unknown||10|
|Misha Maruma||—||Did Not Bat||Unknown||0|
|Ben Sanders||—||Did Not Bat||Unknown||0|
|Karl Lacis||—||Did Not Bat||Unknown||0|
|Chris Skinner||—||Did Not Bat||Unknown||0|
190 for 10 in 0.0London Fields Bowling