Aldenham Cricket Club Aldenham Cricket Club v Ickleford III on Sat 03 Sep 2011 at 14:00
Aldenham Cricket Club Won by 2 wickets

Match report A fantastically bright and sunny first Saturday in September met the rejuvenated Aldenham all stars fresh from another hugely successful tour in Devon.

Captain for the day Chris Hewett appeared in his usual late manner, not even bothering to claim that he had forgotten it was the new 1 o’ clock start as the reason for his tardiness, instead in his usual exuberant fashion opting to seek out the Ickleford captain for the toss. Chewit won and nominated Ickleford to bat first.

Charlie Munroe was given the nod to make use of the new ball and made a very tidy start, opening the early exchanges with a maiden. Captain himself, despite claiming to be “shattered for no reason” took the second over. It started well, with only a few runs conceded.

Charlie soon made the break through with a slower ball straight from the “Jade Dernbach School of Good Looks”, deceiving the Ickleford opener who mistimed a drive sending the ball skyward towards debutant and Sachin’s mate, Mr Rathod, who took the catch with all the ease of a man making his 100th appearance for the A’s, let alone his first. A very warm welcome is extended to him.

An Ickleford mini collapse ensued as Charlie proceeded to rip through their upper order with fine catches from the A’s 5th (by my count) keeper Baz Letts, the returning Jaimin Patel and an exquisite ball that nipped away off a length to just kiss the top of off stump, interspersed with a drop off a sharp chance at slip from Aldenham’s resident Pirate, Lee Burrows.

Chewit, after his good start, soon fed the opposition number four a few slightly over pitched deliveries which the batsman pounced and began to dispatch viciously towards the Aldenham fielders.

After this onslaught, and in serious danger of a no contest batting wise from Ickleford and an even more potent danger of Char’s trench digging finally creating an Aldenham-Anitpodes connecting tunnel, Captain Chew took both openers off, bringing to the game debutant Rathod and Richard “Jonty Rhodes” Doughty. Both bowled particularly well, Rathod starting with a maiden before Jonty made the break through with a catch from Charlie, having previously had a tough chance dropped by stand in keeper Baz Letts.

A few more overs passed before skip turned to Michael “The Centurion” Ward, and Danny Knight, who both picked up wickets, Michael Ward with a trademark delivery ripping from well outside off stump to take the bail, and Danny Knight, who caused a bit of controversy as the batsmen and umpire had a heated discussion about the laws of cricket, with the batsman insisting he had hit it and the umpire insisting that debutant Mr Rathod had caught it. Neither seemed capable of adding these two factors together until the A’s collectively decided enough was enough and sent the batsman on his way.

At this point, Ickleford were positively floundering on 89-7.Captain Hewitt, beginning to worry about ensuring everyone got a game, sought to bring on batsmen Lee Burrows and Jaimin Patel, Lee betraying his image as a specialist batsman to provide a wonderful spell of solid line and length, Jamin struggling slightly with both though picking up a wicket as yet another Ickleford batsman threw away his wicket for a catch to Charlie Munroe.

Eventually, figuring enough was enough with the result manufacturing, Messr’s Hewitt and Munroe returned to the fold. The Ickleford number 11 had different ideas however, and proceeded to dispatch more over pitched deliveries from Captain Hewitt back over his head for consecutive boundaries, accompanied with enquiries of how far Mr Hewett would like to see the ball disappear over the trees into the field.

Chewit replied by knocking back the off stump of his partner to finish Ickleford 167 all out and finally allowing the now salivating All Stars to get stuck into yet another fine delivery from Jo Letts, which was hugely appreciated by all, including the opposition who were overheard proclaiming that it was “the best cricket tea that they had ever had.” Thanks Jo.

A good fill later, the A’s went out to bat in the glorious sunshine now enveloping the Parish. Openers Simon Duncan Letts and Lee Pirate Burrows were sent out to face some unexpectedly hostile bowling from the Icklefords opener. They saw out 8 overs before Chairman SDL fell to an unfortunate run out as his bat seemed to get stuck as he was grounding it leaving him agonisingly short of safety.

This brought Tanios to the crease and a short while later, possibly reliving the horror of being beaten in Power Hour by his girlfriend, mistimed a drive to mid-off and was caught.

Next to the crease was Basil “Best Player” Letts to the crease, who set about accumulating runs before his partner Lee was eventually caught at mid-on. This brought Captain Hewett in, his bum squeaking slightly at the cheap dismissal of his opening three batsmen following words of warning from Pete Munroe of the dangers of trying to manufacture a close game. It was soon positively squealing as he rather tamely patted back a ball to the bowler after a change of bowling.

In came Charlie Munroe to steady the listing Aldenham ship at 4-38. Basil Best Player soon set about proving the doubters wrong, stroking the ball around the Parish in the most cultured of manner, before inexplicably prodding a ball back to the Ickleford spinner just short of his half tonne, a fantastic innings nonetheless.

Debutant Mr Rathod was in next, but unfortunately saw his solid debut marred by a duck, leaving the previously steadied HMS Aldenham again looking wearier than a someone waiting for Charlie to realise it’s Nelson Mandela written on his forehead.

Charlie however, perhaps inspired after reading the Zimbabwean plight against Robert Mugabe, set about leading the way and hammered a hugely needed 58, farming the strike when needed and looking solid, until the Ickleford quickie returned, deceiving him for pace and knocking his off stump backwards.

Jaimin came and went and a sorry looking Aldenham, becoming ever more famous for its batting collapses than fantastic Jo Letts tea, were staring at a dismal defeat with 36 more runs needed for the win.

At this point in my tale, I find this quote appropriate:

"Great occasions do not make heroes or cowards; they simply unveil them to the eyes of men. Silently and imperceptibly, as we wake or sleep, we grow strong or weak; and at last some crisis shows what we have become."
---Brooke Foss Westcott

Step up to the plate Messr’s Ward and Doughty.

With a now reheated Ickleford quickie bowling with pace and aggression, it can be said that the A’s who were already back in the Pavilion were not holding out much hope of a draw, let alone a famous Aldenham victory.

However, Michael “Centurion” Ward and Dicky “Jonty” Doughty saw things differently. Searching deep within themselves, both found exceptional grit and determination to not only see out the onslaught, but to score from it too, in fact Dicky’s uppercut over the slips for four vital runs brought about the loudest cheer of the day.

It was a fantastic image as Mikey cut away the final runs, arm loft in celebration as he and Mr Doughty completed the winning single, turned and embraced each other in a fashion that in any other circumstance may have been questionable, but in the context was extremely fitting.

Aldenham 168 – 8 Ickleford III’s 167 all out. Aldenham win by 2 wickets.

Ickleford III Batting
Player name RunsMB4s6sSR
4nb 7w 6b  
for 10 wickets
167 (45.1 overs)
Howard ct  Munroe 0
Schumann ct  Munroe 15
Draper ct  Munroe 0
Rai b  Munroe 3
Howard b  Ward 45
Timm ct  Doughty 16
Cheeseman ct  Knight 5
Marsden ct  Patel 12
Norrington b  Knight 19
Day b  Hewett 19
Day Not Out  16

Aldenham Cricket Club Aldenham Cricket Club Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Charlie Munroe10.072145.252.10
Chris Hewett6.1026126.004.22
Haris Rathod6.013200.005.33
Richard Doughty7.0024124.003.43
Michael Ward6.0125125.004.17
Dan Knight6.021929.503.17
Lee Burrows3.00600.002.00
Jaimin Patel1.00818.008.00

Aldenham Cricket Club Aldenham Cricket Club Batting
Player Name RMB4s6sSRCatchesStumpingsRun outs
1nb 7w 6b  
for 8 wickets

(41.0 overs)
Simon Letts Run out  6 19 1 31.58
Lee Burrows ct  M. Day 8 26 1 30.77
Tanios Watfa ct  Norrington 6 10 1 60.0
Basil Letts ct  Draper 48 44 6 2 109.09 1
Chris Hewett ct  R. Day 8 14 1 57.14
Charlie Munroe b  Norrington 58 81 6 1 71.60 2
Haris Rathod ct  Draper 0 4 0 2
Jaimin Patel b  M. Day 8 11 1 72.73 1
Michael Ward Not Out  9 20 1 45.00
Richard Doughty Not Out  4 10 1 40.0
Dan Knight  

Ickleford III Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
M. Day10.0234217.003.40
R. Day10.0333133.003.30