Having given the rally cry, Allstars came from far and wide to join Sir Vivek Seth in a close fought, good natured match against the Baker Street Irregulars at the end of August that saw the Allstars take the spoils.
After a confusing start – where six cricket teams turned out to play on the two Ham playing ground cricket squares, close to Ham House – and after much debate which included telephoning the groundsmen (who did not seem that bothered that six teams had all booked the pitches), two teams had to relocate to a square on Ham Common – those being the Allstars and Irregulars.
Undaunted, the teams set about setting the boundary markers and removing a chain link and post marking the edge of the square.
remain nameless but is the Match Manager for our game against New Barbarian Weasels).
Anyhow, Nick Chadwick and Ben Hampton set about their bowling game with skill, and wickets followed one after the other, Hampton bagging the greater share in the opening overs and at one point being on s hat-trick.
However, a short boundary and some good batting from the Irregular top order saw their tally steadily rise. It must be noted that the Allstars fielding although good, and dare I say superb at times, was, at others, woefully poor – and even downright lazy. Enough said.
Change of bowlers brought on Tony Grant who was nothing short of brilliant, bowling long and full down the off side. After seven overs, a mere eleven runs had been given and two wickets taken.
After dialogue between an Irregular and the man from Ham (to be known as Mr Ham), we were informed that we were actually playing on the Ham and Petersham CC square – and not the council square as we had been originally told.
However, understanding we could play on, if we moved to another crease (which we duly did at the change of innings), the game continued.
wicket keeper all players had to bowl at least one over. James Morgan and Neale
Adams both picked up wickets. Pete Cresswell would have also picked up a wicket on his first ball having set a catching field, had only the Allstar fielder (a senior member of the Allstars who shall remain nameless but is Match Managing the Weasels game and has a strong association with the James Abrahams Trophy) not dropped a sitter that firstly went through a hole in his hands, then bounced off his chest, pushing him to the ground, and landing beside him.
Of note in the field were the Allstars keeper Jim ‘The Glove’ Scott who stepped up when volunteers were asked for – and had a superb game behind the stumps, and Ben Hampton who stopped a certain four with a high flying kick (receiving a warm round of
applause from the opposition as reward) and a magnificent caught and bowled
during his second spell.
After 35 overs and a fall of nine Irregular wickets, they had amassed a total of 220 and a fine tea followed.
Cresswell and Clarence Marshall opened the Allstars batting line up and went about their business with vigour – Cresswell knocking up a healthy 29 before being bowled.
James Morgan took up the baton and ably assisted Marshall who continued to find the boundary and crafty singles at every possible turn.
It must be noted that unlike the Allstars fielding, the Irregulars chased down every ball, and stopped the ball from going over the boundary rope at every possible chance. Top effort.
It was during the second innings that Mr Ham appeared – a bit like the shop keeper from Mr Benn – and again interrupted play. This time we found out that Ham and Petersham CC were the only ones permitted to play on the square and paid a hefty price to the council for the privilege. As such the Mr Ham would be informing the council and looking for compensation – £2000 for the day, which was a bit of a shock to both teams. Sir Viv had only asked for each Allstar player to bring £10 subs. 😉
Our playing on the square was a genuine mistake and the reaction by Mr Ham was certainly not in the spirit of cricket.
Anyhow, when allowed to play on, Morgan was replaced by Felix Haddow-Allen who knew his job from the start – to get runs and not hang about. This he did with aplomb leaving a final over with a five run target to win the match. The first ball a wide, left a target of four that was achieved with the ball being hit over the boundary – quite rightly – by Marshall who had batted as Grant bowled, brilliantly.
Marshall knocked up 136 not out with focussed stroke play, and must be considered as a Man of the Match contender along with Grant or Hampton.
Well done Sir Viv and thanks to the Irregulars whose spirit led to a great game enjoyed by all….well almost however hammed up the proceedings were. Enough said.