No country for old men
Gentlemen of West London 279-3 beat WEST X1 199-7 by 80 runs
There were some unwanted new records for the club in this contest, reduced to 30 overs due to rain: West X1’s concession of 279 runs (at 9.3 an over) in a match has only been beaten by Red Star Pandemonium’s 320-6 from 40 overs back in 2000, and Chris Dane’s analysis of 6-0-67-0 is a new all-time low for the club (see below).
There were extenuating circumstances. The visiting players arrived to be told the match was off, so indulged themselves at the adjacent Crown and Cushion pub. Conspiracy theorists, claiming this was a ploy by a tee-total opposition to weaken their opponents, by allowing them to be overfed and well watered before suddenly announcing the match was back on, was later rubbished by a GWLCC spokesperson as ‘absolute nonsense!’
Nevertheless, with the artificial pitch close to the pavilion being utilised in what was already a small ground, it was always going to be a high-scoring game. A total of 478 runs were notched in 60 overs at a rate of 7.96 for the loss of ten wickets. Captain Gilkes’s brisk 45 got the Gents off to a flying start, but more than half their runs came in the last ten overs, thanks to an onslaught from Lall (102) and Cloette (97*), assisted by much limp fielding and buffet bowling, not to mention exceptional batting. Only Chris Wright (0-23 from 6 overs) and Phil Hill (2-45) emerged with much credit, Hill curiously trapping the rampant Lall leg before whilst appealing from a horizontal position after tumbling over delivering the ball.
The Beggars at least managed some runs of their own, though unsurprisingly were never up with the run rate at any point. Daney recovered most of his deficit with a classy 59 – his first half-century of the season – and was backed-up by Stewart Taylor (31), Chris Wright (34) and the lame Rowan Allerton (32), who, along with runner Mike Delanian, produced some more entertaining ‘dancing bear’ confusion amongst the various running batsmen. But there were too many singles and not enough boundaries and the Gents’ redeployment of their opening bowler with 94 needed from 12 balls ensured no miracle finale.
West X1 can claim no victory over the Gents since 2008 and it’s hard to see how the Beggars can reverse the trend in this fixture. This was their 13th defeat of the season, and when Rowan Allerton left the field injured, after attempting to jump a fence retrieving another six, there was barely anybody left under the age of 45! No new players were brought in before the transfer deadline and the Committee is now under fire from the fans. It looks like a long winter ahead.
West X1’s balls of shame – see below
MOST RUNS CONCEDED BY A WEST X1 BOWLER IN A SINGLE INNINGS
The surprising thing about the following list is this that, with one possible exception, all the bowlers mentioned have been highly successful for the club and all but 2 have taken at least 200 wickets. Everyone has an off day (sometimes two or three!) particularly when encountering top batsmen from a different level. Chris Dane’s entries were both recorded on artificial pitches, which give little help to swing or spin bowlers.
6-0-67-0 Chris Dane v. Gentlemen of West London 4/9/11
7-0-65-1 Steve Bignell v. Strong Room 11/5/97
7-0-64-1 Chris Dane v. Menorca CC 20/5/06
6-0-64-0 Kevin Allerton v. Red Star Pandemonium 7/5/00
7-0-59-2 Steve Bignell v. Staefa 31/5/98
7-0-59-1 Neepam Bhatt v. Gentlemen of West London 19/7/09
7-0-57-0 Phil Hill v. Gentlemen of Hampstead 13/9/92
7-0-56-2 Steve Bignell v. Urban Associates 17/8/97
7-0-56-1 Chris Wright v. Urban Associates 20/8/00
5-0-56-1 Dave Laing v. St.Anne’s Allstars 7/8/05