Little Berkhamsted, Herts
Sunday 19 July 2015
Despite managing to finally get a full set of players on to the field and bowling the opposition out for the first time this season, the Tigers went down to yet another defeat in the pleasant Hertfordshire countryside. After restricting the home side to a reasonable total from 40 overs a middle-order collapse left them at a seemingly hopeless 129-9, needing another 80 runs, only for last pair Matt Webster and Steve Bignell to amazingly bring the visitors within 9 runs of victory in a tense finale.
The day had begun well with a returning Chris Dane having Patel caught by Andy Ward with the second ball of his 1st over, later bamboozling the youngest of the four Berkhamsted Hansrajs with his much vaunted googly. In between some excellent bowling from Matt Webster, Stewart Taylor, Chris Boden and Mike Delanian had kept the home side’s Hertfordshire League players in check, Allum making 46, Smith 34 and Bramley a vital 74 not out. Boden’s 3-44 included two catches off his own bowling plus a sharp, juggling slip catch to out T Hansraj.
A target of 209 looked well within range on a slow pitch with a small, fast outfield, Andy Ward (57), bringing his Winchmore Hill form to the Tigers, and Mike Herlihy (25) putting up 73 for the second wicket in 14 overs. Andy was brilliantly caught by Hansraj Minor Minor at 99, followed by a schoolboy collapse either side of the drinks break, six wickets going down for 18 runs in a little more than four overs, five of them to Lewis Turner, including three in one over and Allerton and Taylor in successive balls!
The fat lady was clearing her throat as Steve Bignell joined Matt Webster in the 24th over, but was kept silent for a further 11 by a remarkable comeback. Dealing almost exclusively in boundaries (only 8 singles in a club record tenth wicket stand of 71) the last pair took the Tigers within nine runs of victory before Steve was caught at short leg. Matt biffed 9 fours in his 44 not out and Steve four in his 16 plus a nice helping of byes.
In the end it was disappointing to come so close and not win, but in a match where they played exceptionally well, the Tigers were scuppered by a few balls of brainless cricket, a scenario that has infected them all season, some players looking as if they had never seen a bat and ball before! The lack of application in the middle order is bewildering and might need some serious analysis.
Following the safe return of the long lost ‘Porto papers’, season averages are now available here.
The Who are another veteran rock band celebrating a 50th anniversary in 2015. They recently headlined Glastonbury in what was their final farewell gig (until the next one). ‘Faith in Something Bigger’, featuring the somewhat apposite lyrics for the Tigers – ‘We’ve got to be strong men and follow the path again’ – did not appear on any band record until the issue of their ‘Odds and Sods’ album of rarities and outtakes in 1974. Sounding as if it may have been part of Pete Townshend’s aborted ‘Lifehouse’ project of the early 70’s, the song was actually recorded as early in January 1968, probably for inclusion on ‘The Who Sell Out’ album issued later that year.