Paulin Ground, Winchmore Hill Sunday 5 June 2016
Despite recording their fourth consecutive total of 200-plus and a cavalier innings of 99 from the prolific Chris Wright, the Tigers went down to another defeat (their fifth in 8 games in 2016) on a perfect day for batting and house painting, their capacity (and previously West XI’s) to shoot themselves in the foot in this fixture remaining undiminished.
The afternoon had got off to a good start as The Gents were reduced to 14-2, the dangerous Small being taken low down at cover by Stewart Taylor and Hemin Patel being run out in bizarre circumstances after the batsman had driven the ball against the non-strikers wicket dislodging one bail (see below). However, Dubey (55) and Newcombe (54) put together a fine partnership of 88 up to the drinks break, despite much playing and missing and carving behind the wicket.
Wrighty uprooted Dubey’s off peg first ball following the interval, but far from regaining the initiative, the Tigers’ outcricket went the shape of the pear for several overs, with dropped catches, missed stumpings and run outs, and general muppetry. Sanjay Patel took advantage with good use of the long handle in a boisterous 49, and only in the last few overs did the bowlers turn it around, Matt Webster (3-28) and Wright (2-28) being the pick, Ian Daffern and Rowan Allerton taking the best of the catches.
A total of 223 was about par for the pitch, but some wayward bowling (13 wides, 5 no balls) meant that the opposition had effectively batted for 42 overs. The Tiger reply was soon on the back foot, with the top order all falling to some lame dismissals (40-4 in the 13th over). Wright and Taylor (27) steadied the innings with a stand of 56 in 10 overs but 75 were still required from the final ten. As long as Chris was still there the Tigers had a chance, but if one may paraphrase Longfellow – Into every garden some rain must fall.
Wrighty has forever been profligate with his batting partners in his thirst for runs, and on this day two new names (Webster and Daffern) were added to the growing list of colleagues he has run out. The loss of the former was particularly unfortunate as the pair had put together 57 in just eight overs. He did find another worthy collaborator in Horace Hibbert (18), the last minute replacement for the brush-wielding Chris Boden, and bums were squeaking as 22 were required from the last 12 balls, but when the end came it was quick and painless, Kota taking a hat-trick with the first three balls of the 39th over.
Poor Wrighty succumbed one short of what would have been his second ton of the season. He has already registered 358 runs at an average of over 70, but on this day it was not quite enough.
LAW 28 THE WICKET IS DOWN
Para 2 – If one bail is off, it shall be sufficient for the purpose of putting the wicket down to remove the remaining bail, or to strike or pull any of the three stumps out of the ground.
On this occasion the bowler had only to remove the remaining bail to effect the run out. However, if both bails had fallen he would have had to remove a stump from the ground and hold the ball against it or in the same hand.
BRUSH STROKES was a BBC TV sitcom which ran for 5 series (1986-91) concerning the amorous adventures of Jacko, a wisecracking womanizing house painter, played by Karl Howman, currently plying his trade as ex-con fishmonger Buster Briggs in EastEnders. Howman appeared in a number of TV series, including briefly replacing Robert Lindsay as Citizen Smith, and also some movies, particularly the David Essex pop vehicles That’ll Be the Day and Stardust.