Paulin Ground, Winchmore Hill Sunday 4 September 2016
Look out, Boden’s coming!
A win at last! the first since the end of July’s somewhat pyrrhic victory over nine-man Acme.
Not only that, but Chris Boden struck a club individual best 126 not out, eclipsing the previous record of 121 posted by Chris Wright only two weeks ago, and in conjunction with Mike Herlihy (85 not out) recorded a new all-wicket unbroken partnership of 206.
The match followed a very similar trajectory to the contest almost a year earlier, when the Tigers won by 256 to 94. In the much closer return fixture at the end of September 2015, Chris fell just five short of his maiden Tiger ton. This time, despite some early luck (dropped twice behind the wicket), he made no mistake, bashing 15 fours and six sixes, including one over the top of the pavilion, although hitting the forward roof first, a remarkable feat even for a man renown for painting a whole house on a Sunday afternoon.
Boden and Herlihy scored 179 from the last 20 overs as the visitors’ bowling took a pounding, having dropped several catches earlier in the piece. Mike’s innings was also a career best for the Tigers as they totaled up 485 runs for the loss of only six wickets in the past two matches, in direct contrast to some of the lame batting efforts in previous weeks.
In contrast, the Taverners’ reply never got out of the dressing room, playing out six consecutive maidens in the first 7 overs, pinned down by some tight bowling and fielding, leaving them at just 12-0 after ten overs and 51-1 from 20. With Chris Wright tarting for Cincinnati in Italy two 12-year-olds in the field and Steve Bignell guesting for the opposition, the average age of the Tigers’ line-up had plummeted to a new record low of 38. Joe Webster bowled an excellent 8-over stint for only 14, ignoring Health and Safety regulations, but after 72 overs of the match only four wickets had fallen all day.
Enter Rowan Allerton as a reluctant seventh bowler, having bagged a mere two wickets for 90 runs each in his five -year Tiger career. Clarke (43) had anchored the Taverners’ innings but smacked Rowan’s first ball long hop straight to Stewart Taylor at cover. A further wicket followed in the same over, with two more subsequently to give him a final analysis of 4-1-8-4. The pitch appeared considerably more lively for the Tiger bowlers, having dried out in a brief spell of sunshine before the inevitable Stygian gloom descended in late afternoon.
The Australian all-rounder Albert Trott (above) is reputed to be the only batsman ever to hit a ball clean over the Lord’s pavilion, occurring on July 31 1899 in a match for MCC against the touring Aussies, though others have come close. Trott played Test Cricket for both Australia and England, having emigrated to England and qualified for Middlesex. He was also only one of two bowlers to have taken two hat-tricks in the same innings. England’s South African born batsman Jonathan Trott claims distant ancestry.
Addicted to beer and gambling, he began to put on weight and go to seed shortly after his great feat. Like many cricketers, he never came to terms with leaving the game, drifted into abject poverty and shot himself a few days before the outbreak of WW1, aged just 41 and leaving £4 and a wardrobe to his landlady in Willesden. There is a lesson for us all here.