Far from the MCC

~ Est. in 1998 ~

 

 

“Jude Warriors Lose Their Souls and the Game”

 

 

Match:  01 / 049

Lost by 14 runs

 

 

Team

 

Total

Marlborough House

120

J. Hotson  5 - 28

 

Jude the Obscure

106

A. Fisher  34,  E. Lester  24

 

 

 

 

Sophisticated and civilised hearts must today go out to the Jude, an obscure Oxfordshire tribe which, when faced recently with modern technology for the first time, succumbed to both its promise and its failings.

 

In truth little is known of the Jude, except that they are often to be seen congregating in that region called Jericho, where they spend much of their time drinking intoxicating beverages brewed from grain and hops. (If their subsequent antics are anything to go by, these natives are clearly unaccustomed to strong drink). Oddly, the entire tribe seems to be male, with the exception of a single female member, who at the time of writing was observed to be pregnant, although by all accounts this was not by any Jude tribesman. Such are the idiosyncrasies of tribal life, also numbered among which is the Jude’s fervent, almost religious devotion to a game called ‘cricket’.

 

 

 

Some library footage of M. Bullock batting at Pembroke.

 

The strength and intensity of this devotion can be seen in certain behaviours prevalent in day-to-day tribal life - many of the Jude apparently think of nothing else, talk of nothing else, and know of nothing else, so that any conversation among them will eventually come round to this strange game with its convoluted rules.

 

Indeed, on Sunday the 5th of August, anthropologists observed the Jude meeting another local tribe – the Marlborough – on a local grass field where a lengthy strip had been dried and compacted so as to make a kind of throwing alley where the two tribes could undertake their customary ‘cricket’ battle, with the prize for the winners being an evening of gulping down strong brewed drinks, and the prize for the losers apparently being identical. Both tribes had dressed for the game in ritual white, and some who wielded large wooden clubs wore strange armoured garments to protect their legs and hands.

 

The Jude had the better of the first part of the contest, with many of their tribesmen prancing in odd celebrations, and at the end of the ‘innings’, the Jude came off in high spirits, ready for a mid-afternoon feast. Then, disaster struck. Apparently one of the hidden observers had by mistake left a camera out in the open, and the Jude witch doctor, or ‘mander’, came upon it and, with a native’s bald curiosity, poked and prodded at the machine until he had worked out how to use it. He proceeded then to take a picture of the tribe - including one lank-haired fellow who had performed especially well in the ‘cricket’, and was seen to be holding aloft the red spherical throwing implement that is used in the game, and who was repeatedly called ‘The Jake’. (It is hoped that the role of ‘The Jake’ in a game of ‘cricket’ can be further explored at a later time). But after the ‘mander’ had taken the photo, there were mutterings among his brethren: some feared that their souls had been stolen by the strange device, some that it had somehow sapped their energies, and some that the ‘mander’ himself was casting a spell upon them. A gloom quickly descended among them and, strange to relate, when the two tribes came out to do battle again after the feasting time, it was the Marlborough who now held sway, and were finally victorious, which naturally led to a great deal of whooping and shouting on their part.

 

Last seen, the Jude were once again disappearing into the wilds of Jericho, taking with them their superstitions and unusual customs, and the ‘cursed’ camera. One day, a fuller study may be made of this quaint tribe, and then, perhaps, more may be learned about their primitive religion of ‘cricket’, and why it is that so many of the tribe have large bellies.

 

With the two previous encounters between these teams yielding a win apiece, the importance of this game to Jude the Obscure was reflected in the urgency and celerity with which founding father E. Lester took the reins in the absence of stalwart club captain L. Phillips. A fielding masterclass from A. Fisher added the final touch to pre-match preparations, and it was with a jaunt in their step and a gleam in their eye that the Jude took the field. Doubts lay only in the strength of the Jude’s bowling: with H. Jones away on the set of his latest film, and L. Davie and P. Drake also otherwise engaged, the cupboard was looking bare. Captain E. Lester had already renounced his all-rounder status to concentrate on his batting, and tweaker A. Fisher had been called upon to deputise for injured wicketkeeper M. Bullock, who was spending a rare day in the outfield.

 

The attack, though, soon proved stronger than it had seemed. J. Mander found a tight line, and A. Mann (2-17) made inroads into the top order. T. Smith looked useful in his first outing with the ball for The Jude, but the surprise packet was J. Hotson, who in taking 5-28 skittled the Marlborough middle order, four of them clean bowled, in a hypnotising display of length and line that sent scorer R. Lester and the watching crowd into a frenzy. It was left to B. Mander to take the last wicket and end what must have been a disappointing innings for The Marlborough with the total at a meagre 121.

 

 

FFTMCCC2001

 

Said team photo by T. Mander (J. Hotson holding the ball aloft after his 5-for).

 

T. Mander took a team photo during the tea break, after which there were several frowns and murmured doubts. In light of the Jude’s subsequent abject batting display, perhaps the camera had indeed stolen the vitality from the Jude XI. Opener T. Mander went early, but A. Mann (20) kept the fierce and cunning Marlborough bowling at bay until A. Fisher (32) and E. Lester (24) took over. While this pair stayed at the crease, the target always looked within easy reach, but once Fisher went, the Jude’s batting began to looked very frail indeed. Wickets fell in a dismal procession, one after another, with the rest of the order barely troubling the scorer. Praise must be heaped upon E. Lester for a captain’s display in his best innings of the year, but ultimately not even his ambition could prevail, and his was the last wicket to fall, with two overs left and the score on 106. Credit to the Marlborough, who bowled a tight line, and fielded sharply. Indeed, it was a direct hit from Marlborough all-rounder S. Hadfield, with only one stump to aim at, that ran out B. Mander and effectively ended the Jude resistance.

 

As so often this year, it had been tantalisingly near for the Jude, yet tantalisingly far. Tantalisingly, they returned to the pub, where they drank tantalisingly until it was time to go tantalisingly home.

 

There will be other matches for the Jude, and the chance of other close defeats, but this game surely must go down as the one that got away - or was it perhaps, stolen away, through the lens of a camera, at the tea-time break?

 

 

‘Blocker’

 

 

 

 

 

*

 

 

Statto Scorecards

 

 

 

Jude the Obscure versus Marlborough House

Played at Pembroke College, 5 August 2001

 

Jude the Obscure won the toss and elected to field

Marlborough House won by 14 runs

 

Far from the MCC debuts:  Niraj (064)

 

 

01 / 049

 

 

 

 

 

35 over match

 

 

 

Team

Marlborough House

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#

 

Batsman

How Out

Total

Balls

4s

6s

FOW

1

D. M. Edwards

lbw b Mann

5

 

 

 

 

2

M. Allen

b Hotson

52

 

 

 

 

3

S. Hadfield

c A. Mander b Mann

2

 

 

 

 

4

M. Jones

lbw b Hotson

15

 

 

 

 

5

M. Cox

c B. Mander b Niraj

10

 

 

 

 

6

A. Toms

b Hotson

1

 

 

 

 

7

A. Banks

b Hotson

0

 

 

 

 

8

D. Wilson +

not out

5

 

 

 

 

9

G. Lal

c Hotson b Niraj

1

 

 

 

 

10

J. Carroll

b Hotson

5

 

 

 

 

11

B. Eade

b B. Mander

0

 

 

 

 

 

Extras

(NB6, W9, B8, LB1)

24

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL

(all out, 30.3 overs)

120

 

 

 

 

 

 

#

 

Bowler

Overs

Maidens

Runs

Wkts

 

1

Mann

7

1

17

2

 

2

Hoskins

2

0

13

0

 

3

Smith

5

0

29

0

 

4

J. Mander

5

1

8

0

 

5

Hotson

7

0

28

5

 

6

Niraj

3

0

12

2

 

7

B. Mander

1.3

0

3

1

 

 

 

 

Team

Jude the Obscure

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#

 

Batsman

How Out

Total

Balls

4s

6s

FOW

1

A. G. Mann

b Cox

20

(53)

2

-

2-36

2

A. M. Mander

c Cox b Hadfield

2

(9)

-

-

1-3

3

A. J. Fisher +

b Banks

34

(59)

3

-

4-88

4

J. Mander

b Cox

6

(8)

1

-

3-57

5

E. N. Lester *

run out

24

(47)

3

-

10-106

6

J. Hotson

b Hadfield

0

(5)

-

-

5-93

7

M. Bullock

b Hadfield

0

(2)

-

-

6-93

8

Niraj

b Banks

0

(5)

-

-

7-93

9

J. D. Hoskins

b Banks

0

(5)

-

-

8-98

10

B. J. Mander

run out

2

(4)

-

-

9-104

11

T. P. W. Smith

not out

0

(1)

-

-

-

 

Extras

(W13, B3, LB2)

18

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL

(all out, 33 overs)

106

 

 

 

 

 

 

#

 

Bowler

Overs

Maidens

Runs

Wkts

 

1

Hadfield

7

3

15

3

 

2

Edwards

7

2

14

0

 

3

Cox

7

1

15

2

 

4

Toms

5

0

26

0

 

5

Banks

5

1

15

3

 

6

Allen

2

0

13

0

 

 

 

 

 

MOTM:  n/a

Champagne Moment:  n/a

Buffet Award:  J. Hoskins fairy cakes (with chocolate chippings)

 

 

Opposition:  V010 / 07

Ground:  G011 / 09

Captain:  C001 / 35