Far from the MCC

~ Est. in 1998 ~

 

 

“Sliding Bats
Aka YOU WEREN’T F_____’ THERE MAAAAAAAN

 

 

Match:  16 / 393

Lost by 174 runs

 

 

Team

 

Total

Cholsey CC

303 - 2

G. Timms  1 - 43

 

FFTMCC

129

J. Pearson  30,  D. Shorten  23

 

 

 

 

2.02pm Sunday 17th July 2016 – Dave Shorten has opened the bowling and with the third ball of the opening over raps the Cholsey opener on the pad….

 

Fate is much like a revolving door, it may open for you, but if you don’t respect the cycle it will still slap you on the arse as it continues revolving. The door can sometimes appear in the form of a nemesis, which has been defined as being ‘the agent of divine punishment for wrongdoing or presumption (hubris)’.

 

Far from the MCC met their nemesis in Cholsey…

 

 

JayR

 

…his name is Jay Rahman.

 

Following two fairly comprehensive wins against Cholsey already this season, it was a fairly sanguine Mad who gathered yet again at the Red Lion for the pre-game drink. It was a warm, lovely Sunday afternoon; the forecast was for a gentle game of social cricket against a decent group of blokes with another win the likely outcome. Not one of the FFTMCC XI would have forecast the hurricane that was due to be visited on them.

 

The film Sliding Doors carries a split narrative, charting the two possible courses Gwyneth Paltrow’s life could have taken if she had, or hadn’t, caught a particular tube train on a particular day. Cricket, too, is full of what ifs and there was a very different game of cricket that could have happened at Cholsey. It’s difficult to pinpoint a moment when one particular path is taken, but tracking back through this particular day, Matt Bullock was heard to muse, “I shouldn’t have appealed in the first over….”

 

This report will cover both games.

 

Before that, however, we have to pay tribute to Mr Rahman, a man who has taken his place in the FFTMCC Hall of Fame. This particular diem he not only carpe’d, but had trims, spoilers and a klaxon horn added to it and probably also bought a winning lottery ticket on his way home. In a 35-over game he scored the first double century any of us had ever participated in, beating Tetsworth’s infamous Hiram Shallow’s 182* by another 36 runs. Just a shame he doesn’t play for us.

 

 

http://www.purplecamera.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Sliding-Doors-006.jpg

 

Gwyneth P – curiously spotted at Cholsey railway station on the Sunday.

 

 

What could have happened….

 

2.02pm continued… …Dave’s appeal is a little muffled and Bullock fails to join him.  The umpire thinks about it for a second then shakes his head, as does Dave, irritated.

 

2.03pm With the fourth ball of an already impressive over, Dave once again hits the opener’s pads and this time there is no doubt, lbw. A stocky young batsman called Jay Rahman comes out to bat. He’s not played a lot of cricket this year, Ramadan falling in June and the weather not being all that it could be. Apparently he scored his highest ever score in his last game, 89, but that was back in May. Dave comes in again and Rahman, with a nice high back lift simply nails it back over his head for a beautifully struck boundary; clearly no need for Rahman to waste time settling in. Dave comes in for the final ball of the over and Rahman plays exactly the same shot, but gets a little underneath it. Timms has pushed himself back to long on after the first shot and runs in and takes a nicely judged catch behind the bowler. Cholsey 4-2 after the first over, and The Madders can be forgiven for feeling that this might be their day again.

 

2.05 – 3.05  The cricket settles down to a period of consolidation. Chappers is batting well for Cholsey and has been joined by Bev Davis, a Kiwi who used to live here and is just back over for a month. Shorten and Tall Bob finish their tidy opening spells and skipper Timms brings himself and J-Mo on to twirl away. After 12 overs Chappers, who has been struggling to get Timms away top edges one to cover where Webster takes a straightforward catch, 47-3. The drinks break is in sight and Madders can be pleased with their progress so far.

 

Drinks - Both sides can probably be reasonably happy as they slurp Ribena peaceably in the sunshine. 70-4 for the home team off 18 overs, one more wicket has fallen since Chappers went; a good diving catch by Hebbes in the covers. Bev, the Kiwi, is 25*

 

After refreshments The Madders started reasonably well. A couple of skiers were well held, by Bob at long on, and one extraordinary effort by Russ at long-off, where he brilliantly remained on his feet leaning back and holding on to the ball like the man in the Cytrix advert. Bev continued to bat well, hitting the ball well through the offside and managing one enormous six off Shorten. It was a beautiful sunny day and The Madders managed to hustle quickly though their overs. Once, when Bev hit his six, we had a slight hold-up as the ball had cleared the hedge in the field, but The Madders and Cholsey guys were quick and efficient in rooting it out.

 

As the Cholsey innings drew to a close, The Madders managed to keep a reasonably tight lid on things. Mike took a great running catch on the deep midwicket boundary and bowled tightly, although he did gift a late and rare boundary to Bev, who remained the mainstay of the Cholsey innings with a fine and well-paced fifty. Cholsey were all out in the final over. Having rattled through the overs and the catches and wickets being spread throughout the team, The Madders were pleased to have taken an early tea and felt that chasing 130+ on a reasonable wicket was definitely on.

 

 

 

Jake Hotson (batting) smashes The MAD to victory in the above match….

 

 

But here’s what actually happened….

 

2.02pm Sunday 17th July 2016 – Dave Shorten has opened the bowling and with the third ball of the opening over raps the Cholsey opener on the pad. Dave and keeper, Matt Bullock, go up for it…. The umpire’s clearly impressed with the concerted effort and gives it. Nice start for The Madders against an opposition they have already beaten twice, comfortably, this year.

 

Rahman moves on to 8 off 2 balls; his second boundary a slightly lofted version of his first. It’s too early to put a man back so The Madders’ impression is that he’s been lucky and we simply need to wait for him to pop one up.

 

2.05 – 3.30 - Rahman smashes 5 fours off the next two overs from Tall Bob and Shorten, full blooded drives through mid-on and well-timed flicks off his legs to backward square leg. Then he really gets going, twice bludgeoning Bob over cow corner, out of the ground and into the field next door. Dave and Gary Timms come across a fox cub while looking for the ball. Dave murmurs soothingly, “bye, bye, Mr Fox, we’ll leave you alone now”, seconds before Rahman larrups the ball back into exactly the same spot. An aeon passes while another ball is lost and the Mad ferret about in hedges. Shorten and Bob make way for Timms and James Hoskins. J-Mo bowls a good first over. As we suspected Rahman is more comfortable with some pace on the ball; a possible weakness here. Then Rahman smashes J-Mo for some sixes. Timms gets Chappers caught by Webster, top edging a catch into the covers. He’s batted well but heads off with 20 to his name while Rahman is already on about 70.

 

On comes Pearson. And Rahman smashes him for some sixes and fours. Several lifetimes pass with various balls disappearing into various hedges and gardens. We haven’t had drinks yet and we’re already on the fourth spare ball of the day. Rahman rushes past his century a few overs before the halfway mark. Shorten comes back for a second spell. And Rahman smashes him for some sixes and fours. At the other end he has been joined by Bev Davis, a Kiwi who used to live here and is back over for a month. He has a 1970s sunhat on and bats cannily in black and white while Rahman appears to bat in technicolour with flashing lights, sirens wailing and big explosions.

 

Drinks – Madders seem to have been fielding since the dawn of time and stumble over to the drinks while Rahman seeks a seat in the shelter of the pavilion. He must be tired. We posit that this might be like the Wytham game where the drinks seemed to have magical properties and we rolled them over after the break. This turns out not to be the case. Cholsey are loads and loads for two.

 

 

 

Much to ponder for MAD Skipper, Mr Timms.

 

3.30 – 4.45 Time stops. Birds stop in mid-flight and hang in the air. There is no breeze, all is calm. Only the consistent thwack of willow on leather, as metronomic and muscular as the blacksmith’s hammer on anvil disturbs the bucolic peace. Timms brings Jan on to bowl. And Rahman smashes him for some sixes and fours. Hebbes turns his arm over. And Rahman smashes him for some sixes and fours. To break it up a little, Bev smashes Shorten for some sixes and fours too.

 

At one point, Webster lay on the grass waiting for ball number 8 to be found and put his sunhat over his head and had a brief moment of absolute serenity. Shame such metaphysical experiences can’t be considered for champagne moments. To give some additional context, Webster went for 20 in his second over (. . 4 6 4 6) – and still didn’t get the Buffet award….

 

J-Mo came back on. And Rahman smashed him for some sixes and fours. Bob came back on. And Rahman smashed him for some sixes and fours too. A certain amount of repetition had crept into the game.

 

In discussion later, we seemed to have dropped six catches, but it would probably be fair to say at this point that we’re not talking about fluffy little dollies primped up to midwicket or mid-off. These were generally balls struck to the edge of the atmosphere returning to earth at terrifying curling velocities. Did The Madders flinch at all? Well, perhaps a little, but this was completely understandable.

 

Rahman had 150 and we hadn’t even noticed.

 

 

 

Bored of finding lost balls in the hedgerows….

 

The end never quite seemed to be in sight. No one had any memory of a time when we were not either in a field or a hedge. Timms bravely brought himself back on to bowl and Rahman hit him for some more fours and sixes. Russ fell into the hedge while waving at another missile launched from the wicket and such was the nature of the day that he picked up the Champagne Moment award for the joy he had temporarily brought us. Mike Reeves then almost pulled off a stunner, just over running a swirler out on the deep midwicket boundary.

 

Mike, held together with bits of sellotape and chewing gum, like a Netto version of the six million dollar man, then came onto bowl. And Rahman failed to hit him for a single boundary!!!!! Reeves achieved the unbelievable, bowling 4 overs for just sixteen runs. By this point, however, neither batsman were bothering to a take singles.

 

And Rahman cruised past 200 (with some sixes and fours). There was something inevitable about it all, a wheel had been set in motion and all The Mad could do was watch it turn. There were a few more sixes and fours then, just like that, it was over. 303-2. I imagine the moment after the ceasefire in 1918 must have been similar; a moment of silence and contemplation. The question: “what the fuck was all that about?” Jay Rahman had scored 218 not out.

Two hundred and eighteen. Not out.

TWO HUNDRED AND EIGHTEEN. NOT OUT. With 13 sixes and 27 fours.

 

 

Jay218

 

Jay Rahman on left.

 

Even now I suspect most of The Madders there that day are not entirely certain that this actually happened, wondering perhaps if some kind of communal hysteria had overtaken us?

 

Looking objectively at it, The Mad actually bowled OK. Sure, there were the odd long hop and full toss, but, by and large, it was simply a massive and endless innings of powerful hitting, largely straight, over cow corner and midwicket. Rahman, you could argue never actually sped up, he just started in top gear and continued right through the innings. He played and missed occasionally (Shorten and Reeves), he blocked a few (J-Mo), everything else he larruped to all points. Fine, we dropped a few, but by and large they were difficult chances and the ground fielding was OK. We just could have done with another five fielders. It’s hard to imagine Rahman (a quietly modest bloke) will have many days like this, but fair play to him for making the most of it.

 

It seemed slightly odd that we now had to bat.

 

We are not an unduly pessimistic lot, but, with a run rate of 8.7 required from the get go, the odds on winning the game were, to put it mildly, long. Pearson hit ten from the first over, putting us, briefly, on target for a mighty win. Nick Hebbes clubbed their opener to midwicket for four, but then played a Cossack sweep shot, missing only a ‘Hoi!’ as he span round three times before finding himself out lbw. Pearson played some lovely straight drives and Russ looked in good touch only to succumb, bowled, to a decent ball angling in to him. Jake’s batting has taken on a new look of purpose this year and he played a few nice shots before a flurry of wickets just past the fifty mark essentially settled what was already apparent. Pearson went for an excellent, fluent 32, as the variable bounce at the pavilion end saw him get a leading edge to cover. Mike Reeves was then the victim of a ball that lifted from nowhere and took the edge to the keeper. Webster then made his 2016 Cholsey ‘pair’ with his second duck here this year, edging to third slip, who dropped it twice and then kicked it into the hands of third slip; hope, hope and then despair.

 

 

 

Pearson (batsman on left) departs after registering 188 runs less than Rahman.

 

Dave Shorten lashed a rapid 23 before the opposition, in what could either be regarded as an act of charity or the crowning humiliation, put on their ten-year old bowler (approximately a full metre shorter than Tall Bob) on for a lengthy spell, in which he managed to get Bullock, wearing bifocal specs and unable to see anything lower than waist high, to hit his own wicket. “How on earth did you do that?” said Hebbes.

“You’ve done it twice yourself,” replied Bullock. And later proved it with stats.

At the other end Dave feathered a high full toss and Timms was bowled. J-Mo and Tall Bob entertained for an over or two and we finished up approximately 170 short.

 

The game over, The Mad gathered and the conversation* would probably have been similar whichever game we had played. It’s testament to the team that no-one’s head dropped at any point in the afternoon. We took it on the chin and enjoyed the day anyway. Chapeau to Jay Rahman.

 

* - Keep an eye out for ‘Can Your Cat Do That?’, a game show to be hosted by Henry Kelly (happily not deceased) and Kelly Brock and which Nick Hebbes will be pitching to Channel 5 shortly.

 

 

‘Webster’

 

 

 

 

 

*

 

 

Statto Scorecards

 

 

 

Far from the MCC versus Cholsey CC

Played at Cholsey Meadows, 17 July 2016

 

Cholsey CC won the toss and elected to bat

Cholsey CC won by 174 runs

 

Far from the MCC debuts:  none

 

 

16 / 393

 

 

 

 

 

35 over match

 

 

 

Team

Cholsey CC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#

 

Batsman

How Out

Total

Balls

4s

6s

FOW

1

A. Chapman *

c Webster b Timms

21

(40)

3

-

2-86

2

O. Maddox

lbw b Shorten

0

(2)

-

-

1-1

3

J. Rahman

not out

218

(113)

27

12

-

4

B. Davis

not out

55

(56)

6

1

-

5

J. Nathanielsz

 

 

 

 

 

 

6

P. Sergeant

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

S. Clayton-Chance

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

R. Natarajan

 

 

 

 

 

 

9

P. Clayton-Chance

 

 

 

 

 

 

10

D. Hill †

 

 

 

 

 

 

11

R. Williams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Extras

NB1, W2, B6

9

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL

(for 2 wickets, 35 overs)

303

 

 

 

 

 

 

#

 

Bowler

Overs

Maidens

Runs

Wkts

 

1

Shorten

7

1

44

1

 

2

Roberts

5

0

66

0

 

3

Hoskins

7

0

47

0

 

4

Timms

5

0

43

1

 

5

Pearson

2

0

27

0

 

6

Webster

2

0

26

0

 

7

Hebbes

3

0

30

0

 

8

Reeves

4

0

16

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Far from the MCC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#

 

Batsman

How Out

Total

Balls

4s

6s

FOW

1

J. W. Pearson

c and b Williams

32

(30)

5

-

4-61

2

N. J. Hebbes

lbw b Williams

4

(4)

1

-

1-14

3

R. P. Turner

b Natarajan

11

(15)

1

-

2-35

4

J. C. W. Hotson

b Natarajan

8

(17)

1

-

3-61

5

M. K. Reeves

c Hill b Williams

4

(4)

1

-

5-66

6

J. vdG. Webster

c b Nathanielsz

0

(3)

-

-

6-66

7

D. Shorten

c b Nathanielsz

23

(20)

4

-

7-97

8

G. J. Timms *

lbw b Nathanielsz

10

(24)

1

-

8-107

9

M. Bullock †

hit wicket b P. Clayton-Chance

2

(21)

-

-

9-115

10

J. D. Hoskins

b Sergeant

14

(20)

1

-

10-129

11

C. D. Roberts

not out

6

(3)

1

-

-

 

Extras

NB2, W5, LB3, B5

15

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL

(all out, 26.3 overs)

129

 

 

 

 

 

 

#

 

Bowler

Overs

Maidens

Runs

Wkts

 

1

Natarajan

7

1

40

3

 

2

Williams

7

1

33

3

 

3

Nathanielsz

4

1

17

2

 

4

P. Clayton-Chance

6

0

20

1

 

5

S. Clayton-Chance

1

0

6

0

 

6

Sergeant

1.3

0

5

1

 

 

 

 

 

MOTM:  J. W. Pearson

Champagne Moment:  R. P. Turner’s drop for six on the boundary

Buffet Award:  J. W. Pearson army ration curry and chips

 

 

Opposition:  V033 / 21

Ground:  G070 / 05

Captain:  C022 / 48