Far from the MCC

~ Est. in 1998 ~

 

 

“Insanity Laid to Rest

 

 

Match:  18 / 453

Won by 4 wkts

 

 

Team

 

Total

Lemmings

232 - 5

D. Shorten  1 - 4

 

FFTMCC

237 - 6

R. Hadfield  81*,  J. Pearson  76

 

 

 

 

“If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.”

Thomas H Palmer.

 

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again whilst expecting different results.”

Probably Rita Mae Brown, probably not Albert Einstein.

 

Why do we do it eh? Why do we bother playing the Lemmings each year? Why are we stuck in this Greek myth, condemned like Sisyphus to this infernal and eternal task? As chronicled below, since 2001, in fourteen attempts over seventeen years, the closest the FFTMCC has come to beating Papa Lemming, his assorted sons and their college friends, was them giving us the beat down with two wickets and two overs to spare.

 

 

PICT0013P6300004

P6280029P6260010

P6250007P6250020

 

 

·         2001 – 6 wickets and 8 overs

·         2002 – 204 runs

·         2003 – 9 wickets

·         2004 – 42 runs

·         2005 – 7 wickets and 4 overs

·         2006 – 4 wickets and 4 overs

·         2007 – rain

·         2008 – 2 wickets and 2 overs

·         2009 – 6 wickets and 19 overs

·         2010 – 29 runs

·         2011 – 40 runs

·         2012 – rain

·         2013 – 116 runs

·         2014 – 23 runs

·         2015 – 41 runs

·         2016 – rain

·         2017 – 5 wickets and 4 overs

 

 

P6210012IMG_0193

 

 

Along the way there’d been total stuffings interspersed with glimmers of hope before they went through the gears (and some rain.) Could 2018 be any different? Well there was a glimmer of hope, they only had nine this year, before the call went out and Raguav turned up with the skills and demeanour of a first class player.

 

On the bright side, they are a decent bunch, gracious winners, in fact everything we look for in an opposition, apart that is from being a little bit too good. We were also back at our home ground, with the sun shining and everything pretty much right with the world.

 

The FFTMCC were also short of a regular or two. Gary Timms was turning Japanese whilst Russ was watching some no-hopers (England) being out classed by a bunch of ringers (Scotland) so it was Spam in charge of losing the toss and marshalling his forces for the first 35 overs.

 

 

 

James Baker (centre) has enjoyed dancing on The MAD corpse for years.

 

 

Rundle (5-1-27-1) opened from one end, bowled well and was rewarded with a clean bowl of the opener Williams for 13. Unfortunately, this bought M Baker (65 off 53) to the crease, to join Raguav (47 off 29.) M Baker was batting up the order this year after his unbeaten 67 to win the game down the order last year. Together they troubled the scorers at an alarming rate and a score of 300 looked likely. As is often the case these days, Howarth (2-0-20-1) very quickly grew tired of line and length (after two balls, both smashed for four) so threw down a rank full toss. Raguav climbed into it and sent it skywards in the direction of the boundary, but also Dave Shorten. In a report full of questions, here’s another one. Has there ever been a more important catch for The MAD? Dave, running forward, cupped both hands under it and to the relief of all fielders saved the team an estimated 150 runs. A shoe-in for the Champagne moment surely.

 

Still the Lemmings clattered along and at 118 for two in the sixteenth over the game was effectively over. Captain Spam took the not unreasonable decision to share the pain around with only Hoskins (7-0-48-1) stemming the flow a little, finally after 132 runs spread over two innings, getting rid of M Baker. Still the rampage continued with J Hull and P Baker scoring lots of runs off of not many balls.

 

Thankfully it was only 35 overs, but as The MAD limped off, The Lemmings had amassed 229 runs. In 452 matches, we’d only scored more than that on five occasions and never chased down more than 200. Enjoy Kate’s wonderful tea everyone, play for your averages and hopefully it won’t be too embarrassing.

 

 

 

Emerson sans hair with cap.

 

 

With P Baker succumbing to a migraine, there were only nine Lemmings in the field to chase the ball around. No volunteers were forthcoming from The MAD to fill the gaps, not through bad sportsmanship, but simply at our age and on a hot day, 35 overs is plenty to be stood around in the outfield. The pencilled-in victory was now inked over as The MAD crawled to sixteen of nought in the first six overs, with Pearson in particular not batting like a man with any hope of dragging his team to 230 plus. With the loss of opener Emerson (30) the mercurial Hadfield came to the crease. Pearson now revealed something rarely seen in a MAD batting line-up, it looked like he was actually trying to construct an innings and when he fell for 76 off just 76 balls, we were 140 for two in the 23rd over. Victory was still an impossible way off, but a degree of respectability had been achieved.

 

In at four was Dave Shorten, a renowned big hitter. He hit 27 in eighteen balls and with Hadfield now also going ballistic at the other end something remarkable could possibly be in the works. Hadfield (81 not out off 61 balls) was now going in to overdrive, batting like a man possessed. He was joined by the skipper (15) and with the excitement and tension on the boundary going through the roof, the pair took the team to the brink of victory, needing just one to tie, two to win off the final over. Back came James Baker to write the end of the story, but surely it was a formality.

 

 

 

Pearson doing all the work whilst his team mates get busy in deckchairs.

 

 

Cricket is a cruel game, but could there be anything crueller than this? Already on the boundary several were singing “18 years of hurt” to the tune of Skinner and Baddiel’s 1996 hit, whilst Dave Shorten was saying “we’re going to win, there I’ve said it” as James Baker sent down the first of his six deliveries. It smacked into Howarth’s pads and the Lemmings as one, went up for a shout of LBW.

 

Mark Rundle, in the umpire’s coat had a decision to make. The easy thing to do would be to deny it, but in one of several heroic actions by the team that day he raised his finger and Howarth was gone. If we were going to win this, we were going to do it the hard way, but the fair way. Mad nerves were calmed by the sight of next man in, Mike Reeves. Nicknamed “the finisher” (only by James Hoskins I believe) the man with the most not-outs for the club, he is the guy you want to bring us home in this situation. A conversation ensued familiar to many left-handers:

 

Hadfield:  He’s swinging the ball in.

Reeves:  Is that in to you, therefore away to me?

Hadfield:  Yes, I think so.

 

 

 

Hadfield (batting) didn’t hear any sledging from Pies about having only nine fielders.

 

 

Mr Baker, sent down delivery number two, which did indeed swing away to a left hander, but still it was a nice length and should have been a formality to crash away in to the vacant outfield for victory. But no, a slight, but undeniable contact and it was through to the keeper and Reeves was gone. It was now squeaky bum time with Chris Roberts arriving at crease. The worst thing that Bob could have done in that situation was to do nothing, so spooning it in the air, just long enough for the batsmen to cross was not the worst thing, but still this was turning into a tragedy of epic proportions. In the melee, it almost passed by that James Baker had just picked up a hattrick. Three balls to go then, Hadfield on strike, Hoskins at the other end and the fielders all in close. This really was it, losing this would not only mean not playing the Lemmings again (how could we after this), but our confidence and happy go lucky, self-effacing sense of humour and the idea of playing cricket at all would have been shaken to its core.

 

Cometh the hour etc etc, J Baker sent down the third to last delivery and Richard John Bingham Hadfield launched a straight drive back over Baker’s head, over the boundary and to victory. That was it, we’d done it, wow. And again wow. Is this the greatest Mad victory ever? The highest ever run chase, the victory I don’t think anyone ever thought possible.

 

With Corne having to leave immediately after the game, the ten players split the Champagne moment between Shorten’s catch and Hadfield’s victory six. Man of the Match was split between Pearson and Hadfield. Nothing could have been more apt.

 

 

 

Hoskins (right) is probably the greatest scorer using multi-coloured pens this club has ever known.

 

 

It turns out that the Lemmings are as gracious in defeat as they are in victory, joining us at the pub afterwards, but what of the future of this fixture? Has the tide turned, or will this result come to be seen as an outlier, an aberration? Or will it, like “Milton away”, wither and die now that the spell has been broken? Still, without descending into hyperbole, this club loves its history and documents it meticulously. This one will go down.

 

 

‘Reevsie’

 

 

 

 

 

*

 

 

Statto Scorecards

 

 

 

Far from the MCC versus Lemmings

Played at Brasenose College, 10 June 2018

 

Lemmings won the toss and elected to bat

Far from the MCC won by 4 wkts

 

Far from the MCC debuts:  none

 

 

18 / 453

 

 

 

 

 

35 over match

 

 

 

Team

Lemmings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#

 

Batsman

How Out

Total

Balls

4s

6s

FOW

1

P. Williams †

b Rundle

13

 

3

-

1-44

2

Raghav

c Shorten b Howarth

47

 

7

2

2-78

3

M. Baker

b Hoskins

66

 

9

1

4-153

4

J. Fleming

b Reeves

14

 

2

-

3-122

5

J. Hull

b Shorten

49

 

7

1

5-228

6

P. Baker

not out

32

 

2

-

-

7

T. Baker

not out

2

 

-

-

-

8

R. Smith

 

 

 

 

 

 

9

J. Baker *

 

 

 

 

 

 

10

G. French

 

 

 

 

 

 

11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Extras

W2, LB5, B2

9

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL

(for 5 wickets, 35 overs)

232

 

 

 

 

 

 

#

 

Bowler

Overs

Maidens

Runs

Wkts

Econ

 

1

Roberts

4

0

31

0

7.75

 

2

Rundle

5

1

27

1

5.40

 

3

Reeves

5

0

31

1

6.20

 

4

Howarth

2

0

20

1

10.00

 

5

Pearson

3

0

23

0

7.67

 

6

Hoskins

7

0

48

1

6.86

 

7

Vermaak

5

0

29

0

5.80

 

8

Shorten

2

0

4

1

2.00

 

9

Emerson

2

0

12

0

6.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team

Far from the MCC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#

 

Batsman

How Out

Total

Balls

4s

6s

FOW

1

D. Emerson

b Smith

30

(32)

2

-

1-59

2

J. W. Pearson

c Williams b T. Baker

76

(76)

9

2

2-145

3

R. J. B. Hadfield

not out

81

(61)

9

1

-

4

D. Shorten

b M. Baker

27

(18)

2

2

3-177

5

I. Howarth *

lbw b J. Baker

15

(19)

1

-

4-231

6

M. K. Reeves

c Williams b J. Baker

0

(1)

-

-

5-231

7

C. D. Roberts

c M. Baker b J. Baker

0

(1)

-

-

6-231

8

J. D. Hoskins

not out

0

(0)

-

-

-

9

M. S. Rundle

 

 

 

 

 

 

10

C. J. Vermaak

 

 

 

 

 

 

11

G. Carter †

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Extras

W2, LB3, B3

8

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL

(for 6 wickets, 34.4 overs)

237

 

 

 

 

 

 

#

 

Bowler

Overs

Maidens

Runs

Wkts

Econ

 

1

J. Baker

6.4

0

35

3

5.25

 

2

M. Baker

7

1

16

1

2.29

 

3

French

6

0

51

0

8.50

 

4

Smith

4

0

32

1

8.00

 

5

T. Baker

4

0

39

1

9.75

 

6

Raghav

7

0

56

0

8.00

 

 

 

 

 

MOTM:  J. W. Pearson  &  R. J. B. Hadfield

Champagne Moment:  D. Shorten boundary catch  &  R. J. B. Hadfield winning six

Buffet Award:  I. Howarth’s wholesome shepherd’s pie (extra vegetables)

MAD Moment:  n/a

 

 

Opposition:  V024 / 15

Ground:  G040 / 63

Captain:  C007 / 64

Match No:  35 / 160