President’s XI (Reds) vs. Captain’s XI (Greens) – two innings match

5 May 2019 – at LRGS

Reds won the toss and elected to field

Can the Gregson cricket season really have been declared open for business until the first President’s vs. Captain’s two innings match? Certainly, some members would like to expunge the last three games from their 2019 season statistics, so it was with an unparalleled level of hope in their heart that they prepared to face the cricketing ‘skills’ of their peers.

Reds won the toss. After considering the pitch… the weather… the strength of the teams and their past form, skipper Morrison took a longing look at the barrel of beer chilling in the pavilion and decided fielding last when there was beer to be drunk was a bad idea. He put the Greens in to bat.

Kaighin and Williamson were first out, and although Kaighin (1) soon fell to Redmile, Williamson was joined by Waddell to take the attack to the Red bowling line up. With the new club bat in hand, Waddell opened his account with a six over square leg and took subsequent deliveries as a challenge to repeat the feat, while at the other end Williamson’s batting blossomed under the early May sunshine with a flurry of scoring shots that saw the score race ever upwards.

After Waddell (26) was bowled by Redmile, and Williamson (39) by Wain Jr, the scoring stalled, and the Reds took two quick wickets – Patel (6) caught off Rulliere’s fine swing bowling and Domingues (0) who found the hands of Metcalfe off Wain Jr’s bowling. Sumsion, the Green’s captain soon got the scoring back on track, with one particularly lusty six that saw the ball almost clear the school science block, let alone the rope.

He was joined by Powell on his Reds vs. Greens debut, a debut that ended quickly as he played around Wain Jr’s off break letting the ball cannon off his leg into the stumps for a Golden Duck. Could Hilda’s record and nickname be under threat from the newbie?

Redmile took his third wicket as Sumsion (27) missed the straight one, and Wain Sr closed out the overs with a jaunty 20 not out with Deighton (1*) also getting some red ink.

134 to chase then as Reds opened their first innings reply. It did not get off to an auspicious start. Domingues quickly took two wickets in his opening spell, clean bowling Newiss (5) and having West (0) caught in the covers. When Barker (8) was run out after an appalling mix up with Hughes, Kaighin and Wain Sr joined forces to rip out the heart of Reds’ middle order.

Clancy (4) was bowled and Redmile and Bye both fell without troubling the scorers, the latter keeping up the recent tradition of a duck on Gregson debut. Through this chaos Hughes had maintained his recent stylish form with tight defence and free scoring shots aplenty. When he was bowled by Wain Sr for 29, and Wain Jr was bowled by Patel for the fourth duck of the innings, the Reds found themselves 56 – 7 and in danger of not meeting the follow-on target.

There’s a certain reassuring bulk about Rulliere and Morrison – if you squinted you might even imagine Mike Gatting and Dwayne Leverock at the crease. Telepathically they agreed quick singles were probably not their forte and therefore some big hitting was required.

They did not disappoint, finishing on 17 and 29 not out, respectively – Morrison hitting more boundaries in one innings than he managed all last season. With the overs complete, they had dragged the Reds to 100 – 7, a deficit of 34. It would need a good bowling performance in the second innings to give them even a sniff of victory.

Wain Jr took the early wicket of Deighton (5), but Wain Sr continued where he had left off in the first innings joined by Powell, who deftly avoided the king pair, and seemed keen to put the first innings disappointment behind him. When Wain Sr (26) went down the wicket and missed, Barker was on hand to complete the stumping – the first of a remarkable series of four that he would take that day.

Powell (31) fell soon afterwards to Redmile and there was a mini-collapse as Humphries (2) – batting with a runner just to make things more interesting – Kaighin (1) and Domingues (1) fell in quick succession.

Sumsion was joined by Lee (11*) and they steadied the innings, taking the Green’s lead towards 150. A remarkable penultimate over – one that is unlikely ever to be repeated – saw Morrison’s left arm dollies account for Sumsion (25) and Waddell (0) the next ball. To the relief of cricket lovers across the globe, Patel (4*) saw out Morrison’s hat-trick ball and sanity was restored. 

Chasing 150 to win, Red’s started well. Hughes continued to strike the ball cleanly and Metcalfe opened his batting account for the season with panache. Domingues eventually tempted Hughes (18) out of his crease by just enough for Lee to whip the bails off and Newiss (4) – seemingly determined to rid himself of the impression he bats well in Reds and Greens – nicked off to the keeper thanks to Kaighin’s consistent line.

Wain Jr and Barker both initially offered Metcalfe some support but couldn’t get beyond their good starts as Wain Jr (15) was trapped in front of his stumps by Williamson and Barker (15) was well caught by a diving Deighton on the square leg boundary. With overs running out, Metcalfe (45*) carried his bat through, but just failed to complete what would have been a fine half century

Reds were left short of victory by 23 runs but with pride intact. Bragging rights for now belong to the Captain’s XI, although the President’s XI will be determined to reverse the result at the second match later this season.

Ra ra!

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