Match Report RTCC v Nondescripts CC 2021
Thursday 27th May 2021
at Old Camdenians
Nondescripts won by 8 wickets
nondescript /non.dI.skrIpt/, adj.: very ordinary, or having no interesting or exciting features or qualities
Just why our opposition on this balmy Thursday night chose this rather mundane name for their team, we may never know. Unkind souls might wonder if this is how this touring side lures unsuspecting teams into playing them on Instagram, but that probably was not on the minds of their founding fathers back in 1876.
When the Tavs arrived at Old Camdenians and spotted a few athletic young gentlemen already milling around, the hope was that this was the team's youth policy assembling early to make a good impression on their elders. As it turned out, one of these muscle-bound men was their oldest player at the stately age of 32. Both teams fortified themselves ahead of battle, us with pints of cold beers, them with hearty swigs of their protein shakes.
Spirits in the camp were still reasonably high though - after all, they told us only some of them were cricketers and we have recently made a habit of taking the game to strong oppositions. Who was to say that we could not repeat the feat? Also, they had played right into our hands by winning the toss and asking us to bat. Crushing their spirits by weight of runs had been the plan all along.
Eiran and Ime got us underway and were doing well to accelerate against probing if not fearsome bowling. Our skipper soon had the first boundaries under his belt whilst Ime got off the mark with what is becoming a trademark shot of his - a straight six over the sight screens. The fifty partnership came up in the seventh over, but was broken straight away, Ime caught at cover. This opened the door to our powerhouse middle order of Ben, Greg and James to accompany Eiran.
All three played their part in keeping the runs flowing but fell along the way. Their fourth bowler inflicted most of the damage with his spinners, first getting Ben out stumped for 12, while Greg later missed a straight one to be bowled for 15. James came in and played a typically forceful innings for 26, before he perished in the 18th over, caught on the long-on boundary.
Crucially, partnerships of 22, 18 and 33 had meant that the run rate never fell significantly, while Eiran held the innings together and moved to a well-made fifty. He decided to retire upon reaching the milestone but, in a rare show of insubordination from the Tavs on the boundary, was told in no uncertain terms to stay out there and keep running. Ever ready to help our cause, the skipper did just that to steer us to a respectable total of 143-5.
So far, so good. Nondescripts had shown plenty of glimpses of their sporting prowess by fielding extremely well with 10 men and had bowled with great control, exemplified by the fact that just two wides were recorded in the entire innings, but we still had seven runs an over to defend. Unfortunately for us, batting proved to be their stronger suit.
Watching players of such class at our level is both awe-inspiring and spirit-sapping. The skill on display is admirable of course, but in the context of the game it can seem unjust. Our batsmen had found it hard to score freely, battling against a sluggish surface and a painfully slow outfield, which stopped the ball dead in its tracks time and again. Their openers decided to take the long grass out of the equation and instead lofted the ball into gaps with consummate ease. Every time they did find a fielder on the rope, meanwhile, they turned ones into twos, and twos into threes.
Chris and Ime opened the bowling and did well but could not contain the flow of runs, so I was brought on to tempt them into a misjudged mow. As it turned out, they were quite happy to take me on - and dispatch me into Hertfordshire. Jocky took over at the other end and one of the openers promptly decided to retire on fifty rather than battle it out. Our crafty spinner then trapped their other opener LBW in his second over to cheers from the field. At least we were not staring down the barrel of a ten wicket defeat. Their no 4 decided to tread the fine line between taking the mickey and giving us a chance. Thankfully for us, he came out on the right side, as he missed his reverse sweep first ball to give Jocky his second scalp.
Tom and Aymon did their best to stave off the inevitable, the latter displaying the Tavs own brand of athleticism by nearly impaling himself on the stumps whilst fielding in his follow-through, but Nondescripts finished the job with a minimum of fuss.
Tavs and oppo alike retired to the clubhouse to ponder events over a few well-earned//desperately needed pints. We were left to reflect on a game where we had all played well, but unfortunately our best was not enough to challenge a very good team. We will soon take on our next oppo that has been sourced on Instagram - Beers and Bails CC. Let's hope their name reflects their cricket.
Railway Taverners CC 143-5 off 20 overs
James Mulligan 26 (18 balls, 3 fours, 1 six)
Dan Vale 3-0-27-2