Naunton Cricket Club
NCC v Campden (Away), 10th May 2015
ROLLS ROYCE PERFORMANCE FROM NAUNTON AT CHIPPING CAMPDEN
NCC were put into bat at the picturesque ground of Chipping Campden. Despite windy conditions, which worsened after tea, the openers J.Harrison (29) and A.Shahzad (57) got off to a terrific start and accumulated 85 before Wellsy 'trigger' Wells, sent Harrison packing LBW. Wellsy, keen for a bat himself also triggered P.Bate (1) before returning to the pavilion to pad up. We couldn't help but notice the Merc on his face.
Contributions from the Middle order J.Ruffe (21), C.Davies (25), C.Hanks (30) and a pedestrian 12 from J.Wells helped the team to a total of 197-8 from 30 overs. A special mention must go to B.Nesbitt who batted for the first time since 1992. And G.Cossey who almost batted for the second time since 1974.
After a splendid Tea and an education in property development from Bill 'The Brick' , NCC waddled into the field. NCC produced a superb all round bowling and fielding performance, a few catches went down but spirits were high and the team stuck to their task. A special mention to J.Wells (3-18) whose ageing chassis held together, he produced a Superb (great car) display. A.Shazad (2-19). A really enjoyable afternoon was capped off with a win, Camden were kept down to 151 and Naunton won by 46 runs.
NCC v Andoverford (Away), 23rd July 2014
Harrison puts his Richie Richardson pads into room 101 (£47?).
NCC elected to bat – No one had told opening batters Charlie Davies, Ali Shazad and #3 (“The Doc”) P. Johnson it was a 20/20 match – all three proceeded with the caution associated with “Sir” Geoff Boycott trying to preserve end-of-season averages whilst crossing the M1 in rush-hour. Josh Harrison entered the fray in the 7th over – to ripples of laughter from Andoversford – wearing a pair of blue day- glow pads - reminiscent of Richie Richardson in a Bridgetown one day game in 1989, the cavalier Harrison reached 47 until the penultimate delivery – when going for 6 was caught on the boundary: Bet365 exposed at 250/1 at the onset for a half century breathed easy again! That said the Andoverford bowling was very tight & NCC posted a creditable 101.
With a run rate just above 5 per over NCC kept their bowling very tight & fielding acrobatics akin to Nadia Comaneci containing Andoversford to 31 for 3 wickets from 8 overs – some sublime rippers, googlies & reverse off-spinners from Ali (2-11), supported by Nelly [1-20], mention must be given to Bate who single handed caught out #3 at long on. Davies (1-25 & a run-out from deep square leg!) & Simpson (2-27) & C.Cossey (0-14) kept up the focussed attack – despite two spillages by “The Surrey Doc” in the covers! – we trust he is more careful with his Pimms. The Andoversford middle order started to fire scoring runs frequently (& with strict application of the leg side fielding setting rule) Andoversford achieved run requirement with 9 balls remaining. On reflection – over a pints of Stowford & Wifebeater NCC were about 20 runs short – but an enjoyable & educational evening was had by all!
NCC v Stow (Away), 11th July 2014
CHAPMAN BROS. “CHIN” MUSIC GETS NCC CLOSE – BUT NOT CLOSE ENOUGH.
NCC won the toss & decided to bat on a perfect summer evening. After a promising start by openers Ruff & Sanderson NCC decided to make hay at anything wide of the leg stump – Stow’s carefully planned field took four catches bringing the score to 34 for 4 after 5 overs. Enter from the pavilion NCC’s I.T Botham (N.Chapman) scoring a rapid 46 with 5 fours and 4 sixes going over the road! Well supported by Bate who sadly was run out – caught strolling between wickets. Other notable batting performances were Ruff who achieved 27 (2nd time round) & C.Cossey for a fine 6 over fine leg – on the 17th over an arranged fly past by the red arrows signalled the end of NCC innings - closing on 147 – 86 more runs than in the corresponding fixture last year!
NCC took to the field - opening bowlers Tinton & Sanderson kept a tight hold of Stow – who were 32 off 6 overs. Chapman & Chapman then re-enacted the 1932 body-line series with splendid chin music & full toss deliveries – this weakened the resolve of some Stow batters – leading to head gear being the fashion accessory for some of the later batters – Nelly finished with 1-39, & brother Dave 1-26 – reminiscent of Malcolm Marshall, Ruff had some excellent results with ball (3-15) partly thanks to great catching by Easton, Tints & Cossey. Stow opening batter “Robbo” got 53 n/o and was made to retire – Stow surpassed the target with 9 balls to spare with a splendid 4 from the versatile and unappreciated Fish. Afterwards NCC retired to the Queens for various aperitifs & scratchings courtesy of Mr Bate before the “hard-core” returned to the Black Hole for more vitamin refreshment.
NCC v Rackenford, 6th July 2014
NAUNTON BOUNCE BACK ON DAY 2
The plan had been made. Our Cheltenham based players were to locate the tourists during their night out in town and buy them copious amounts of Green Chartreuse. It seemed to work, when I arrived at the ground many of the opposition players were lying face down on the beanbags, I was initially concerned as I thought it may be some of our own players, but then I realised it couldn't be, as they were on time.
Rackenford decided to bat and were soon regretting the decision, a lively spell from Bennett at the Old School End kept the tourists quiet and he finished with superb figures (3-16). Crossman (49) offered some resistance in the middle order until Archie Hayward's debut spell of (3-20) proved too much with Morgan taking a stunning catch in the deep. Richard Branson wannabe Will Spiers took a break from CamperVin and bowled well in the main, he would have returned better figures if he had taken into account that one of the batsmen was left-handed.
A solid NCC fielding performance contained the opposition to 162. NCC were always looking likely to knock off the runs, Old Patesians James Bennett (28) and Alex Runciman (43) put NCC in the ascendancy. Runciman's fielding performance left a little to be desired. His recent trip to Brazil inspired him to tip the ball 'over the bar' and 'round the post', I am sure he caught more than that in South America.
Hanks (47) and Shahzad (31*) finished the game off and Naunton won by 5 wickets with 3 overs to spare. Hanks was looking likely to complete his half century until the delicious smell of sizzling burgers from the barbecue distracted him and he carelessly gave his wicket away and made a timely return to the pavilion to sample the goods.
A super NCC victory, much to the delight of the faithful local supporters and a special mention to VIP and Made in Chelsea superstar Christian Davies who graced us with his presence after being helicoptered in for the weekend.
NCC v Rackenford, 5th July 2014
NAUNTON ON THE RACK
Devon touring side Rackenford won the toss and decided to bat on what turned out to be a superb afternoon for cricket. There was some doubt whether or not the game would take place due to overnight and morning rain, however NCC's latest purchase of a cover proved invaluable. The 'cover' is infact a large black plastic sheet from Travis Perkins which according to skipper Nelly Chapman "is exactly the same as they use at Lords".
A professional batting performance from Rackenford saw them capitalise on any NCC mistakes with the ball and they notched up a handsome 235 from 35 overs. It could have been much worse for NCC if not for a mesmeric spell of bowling from the mercurial Shahzad (2-32). Annual president, Douglas Hanks, has informed Shahzad's employer, local trainer Nigel T-D, that he should not be sent to race meetings on match days and asked him to consider allowing him a lie in on a match day to preserve his energy for cricket. He has also urged the local employer to look out for a good left arm seamer during any future recruitment activities.
Other performances of note were Sanderson (1-22) who's rather strange pre-match routine of bowling at his father's head seemed to have the desired effect. (Not for his father who returned to Yorkshire rather abruptly after being used as target practice during the warmup)
It was great to see Derrick James playing again, a late substitute for the risk averse James Wells who pulled out before the game on grounds of health and safety. I have heard some excuses in my time, but claiming that he was worried about slipping over on wet grass and couldn't risk playing is surely going to win the lamest cover story for a hangover in history.
Workaholic Josh Harrison was unavailable for selection so Peter Bell deputised brilliantly behind the stumps, some wayward bowling kept him busy and ultimately the wides proved costly at the finish. I am sure like all of the Nauntonian players he was pleased to sit down during the interval with a nice cuppa and an Egg and Marmite sandwich, an Egg and Marmite sandwich, yes they do repeat on you a little.
NCC set about the run chase with great spirit and openers James Bennett (21) and Charlie Davies (51*) batted with elegance as Naunton got off to a reasonable start. Charlie Davies entertained the crowd with his second half century in as many games. Two in a week, but no jug of beer as yet, but then what do you expect from a man who pays for his £3 match fees by cheque.
NCC were always struggling to keep up with the run rate despite contributions from Shahzad (26), Hanks (38) and a late rally from Sanderson (20*). The well oiled Rackenford side bowled with good discipline and a well set field made it difficult to find the boundary. This inevitably led to lots of running, not an area of great strength for a Naunton team who have an average body fat ratio of a pork scratching.
NCC ended the innings at 181-5, 54 runs adrift of the target. An emergency meeting was held in the Shaggy Nag to discuss team tactics for the rematch on Sunday...
NCC v Cutts of Campden, 2nd July 2014
OLD CHELTONIANS DAVIES AND SPIERS CUT LOOSE
The Davies and Spiers families breathed a huge sigh of relief as Charlie (53*) and Spiro (51*) finally showed them what they learnt during their time at Cheltenham College, something which has remained a mystery until now. Charlie Davies batted beautifully as ever and was reminiscent of a young David Gower as he chatted up the ladies on the sidelines. Spiro relied on clearing the ropes with his aggressive quickfire innings, despite his lackadaisical attitude towards running he notched up a memorable half century before returning to the pavilion for oxygen and a fag.
Overseas player Douglas Hindley umpired quite brilliantly, he was controversially dropped by the skipper due to his extortionate match fee and run bonus which is currently bringing the club to its knees and begs the question: Can we afford these talented overseas players?Cutts were left chasing 150 to win and began well. The openers looked set and put on a half century partnership. The game was in the balance until the Barnsley Bomber, Jamie Sanderson struck twice in one over. The game turned on its head and NCC were back in control. Peter Bell rolled back the years with two sensational catches at slip. David Morgan, recently back from his John Cleese stunt double tour, flung himself around in the field like a madman with little regard for his ageing limbs.
Chapman, Cossey, Harrison and Watts soften up the tail end with some sublime bowling allowing Hanks to perform his usual trick of bowling out the tail with 3 cheap wickets including a good catch from the new keeper Easton. Hanks had been hiding on the boundary whilst the openers were batting well and only made himself available for bowling once the fifth wicket went down.
A very enjoyable game and a good result for Naunton winning by 41 Runs which was only slightly tainted by an unsightly incident in the last over, when Harrison attempted to nail a 14 year old.
NCC v Dumbleton, 22nd June 2014
A fantastic team performance with contributions all round led to a great win which has been hard to come by against Dumbleton teams in previous years. Village idiot Ted Hughes was serving a one match ban for upsetting pretty much everyone, including himself, in the previous match against Slaughter.
Lower Slaughter v NCC, 15th June 2014
LAMBS TO THE SLAUGHTER
A depleated Naunton side struggled to contain an enthusiatic and well disciplined Lower Slaughter team. NCC started poorly and were soon feeling the effects of only fielding nine players, due to technological communication breakdown and quite possibly the lure of Sunday afternoon cider drinking at a well known local den of iniquity.
Lower slaughter batted well and put on a large total of 270 despite attempted intimidation tactics by fast bowler and local celebrity Ted Hughes. A tactic that blatantly backfired later on when the Slaughter ladies steamed in to bowl, reminding me of Devon Malcolm at the Oval after the South Africans upset him in 1994.
NCC put on a brave display with the bat with contributions all round. A fantastic maiden half century from John "Top Gun" Ruffe, was undoubtably the highlight of the afternoon session.
It was also great to see Shaun "Arnie" Musto back in action for NCC after some years in the wilderness down in Devon. I am sure that Naunton will have better days this season but as the saying goes its taking part that counts.
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