V&A v. Chelsea Arts Club
14th June 2008
21st June 2008
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A rather different day apparently. A declaration game, only their captain David Maddocks, now sporting a new haircut, believes in safety first so they batted for 51 overs for 200 odd runs. As far as Martin can recall [it was a long time ago, last Saturday] the pick of our bowlers was Linthwaite’s timber merchant friend Peter, with Dennis (2 wickets) and Enzo (1 clean bowled), Chris Williamson and Mooro, and Bowden (also with 1 clean bowled) and Linthwaite himself all (or almost all) picking up wickets.

We actually batted for 41 overs so there wasn’t a huge disparity. But we got bogged down and with 20 overs to go it was apparent that we were not going to get the runs so a draw beckoned. At this point captains have an option to bowl their own crap to make the total gettable and thus encourage foolhardy shots, and wickets. But Maddocks did not bowl himself but persisted with his steady bowlers and we finished undefeated but at 120 well short of our target. Peter the timber man had a gung-ho attitude and whacked the ball about at the end, even though a win was untenable. Linthwaite came up the order and rewarded his captain’s confidence with 20 or so; Andy got an elegant 25 and Moore also enjoyed an earlier bat than usual, though with what results Martin can’t recall.

The talking point of the game was Andy’s wicket-keeping performance. Brave, competent – and talkative. So verbose that he seems to have got up the CAC’s noses, who misconstrued his banter for sledging.Say what you like about him, and they do, he is careful to reduce his chatter to a whisper when the bowler is running up. The problem is the company he keeps in the slips. When I am wicket-keeping and Andy is first slip his robust conversation, that mixture of football, politics and girl-on-girl sex, has an eager ear, but on Saturday he had Veggie Pete at first slip who is altogether too effete and genteel to indulge in filthy talk. Anyway, this is Martin’s explanation for Andy’s exuberant appeals and running commentary. He was insufficiently distracted. When Andy came into bat he faced an inevitable barrage of bouncers and beamers, from bowlers who did not find Andy appealing, or his appealing appealing. He used to appeal for LBW from deep square leg in the old days, but he has not fielded there since Bradman retired. But his appeals are a joke, in every sense, nobody should take them seriously, he doesn’t, nor should the umpire. Andy had to leave early for dinner at eight and in the pub all was sweetness.