We of the V&A like the Legends XI very much. In recent seasons we’ve erred, somewhat uncharitably, on the stronger side of team selection and made a bit of a mess of their bowling attack. Not so this year! It was a cracking game, full of intrigue, champagne moments, suicidal run-outs, collapses, sixes. It had everything and was greatly supported by the families of both sides, which always adds to the occasion.
The V&A won the toss, and invited the opposition to take the field. In the pavilion, whilst Messrs. Tetlow (2) and Turpie (3) got into their work at the top of the inning, discussions were had on the etymology of ‘Stonor’. Many among us pronounce it ‘stoner‘. Naturally, this has nothing to do with Emley and Bowden’s personal habits – it just is what it is. But it has been discovered that plenty pronounce it ‘stonnoor‘, including various members of the Camoys’ bunch who are so generous as to lend us their field to play cricket. Have we got it wrong? It’s highly likely. Yours truly suggested there was a comparison with Shrewsbury – ‘Shroooowsbury‘ to the gown, and ‘Shreeeeewsbury‘ to the town. Such things are pleasantly diverting, but inconsequential. I once had a schoolmaster (Art History) who pronounced niche as ‘nitch’ (like itch). He was a handful at the best of times. Thwarted artists are a terrible breed, they don’t merit much air time on Radio Bird and we are, frankly, the better for it. Turpie fell to a sensational catch by Spriggs, Tetlow and self rather threw our wickets away and it took Terblanche (34) and Marsh (74) several overs to dig in and rebuild the innings.
This they did with aplomb. When Terblanche was eventually bowled the score was 120-4, which is a lot healthier than 12-3. Derewlany (68*) added the driving force to push our score well above what one usually considers a par score, with Jonkers (18*) off as many balls biffed two tremendous sixes into the road. The V&A finished 214-7.
The Legends began with composure, and the V&A openers Nieboer and Marsh kept things tight. Nieboer, especially, bowled with ferocious pace on a wicket that is starting to encourage pace bowlers of quality. Goodliffe took an extraordinary catch so low down to his right that it defies belief and things were underway. Marsh picked up another quickly and scoreboard pressure mounted considerably. This concept seems to be particularly fascinating to the axis of Tetlow, Marsh and Derewlany – they rarely talk about anything else on the pitch. Oh, and the Golden Ball…
Adam Jacot bowled with vigour and had their number three splendidly caught in the gully by a flying Derewlany. He could’ve had two in two balls but the skipper (self) let one through his hands at first slip. Turpie gave it some air, I was expensive. Jonkers was not. The Legends middle order of Spriggs (69) and Cope (36) remained obdurate and slowly, surely, crept toward the required total. Enter Derewlany, whose 5-17 off 6.4 turned the tide. His five wickets actually came off just 23 balls. Nieboer dismissed Cope, and Fuller in the same over and we all began to relax. Simmonds offered spirited resistance at the bottom of the order but the Legends eventually fell, all out for 196.
Exhausted, parched and peckish, both XI’s rumbled down to the Golden Ball. They’re still not serving draft beer. Rather daft, if you ask me. Man of the match to Nick Derewlany, on this occasion. He will be much missed when he takes himself off to Hong Kong.