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Tour match 2 (2nd scheduled) 2017: March 18

Lanzarote Cricket Association International T20 Tournament

Strollers go large in Lanzarote
posted: March 27, 2017

Redbourn vs Pimlico Strollers

On Saturday morning the shattered and depleted ranks of the Strollers were reinforced by the arrival of SiBo and Matt 'The Cat' Morgan, much as the exhausted and broken French army was galvanized by the Old Guard at Borodino. As both Simon and Matt kissed goodbye to 50 some years ago, the analogy is not inappropriate.

Although the new arrivals had had a very early start from Gatwick and very little sleep, they were in considerably better shape and rather better suited to an imminent game of cricket than the eight incumbents. All had had 48 hours among the fleshpots of Lanzarote and were clearly showing the signs of wear and tear.

All manner of high jinks had occurred since their arrival. George, for example, had discovered a large drunken Irishman in the spare bed in the early hours of the morning, and then dispatched him forthwith with the Chesterfieldian grace for which Georgie is famous. Davey G, a debut tourist, had taken to events like a duck to water, and all of us suspected he might. The other Davey, with stunning predictability, looked a very the worse for wear. Davey C, with the impetuosity and stamina of youth, remained ‘On It’ for the remainder of the tour. A memorable image of the four days abroad will forever be Davey doing some substitute fielding at deep square leg armed with a pint and ciggie at 10am on day four putting down his pint to pick up the ball but with the ciggie still in mouth, much in the manner of darts players in the golden era of Leighton Rees and Jocky Wilson.

So, after a bracing lunch, the Strollers sallied forth for game two of the tour, with a merciful 3.30pm start against Redbourn of Hertfordshire. There was a sudden rainy squall, and the start of the game looked in doubt. Fortunately, skipper Gav, who is a keen meteorologist among his many other gifts, was able to reassure a troubled Tim (hereafter known as 'Tum') that all was well. 

Redbourn won the toss and batted first. Simon opened from the Football Stand End and immediately hit a nagging length and bowled very little loose stuff. Davey G, from other end, took a bit more punishment but also got a breakthrough in the fifth over when Simpson was smartly caught by Gideon in the covers. In the next over occurred one of those incidents upon which games turn.

Simon had the tall number three Simpson plumb LBW, on the full in front of middle. Not given. In fact, four runs were signaled as ball had carried to the fine leg boundary. He was on nought at the time and went on to top score with 65.

Not that the Strollers didn't do their usual shooting themselves in the foot thing. Simpson was also dropped twice, both by Davey G. Neither were straightforward: the first a towering skier which Davey bravely rushed to take off his own bowling, and the second a pull to deep midwicket for which he had to make up a lot of ground, but both costly.

It was in the middle overs that Redbourn began to pile on the runs. Davey G, Spencer and Gideon went for plenty, the ball frequently disappearing over the boundary on the full. The batsmen clearly liked the ball coming on to the and perhaps belatedly Gav brought on the slower stuff. In the last five overs the runs dried up and George bowled a beautiful, man of the match winning spell of 4-23, three of his wickets coming from stumpings as they came down the track with Davey C smartly doing the business (sic).

But Redbourn closed with a huge total of 203-8 which, though better than it looked at one stage, was clearly going to take some getting. Spencer and Harsh set off like a train, and all for a moment looked good. Harsh looked particularly fluent and raced to 30 off about four overs, hitting through the V beautifully. But then he was caught off a top edge at fine third man, thanks to a clever piece of field placing and a neatly taken catch. In such areas do the Strollers let themselves down.

While Spencer was still there things continued to look promising, however. He was timing the ball well and one straight six, with minimum effort and backlift, the ball soaring into the football stand, stands out in the memory. Yet, on 43, he was adjudged LBW to a ball which even from the boundary looked high. Apparently it pitched outside leg as at well.... This was same umpire that had earlier denied the palpable LBW against Wright. Hey ho.

At this point, the Strollers clearly faced an uphill task. Though Davey C and Gav got into double figures and Tum chupped in with siven, the rate climbed higher and higher. We gamely made it to 158, albeit over 40 runs short of Redbourn's total.

And so again began the boozing...


Gavin Richardson & Simon Boughey

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