Seveno 70th birthday celebrations – match report

Seveno CC v Seveno Veterans XI

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Seveno have been in existence for seventy years, which is an awfully long time. So much has changed since 1948: back then there was Denis Compton and a recent global catastrophe; now, we have Ian Bell and impending global catastrophe. And Twitter.

 

To celebrate 70 not out, ex-players, friends and families all came together under a gazebo in Raynes Park to sup rum punch, talk of times past, and to watch a team of Seveno legends take on an XI[II] from the current squad. At one point it was estimated that no less than nine captains past and present were on, or at least near, the field of play.

The plan was to play a 40 over a side match, but split into alternating 20 over batting blocks. The old boys batted first – and third – with current Seveno chasing.

As the teams walked out into the field, there was some confusion over the format. “Two bowlers from each end, and you have to guess which one released by ball,” suggested Clive Kirk, as we tried to think of something funky enough for the ECB.

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Rez Haque – in trademark sun hat – and Andy Gothard opened for The Old Guard against the bowling of Chanchal and P. Harker, with Haque offensively surprised at the latter getting the new ball. There was a good early contest between bat and ball, but the openers started to settle, with Andy working the off-side and Rez showing off his trademark dabs down to third man.

Both were eventually removed by Gopal, with Andy out caught by Shaun McCarthy, and Haque following him a couple of balls later, clean bowled by one that swung.

Shaun then removed Sid, whose cheerful chirping had been keeping everyone in good spirits, and Dan Wakely thumped a couple of fours against the “interesting” (according to the umpire) bowling of Walsh to help the veterans reach the 20 over mark on 78-3, ably supported by K. Haines, who seemed rather young to be a veteran.

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Seveno’s mercurial Wilson Mendonca had arrived two hours late due to a suburban train being taken over by pirates*, but was ready to open alongside Stuart Bartrum. It wasn’t quite worth the wait: he skied his third ball high in the air. He stands his ground, hoping for a no ball that never comes.

​This brought matinee idol Clive Kirk to the crease, who started a slow-but-steady partnership with our doughty antipodean opener. The Seveno veterans were having a few injury niggles, with legendary quicks Hayden and Clive seen rubbing various parts of their anatomy.

 

A slightly younger veteran, Rez, took over some bowling duties and kept it tight, getting some decent swing according to those familiar with the situation.

Still, Bartrum and Kirk kept things ticking over and pulled ahead of the

veterans’ half-way score, and it took a double-wicket maiden from Justin Hopper to remove Stu – bowled, playing for the spin – and the unlucky Metab. Out came skipper Randy, who survived til lunch.

 

At the half way point, Seveno CC had reached 90 for 3, with everything to play for.

Time for Randy’s Rum Punch, chat, and curry.
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Post-refreshment, the Seveno Veterans headed out for part 2 of their innings, and suffered two early losses, one – the younger Haines – to what can only be described as a moon ball from Gopal.

 

This brought Haines the elder and the Blade to the crease, and they sped things up.

There is a drop off his own bowling from Rob – “I thought my gut would be enough to stop it” – as the scoreboard manipulator attempted to keep one of Rob’s twins off the pitch and out of the remaining chutney.
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Annie ran out to double-umpire with Andy as the Blade and Haines made merry against Clive Kirk’s part-time offerings. He finally fell for 30, cleaned up by a faster ball from Mendonca, who was bowling at half his usual pace due to an injury from the earlier pirate-related incident.
With Randy bringing himself on to bowl – unusual for a wicket keeper – alongside the persisting Shaun, Fraser came in for some blows described by one onlooker as “agricultural, but effective”, helping Seveno Veterans to reach 150 by the 34th over. The skipper had his revenge, bowling Fraser in front and trapping Channer in front for 1.
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So. Seveno required 90 runs to win against their forefathers, and had twenty overs to get them.
Clive Kirk resumed unbeaten on 40, and quickly moved to his half century, and retirement, off the bowling of Rez.
Then Randy was clean bowled by Hopper and took it well – “Justin, of all people… vicar of dibbley dobbleys” – leaving Shaun and Chanchal to push towards victory. The run rate pushed up towards six an over, with Dan Wakely in particular proving hard to get away.
But a “scoopy leg scoop” (c. Harxy) from Chanchal went for four, and with fifteen needed off the last three, the current Seveno knocked off the runs without too many alarms or surprises, as the crows gathered and some gentle evening rain began to fall.
So. Seveno had defeated themselves, and couldn’t be happier about it.
It was a lovely day, which ended with group photos, further punch, and plenty of chit-chat. Massive love and respect to Randy for organising it all – and I for one look forward to Seveno’s 140th, which will take place on the green fields of a terraformed Mars.
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Quotes of the Day

Harxy: “are you doing the match report? Have you written down all my jokes?”

Walsh: “what jokes?”

J: “Why is he called the blade?”Rez: “Because he likes to dress up as zorro”

Denny: “I thought it was because of his batting”

Rez: “no”
– The etymology of The Blade is explored

“I played for the spin, which was a mistake because we’ve never spun a ball in our lives”

– Stu besmirches the reputation of every spinner ever to wear the purple anchor

Sid: “I only bat odd numbers”

Harxy: “I only bat odd numbers too… number eleven”

Walsh: “How would you like me to report your dismissal Wilson?”

“Caught off a no ball that Gopal didn’t give”

“I’m not going to need to bat, am I, can you get me another old speckled hen?” – Harxy with us needing 30 to win

“Someone reboot Wilson” – Randy on Mendonca’s post-punch umpiring

“He’s quit his job to write our match reports full time” – Randy on Walsh

“If we lose from here I’m leaving Seveno today” – Randy with Seveno needing 15 off 3 overs

Walsh: “we defeated ourselves”

Harx: “It’s like when good superman had to fight bad superman inside his own soul”

*Or possibly due to a person taken ill? I forget 

Published by jamesofwalsh

My past blogs haunt the internet like ghost ships on a digital sea.

One thought on “Seveno 70th birthday celebrations – match report

  1. Great report James! Test Match starts today v the Three Badgers on their chest crowd from posh London. Hopefully the Purple Anchor can win the inaugural “Ashes” Test Match! Cricket’s coming home! Thanks for your blinding report and if Mike Selvey can’t cover proceedings at Joe Hood your more than welcome!!!

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