The Second Sir Richard Acland Challenge Match

played at The Killerton Estate Bowl (KEB)

Sunday, June 28th 2015

 

TrophySetting out from the Red LIon, Broadclyst a presidential cavalcade of vehicles descended on the KEB for the second match in the series between the team in residence Broadclyst CC and the original custodians of the KEB - Killerton CC.

 

Match organisers Hatton and Thomas had instructed the Red Lion chefs to prepare a carefully balanced meal to ensure the KCC squad was suitably fed and hydrated with the right combination of protein and complex carbohydrates, ensuring optimum match day performance. Fat chance! Disembarking from le Lion Rouge in a disciplined and orderly fashion HAT’s confident flock prepared for Broadclyst’s formidable challenge.

 

The Killerton XII had been strengthened by the late inclusion of Staffordshire  all rounder S Goodwin jnr and specially flown in from JFK Airport - pinch-hitter Gary Page- summoned on loan from the New York PAPs (Posies and Pansies).

 

Although the morning weather had looked ominous the KEB ground-staff had done a remarkable job in preparing an excellent cricket wicket and a lightning fast outfield. The tree encircled KEB  looked magnificent under an electric blue Devon sky.

 

And so to the toss. The Broadclyst skipper having fallen on hard times stumbled penniless to the middle without a coin to toss. After intense negotiations the issue was  resolved when Davies decided Broadclyst would bat first.  

 

Pre- match fielding drills had highlighted a certain vulnerability with a number of mobility issues surfacing in the intense warm-up  requiring some serious thought and consideration, specifically - where to hide the ’extra fielder’ without arousing suspicion  and how to deploy the more senior members of the squad deprived of their mobility scooters. It was quickly decided that an attacking option employing a phalanx of close catchers would be the safest way of deploying some neolithic team members. A slip cordon including R.C Herd, Thomas the Bard and Godwin of York was quickly installed with all others able to run, stumble or limp more than the regulation 22 yds scattered to various corners of the KEB.

 

International businessman Malcolm Greenhalgh opened the bowling from the City End. Greenhalgh’s bowling has matured with age, mirroring his interest and consumption of fruity French wines from his vineyards along the Cote d’Azur. From an economical run up he consistently troubled the Broadclyst openers with his deceptive , languid approach to the crease, subtle changes of pace and occasional dip designed to deceive and confuse overconfident batsmen.   Complementing Greenhalgh’s guile, the ever-youthful tearaway Johnny Morgan roared up the hill from the Budlake End, bursting with coltish energy and containing the Broadclyst stroke-makers with swing and zip in an impressive, miserly spell of bowling.

 

The early breakthrough came when Walker was brilliantly caught by Robert Lewis at short mid-off, off the bowling of Greenhalgh. This was one of the great catches taken  at the KEB, the ball being powerfully struck and travelling like a bullet inches off the ground on its way to the boundary only for Lewis to swoop eagle like to scoop the catch grass high. Magnificent! Magnifique! (MG)

 

With Morgan (6-0-16-0) and the veteran Greenhalgh ( 6-0-31-1) tiring in the heat a double bowling change saw Brian Pinner and Steve Goodwin introduced into the attack. The experienced Pinner soon pinned the batsmen down and backed by the heroic efforts of Horace Letchford and Dave Furlong in the deep and the three amigos behind the stumps Broadclyst runs began to dry up. Goodwin jnr bustled in off a his long run from the Budlake End and with pace, late movement and lift troubled all the batsmen. Goodwin - on debut - proved a real handful and impressed with his sustained pace and accuracy and returned impressive figures of 6-2-14-1

 

Rumours had emerged during the morning of a new ‘mystery’ ball Pinner had been working on but yet to unleash on unsuspecting batsmen. In the third over the mystery-ball’ - codename Barnes-Wallis - was released - a second bounce yorker to bowl Scott. Another wonder catch - this time by Morgan rushing athletically from the deep to take another fine catch inches above the ground gave Pinner his second wicket and fine figures of 5-1-32-2

 

The benign batting conditions made wickets difficult to come by. Rotating the bowlers in an attempt to break batsmen’s concentration had limited impact on the wicket column but did contain the Broadclyst middle-order. Page, Furlong and Thomas the Bard were kept back for the final overs , their expertise in bowling at ‘the death’ further restricting the Broadclyst lower order until the innings closed at 159-5.

 

During the interval the Broadclyst total was recalculated using the controversial Duckworth - Goodwin method, for the Scorerfirst (and possibly last) time. Advanced (Level4) ECB scorer Goodwin snr having developed a complex, revolutionary formula involving the number of fielders, divided by the number of beers consumed during the lunch break, multiplied by the width of a DBBB (Dai’s Big Bertha Bats), set a new target for Killerton to chase  - 172 in 30 overs.

 

Greenhalgh and Page  - perfect right/left handed combination - would open the innings with clear instructions to blunt Broadclyst’s new ball bowlers, take the shine off the ball, wear the fielders down by rotating the strike and if necessary put their bodies on the line and take any blows and bruises for the good of the team. They played their roles to perfection. New York’s favourite flower arranger Page was the more aggressive partner mixing diligent defence with an array of extravagant sweeps, swipes and pulls, peppering the boundary and  with Greenhalgh in tow scampered singles of the slowest kind. Greenhalgh was happy to play a supporting role employing discipline and caution, curbing his natural instinct for bold stroke-play to anchor the innings - limpet like, unmoveable!

 

Page was the first to depart caught off a top edge hook. Goodwin jnr joined Greenhalgh and soon the run rate increased with all-rounder Goodwin finding the boundary with some brutal hitting. In the next 15 overs they took the score to 116 with a KEB record stand of 84. The stand was broken when Greenhalgh’s concentration was disturbed by a drinks break and the instruction “time to go wild!” With 66 needed from the last 6 overs Pinner joined Goodwin jnr to chase down the Duckworth - Goodwin recalculated score. Man of the match Goodwin having struck one of the sweetest sixes seen at the KEB - with only an ancient oak preventing the ball from ending on the lawn of Killerton itself - was out shortly after playing one Dilshan scoop too many. Pinner now took command and played one of his finest cameo innings. Rediscovering the form of his youth Pinner unfurled a series of classic pulls, drives and hooks to bring Killerton to the brink of victory. With 12 needed from the last 2 overs Pinner departed caught behind off the faintest of inside edges and walking without waiting for the umpire's decision. (It was good to see Umpire Daswani back standing after the ICC directive that he should attend a rehabilitation course in Mumbai. We were fortunate that officiating at the other end and monitoring Daswani’s performance was Turkey’s premier umpire J.E.M.Edwards formerly of the Bengal Light Lancers).

 

The remainder of the innings was a frantic, chaotic and heroic charge at the Duckworth -Goodwin reassessed score. Lewis was run out, unselfishly attempting a second run, Letchford (award of smartness) sacrificed his wicket with a wild swing and so it was left to hop-along Furlong and Morgan to close out the innings and chase down the last few runs. Unfortunately it was not to be. The innings closed and the match lost by 5 runs.

 

Postscript and observations

 

Hindsight is a fine thing - we could, perhaps should have won

All members of the team contributed and gave of their best

We do not recognise age as a barrier - the spirit of the Killerton Years remains

The attendance and positive part played by our travelling supporters is greatly valued and appreciated.

Daswani’s rehabilitation continues to be monitored

The Duckworth - Goodwin method is being reviewed by the ECB

A number of Killertonians crossed oceans and continents to be with us - remarkable?

An annual fixture with Broadclyst CC, Killerton visit, pub lunches, sensible drinking, bringing diverse individuals, families and friends together doesn’t happen by accident. For Steve and Alan’s (the HATs) efforts on our behalf we extend our gratitude and thanks.

JB Davies   

July 2015