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CCC vs Standard at Meudon - 21st September 2008

Match Reports 2008

CCC vs Standard at Meudon - 21st September 2008

Posted by: webmaster on Monday September 29, 2008 (21:53:57)   (5198 Reads)
 Article Rating: 3
 
A beautiful setting
A beautiful setting
The sun shone brightly on the last day of the 2008 season when we travelled to Paris to play Standard. We had gathered at McDonalds in Senlis and thankfully avoided having a pre-match meal there, before setting off in convoy to Paris. Doris – Nick Shepherd’s GPS - was tour leader for the day, and Denzil had programmed his SatNav as a backup. Nick Jones, something of an expert in all things automotive, warned that in spite of the two cars having the same german father, Audi and VW were renowned for their genetic conflicts, and there would almost certainly be a clash of minds on the journey. Nick was right. A couple of kilometres short of our destination, Doris took us left. Nick Jones followed in his obedient italian Alfa, as Denzil sped straight on up the hill and out of sight. Adrian, one of the VW passengers, soon got into full sledging mode, calling to mock Doris, then calling back a few minutes later to ask for directions to the ground ! Denzil ignored the SatNav, and was guided through the last few twists and turns via a mixture of mobile phone instructions and smoke signals. When the smoke lifted, it was soon clear to everyone that the journey had been well worth the effort – Standard really is a splendid place.

 


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Rob negotiated the toss and Standard batted first. We took to the field against a backdrop of various sporting scenes as the Standard clubs’ football, swimming and tennis sections all made the most of the late September sun. Shepherd, still guided by the superior GPS of the Audi, made his way to the top end and opened the bowling down the hill, whilst Homer toiled away up it. The combination of the slope and some early swing saw Morris and Groom bowled and trapped lbw respectively off Shepherd, but the powerful Goring and the artful Clack put on a 50 partnership with a potent mixture of powerful blows and well-timed strokes. First-change bowler Powell replaced Homer up the hill and prompted one or two chances, with Max unluckily spilling a skied effort from Goring on the run in from fine leg. Altogether
our youngsters, and our French debutant, Jean-François, showed fine fielding skills throughout the Standard innings. Jack Oakley was alert at square leg and was kept very busy with Clack’s canny leg glance, and when the ball did get past, Nicky Hedley was in lively form on the boundary. Good stops from Max and Charlie also helped to stem the run rate. The senior players were also worthy of mention - Simon Hodson’s arm never fails to impress. Unfortunately for Adrian, Simon has not yet put pen to paper on the Oakley sports sunglasses contract, and his “free with the July issue of OK magazine” pair was apparently perfect for discreetly eyeing up the talented tennis players and budding Manadou’s in and around the pool, but not quite up to the job of locating a lofted on-drive.

Not for the first time this season, Charlie Hedley took a wicket with his first ball, as the well-established Goring nicked one to Nick, our Alfa male keeper, caught behind for 37. McIntyre met Clack in the middle, and then met virtually every ball with the middle of his bat as he accelerated well past 50. Their partnership was broken when Charlie used the slope and his guile to deceive Clack, clean bowled for 38. We claimed our fifth and final wicket with a run-out, as Villet tripped and fell in his vain attempt to get back to the bowler’s end before Denzil clipped the bails off. Ajith saw out the last couple of overs with the in-form McIntyre who had got to soixante-neuf not out, hardly stopping to catch his breath. Standard finished on 197 for 5 after their 35 overs, with Shepherd and Charlie Hedley finishing with 2 for 31 and 2 for 34 respectively.

A fine tea was taken in front of the wooden pavillion and our openers, Simon Hodson and Rob Oakley, revved up and set about the run chase purposefully. Three well-struck boundaries and a couple of singles pushed the reply on to 14, before Rob was trapped lbw to Groom for 10. Nick Shepherd, not firing on all cylinders, came and went cheaply, also lbw, and Homer teamed up with Hodson. They steadied the ship for a couple of overs, but the runs were drying up. Trying to accelerate the run rate Hodson having reached 12, fell to a spectacular catch by Gold and the scoreboard was stuck on 24 for 3. Using the tactics which had worked well against Lille, Rob started to alternate the new models with the used cars in the batting order and Max Shepherd came in at 5. After some solid defence with Denzil for a few overs, Max set off for a single, but a direct hit from the athletic Gold saw him run out for 1 as he was unable to make it back to safety, with the total at 38 for 4. Time for the Alfa male, Nick Jones, to take up the battle. Some turbo charged pulls led to a succession of boundaries and the Chantilly gallery began to wonder if an away win was on the cards. The blend of Homer and Jones, german Vorsprung durch Technik and raw Italian stallion horse power, became more and more promising, until, with the score on 46, Denzil spooned a chance to Cross, going caught and bowled for 7. Our own version of the Mini, the sporty, compact and very manoeuvrable Nicky Hedley came in at number 7. The Nick duo was short-lived, as Nick Jones ran out of gas on 36, losing his wicket to another Golden catch off the impressive Cross. Running out of cars, Rob turned to planes and cleared his 777 for take-off, in the formidable form of Powell. After taxying up and down the runway for a couple of 2’s, Adrian got the all-clear from ATC and became the first Chantilly player to hit a 6 in a competitive match, a soaring blow, hoisting Drummond into the beer tent, in true limited over Sunday afternoon style. As Adrian powered forth, Nicky provided the perfect foil and gained invaluable experience out in the middle. His resolute defence meant that Adrian could apply extra thrust in his pursuit of fours and we reached 100 in the 22nd over. Sensing that this partnership was a clear threat, Standard brought Gold and Ajith into the attack who managed to stall the Chantilly innings - a series of eight overs between them saw only 6 runs added to our total and any chance of victory evapourated in the last moments of the summer haze. Adrian finally fell, bowled by Goring in the last over for a fabulous 40, and Jack Oakley chipped our last runs off the last ball to take the total to 142 for 7. Cross and Groom had the best bowling figures of the day with 2 for 17 and 2 for 19 respectively, and the economy of Gold and Ajith had put the match beyond our grasp, as Standard won by 55 runs.

We were welcomed to a real drink in the real bar, before entrusting our safe return to the various SatNav systems. Given the usual snarl up on the périphérique these were pretty redundant, but the longish journey home allowed us to reflect on another good day’s cricket and the end of our 2008 season, which has been, all ways round, a thoroughly enjoyable one.

Nick Shepherd
 
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