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CCC vs British Embassy at Apremont - 5th July 2009

Match Reports 2009

CCC vs British Embassy at Apremont - 5th July 2009

Posted by: webmaster on Sunday July 12, 2009 (20:26:21)   (4232 Reads)
What did you do in the war daddy?
What did you do in the war daddy?
Murphy’s Law – What can go wrong, will go wrong ! One of the visitors from the Thoiry team who came to Apremont in May requested this fixture on behalf of the newly re-formed British Embassy Cricket Team. The usual diplomatic channels were opened between CCC and Saint Brice to secure the ground and the invitation was duly delivered in the diplomatic bag – This is actually untrue, there would have been no point sending anything to the Embassy, since it appears that the closest connection to a fully-fledged member of Her Majesty’s service was via a friend of a girl who spoke to a bloke who had met a stranger who had once heard tell of the British Embassy in Paris. In fact, the time I have recently spent there changing my old ridiculous Freddie Mercury photo in my passport would qualify me to play for them.

It soon turned out that our collective amateur diplomatic skills would be required. In the absence of Nick Jones, senior tent engineer, Tris was trying his best to assemble our new clubhouse but our efforts were soon interrupted because some of the Embassy team had arrived punctually. As we prepared to line up for the National Anthem, we were joined at the ground by the Francilien – a championship side who was expecting to take on CCSB95 in a league match that very afternoon. Apremont had turned into a cricketing no-man’s land resembling Berlin in 1945. General Mayhem (aka Nick Shepherd) took charge of the CCC Zone, Stuart Collins represented the Embassy, Captain Ketan was C-in-C of the Saint Brice Zone and the rowdy and rather rude Francilien set up base camp on the outfield.

Much discussion and negotiation later, it was agreed that the Championship match should take precedence over our friendly. The British allies were sadly lacking the copy of the signed treaty (an e-mail confirming our use of the pitch) and our core values of decency and fairplay allowed us to broker the sort of compromise for which Great Britain has been so famous in recent times, and which render the use of the word Great rather risky under the Trade Descriptions Act. We buckled to the combined forces of the Indian sub-continent and set about a new form of the game, even more manic and exciting than 20/20. This was just 20. Or rather 10+10=20 – oh and by the way, against the clock, since we had to make way to the “competitive” match by 3pm.


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Rob and Stuart agreed that the Embassy would bat and that we would give all outfield players a bowl – ten overs, ten bowlers. A sort of politically correct solution to ensure that no-one felt that they had completely wasted their time. Malcolm, an Embassy opener, certainly wasted no time in setting about a string of bowlers and notching up 31. In spite of the need for speed, there was ironically a long delay in the first over as Craig managed to hit Tris on the bridge of the nose whilst returning the ball to the bowler’s end. The bruised and bloodied bowler was shaken up but the effect of the war-paint markings on his face bore fruit as he splayed the stumps of the Embassy number one with his last ball. The first wicket down and the scoreboard on 9. The fast format clearly favoured the batting side, since a series of opponents chose to retire and make way for fresh batsmen throughout the innings – a brace of Bens both made double figures quickly and the only other wicket to fall was in the last over when Parsons was run out seeking to move the total on to 85. So 84 for 2 off ten overs. We deferred to Max and Jack, fresh from passing their Brevet to calculate the required run rate – a) 5 b) 13 c) 2,1 or d) 8,4 something. They unanimously announced that the answer was d).

Oakley senior and Shepherd senior rushed out to set about meeting the target, and failed to rack up 50 by only two runs before Rob skied a hook shot to the waiting fielder. Shepherd, driven by rage reached 29 not out and handed over to Wing Commander Powell, fresh back from a secret Transatlantic mission. Denzil also retired (why ? oh why ?) which saw our chief strategist and coach Iain Hanson take guard for the first time in anger. A confident shot for 2, known as an “easydrive” got him off the mark, but he lofted the next ball which was easily detected on enemy radar and swallowed up. Patrick and Max both sacrificed their wickets, going for ducks in the pursuit of the much-needed runs, and Craig was unlucky to go lbw for 3. With him went our chances to catch and overtake the Embassy total and the battered Congreve and Jean-François notched up a couple of runs each to take the total to a nearly but not quite 80.

We left the field in the knowledge that quick cricket was not really for us. The wait for tea, which incidentally was twice as long as the time we spent playing, was of course well worth it. The Embassy squad took advantage of our facilities to have an hour long net practice and we managed to set a couple of dates to replay this truncated match. By which time, Marianne had arrived with the sort of spread which puts the Great back into Great Britain – Cheese and Pickle, Ham and Tomato not to mention the delicious cakes.

Our visitors went in search of a bar in Chantilly where they could catch the end of the Wimbledon final and perhaps enjoy some Murphy’s – the beer, not the Law, of course.
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