Detail: 18-05-2023 - Latchmere Wanderers T20

Result: Won by 9 runs
Blues v Latchmere Wanderers

Barnes on a warm Thursday evening in mid May is a real delight on its own, the addition of a Blues v Latchmere classic made it the location to be on the 18th May. With the captain running late (bloody clients) Harry Jenkins, as is his way, stepped up for the Blues and won a big toss - calling correctly and sending out the Blues openers to get stuck in. The first two overs passed quietly, with Harry Baker and Brando respecting familiar Blues Closey and Keats' tight lines. Ones and two's were all that could be found and Chellis was fielding, if anything a little too well, as a boundary rider for Latchmere as their last few fielders arrived from work. The third over bought the first excitement, the first boundary from Baker, followed shortly after by being caught off a frustrating miscue for 7 off Closey. This brought Ed Jenkins to the crease. After another tight over from Keats there was commentary on the boundary, maybe slightly harshly at this stage, we might be struggling after 4 overs. That comment coincided with the change bowlers coming on - and change they did bring. With Brando and Ed now having their eyes in, an assault reminiscent of Roehampton earlier in the season was launched. From 1 boundary in the first 4 overs, the boundaries started to flow, including a couple of huge sixes down the ground from Brando. With post-work t20 rules in play all of the bowling was coming from one end and this may have helped as Ed and Brandon hit boundary after boundary. It took the change of ends, after 10 overs, and the return of Latchmere's Man of the Match (as chosen by the Blues, it was well deserved though) Closey to break the partnership. Brandon, with a 50 in sight went for one too many heaves down the ground and was well caught in the deep, out for a fantastic 43. This brought the Jenkins brothers together in the middle, but the family Christmas won't be regaled with tales of taking the Blues to a famous t20 win from this occasion. Harry, struggling to keep pace with what had gone before, played out a 3 ball innings which featured 2 runs, being dropped and then being caught by Keats. Two wickets in quick succession and the innings was teetering, would it go the way of Roehampton or was it more reminiscent of our weekend trip to nearby Chiswick? This third wicket bought Simon to the crease and with Ed increasingly seeing a beach ball and not a cricket ball, the strike was quickly rotated. Ed motored past 50 and, even with Closey and Keats coming back on to bowl, continued to hit boundaries. This included back to back 4s through the covers off an increasingly frustrated Keats in the penultimate over and a sumptuous 6 down the ground off the final ball of the innings to end on a brilliant 89 - earning himself a Man of the Match pint from Latchmere. 183-3 off 20 seemed like a decent score at the change of innings, but on a deck that was playing true there was no chances to be taken.

Chellis was first up to set the tone, and my did he. Only as the batsman took guard did we realise he was a left hander and I think Chellis muttered something like 'that's good' as the fielders moved round. With Jimmy Leworthy's outrage still fresh at being denied a clear first-baller via LBW on Sunday, Chellis took the umpire out of the equation and skittled the batter first ball of the innings - love to see it and a well earned post-game Dick of the Day pint for him there. Chellis' only error in this 2-1 first over was that it bought sometimes-Blue Hal to the crease, who went on to show why we're always so glad to have him along. Blues debutant Louis was the unfortunate first victim, sharing the new ball, with a couple of looseners being given short shrift. Whilst Hal was unloading at one end though, Chellis continued his form from the weekend and his pace and accuracy produced two more wickets in his second over. After a couple of big (and unsuccessful) swipes from Hal he managed to rotate the strike, with two wickets then falling bowled and then caught first ball (Goodwin). With a t20 hat trick on the cards all the fielders were brought in, unfortunately the batsman decided to not play along and he claimed dabbed (definitely edged) wide of our 3rd slip.

With a solid score on the board and runs looking hard to come by excitement was rising that we'd get a little longer in the Red Lion that expected, but we were brought back down to earth. With Hal's penchant for leg side hitting well known there were three men back on the leg side boundary and they were still being cleared. Whilst 2022s Blues phenomena was batting collapses, this year's seems to be fielding errors, and the Blues' c.2023 fielding curse duly arrived. Firstly afflicting Harry Jenks (dropping Hal on the boundary, with the ball trickling for 4 - earning a tasty Dick of the Day pint when being combined with his batting performance), and secondly Simon (who was too busy thinking about fielding changes and dislike for the aforementioned client that had caused his late arrival to use his hands to try to catch). Thankfully the bowlers were in fine form, and keen to take the fielders out of the equation, with Nick Goodwin bowling a tight line to clean bowl the dangerous Hal (35) and Leworthy saving the captain's blushes by bowling Savill after a couple of meaty sixes. The wicket of Hal bought Closey to the crease at 6 with Latchmere having less than 60 on the board. Letting Savill dominate the strike and runs and he got his eye in, Closey played a blinder. Initially rotating the strike off Goodwin and another new Blues addition Chandra, as the ends changed he took on the scoring mantle. Not to be outdone by his older brother Ed Jenks graciously let Closey continue, dropping him over the boundary for 6.

Despite some good bowling, runs had leaked and the game was on a knife edge. With the game in the palm of his hand, Closey went for one too many quick singles, was sent back and an end was opened. Cef was so excited he had to take the stump out of the ground to stump him having got too eager initially and knocking the bails off before the ball was anywhere near him. Another runout, from a fantastic bit of fielding in the deep by Baker, put Latchmere 7 down, but with the runs still just achievable. It was left to Goodwin and Chellis to close things out for the Blues, ending in a close fought 9 run win. Naturally there were beers and tales shared in the lovely Red Lion afterward, and the welcome of two new Blues to the fold. A splendid feast of May evening cricket all round - on to Sunday.

Ed Jenkins 89*
Brandon 43
Simon 16*

Bowling (scorecard was slightly difficult to read but I think these are right)
Ellis 19-2 off 4
Goodwin 20-1 off 4 (last over was given to Jenks in error)
Leworthy 38-1 off 4

[updated 24 05 2023]