Detail: 02-07-2023 - Putney
Result: W by 47 runs
Blues v Putney, July 2023
My phone buzzed at 2.13am Sunday, fortunately I'd only just got to bed after the trek across Sarf London from Cef's NotAWedding reception.
It was the NotAGroom.
I'm still up drinking whiskey"
If the 12th man is there, he can take my place"
Otherwise I will come and not let you down"
Cef was released to nurse his hangover leaving us with an exact XI for the red-ball half of the Putney double-header and Aqib in undisputed possession of the gloves.
However, come the start of play we were down to ten. Jimmy Leworthy, due to open, and carrying the scorebook, had been delayed. A cop had caught him jumping a red light on his Lime bike and promptly racked up his bill while giving him a ticking off.
In his absence Chellis and Eddy J opened and Blues red-ball debutant Will T moved up to No.3.
Blues batted following an agreed toss after the oppo captain insisted his team were 'weak-to-middling'. We've heard this before, normally before being rolled for less than a hundred and losing by eight wickets.
However, on this occasion, it was true, especially in the field. Eddy J proved this by being dropped three times in an over, so infuriating the bowler he tried to Mankad Chellis who hadn't even left his crease.
Though Eddy missed a rare straight one, departing for 26, Chellis and Will both smashed 50s before being retired. Chellis hit 11 4s, Will eight 4s and a 6.
After Tom Beck was unlucky enough to find found a fielder who could put his hands together, and James Howe leg before, Leworthy and Harry J put together another big partnership.
By now the oppo had sweepers so boundaries were rarer but soon enough Jimmy L became the third player retired on exactly 50 and, after Aqib also found Putney's catching fielder match manager Glenn joined Harry J. Foolishly, when asked, he told him he was on 47.
Harry ran a two. Then dabbed it to square leg and tore up the wicket screaming 'YES'. A direct hit left Glenn yards from his ground, well and truly barbecued for a one-ball duck on a rare chance to bat. It's fair to say Jenks was as popular with the Match Manager as Alex Carey in the Lord's Long Room.
Too late Glenn remembered on the very same ground on Thursday, he'd given Jenks out lbw for a duck and should have been on his guard.
Resisting the temptation to declare there and then, stranding the bastard on 49, Glenn did so soon after when Jenks' 50, well-deserved in fairness, had been secured and Henry G dismissed. Judging by the fielding and bowling it was reasoned 258-6 was probably enough.
After a leisurely tea Putney were persuaded to come out and bat with Nick and Glenn taking the new ball.
What followed was an excellent fielding performance with wickets falling regularly as Blues endeavoured to put on a show for Simon & Megan, fresh from the disgrace at Lord's, and Brandon, who unsurprisingly viewed the scandal differently, & Maddie. With Harriet among an earlier gathering of spectators Putney is evidently a good venue for the Blues following.
Nine bowlers were used including two of the half-century makers: Will, because he'd not bowled Blues red-ball before so was given a trial (spoiler alert, he's good) and eventually Chellis, because by then we were knackered and wanted to wrap it up.
It would have been all over, and us in the bar downing Thunderbitches much earlier, had James H not dropped their skip off Nick G in the opening over. He went on to bat through the innings, 40 overs, for 82*.
In true Blues fashion James was rewarded by taking over the gloves as Aqib, after impressing in the first session, wearied. This made him probably the tallest keeper in Blues history.
Ed J also dropped one in the slips (off the MM, otherwise it probably wouldn't be mentioned), but otherwise the catching was excellent with Nick taking a brilliant one over his shoulder and a skier, Chellis a sharp one at slip, Aqib a good low one with the gloves, Tom a good one in the breadbasket at mid-off and Glenn, much to his and everyone else's surprise, held on to a low one diving forward at mid-off.
There was also some very good ground fielding, notably from Jimmy L sweeping and Tom and Will in the covers and the stand-out moment a superb direct-hit run-out from Nick.
With such good support the bowlers flourished. Glenn took 3-38 with the ball moving agreeably under often cloudy skies. There were also wickets for Nick (1-34), Henry (1-35) James (1-11), Will (1-8) and Tom (1-18).
Putney's innings closed at 211-9, giving Blues a 47-run win and a pink-red ball double over Putney in the pace of five days.
With 79 overs in the match, and much hunting in the bushes for the ball when we batted, it was a late finish, which may explain why the Jenkins brothers skipped H's appointment with Thunderbitch as Dick of the Day (this actually was not run-out related, honestly, but due to his depriving Ed and Ellie of a day at Lord's watching one of the great Ashes innings and one of the most controversial of Lord's dismissals, selling the trio's tickets in favour of playing at Putney).
The Bluesmobile now rolls on to Barn Elms and Paddington for fixtures Friday & Sunday. Not the most salubrious venues, but there are runs and wickets to be had, post-match beers to be drunk, and a place still available for Sunday - contact Simon.
[updated 04 07 2023]