Detail: 09-08-2023 - Putney T20 (2)
Result: W by 2 runs
*Match Report - Blues v Putney CC (t20)*
Some things only happen once in a lifetime, like a Blues debut, some things happen roughly once a summer - the sun comes out in London and Hollywood turns out for the Blues and shows he's still, well, Hollywood box office. All of the above happened, and more, on Wednesday night as the Blues tried for a trio of wins this season against Putney CC.
And so it was, the sun was finally out in London, or more importantly the Blues were finally not playing cricket in the rain. But it wouldn't be an August game without some drama, and boy did we manage that from the off. When I asked Jenks last week if he had any idea who Jack Lambert was, because he was on the spreadsheet but not on the group, he didn't have a clue and said to ask around. When I reiterated my confusion and the general lack of Jack knowledge across the club to Jenks on Sunday he agreed with my confusion - before a look of comprehension dawned on his face - 'ah yeah, that's probably the guy I recruited half-cut at The Oval', good start. A strong team of 11 5 days out quickly became 9, we got back to 11 before dropping to 10 24 hours out - up steps international jet setter Jenks, arriving at the ground first, straight in from Amsterdam Schiphol. With the Blues on 6 5 minutes before the start, the Putney captain kindly offered to field and Eddy J started dropping down the batting order in punishment for his tardy time keeping, the encouragement being led by his older brother.
With most of the Blues in attendance either umpiring or padded up, Max and Bakes wandered out to face up on a lopsided pitch, with the first 10 overs coming from the end that had a short leg side boundary and a huge offside. First ball was a wide, nice, and given as 1 with an extra ball (more on this later). Bakes didn't take long to get going, the last ball of the first over flying for 6 over cow. Max, as usual making batting look easy, fell in the second over to one keeping low much to the surprise of those on the side. 16-1 off two wasn't too bad a start and out strode Jenks, a strong body of work behind him this season, still fighting off rumours of off-season coaching. Unfortunately he seemed to have forgotten the shorter format whilst abroad, or had too much of Cef in his ear on Sunday, as he patted back his first 7 for dots taking us to 19-1 off 4. Thankfully he dropped his clogs in over 5 and we were back up and running, with Baker heaving another big 6, before being caught against the run of play in the 9th. Eddy J proved yet again that cricket is a cruel mistress, having finally turned up and on the back of a strong Sunday score, he failed to get bat to meet ball and fell for a third ball duck (watch out Archie, that award isn't wrapped up yet). I wandered out to the middle and was reliable informed by Jenks that the pitch was slow and low, only to get a sharp bouncer first ball, nice. Not for the first time this season Putney's first change bowlers were showing a lot better than their openers and so steady accumulation and rebuilding became the short term priority. With the loopy spinner replacing them Jenks' eyes lit up, time to accelerate, unfortunately his brother was at the other end and still stewing on being bumped to bat 4 and getting a duck - pad struck, finger almost raised before the appeals began - next family dinner should be spicy. Chellis doesn't get out this year, with Putney being one of his many victims, unfortunately Max didn't get the memo and sent him packing for 2 off 4.
Hollywood by name, Hollywood by nature, and damn was it box office. Whilst some might pay GBP15 to sit in an iMax for 3 hours and watch Cillian Murphy pretend to be American, the Blues just had to pay GBP10 for this blockbuster. His first game of the year, family in tow, Guy rescued yet another Blues innings. Despite now having the huge boundary to the leg side he compiled 31 in 5 overs, including a third ball six down the ground and a massive six over said long boundary off the final ball of the innings, ably supported by debutant Jack after I'd taken an ill-judged swipe at a straight one. 146-6 at the turn seemed like a competitive score.
It was a day with a Y in it, so Glenn took the new ball to set the tone of the innings. Just as the umpire turned to signal a first ball wide their opener took a similarly wild swipe and was excellently caught behind by Chellis (what can't he do) first ball of the innings, followed by a Jenks catch at mid off 5th ball - double wicket maiden to start and the Blues were cocker-hoop. Nick shared the new ball and despite struggling with the shiny one day ball kept the ball away from the short leg side well. Max replaced Nick, as Glenn continued to hold the end tight, and used the pitch's variable bounce brilliantly whilst bowling with pace (including a wicket maiden). Debutant Jack replaced Glenn, bowling with good pace and accuracy, and a challenging mix of lengths, whilst Hollywood continued to make cricket look embarrassingly easy - taking us to half way 45-3.
The last 10 overs, and (maybe) 100 runs, are a bit of a blur but a few things can be confirmed - Jack got a debutant wicket for the Blues, bravo and well bowled; Eddy 'golden arm' Jenkins got a wicket first ball, of course he did, after the batsman had a tantrum and moved Lewis 5 paces back inside the circle then hit it straight at him; Nick had a bowling meltdown, which unfortunately impacted his fielding, with an uncharacteristic dropped catch somehow going for 4; and Putney are either terrible accountants or really wanted a super over, as the scorebook descended into chaos. Anyway, we were told they needed 3 off the last ball to win. Lewis bowled a decent ball, Jenks got it in well from the long leg-side boundary, we ran them out on 2 to supposedly tie and somehow the scorebook has it marked down as a 4. Anyway, apparently it was a tie (we definitely won) and we also won the 41st over in the clubhouse - thanks for coming. If you've made it this far bravo, please make yourself available for Worcester Park on 27th August.
H Jenkins - 35
G Freeman - 31
H Baker - 24
S Richards - 19
G Moore - 4-1-14-2 (including wides at 2 runs each)
M Romer-Lee - 3-1-6-1
E Jenkins - 1-0-9-1
J Lambert - 4-0-31-1
[updated 11 08 2023]