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Result - Parham Park

Sun Jul 8th Parham CC won by 7 wickets

Match report

Grannies Match Report v Parham on Sunday 8 July 2018
This match manager had wondered why most of the other Grannies were follicly challenged or grey and gaunt, but having started to raise a team in April and with little take up until others weighed in on his behalf, he began to sympathise with Theresa May. At least her lot pull out after the big meeting at the weekend country pad.
It was a great shame that we only had 9 of a possible 11 in attendance on Sunday. The omens were good. The pitch, baked to the colour of straw the sun high in the aperture; and Sussex laid out as a backdrop in hazy, summer glory. The match manager did one better and called correctly in the middle. Opting immediately to bat, his theory was that with enough time in the middle, heatstroke would perhaps scotch at least two of the portlier Parham players and thus even up the tally.
That theory however had one fatal flaw; obvious now to all but the most recent Granny.
Things started chirpily enough with Nick May and Mike Morgan mixing circumspect defence with some positive running and the odd well placed boundary. But we had only navigated 5 overs before their opener got one to pop up out of nowhere at Mike, and with the score at only 9 and the ball now bouncing or scuttling, the match manager busied himself in the scorebook and prayed to Gareth, the great god of sporting comebacks. The Parham bowling attack sensed blood, and quickly picked up the wickets of Paul Alexander, who to be fair was still dreaming about the Guinness he had had at breakfast in Dublin airport, and Anthony Horner, who aimed a cross court passing shot through the gully area, only to watch in disbelief as the ball plugged itself into third slip’s outstretched hand.
But miraculous as that catch was, or perhaps because it was too good, Virat, the sporting god of karma, smiled on the Grannies and rolled the dice again in our favour.
Housewives’ favourite Peter Schutzer-Weissman had barely had enough time to change from swim shorts to whites but was now batting with some reckless abandon whilst Nick had quietly accumulated into the mid-thirties. The score crept up from 37 for 3 and then started to motor nicely, as Peter had realised something stupendous: Parham had forgotten how to catch. He proceeded to tonk the ball to most parts, but mostly up in the air and via a deflection off a Parham hand / arm / head when coming back to earth, to the point where each new aerial chance was greeted not with a sucking of teeth on the boundary, but an exhortation to “run up”.
At this point Nick had the misfortune to come over Parham’s version of the village blacksmith, who bustled in off a number of paces and chucked down a hostile over at just the right set of cracks in the pitch. Timbers re-arranged, Nick departed for a pivotal 41, which had laid the base for the recovery.
81-4 read the score board and Parham obviously felt sorry for the Grannies. Bringing on Larry David at the far end failed to curb Aaron Walder’s enthusiasm, and alongside Peter the two of them rattled along at a nice pace until a donkey drop proved irresistible to Aaron and he stuck it into the hands of deep long on. This brought the match manager to the crease, slightly apprehensive that he would have to bat with conviction and duration. Some unexpected accumulation from the match manager, through his ever productive arc between third slip and second gully via the outside edge, together with some much more convincing driving, sweeping and one dinky reverse sweep from Peter, meant that the Grannies had somehow got to 161-6 by the time the opening bowler put paid to the match manager (ironically off an inside edge, which is my other scoring shot). Sunstroke can be the only explanation for why the match manager, having seen the Grannies get to 181-7 off 29 overs, then decided that declaring before tea was a good idea. Perhaps he thought it would create psychological pressure on the oppo. Perhaps he thought he wouldn’t ever get a chance to do it again in his cricketing career. Perhaps he forgot that he only had 9 players and not many bowlers. Who knows. It will remain one of those great modern mysteries, like why no one has punched Boris Johnson in the nose yet.
The other moden mystery is the clock at Parham. At various intervals during the day, some signalled to the Grannies in advance and others not, it actually turned back. Miraculous. At the household end however, Stanners was also turning back time, and bowling a long spell in the hot afternoon sun. He did enough to trap the Parham opener in front of middle for a low round number but that was the best of it for a while. Parham nurdled into the plentiful gaps and plundered the (plentiful) bad balls, and by the time Mike Fernie bowled the number 3, he had already scored his 50. A last hurrah was again provided by Peter (who else?) by throwing down the stumps to run out Parham’s number four. At this stage the match manager was wondering when the 20 overs countdown would start, but as the clock now read 1.56pm (and the 20 overs had mysteriously moved from starting at 530pm to 6pm) this was moot.
The 24th over was just finishing as the Parham wicketkeeper hoicked another one through mid-wicket for four; and it was time to go home and think on what might have been.
Thank you to all who played, especially those who came from very far afield or volunteered at the last minute to give us some respectability. This is an eminently beatable side with some wonderful bowling to feast upon and some batsman who should not scare the Grannies bowlers. As long as we have at least four to call upon. And we might bring our own clock next year as well.

Grannies CC: 181 for 6 off 29 overs; Peter Schutzer-Weissman 71, Nick May 41.
Parham CC: 182 for 3 off 24.5 overs; J Staniforth 7-0-28-1; M Fernie 4.5 – 0 – 14 - 1

Match info

The Parham Estate,
RH20 4HR