Match Data vs Not The MCC on 2023-07-23 at Barn Elms Playing Field (Season 2023)

Winning streak is back on


Report by OAF

Robert South (look him up) said that novelty was the parent of pleasure. Never a truer word spoken. Consider the unbridled joy of something new. For example; the moment Anthony first laid eyes on Cleopatra or Rajborg first saw a weight machine. You get what I mean. There is delight in the new. And so we were delighted to meet a new oppo. Intriguingly titled “Not The MCC”. We later found out that the “M” stood for musicians (as many of them were) and the “not” had come later to fend off the inevitable misunderstandings.

We met our new oppo at Barn Elms. Despite the grim predictions the day was actually set fair, with a stiff breeze and a bit of sun about. Skipper Rajborg won the toss and we went into the field.

Munjot and WOE (unfortunate initials; and I should know. I’ve got OAF) split the keeper duties between them. The former in particular impressed, standing up to the spinners and keeping the batsmen honest. As for the bowlers, Syed opened and was wonderful. Going at little over 4 an over, he quickly had a reward; a gentle nick which settled into the keepers mitts. Just like that, NTMCC were a wicket down and we were on our way. At the other end Rog puffed in and bowled a tidy line. As is so often the case at our level; bowl at the stumps and you get wickets. So it was with the big fella, who took a brace of scalps in his spell.

The relief bowling was likewise impressive. Arsey got a deserved wicket coming down the hill. He could have had three, but put down two chances from his own bowling. The first was a screamer, played low, which he got a hand too. They either stick or they don’t and this one didn’t. The other was perhaps a tad easier, but given his later catch off my own bowling, I’ve decided to forgive him.

At the other end Tuffers mixed it up with his spin. He was wonderful. Later, over a pint, he was inclined to be self-critical. But he shouldn’t. Figures don’t lie and Dills was our most economical bowler; going for only 2 an over. He was unlucky not to get a wicket or two. Even in the absence of that, the scoreboard pressure was starting to tell with NTMCC accumulating at a sedate pace. At the drinks break they had 49 runs in hand and we felt in command of the game.

The skipper felt relaxed enough to allow your correspondent to come in and buy a couple of wickets. Problem was, in the context of a low-scoring game, I was more expensive than Rog’s Ocado bills. NTMCC started to accumulate with more freedom and pushed their score into 3 figures and beyond. This wasn’t helped by an outbreak of village fielding on behalf of the boys. Syed and WOE both were entered into the drops column. This was followed up with some real moments of comedy, including Rog booting a ball over the boundary for 4.

As NTMCC’s innings drew to a close their in-form batsman very gallantly retired on 43 to allow some of the youth team to come into bat. This they did with aplomb, punishing anything which strayed down the leg-side (which is where I put most of my balls), running well between the wickets and ensuring that the last over went for 15 runs. Well played to both of them.

At the break we were set 135 to win.

The skip and Ali wandered to the middle to open for Salix. Rajborg showed killer instincts; dispatching his very first ball to the boundary. Ali chipped one to a close-in fielder for 19 and out went Munjot. But in the whole it didn’t matter. The skip was in; seeing it like a beachball and latching onto anything wide faster than he latches onto a protein shake.

On the boundary we began to relax. In the 15th over we were 90 for 1. The game was won in all but name and the upper-order batsmen started to change into their normal clothes. As anyone who has ever read Greek mythology knows; tempting the fates and furies is a mistake of epic proportions. NTMCC changed up the bowling and suddenly seemed to have our number. Munjot and Will were caught. Daveski called for a run when he “couldn’t see the ball*” and was out by yards. Even the skip had a rush of blood to the head and, having made a magnificent 50, was out 9 runs later stumped.

For a terrible moment it appeared that we might throw away the most unassailable of leads. Credit here to NTMCC’s keeper who took a couple of wicked catches.

In the end, Krutik, Arsey and Syed saw us home. Spare a thought for Arsey who, having got changed, had to get unchanged again to go in and bat. Victory in the 23rd over. A grand game and a good fun oppo. We headed to the pub to talk of our victory; the last before the August hiatus.

*As excuses go, this is admittedly inventive.