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Weekly Updates 2017

2 July 2017

Dear All,

Before kicking off this week, I’m sure you will all join with me in wishing Harry Beardall all the very best in his upcoming nuptials with Clare, scheduled for this weekend in New York. Harry has been a longstanding, and very loyal player and supporter for TPCC, and we look forward to welcoming him and Clare back to the leafy Chiltern environs once they have exhausted what must be the few remaining empty pages in their passports.

An entertaining fixture against regular visitors Flycatchers took place on Sunday, with the hosts losing out in a 400+ runfest. Full Match Report attached.
Batting first on a very good wicket, Turville looked in control at 1/131 off 28 overs. Flycatchers were nonetheless bowling a tight line and length, and managed to pressure the TPCC bats into some unforced errors. The last 13 overs produced just 6/69, and saw us struggle to a respectable but still somewhat disappointing 7/200. Charlie Beardall looked typically commanding for his 77, while I pottered around a bit for a workmanlike 72.
Flycatchers began solidly, adding 74 for the first wicket, but with James Hunt (0/15 off 6 overs) and Nick Henry (0/27 off 7) asking all the right questions (eg. What time are drinks?). With 20 overs to go, the asking rate was 6 an over, but TPCC had deep bowling stocks. At 3/115 with 13 overs left of the mandatory 20, the hosts justifiably felt like this was their match. However, some handy middle order slogging turned the match in Flycatchers favour and they cruised to victory with 3 overs to spare and with the loss of just 4 wickets. The bowlers all played their part, particularly Skipper Ollie Thornton, Charlie Beardall, and Dominic and Elliot Hyman. Flycatchers on the day were just too good.
Great tea James Thornton – thanks!
Paul de Z. is still looking for players for this Sunday’s maiden fixture against Great Rissington at home.
I am also recruiting for 23 July (Harpsden away) and 30 July (V&A at home). Organise your diaries now. How hard can it be!?
So, what else..?
1. Jason Roy’s runout against Saffreeka in the ODI. Polarising opinions (see Ben Stokes: ’embarrassing decision’). I thought it worth looking at the Law itself –
 
Out obstructing the field
Either batsman is out obstructing the field if he wilfully attempts to obstruct or distract the fielding side by word or action. In particular, but not solely, it shall be regarded as obstruction and either batsman will be out obstructing the field if while the ball is in play and after the striker has completed the act of playing the ball, as defined in Law 33.1, he wilfully strikes the ball with:
(i) a hand not holding the bat, unless this is in order to avoid injury. See also Law 33.2 (not out handled the ball).
(ii) any other part of his person or with his bat. See also Law 34 (hit the ball twice).
From the first para, Roy is out if he merely ‘distracts’ the fielding side. This makes the decision more obviously correct here (in my humble view). The complication comes from the following language which is designed in part to help illuminate the rule, and talks about ‘wilfully striking the ball’ eg. with a hand or bat. This seems a long way from what Roy actually did. On balance, feels like a harsh call to me.
2. Statistics! About the toss! What’s not to like?!
* In the 1,048 Tests that have been played since 1990, the side that WON the toss has LOST more matches than the team losing the toss (377 lost, 374 won – broadly 50/50). How weird is that?
* In 2016, of the 40 Tests that produced results, 25 of the 40 (63%) winning captains won the toss (toss becoming more important?)
* In the 700 Tests played since 2000, the toss winning captain elected to bat 2/3 of the time and bowl 1/3. Slightly surprising? The side batting first won 36% of those matches. The side bowling first won 39%. Toss perhaps not so important then?
* Interestingly, in the last 50 years, 502 teams have won batting second, while 492 have won batting first. Again, toss not so crucial?
Other interpretations? Answers on a postcard please…
See you soon!
Cheers
 Tim

21 May 2017

Dear All,

Turville made the journey to Odney on Sunday (thank you John Lewis) to take part in a high scoring but frustrating draw. Amongst the highlights for Turville, Colin Simon’s 115* was the stand out. Colin was in complete control from the first ball to the very last, and made Sara a very happy scorer indeed. Turville compiled an imposing 245/8 from just 38 overs, aided by a typically pugnacious 91 from skipper James Hunt.
In reply, our hosts never really looked interested in doing much more than occupying the crease. Nick Henry threatened early with 3 wickets, and Neil Runkel bowled a really quite lovely spell of 11 overs for no reward. After 41 overs Odney had laboured to 186/3 (and this included 50 runs off 5 cunning Briffett and Dickie overs). Charlie Hunt sent down 5 overs of artful spin, with some well disguised arm balls (too well disguised for the keeper, anyway).
Match report attached.
This Friday we have a 20/20 at home (Tom White), while on Sunday we are at home again against Checkendon (Steve Bucknill).
Fun facts (cont.)
1. Chris Gayle. 10,000 T20 runs. Bloody hell. He’s played for 18 different teams (Dhaka Gladiators anyone?), hit 743 6’s (that’s 4,458 runs, right there – more 6’s than India and Sri Lanka combined have struck in T20 Internationals). He’s hit 18 centuries – more than de Villiers, Kohli, Pietersen and McCullum put together – including the biggest 100 and the fastest.
2. Two LBW’s awarded on Sunday. Recipients, Rob Dickie and Nick Henry. Officiator, J. Hunt. James, James, James. Your homework this week. Chapter 9 of my book. LBW is the devil’s work.
3. Colin was going along so nicely once he’d reached his ton that Sara loudly chided him for being profligate with his strokeplay – urging him to ‘save some’ for later in the season. A bit like what Jason Roy has obviously elected to do.
Cheers!
Tim

14 May 2017

Dear All,

May weather. Meh.

In the face of a distinctly unfriendly weather outlook on Sunday, and despite receiving a drenching around 5pm, TPCC managed to sneak over the line to claim victory at home against a very competitive team from Henley Astros.

Batting first, the visitors were quickly in trouble on a blameless pitch as Hunt’s inswing snared 3 vital wickets. From a tottering 3/8, Henley recovered to post a total of 147. The fact that Henley were unable to reach an even greater target was largely down to Nick Henry, bowling a very fine spell of 12 overs, returning 5/53. Nick’s control and variation were a marvel to observe. Neil Runkel also bowled well but without luck as he saw 3 chances spilled in the field (against a very gloomy backdrop).

The gloom duly turned to rain as Turville set about its target. At 4/39, the hosts were in their own predicament, but some lusty hitting from Sam Beardall (39) and James Hunt (32) saw Turville home. Steve Bucknill also looked in very good nick at the top of the order for a typically polished 23.

Match report attached.

Britwell Salome Away this weekend – contact Chris Rogers.

Various stuff

  1. In a real life scenario in Victorian country cricket this year, players were dumbstruck (Australians, mind) when a bowler removed a batsman’s middle stump only to see the bails fold up and hold each other up on the two remaining stumps. Your decision? (see below).
  1. Barney Ronay (The Guardian) welcomed Joe Root to the captaincy last week, and urged him to be more outgoing, unlike Alistair Cook ‘who in his TV interviews communicates all the unaffected joy of a man who has accidentally taken an overdose of prescription painkillers and is now being encouraged to stay awake until the paramedics arrive by talking in a low meandering voice about positive mindsets and the need for big first innings runs..’ Hard, but fair?
  1. Misbah and Younis both finally retired last week after Pakistan took the series against the Windies in the Windies. Here are some more extraordinary Younis numbers. He made 5 fourth innings centuries in his career. Think on that. Fourth innings 100’s. No one else in the history of the game has done that. Since he started, Pakistan have won 28 games away from home (outside the UAE). In 24 of those games, Younis scored 2,826 runs at 94.20 with 10 centuries.

Quiz Answer – OUT! There are 2 ways to be out – either one or both bails are removed OR a stump is put to the ground.

Cheers

Tim

30 April 2017

Dear All,

Against all the (adverse) weather odds, the season opener at home on Sunday saw 85 overs of cricket (and over 400 runs) completed on an April pitch that would have done credit to August. Thanks to John Hancock for overseeing such a splendid batting strip. Full Match Report attached.
TPCC batted first against a strong Ibstone opening attack, but with the ball coming on nicely, Turville motored along serenely to 140/1, with Sam Beardall dominating proceedings on his way to a handsome 128. Contributions from Wade (33), Briff (29) and Freddie Flintoff, sorry, Tom White (20*) meant that the hosts were able to compile a very tasty 257/5 before an equally tasty Dave Stockings sponsored Tea.
Ibstone never looked especially interested in chasing down this target, although Russell Emmett powered his way to a very impressive 96 before being removed by the ‘weaponised’ Dave Stockings. Ibstone ambled to 162, but comfortably held out for the draw. Neil Runkel was typically effective, taking 3/24 off 13 tricksy overs. So a winning draw. Which is therefore actually a loss? Answers on a postcard please.
With Tom White now averaging over 80 (just read that back again, slowly) he was reminded on Sunday that he needed to take a wicket in order to qualify as a genuine all-rounder. He did. He is.
Nick Henry is recruiting for Saturday, at home, against Mo (aka Greys Green).
Trivia
I’ve been dying to share this all winter. I recently saw this analysis of Draws v Drubbings.
In 2016, 47 Test matches were played. Only 7 (15%) ended in a draw. Of those 7, 5 were washed out. (The 2 genuine draws both involved England).
Only two decades ago (in 1997), of 44 Tests, nearly half (21) ended in draws. That’s interesting enough, but the really notable development is the number of drubbings. This is largely driven by the prevalence of batting collapses (29 in 2016 says Cricinfo). For example, there were 11 matches where teams lost 10 wickets for less than 100 runs, and 10 matches where teams were dismissed for less than 125.
Of the 47 Tests, 8 were won by an innings (4 times the number of genuine draws) and another 7 by more than 7 wickets. Another 10 were won by more than 200 runs. More than half the Test matches played in 2016 were genuine thrashings.
I’m trying to formulate an opinion on whether this is a ‘good thing’. I can’t. I do know that Ben Stokes is a ‘good thing’. His 100 in the IPL yesterday (coming in at 3/13, chasing 162) was stunning. David Warner is the IPL’s top run getter (450 runs). Ashes already shaping up nicely.
Cheers
Tim
23 April 2017

Dear All,

Welcome to the 2017 cricket season.
Everything is nicely placed for the opening fixture at Turville Heath on Sunday against Ibstone – 9 degree weather forecast with a 60% chance of rain (timed to arrive inevitably around 2pm, so we all have to traipse up to the ground to agree that we should just go straight to the pub although, this being April, the pub doesn’t open on Sunday until 6pm, so we all drift off in frustrated, angry, slightly sad little bunches to ponder why it is that we still do this every year – Pavlov, anyone?).
But I digress. This is actually a Tour Report of a perfectly splendid TPCC Tour of Croatia held last weekend, where the tourists emerged with 2 wins from 2, and only one encounter with the local constabulary (from a 40 year old farmer, who shall of course remain nameless, and never to be confused with the Health Minister).
I’m afraid this is a largely statistic free account as we were, for the first time in many years of Touring, without the the sainted Sara Simon, and scoring is not a feature which the Croats appear to have embraced enthusiastically. Photos of the Tour can however be found here – turvilleparkcricketclub.com.
Friday
An intrepid band of the bare minimum X set off from Gatwick to Split on Friday for an overnight stay in this most charming UNESCO World Heritage town (really, it’s well worth a weekend visit). After a convivial dinner with the advance party of Tim and Ruth, and a short walk to the hotel, our warriors were safely tucked up in bed at 10.30pm (*snort*). Over dinner, vast sums of Kuna (look it up) changed hands with Sam Beardall who had cleverly set the following tempting odds –
Most Runs? Hunt, Evens; Charlie B, 2:1; Sam B, 3:1. Outliers included Adrian B and Steve B, both at 10:1
Most Wickets? Nick H, Evens; Tom W, 2:1; Adrian B, 5:1. Smart money was being plunged on Charlie B (15:1 looked very appealing if the skipper ever allowed him to get anywhere near the ball).
Other interest focused on Nick and Tom who were attracting 50:1 on Most 6’s. Sam survived these unusually generous odds (there were only 5 sixes struck all weekend), although he is unlikely to do it again after Nick went the full Joey Barton and backed himself confidently.
Saturday
An 11am ferry on Saturday morning set off from Split on a (mercifully) still Adriatic sea, for a 2 1/2 hour trip to visit our hosts (Sir William Hoste CC) on the island of Vis. An impromptu net session on the top deck of the ferry suggested that we were extremely keen to join combat. The town of Vis, it transpires, is a small perfectly formed little seaside fishing village where we enjoyed  sea views from our hotel just 5 minutes walk from the ferry (Booking.com – ‘good location, but not very clean’). After dumping our kit we headed straight to the cricket ground to find…nothing. SWHCC had yet to assemble, and the (artificial) wicket was occupied by an imposing portable net, and not a few weeds (this was the first match of the season for both teams). Our Croat friends drifted in, a strimmer was located, and we soon set about our first fixture, a 20/20.
In cool but sunny conditions, TPCC were invited to take the field first. Local conditions were difficult, and fielding was complicated by an uneven outfield, and blood alcohol levels which were still off the charts. Tom White opened the bowling and was judging his run up (and pace) by the minimum physical exertion necessary to leave his throbbing head as undisturbed as possible. After two pie throws he cranked one up to embed his third delivery in the keeper’s shoulder. The seam mark is still visible. Just ask me to show you it on the weekend.
In fact, taking the pace off the ball was proving to be the right strategy as Nick demonstrated. Batsmen were contorting themselves into quite ridiculous shapes in order to get the ball off the square. After 20 overs, shared evenly between everyone, SWHCC had struggled to 109, with not one shot from any recognisable text book.
Our hosts were a mixture of local Croats and a handful of UK and Aussie refugees. The language was LOUD and IMPASSIONED (‘Moyshaya!, Moyshaya!’). And that was just the Croatian calling between wickets. In the field the commitment was multiplied many times. It is likely that we were being viciously sledged in this strange Slavic tongue (there was, for example, recurring pointing at a nearby goat) but it didn’t matter as our opponents were obviously, unutterably, mad for the game of cricket. A lovely thing to see.
TPCC’s response was stuttering, but ultimately successful, with Charlie providing a sublime impersonation of a sober man and getting us over the line in the 20th over. Useful supporting hands were provided by James, Steve and Adrian. A welcome season ice-breaker. The Croats seemed content enough with the outcome, so we didn’t fear waking up with horse’s heads in our beds etc.
In fact, the local reaction was quite the opposite as our hosts treated us to a brilliant dinner at a very rustic restaurant adjacent to the ground on Saturday evening. This included local culture such as the famous Croatian dish Peka (basically slow cooked meat and potatoes) and wine straight off the vines which also adjoined the ground.
Post-dinner entertainments were then consumed in a local Vis seafront bar until the wee hours.
Sunday
In a rather stunning piece of organisation, Briff somehow managed to corral all 12 tourists at 9am on Sunday morning to make a taxi ride, a boat ride, and then a small outboard motor ride to explore the famous Blue Caves, 20 minutes by boat from Vis. Jaw dropping. The photos are terrific (see website) and still don’t do it justice. A surprising piece of real tourism wedged into our weekend, thanks Pete.
Today’s fixture was extended to a 25/25 affair and TPCC batted first. There is not much more to say about this innings apart from Tom’s fine 61, his maiden half century for Turville. This was no fluke, as Tom essayed shots all round the wicket, and ended up being the Tour’s highest run getter (50/1, but no backers!). Wade offered 51, and Toby an elegant 0, but these were mere side shows. SWHCC were undermanned in their reply to Turville’s 154, and we ‘helped’ them into the 130’s before the end. Notable contributions from Nick (taking wickets from consecutive balls from stumpings) and Dave S. doing a passable impression of the Incredible Hulk as he bustled up to the wicket to snare 2 wickets.
Thanks to Pete for arranging such a memorable Tour, and to the skipper, Sam, who got everyone involved, and otherwise represented the Club like a complete grown up.
Final results for the punters –
Most runs – Tom
Most wickets – Nick
Most 6’s – Charlie (at evens)
Most maidens – (simply can’t remember; Adrian?)
Most words – Toby (unbackable)
Most alarming pig impregnation demonstration – figure it out
Most lost – James, Saturday night, around 3am, within a 5 minute walk of our hotel, bless
Most cute – Ruth (narrowly beating out Charlie)
Most stressed – Sam (when Nick put €10 on himself for most 6’s at 50/1, and went to bed early before the first match, with his bat)
Most urbane – Adrian (except when Tim bothered him with Brexit questions)
Most composed – Steve (everyone should have a year off)
Most – Briff (just Most)
Roll on Minorca ’18!
Cheers
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