On a balmy afternoon a Wilcot team depleted by the absence of key players welcomed the formidable Devizes 2nd team to the Old School Ground. The sight of a number of talented former All Cannings players amongst the Devizes players who took part in an extended warm up and catching session pre match caught the attention of the few remaining Wilcot regulars and set the tone for the afternoon. The wicket prepared by Peter Williams looked a belter but, much to Wilcot’s skipper’s relief who was dreading a long afternoon in the field, Devizes chose to bowl on winning the toss.
As the absent players at the Corbett lunch were no doubt enjoying their first jug of Pimms, Wilson Saraj and Ed Mardon were chosen to open the batting. The Devizes opening attack bowled fast and accurately.
J Hutchinson in particular, who had the size and stature to have played in the second row in the earlier Lions/All Blacks encounter extracted considerable pace and bounce from the wicket that had Wilcot’s early batsmen dancing and swaying liked they used to at Glastonbury before Corbyn hijacked the show. Ed Mardon was first to fall in the 7th over caught off a top edge and Wilson followed soon after bowled in the next over with the score still on 17. Doug Perrins and the skipper, who remember more dance moves than most, dourly saw off the opening attack but the skipper became bemused by the steady spin of G Dunford and eventually fell in the 21st over with the score on 54. Doug fell soon after and, in spite of brief cameos from Tim Mister and Ash Elliott, the fielding side who bowled and caught well were always in the ascendancy and we were bowled out for 105 in the 37th over.
Tea has become a topic of much conversation of late. Luckily for Wilcot, we have the dependable and creative Linda Keepence to call on and today was no exception. In the absence of extreme heat, scones with cream and strawberries joined the abundant supply of prawn, egg, ham, cheese and tomato, chicken, cheese and pickle sandwiches as well as a variety of cakes and other savouries. As always this was much appreciated by all, although there was a minor complaint from the Godley dogs who had not been alerted that tea would be taken early.
With the bon viveurs at the Corbett lunch presumably enjoying their digestifs, Wilcot’s regulars took the field accompanied by Max Cruickshank, a Kiwi living in Maryland, who had until today enjoyed his holiday in the UK, and Mark Atkinson, an Aussie who had once previously been coerced to play for Wilcot. Billie Flippance and Ash Elliott were tossed the new ball following a motivational speech from our incumbent Aussie Doug Perrins.
In the face of an impossible task and two talented Devizes batsmen, both bowled well with little result and in the 11th over with the score having reached 58, Wilcot’s skipper made his last throw of the dice bringing the dastardly Scottish spinning wizard Ninian MacGregor into the attack, a cunning move that accelerated the inevitable and meant we could be in the pub at 5pm.
Conspiracy theories abound. Could Charlie Corbett, who has recently moved to Stanton St Bernard and has been conspicuous by his absence in the Golden Swan, have been ‘turned’ by former members of All Cannings cricket club while drinking at the Kings Arms in All Cannings and persuaded to organise a lunch involving several of Wilcot’s elite players on the very afternoon they were due to play Devizes.
Okay so this was a drubbing but nil desperandum as we have another home fixture next week and and Wilcot’s vicar is free to play so we may have some divine assistance and Charlie Corbett is also currently listed as available so the bar bill is already accounted for.
Wilcot 105 All out off 36.5 overs
Wilson Saraj Bowled 4
Ed Mardon Caught 13
Doug Perrins Caught 21
MFG Caught 13
Tim Mister Caught 13
Tim Crighton Caught 2
Mark Atkinson Not out 2
Ash Elliott Caught 12
Max Cruickshank Caught 0
Billie Flippance Caught 6
Ninian MacGregor Caught 3
Extras 9 wides, 1 no ball and 6 leg byes.
Devizes 2 107 for no wicket off 17.1 overs
Billie Flippance 5-1-24-0
Ash Elliott 7-1-43-0
Ninian MacGregor 4-0-30-0
Doug Perrins 1-0-5-0
Tim Crighton 0.1-0-2-0
Extras 3 byes