Mallards v Genetics @ Riding Mill August 14


The previous fixture, two weeks ago, was washed out just prior to the start time. The overhead conditions for this game being very similar – dark cloud, moist (lovely word) atmosphere, drizzle-soaked outfield, perfect for slow bowling (see “Club Despot”), below.

Markus Buxus was nominated captain, and Mallards opened the 20 over game by bowling first. Two overs from everybody was the cunning plan.

Hamid up first, pacy, full of fire. Only 14 off his two. Watson at the other end, cruelly hit for a few boundaries in his first over, only conceded two in his next. The definition of spirit.

Latif, always steady, always playing with a smile and a quip, just 15 conceded. Genetics opener Dan Taylor retiring at 32. Hard- hitting Richardson came in and Holland bore the brunt of some big shots. Two overs for 31. Ouch.

Time for the “Club Despot” to come onto the scene and steady the ship. Two overs of guile, flight, to me-to you bowling saw his figures come out at 2/0/2/2. Having had Mitcheson cleanly stumped by Beacock in his first over, the same partnership had Dhillon Snr caught behind in the second. Just reward for all The Despot’s efforts in getting 22 players here, selecting both teams, buying all the burgers and drink, umpiring, pedalling the generator, and generally being Despotish. Stunning!

Genetics 83/2 off 8 overs. Ominous. Bateman and Steele, taking a lead from The Despot, kept the next four overs tight in the face of more boundaries from Bennett and Dinesh. Both batsmen retiring soon after. Green, Scutt and Buckley finished off the innings. More ouch [and wides – ed.].

Genetics 178 after 20 overs (Mr Extras 23).

Time to set one of the benches outside the clubhouse alight and get the burgers going. A Californian forest fire was soon raging, with Cumulus smoke billowing, as Mallards started the reply. Steele out first ball, caught at slip off Goulding. Good impression of Muttley on the way back to the pavilion. Bateman caught in the next over on the deepest of deep square leg boundaries by Dhillon Jnr. 3 for 2. Oh.

Hamid to the rescue. Clean hitting, four boundaries, retired on 33. Super to watch. Club Despot tried to keep the momentum going, but caught by Bennett soon after. Enter Scutt. Really dark now. Played with aplomb, luck, resilience. Commendable 12.

Holland played on to a ball from Mitcheson for 9. Beacock bowled in the gathering gloom for 3. The Captain, with two cracking fours, being run out after being called for a suicidal second run. Trashed the changing room.

Green and Watson didn’t trouble the scorers. Mallards 115 all out as the moon came up (Mr Extras 28).

Cue beer, drinks, juicy burgers (no condiments sadly), commiserations and tales of what might have been. A rousing speech from the Club Despot, and about £170 raised for Cancer Research. As everyone drifted off to try and find their cars in the pitch darkness, the helicopter with water bag was descending to put out the BBQ.

[editors note – in order to preserve the innocence of several Mallards players, one of the opposition members (and very occasional Mallard) kindly stepped in to volunteer to do the match report in order to provide a balanced commentary. Who says we’re not all-inclusive?!]