Midweek Friendlies 
June 3, 2024, 6:00 pm
Mallards CC
67/6 - 106/7
Benwell and Walbottle
Riding Mill
First Team
Home team win toss

Match Report

The Mallards team that took to the field at Riding Mill on this bright, sunny evening were colourful, cosmopolitan and as varied a menagerie of individuals as you could find outside London Zoo. Some were local, born on Tyneside, others hailed from all parts of the Commonwealth; some were young, fit and healthy, others were old, crooked and only just released from hospital. Some were club regulars who’d played since the 1980s; others were first-timers wondering what sort of crazy outfit they’d agreed to join. But all were keen and their state of preparedness for the contest to follow can be adjudged by two questions raised in the changing room just before entering the field of play, viz: ‘who wants to be captain?’ and ‘who wants to keep wicket?’

In reply, it was stalwart Stig (again) who valiantly led our men onto the greensward and it was Dave Churchley who took the gloves, despite insisting he’d not kept wicket since he was a teenager. And so the game began. Your correspondent opened the bowling, keeping it tight despite being unable to see the facing batsman in the dazzling sun; Peter Bell opened the other end, his back to the light, and he claimed the first wicket as the batsman struck the ball firmly into the hands of newcomer Ajay who took it with aplomb. Impressive!
Peter’s next over saw another wicket fall as the batsman swept a legside delivery with great enthusiasm – straight onto his stumps. Four overs down, 2 for 17.

Mallards’ bowling continued to impress – Dave Cox replacing Peter and, after hitting the stumps of batsman No. 3, yours truly gave over to Ajay. Benwell did well to resist the subsequent onslaught of rockets from either end but after a delay – when farcical fielding from Stig led to a smart run out by ‘keeper Dave – the score began to creep forward. The only other comedy to record was Neil Harrison’s attempt to catch the ball with his nose when it was tossed to him in the field. Welcome to the troupe of clowns, Neil!

Records show that the Mallards were a team of bowlers of varied style – looping donkey drops from Si Holland, medium pace from not new, but unused, Neil Harrison; befuddling deception from Lee Latif and, lastly, swooping stunners from Ian Stone. Lee claimed two wickets, one after the other, by batsmen who flailed about far too early, and Ian finished the innings with one over and two LBW shouts, the latter of which was successful. B & W finished with 106 for seven. A gettable target, one might think.

And so to the Mallards reply. Ed Holland and Stig marched forward into the fray. It turned out that Benwell’s opening bowler, R Draper, was difficult to get away – not for the speed and precision of his deliveries, more for the slow, orbiting asteroids that came down wider than could be reached by a barge pole. Huh! At the other end, mind, came some rapid firepower that was far more demanding. Stig struck back manfully until one, much slower, delivery caught him playing too soon and which went on to his leg stump. Dave Churchley fended off the same speedster with an elegant forward defence but he was eventually undone by a change of bowler who hit his pads plumb LBW (it should be noted that the match reporter was also the umpire – ed.).

The rest of B & W’s bowling was tight, offering meagre chances for our noble batsmen to score. Dots, singles and twos were the order of the day; boundaries were rare. Dave Cox was caught out; Lee was bowled. Ajay came and went with a golden duck (a true Mallard – his first game!) and eventually – after scoring 21 – Ed lost his leg stump and had to walk the long walk. By the twentieth over our last two batsmen – Si Holland and Ian Stone – had scored 12 and 2 respectively and we had totalled 67 for 6. A somewhat below par score for a valiant and entertaining team who, it must be said, displayed rather more character and charisma than batting prowess! But, as was said afterwards, every Mallard played their part in the game, all contributed to an excellent evening’s entertainment and, on a bright summer’s evening, the whole experience was thoroughly enjoyable. Well done everyone!

Batting & Fielding

Name R B 4s 6s CT ST SR
Bowled 21 36 2 0 0 0 58.3
Bowled 6 17 0 0 0 0 35.3
Lbw 0 8 0 0 0 0 0.0
126 David Cox
Caught 3 10 0 0 0 0 30
Bowled 3 12 0 0 0 0 25
Bowled 0 1 0 0 1 0 0.0
Not Out 12 20 1 0 0 0 60
Not Out 2 8 0 0 0 0 25
0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
Extras:   20
Total: for 6 wickets 20 overs 67

Bowling

Name O M R W Econ
126 David Cox
2 0 9 0 4.5
2 1 9 2 4.5
3 0 18 0 6
3 0 19 0 6.3
1 0 5 1 5
2 0 12 0 6
3 0 18 2 6
4 0 11 1 2.8