Mallards v Davipart @ Riding Mill July 20

On a rather hot and sweaty evening at Riding Mill, Mallards turned up as prepared as their fellow professionals playing in the test match at Lords days earlier. However, unlike England, there was no kit bag as Gareth was running late. So the tried and tested saying of ‘whoever has kit, can open the batting’ was echoed around the pavilion end by captain Stig.  As Kent, Cox and Wisbach chuckled off to the pavilion to get padded up, the batting line-up was pencilled in. Kent and Cox to open, Wisbach at the prestigious number 3 position.

They all clambered out of the home dressing room, sweating like they had been on a treadmill in a sauna, but to Wisbach’s surprise, McGuiness had cobbled together some old batting pads from the bin, women’s gloves and a dodgy looking bat that looked like it had been plucked from a charity shop.

Nevertheless, Wisbach [suffering from vertigo? – ed.] was happy to let McGuiness jump into the number 3 spot.

Kent and Cox marched on to open and started well. They swiftly moved onto 47-0, when Cox had to retire (30) after smashing 2 sixes and 3 fours. Jeff Thomson being hit to all parts by the aggressive Cox. In came McGuiness. Kent fell next for 15 after looking well set for another retirement (probably confused by what he was seeing at the other end) caught and bowled Umar. Luckily for Mallards the skillful Wisbach strode up to the crease to join the hapless McGuinness.

McGuiness and Wisbach put on a few runs, including a lovely swashbuckling four from McGuiness. The next ball he repeated the exact same shot, and as the crowd looked to the boundary, the bowler, Hakim, celebrated as the stumps lay on the floor. Captain Butcher next in to steady the ship.

Wisbach then fell (2) to a classy delivery from Umar, pitching the ball half way down, it stopping in the pitch to then dipped under the pull shot and hit the top of the wicket. Joe Root would have struggled to fend of such a deceiving delivery! (no prizes for guessing who wrote this report!) 59-3. Taylor in next.

Taylor was struggling to get the ball away due to some nifty bowling from Umar (finishing with amazing figures 3-2-2-2) and Dhillon, while Butcher had better luck hitting a beautiful four to the bench boundary and scampering singles on a regular basis. Alas, it did not last. A full ball from Dhillon and a mighty swish took care of Butcher (7) who came back to the pavilion thinking he had to try and ‘hit out’ as there were so few overs left. Once the scorers had pointed out there were over 7 overs left, he realised he had misread the scoreboard and slumped onto the bench in disappointment. But he shouldn’t have been too upset, as Beacock was in at 72-4

Taylor managed to negotiate some singles but he also succumbed to the ever impressive Dhillon, bowled (3). 77-5. Mexter in.

Mexter dealt with the dangerous Dhillon for two balls and then smashed him high and far in the air. Unfortunately he had picked out a young, galloping Saif, who ran 5 meters in 3 seconds and pouched the ball, which was drifting over his head. Dhillon finished (3-1-7-3)  Mexter gone (0) 77-6.

Benson and Beacock (sounds like a comedy duo) were left to try and somehow make some progress against some accurate bowling.

Beacock started well with two 2s, while Benson contributed with some well-ran singles. Beacock continued the singles theme and then the party started! Jeff Thompson returned for his final over.

An array of boundaries followed, Beacock playing like Steve Waugh hitting 3 fours in 6 balls and Benson chipping in with a boundary of his own, both batsmen hitting Thompson (4-0-38-0) and then Anderson in the final over. Benson was run out (10) and the final delivery saw Beacock bowled Anderson (1-0-8-1)for an inspirational 23. 108-7 after 20 overs.

Davipart started well, hitting Browne and Van Doorn for 22 off the first 3 overs. But then Van Doorn struck.  Sandhu (16) caught behind magnificently by the youthful Beacock, who dived low to the right and took a great catch, 26-1. Two balls later the dangerous D Rawley (3) was caught well by Kent off van Doorn. 29-2, Mallards back in the game! The remainder of the report does not last long however.

Anderson and Y Rawley must have left the oven on at home, as both seemed to be in a bit of a rush. A flurry of boundaries from the slugger ‘One Shot’ Anderson and some giant hitting from the talented Y Rawley, which included 3 sixes and 2 fours propelled the score on. Y Rawley retiring on 33, leaving bowling figures in tatters behind him. Browne (4-0-31-0) and Van Doorn (3-0-33-2) were the unlucky ones who faced the brunt of the ovens being left on. 83-2 by the time Y Rawley had retired.

Cox and Mexter were now on, trying valiantly to stem the flow and both bowled well in the circumstances against Anderson who was continuing to do his best impression of Babe Ruth and swinging wildly at everything. More boundaries and a six followed and the run chase was down to single figures. Cox finished with a quite impressive tally (3-0-16-0) and Mexter was left to bowl the last over to Anderson, who felt it right to turn down a long single as he wanted to hit the winning runs. But he did not get the chance and had to take a single to then [rather grumpily – ed.] retire (30). Hakim hit the winning boundary off Mexter (2.4-0-19) and the players made their way back to the sauna pavilion.

A big defeat with Davipart chasing the runs down in 13 overs, but overall Davipart were far better on the night. Mallards can take positives against a good team however. Especially man of the match Beacock, who showed more than half the team how to bat properly!