Down Memory Lane – 1991 – In Defence of Defeats
Three Reports by Vince Newman
Match against Reigate Pilgrims on Sunday 19 May 1991
There were a few new faces, a few resurrections from the past, and a few of the regulars. Hence the need to mill in the bar asking likely looking specimens if they were with Kensington. Sadly none of them were, and we only found Mark Stockton slumped over a pint of stout.
At the start of play the numbers had gone up to 4. No sign of Captain Collins so with a cursory glance at the wicket (well, the view wasn’t that good from the lounge bar) Stockton won the toss and confidently elected to bat first. The plea for help from Simon Collins arrived shortly afterwards and knowing what an asset he would be to the side, their skipper offered to pick him up. And suddenly hordes of players were available, a full side in fact, and it was only 2:40.
Kensington got off to a confident start, and it looked as if Ravi Kannan and Scott Ide were going to fashion a reasonable opening partnership. So both were out within the next few deliveries, Kensington were 19/2. Fortunately, Tim Yeardley and Mark Stockton put together a partnership of 28 before Tim was out…for 28. Undeterred by the loss of Tim, the departure of two-thirds of the crowd, and the sight of Simon approaching the wicket, Mark played the responsible role finishing with a creditable 30 in his first game since 1954, while Simon scored a rapid 55. A quick knock from Vivek Rattan and a nifty 17 from Dave King both on their debuts saw Kensington to a declaration on 177/9, no contributions from Vinoo Nath and Graham Booth.
Kensington were right on top from the start as Reigate Pilgrims struggled to 150/2 off approximately 10 overs. And having nailed them down, Kensington turned the screw – sure enough the wickets tumbled with Dave King taking three wickets, a tidy spell from Mark Stockton and Tim Yeardley turning his arm to good effect. And after three fine catches from Steve Hayles, the Pilgrims had slumped to 177/6 with only three quarters of an hour left. At this stage Collins sportingly offered the draw, to no avail alas, as the next ball was dispatched toward the boundary. Well you lose some, you draw some.
Match against Bank of England on Saturday 13 July 1991
Riots in Roehampton were reported as bitter fighting broke out between rival factions after the narrow defeat of Kensington by the Bank of England. The vociferous “Tandon=tactical genius” grouping (membership – one) and “Why take Blumberg off just when he’s finding the middle of the opponent’s bat” faction (membership – one) were battling it out after the game when the majority “It’s only one pound ten a pint in the bar” finally took control and order was resumed.
The real drama had taken place on the field. Kensington put into bat looked ominously confident as Vinoo Nath and Mark Stockton eagerly attacked the Bank of England openers. Mark’s innings of 18 lasted about two overs, Vinoo was out for 6 and suddenly the score-line had deteriorated rapidly to 25/3.
Trevor Hurst scored a good 18 but failed to make the innings of substance he had been promising since the beginning of the season. At the other end there was Raj Tandon looking every inch the rugby player as he displayed the full range of his strokes. Unfortunately, none of them connected with the ball, and the straight one dispatched him for 5. At 54/6 things were not looking good but the later batsmen came good. A fine 33 from Sunil Amar helped the score along, and a last wicket stand between Blumberg and Steve Hayles which ended when Michael was out for 11, left Kensington with a nearly respectable 161. Steve’s 40 not out at an important (desperate?) stage of the game was the outstanding contribution to the match.
When Steve Hayles took two early wickets, the Bank looked to be struggling. Were Kensington heading for their first victory of the season? The Bank’s recovery was slow, and a good spell by Trevor Hurst (8-0-37-3) once again applied the pressure. Time was running out for the Bank, and at one stage the run rate exceeded 6 an over and looked beyond them. A couple of expensive misfields gave away significant runs, and the Bank took the match with two balls and two wickets to spare.
Post-script: Please excuse the typographical error in the above match when we referred to Raj Tandon looking like a rugby player. We sincerely apologise to any real rugby players and their families for any offence caused. Of course it should have read, “looking every inch the rugby ball”.
Match against BBC Miss-Hits on Sunday 21 July 1991
Once more, KCC were led by the man who nearly masterminded a famous victory over the Bank of England, Raj Tandon. BBC batted first and it was an outstanding performance from the bowlers. Mark Stockton after his 5 wickets for 30 runs was on the phone to Ted Dexter announcing his availability for the following Thursday. Both Steve Hayles and Vivek Rattan bowled well and economically, and an extended spell from Paul Hamilton kept the pressure on the BBC who succumbed to the might of the Kensington attack for a mere 155 runs.
Reacting to the modest target with the normal Kensington determination and flair, the openers Chris Ledger and Hamilton were out for 3 and 2 respectively. There next followed a remarkable recovery, Sharan Brijnath hitting a fine 56 and Scott Ide a cultured 57. (Don’t worry, we’ve explained the word ‘cultured’ to Scott). At 141 for 5 the match looked all but won.
But BBC had overlooked KCC’s ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of almost certain victory, the last 5 wickets falling for 10 runs, the last 4 for a grand total of 2, and Amar and Newman failing to score. The BBC were naturally delighted, and the Kamikaze Cricket Club returned to the bar to contemplate lynching the tail, blaming the skipper or trying to keep Stockton quiet. Always another week, eh chaps?
Post-script: Hon. Team sec and legal advisor Ian McLean confirmed rumours that following the post-script to the report of the match against the Bank of England, KCC has paid undisclosed sums to rugby balls defamed by comments therein.