Ashes Tour Stats
Nepo Of The Year
2019 Match Reports-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nepotists v Great Missenden by Lukey Sparrow. Sunday April 14
Nepotists v Ham & Petersham by Lukey Sparrow. Sunday April 21
Nepotists v Barnes by Lukey Sparrow. Sunday April 28
Nepotists v Holtwhites Trinibis by Lukey Sparrow. Sunday May 5
Nepotists v Alexandra Park by Lukey Sparrow. Sunday May 12
Nepotists v Kew by Lukey Sparrow. Sunday May 19
Nepotists v Valley End by Lukey Sparrow. Sunday May 26
Nepotists v The Cricketers Cricket Club by Lukey Sparrow. Saturday June 1
Nepotists v Chingford No Report. Sunday June 9
Nepotists v Putney by Lukey Sparrow. Sunday June 16
Nepotists v Shepperton by Lukey Sparrow. Sunday June 23
Nepotists v Royal Household by Rob Jackson. Saturday June 29
Nepotists v Cowdrey by Lukey Sparrow. Sunday July 7
Nepotists v Great Missenden Pelicans
With anticipation and excitement for the season opener against Great Missenden the highest it has been since our last fixture of 2018 against Wembley, I honestly thought an early arrival by all would mirror my enthusiasm. Sadly, as I walked to the middle to toss the coin at 12.35pm, I was the only Nepo present. It wasn’t until the coin fell to the lush Chilterns turf that the ‘Werren Express’ arrived giving some hope that we might just have enough to bat first.
My endeavour to manipulate the result by asking Captain Rich what he would prefer was met with the expected “I don’t care really”, much like my opinion of a pitch that looked like it had no play on it for 7 months and wasn’t overly keen to have that changed anytime soon. Sadly, for the pitch, it was game day and surprisingly, having eventually lost the toss, we were invited to bat on the very green meadow, wedged between the Chilterns Mainline and Nags Head Pub, on a bitterly cold day.
Fresh from the Werren Express, debutants Jake Torr (ENG) and James McQuin (ENG) (when did the Nepos last open with two Englishmen??) were ushered into the opening slots and did not hesitate making it into the Nepo record books, Jake LBW for 0 off 7. With no Nepo scheduled at 3, both Time Hardy (ENG) and Ali Baloch (PAK) set to come in at four, a swift game of paper, rock, scissors saw Time stroll to the middle after what would have easily been given ‘Timed Out’ in any other league. Following in Jake’s footsteps, Time too did not make 50, failing to trouble the scorer after a prolonged 17 ball stint that saw the lacquer off the new ball with the score at 2-17.
Ali joined James and steadied the rocky start sharing 48 runs off 10. They deserved a 50 from where we were, as did James whom ran himself out for an excellent 44 off 58. Rich Price (NZ) helped Ali reach his 2nd highest score for the Nepos of 35 off 39 balls before being disappointingly bowled off a ball that should have been hit to Little Missenden. At 4-92 in the 23rd over, the Nepos were not looking strong and needed a good partnership on the very low and slow wicket.
Before the game I asked Steve Werren (AUS) which position he’d like to bat to which he confidently replied, “I’d like to have a bat this year!” so he came in at 6 and with Rich smashed 102 runs off just 11.2 overs. Just when the Nepos were looking to race to 400 Steve was caught for 26 off 36 including 4 boundaries and initiated the first Nepo collapse of the season.
Canyon Paul (ZIM) on debut clicked 3 off 2 balls before being caught, the Nepos 6-204. Having brought up his hundred, Rich was bowled for a match wining 105 off just 68 deliveries that included 10 fours and 5 sixes, with the score on 241. I (AUS) was run out (appalling decision) going for an easy 2nd on the very next delivery, with Kiso Kanth (SL) cleaned up first cherry; the final of the inning giving the hosts a team hattrick, the Nepos off for tea at 9-242.
Self-anointed specialist fielder Rob Jackson (AUS) wasn’t even dressed to come in, such was his reliance on everyone else not getting out. Mind you, when Kiso was bowled, he did look sheepishly around for at least one pad not knowing the inning was over, but I spared him the distress and let him go to tea, with Chetan Bhanot (IND) left not out with 6 off 11 on debut!
A delightfully hot green chicken curry was just the tummy warmer we needed on a frightfully chilly day the temperature barely topping 8. Garnering 8.5 on the RichTea Scale, the samosas were top shelf, the baguette fresh, and an actual cheese knife for the cheese was unexpected and indeed unprecedented but spoken of with varied excitement. Rice would have pushed the score to 9 but the additional menu item may have been too much before bowling, evidenced by our quick demolition of the Pelican’s top order.
1 – 14, 2 – 12, 3 – 18, 4 – 18, 5 – 20 after just 7 overs with Chetan ending a dazzling 4 over opening spell with 3 – 13 uphill into the wind, around the wicket! Our hosts put up some marginal resistance adding 48 for the 6th wicket before Rich added to his Championship points with the breakthrough. Having given everyone else that wanted a bowl, a bowl, I was left with Rich to get the 7th with the score on 89, and then dragged him after 3 before he could ‘mop up’.
Canyon resumed up-hill getting two in two overs ending his day 2-20 off 5, leaving Ali to get the final pole. The 10th Pelican was seemingly halfway back to the shed before the ball even hit leg stump, such was the decisive manner in which he jumped out of the way to end the inning at 113, the Nepos home by a convincing 129, and another trip to the Chilterns next week beckons!
Well played Nepos!
Nepotists v Ham & Petersham
There are some matches that just reek of success well before the first ball. Such a mindset is cliched as ‘judging a book by its cover’. As it was our season’s second match had a great title but a shit story.
With Amersham cancelling our Easter Sunday fixture, an ad placed on Fixtures List had a reply within 15mins, Ham & Petersham offering a game on their home field. It had been awhile since we padded up against HP, but they are well placed in the Nepotist Annals. One of the last times we played HP, Bruce Jackson (AUS) amassed a Nepotist world record by smashing 30 runs in an over (6, 4, 4, 6, 4, 6) over Ham Common, a record of most boundaries in one over that still stands today, and something I hoped a Nepo would replicate today. Sadly, not!
Looking at the grassy common with non-discernible centre square one could not help but think this game would be the definition of friendly, the battle simply taking place on 22 yards of mowed park land. As it happened, the HP captain highlighted a potential problem; the pitch was only 20 yards. HP are a 200 years old so how after 2 centuries of rolling, mowing and marking 22-yard pitches, the groundsman decides 20 yards is enough, is another of the game’s mysteries!
The delay waiting for the pitch to be stretched allowed time for late Nepos to arrive and having lost the toss and invited to bowl, Chetan Bhanot (IND) appeared seconds before the first ball was delivered on a pitch sloped dangerously toward the very short boundary. Disappointingly Canyon Paul (ZIM) failed to show, leaving 10 Nepos to chase the ball around the park.
Two luckless opening spells by myself (3-0-19-0) and Ilija Krunic (SRB) on debut helped HP crack 43 off their first 6 overs. When Ryan Styles (AUS) replaced Ilija the breakthrough and brakes came. Ryan bowled tirelessly after his Paris marathon last week, though trundling in off 15 paces for 7 overs is easy compared to 42.195km of Paris suburbia. Though the figures do not show it, Ryan bowled excellently through to drinks ending 7-2-20-2.
John McCoy (ENG) on debut replaced me yet was dragged after 3 even though his first two
overs were a tight change. Coming back later to help ‘finish it off’
John claimed two in two and ended 4-0-22-2, his short
stint with the ball compensated by batting at 3. Mike ‘I won’t bowl, I may bowl, I won’t bowl, I will bowl’ Sheldon (AUS) replaced John and justified his uncertainty by taking
HP’s 3rd wicket in his first over. Another wicket with the
first ball of his 4th over saw HP crash from 1-82 to 4-82,
and the Nepos were looking the goods to restrict HP to a lowish score.
Mike delivered a maiden and then picked up his 3rd
in his 4th over and, when finishing the inning, claimed his 4th
in his 5th over with a stumping to Steve Werren (AUS)
to end the day 5.5-1-10-4 and the hosts fate.
With the shortest run up in world cricket, debutant Rohan Maini (IND) with his right arm approach and left arm round the wicket bowled a tight but wicketless spell of 5-1-21-0, whereas Chetan replaced Ryan after the drinks break with a mixed spell that had one over concede 2 runs and another just 6, however the 3 in between had him dragged with 5-0-45-0 as HP moved to 166 off 30.
Nepotists v Barnes
Heading into the game against Barnes one can’t help but think of the term ‘world record’, most notably attached (for those that don’t know) to Colin ‘Bomber’ Dale (AUS) whom lost the unlosable match in 2014 as the Nepos set Barnes 342 to win. With 2 overs to spare, Barnes won by 6 wickets. As a result, even though we won the following year, the mood is clouded with wonder of what’s going to happen this time. With Rich Price (NZ) captaining, anything I suppose. Notwithstanding, by the time we took to the field, there were already two changes to the starting eleven so it was somewhat of a lottery as to whom will bowl or bat knowing we’d lost a couple of our strike weapons!
Losing the toss again, the Nepos were invited to bowl with Mick McLoghlin (AUS) delivering the first cherry, conceding just 3 in his first over of a tremendous spell that ended 5-0-15-0. New Nepo Chandan Kapoor (IND), replacing a late withdrawal, looked very slick getting the first wicket at 31 and the 2nd at 46 during his spell of 6-0-30-2, keeping Barnes in line.
Dominic ‘New Jim’ Borger (AUS) finally made his debut, after a healthy pre-match poo, replacing Mick. It must have been generous umpiring or Dom needed another dump for he looked in pain for the duration delivering balls way down leg, far outside off, full tosses, and mid-pitch dross, all without penalty. Incredibly, 'New Jim' was dragged after 5-1-21-1 including the prize wicket of the opener whom had 60 to his name, and off he went for another use of the facilities with Barnes 3-99.
John McCoy (SCO (TBC)) replaced Chandan and probably wished he didn’t as he handed Barnes 29 runs off 2 overs allowing Ali Baloch (PAK) to come on earlier than expected and whom had immediate impact, thanks to an outstanding catch at slip by Rich. A flash outside off, the edge flew to Rich’s left on the rise. Instinctively his left hand flew out and the ball magically stuck resulting in Rich making more noise than he does when someone drops a catch off his bowling. Barnes now 4-104; the Nepos getting frequent crucial wickets to frustrate our hosts.
Surprisingly, I was listed as 14th man yet here I was setting a field to replace ‘New Jim’. Bizarrely, the Nepos have a wealth of new talent to choose from yet for the first three weeks we have been at least one Nepo short. I did not expect to play today but packed the spikes just in case and it was just as well. 45 mins later I’d rolled over 8-0-44-2. Rich took over from Ali and too got amongst the wickets with 3-0-20-1. Between Rich and I, Barnes went from 4-154 to 7-187 and there a chance we could restrict them to an unexpected sub-200.
With 5 overs to bowl, Mick replaced Rich for 3 more and Chandan replaced me for 2. Against one of the longest and strongest batting line ups we have faced for some time, the last 5 overs went for just 19 runs, the last 3 overs conceding just 2 singles, 1 no-ball, and 4 byes, with one wicket each to Mick ending 8-0-26-1 and Chandan an exceptional 8-0-34-3. Barnes were restricted to just 212 giving the Nepos a red-hot chance.
With red-hot new-Nepo opener Jake Johnstone (NZ) gripping porcelain instead of gripping willow, Carl Hoar (ENG) opened with a very reluctant Canyon Paul (ZIM), more keen to caress his wife than quick singles. As Canyon didn’t bowl, coming in at #2 was where he reached his highest score for the Nepos of 4. He did look good for his 13 balls, he was just unlucky to be caught the way he was. Nepos 1-24 and when it all went toes up unfortunately.
Carl was bowled two overs later for 23 off 24, the Nepos 2-30. Ali was given out LBW first ball to an inside edge, Nepos now 3-30. New Jim also hit his highest Nepo score of 4 from 9 before being caught one-handed by a bloke falling over, Nepos 4-40. Rich appeared to be batting like a captain who side was in trouble for his 8 ball 8 up until he too was caught one-handed by the same bloke falling over yet again. At 5-46 the rest of the Nepo line up rushed to pad-up all the while Canyon cuddled in the cold with his wife under a blanket, none too plussed about proceedings now he was warmed up and ready to go!
Jack Phelan (NZ) (whom took our first catch of the season!) and John put on a reasonable show for 6th before John too was caught by the bastard that can’t stay on two feet while taking catches for a determined 21 off 17. At least he was out by quality bowling and fielding by comparison to his previous week’s embarrassment. The Nepos at 6-74 were not looking likely to reach 100 save for Jack’s patient 16 off 21 before another classic catch saw him stroll off leaving the Nepos 7-84.
At 8-85, our threatening opening bowler Chandan did little to threaten the scorer before being caught for 1 off 5, leaving Stevie Werren (AUS) to nudge, nurdle, and annoy the bowlers for 14 off 26 before he was castled with, “the only ball that was on the stumps” as Steve said in passing as I joined Mick as our last hope, 108 runs still to win, Nepos 9-105!
Well, we gave it a good shake adding 51 runs off
10.3 overs with Mick excelling with 40 off just 39 before
being well caught (again) at long off, after mid-off ran 30m to
take the chance and end a miserable Nepo batting performance, all out 156 inside 34 overs!
Yours in Nepotism,
As far as replacement matches go, we may have been better off staying home; no disrespect to our hosts Holtwhites Trinibis whom came to our rescue following the cancellation of our fixture against Ickenham, but it was a very timid game lasting just 42 overs. Come to think of it, it took longer for most Nepos to get to the ground than the time we spent on the ground!
After briefly winning the toss, our stand-in
captain Magic Mike Sheldon (AUS) officially lost the
toss as noted by the opposition skipper whom called heads and then
pointed out to Magic whom announced we would bat that it was not a tail! After doing
his best to manipulate our batting first based on Holtwhites' Captain
suggesting he'd prefer to bowl, we were ultimately invited to bowl, an
effort which lasted all of 26.1 overs .
Mick McLoghlin (AUS) opened for a brief & tight spell of 5-2-8-1. Ryan Styles (AUS) from the other, after winning the pink wig at the end of his 1st over, eventually got the first wicket in the 4th over, our hosts 1-13. Ryan dragged after 5-2-13-1.
As wickets fell, the bowling was rotated to give as many Nepos as possible a go, something I like to encourage! Knowing not everyone is available every week, it’s important to involve everyone where and when we can, so well-done Magic! When all was washed up, it was only Time Hardy (ENG) that failed to add his name to any scoring column, with our specialist fielder Rob Jackson (AUS) impressing upon his proxy-voting spectating father by taking a blinder at point.
Back to the bowling, I replaced Mick for 5-1-10-2 while Mitchell Haag (AUS) on debut replaced Ryan with a rather uncertain and interesting start; his fist ball bouncing innumerable times before rolling to a stop about 1m in front of the batsman whom duly thumped it for 4. #GoodLuckEverybody
There have been better first balls and better first overs resulting in the bowler being dragged after 6-deliveries before more damage could be done but Magic persisted, and Mitch was duly rewarded for straightening and lengthening up (sounds a bit promiscuous). After having a catch dropped, Mitch claimed his first championship points ending 4-0-25-1.
Time now for Brothers Maini (IND) to bowl in tandem. Rohan replaced Mitch for 4-2-4-1, whereas Rohit took over from me after drinks for world record debut figures (TBC) of 3.1-2-4-4 to decimate our hosts for just 75-runs in 26.1 overs. Not our most exhilarating bowling effort and with Rohan, Rohit, and Mitch all coming off very short run-ups, it was not our longest either. As such, tea was postponed.
Agreeing to bat for 15 overs, depending on the state of play, Carl Hoar (ENG) opened with Magic, whom was scheduled to come it at 11. As Magic didn’t bowl, I suggested he open and though he tried to get out, he didn’t! Neither did Carl. Together they clipped, chipped, and caressed their way to 76 runs off 16 overs. Carl ended 36 from 51, Magic 33 from 45, and for the first time in my 20 years Nepo career we had tea after play, and that my learned friends was absolute rubbish; the game, not tea though that did only get 7!
Well played Nepos, we remain at the top of the Non-League League!
Yours in Nepotism,
Nepotists v Alexandra Park
Follow The Nepotists On:InstagramFacebookTwitter It was a marvellous day! The sun was out, the field was lush, the bar was open, the Wi-Fi worked, we won the toss, and for the first time this season we had a full team, all of whom performed to pull off an outstanding victory after choosing to bat. Being rolled for just 106 in 35.1 overs was easily the worst element of the day, especially after being 0-37.
Our ever-reliable and always punctual favourite London cabbie Carl Hoar (ENG) opened with dodgy curry connoisseur Jake Johnstone (NZ) on debut. Though it was tough start, thanks largely to a very long, thick, and un-cut outfield that restricted run flow, Carl & Jake set a great foundation for what should have been a 150+ score considering the slow field.
Jake however succumbed in the 14th over, castled for 16 off 35 as he looked set to fire. Two overs later Carl was strolling back for an uncharacteristic 23 off 50. The Nepos were 2-45 with a runs score that did not change before Mitchell Haag (AUS), a reluctant number 3, was fired LBW for 1 from 10 and the famous Nepo collapse was rearing its ugly head.
Nilesh Thacker (IND), after the trek Leicester and fresh from car-shopping for his wife’s birthday at Car Giant and not Tesla, was very un-Nilesh-like. Though clubbing 2 rare boundaries, he was stumped going for this 3rd and walked off for 9 off 18 with the Nepos 4-56.
Ruthless run-up Rohan Maini (IND) gifted the keeper a silent catch on his 5th ball and learned a valuable Nepo lesson; ‘Do Not Walk’. Umpiring from the Jack Phelan Bedroom End, I was the only one on the field that did not hear the snick. Before I could say, ‘Not Out’, Rohan was halfway back to kit duties with the Nepos now 5-56 in the 22nd over.
It was now up to seasoned Nepo Jai Thacker (IND) to support Rich Price (NZ) in his quest to correct the imbalance of runs v wickets. Though the pair put on a good 19, Jai top edged a sweep and was caught behind for what ultimately was a match winning 4 from 9, the score 6-74 in the 26th. Rich was joined by Ryan Styles (AUS) for another episode of the Ryan & Rich show, which was a disappointing flop when Rich had his furniture flopped for 16 off 36, reducing the Nepos to 7-84.
Jack Phelan (NZ) whom lives just 300m from the club house and thus arrived in his pyjamas having woken up just 3mins earlier was, like most Nepos until they get out, looking solid until the opening bowlers returned to mop up and dispatched of Jack for 1 on his 7th ball.
At 8-85 Steve Werren (AUS) swiftly came to the middle and left just as swiftly to help Rohan with the kit, caught from 4 without troubling the scorers, leaving myself to join Ryan at 9-100, with 7 overs still to face. 6 runs later Ryan was the latest batsman to achieve the near impossible by snicking a wide behind with 22 from 28 to top the strike-rates for what was largely a miserable day at the crease.
A cracking bowling effort was required!!
After tea that gathered a 7.2 on the RichTea Scale thanks to the hot food being cold and sarnies being ‘bought in’, 2018 Nepotist of the Year Ryan delivered the first Kookaburra from the Jack Phelan Bedroom End and for one of the rare moments of his Nepo career, opened with a maiden and our hosts were already behind. Great start! I started from the other and delivered a non-threatening (apart from the verbal given to the batsman!) spell of 3-1-8-0, watching Ryan get the breakthrough to a clean catch at 2nd slip by Nilesh. APCC 1-8 in the 5th. Solid start Nepos.
It looked set to get all pear-shaped with their number three going for the slog in some vain attempt to get the game over so we could all watch football. Not interested… in getting the game over with by losing! After #3 carted his 4th over for 20, Ryan dragged himself after 4-1-26-1. Rich replaced me and though opening with a maiden, rolled an unremarkable spell of 3-1-14-0 and was unpleasingly (as always) replaced by Jake.
Rohan took over from Ryan and had immediate success castling the arrogant #3 for 33 off just 19 with our hosts to 2-42 in the 9th. Jake made it 3-69 in his 1st over and the Nepos were fighting back. Though hit for 14 off two overs Rohan persisted and made it 4-69 in his 4th over, while Jake picked up his 2nd in the next over, our hosts now 5-87, needing just 20. Rohan delivered a fascinating spell of 8-3-21-2, an outstanding fight-back after his first two overs, supported by Jake who opened his Nepo bowling account with 3-0-20-2.
Enter Nilesh Thacker! One over 2-1. Two overs 2-1. Three overs 3-2. Four overs 4-3. Five overs 5-4. Game Over!
APCC went from 4-87 to 5-87, 6-89, 7-89, 8-93, 9-99, 10-102 with the Nepos home by 4 runs, the game ending with an outstanding catch by Mitch in the covers. Diving low to his left, he scooped it up cleanly and threw it up decisively to join the Nepos in a wild mid-pitch celebration.
It was the most breath-taking victory in recent memory. Everyone played a part, even Stevie Werren whom failed to score a point, his stumping denied by the plane-spotting umpire who plainly missed the batsman being 36,000 feet out of his ground to deny Steve his pointed contribution. This said, special mention must go to young Jai Thacker whom was trusted to keep the batsmen inline late in the inning. After going for 6 off his first over, his second over was an outstanding maiden that applied more pressure on our hosts whom finally choked to the death in the next for 102.
Absolutely outstanding work Nepos, just simply remarkable. Bring on Kew. #GoodLuckEverybody
Yours With Excited Nepotism,
Schwim Moment: Mitchell Haag's amazing catch in cover to end the game!
NACA: Myself for fucking up the NACA voting so spectacularly. An unanimous vote after I wasn't even nominated. 'Cricket Related' I say!
Follow The Nepotists On:InstagramFacebookTwitter Nepotists v Kew
For the first time this season, rain was falling. At 12.30pm, at our very favourite match at Kew Green, usually bathed in sunshine, speculation was rife about the duration of poor weather that kept the Kew captain and I walking to the covered pitch to toss the coin. Instead, we strolled about 2 yards through the pickets and having spoken of my preference to bat and Kew’s preference to bowl, it was decided. For argument sake we nonetheless tossed the coin, the Nepos won, and we elected to bat… once the rain stopped!
It was not a long wait and at 2.15pm Carl Hoar (ENG)
and Jake Johnstone (NZ) took guard and got the Nepos
underway for the pair’s biggest opening stand. With 100 looming, and
just 3 balls remaining of Kew’s only real threatening bowler,
Jake was knocked over in the 23rd for a splendid 46
off 65balls with the Nepos 98.
Mick McLoghlin (AUS) joined Carl and took the score to three figures in no time at all. In fact, it was a single boundary yet alas at 102 Carl headed back to the shed with 47 off 74 after being fired LBW in the 24th. As I was only one of 4 Nepos present when the coin was tossed, knowing we were bowler heavy I decided to bat at 4 in lieu of bowling.
In less that 5 overs Mick and I added 33 before Mick was well caught for 7 off 16 and walked off at 3-135, with an average of 55 at Kew having remained 48 not out in 2018! Rich Price (NZ) was in at his usual 5 looking to spank 4’s and 6’s around the short ground with fast outfield. This approach was no more prevalent than his being run out for 4 off 7, being too slow off the mark for a very rare, but nonetheless very easy quick single. 4-147 in the 31st.
Mitch Haag (AUS) swaggered with confidence to the middle at 6, looking far more comfortable than he did last week at 3 on debut. That confidence saw him reach 12 off just 7 before a great diving catch had him swaggering off at 5-175 in the 34th, with the Nepos a long way from last year’s 312. Time Hardly (ENG) being knocked over 50 runs short of his latest half century making it 6-183 didn’t help us get too much closer. My getting out 9-runs later and 5-balls later didn’t help either.
It was now left to Steve ‘I’ll bat this year if I get to the ground on time” Werren (AUS) and Ryan Styles (AUS) to see the Nepos through our 40 overs with an excellent 37-runs partnership, Steve taking red-ink with 15 off 12 and Ryan 22 off 12 including a giant six down the ground to see the Nepos to tea with what felt like a match-winning 7-229, especially after last week’s defence of 106!
As Chandan Kapoor (IND) was one of two Nepos not to bat he was charged with taking control of our defence with the new Dukes Ball. Though Chandan went wicketless in his first over, Ryan got the breakthrough with his first ball with an LBW that was so plumb the batsman should have walked. Being an opening bat naturally he stood his ground remonstrating that it he hit it or pitched outside leg, or it was no-ball or some other nonsense trying to get the decision reversed, if ever that would happen! It didn’t and the Nepos were well underway chasing their 3rd straight victory, Kew 1-4.
Chandan made up for his quiet 1st over by
claiming two wickets in his 2nd, the middle and off stumps respectively
knocked back with one ball in between, Kew 3-13. After going for 10 in
his 2nd, Ryan backed up in his 3rd
trapping Kew’s other opener plumb LBW too, that also resulted
in repeat remonstrations, moans and bullshit as he limped off
with Kew 4-32.
Ryan was dragged purely to give another bowler a go while there was still a chance to share some wickets and raised the ball after an excellent 5-1-16-3. Magic Mike Sheldon (AUS) took over from Ryan to give Kew a chance of bonus runs and off four overs gifted them 23. He did however also take the final wicket of the match and walked off 4-0-23-1, helping the Nepos to a solid 148-runs win.
As Kew was one batsman short due to Jake breaking his finger during his innings, Mitch whom replaced Chandan only had the chance to roll over one over for 4 but I must say, he looked a lot less ‘uncertain’ with those 6 legal deliveries than he did at Holtwhites Trinibis two weeks back.
All in all, it was a convincing win. Solid batting backed up by
definitively solid bowling and some excellent umpiring by our 12th
man Rob ‘I can’t umpire but I will give it a go’ Jackson (AUS)
to see the Nepos notch their 4th win of a long season. With a
long drive to Valley End next week, the early finish today would allow
the Nepos an extra 2 hour’s kip to be well rested for another win.
See you all at end of the Valley next week!
Yours in Nepotism,
Nepotists v Valley End
If not for being one of the nicest countryside grounds we play, I would not lose any sleep to find the bastard again, but then I should rely on instinct saying turn left instead of relying on Kahuna (AUS/POL) saying go right who as it turned out had his GPS upside down! Some 30mins driving around the forests of Surrey finally had us at stunning Valley End Cricket Club, with the welcoming committee of Nepotist Legend Andrew ‘Roly’ Monk (ENG) and his selected debutant off-spring.
the easiest ground to find, even with GPS, at least I had 8 hours sleep
before the adventure to concentrate on directions! Spare a (very) brief
thought for Magic Mike Sheldon (AUS) whom only had 8mins sleep!
celebrated his 30th birthday last night until about midday
today, before waking at 12.08pm to learn that he’d missed his ride with
Time Hardly (ENG) and had to rely on, dare I say, public
reach the game. Good luck with that!
messages of drunken despair filtering through about Magic's varying arrival
times, we were lucky in part to have Kahuna, along for another
of his disgruntled days in the country, to reluctantly don whites and
take the place of Magic until such time Magic would abracadabra himself
at the game. The same could be said about 5 other ‘on time’ Nepos still
‘Missing in Surrey’ by the time the scheduled start of 1.30pm came
Such shortage of players would often see the
toss voided in lieu of us batting first knowing we can’t field with 6…
plus Kahuna. Being a stickler for tradition however, the Valley End
skipper walked me to the middle for the toss, which he won and
subsequently elected to bat! If there was value to this, it allowed me
time to drink all of my coffee before the boy’s mother scalded her
tongue. That wouldn’t be a troubling concern if not for her consuming
more pints of prosecco than I can tolerate her drinking just to keep her
tongue from blistering!
With only 10 on the field,
including one very pissed off Kahuna because he couldn’t sit at the bar
all day running up the tab with his mother, tight bowling was required
with the extra space around the ground. I opened up the hill for a
mediocre 4-over stint and though it included the breakthrough in the 3rd
over with the score on 15, it only brought the host’s dynamic number 3
to the middle. By the time the 2nd wicket fell 95 runs and
just 12overs later, I am pleased I only did 4-0-27-1.
Young local debutant William ‘Bull’ Monk (ENG) had the honour of taking
the new ball on home soil down the hill and looked quite sharp for his
tender years, even though he started with a wide! With 11 off his 1st
over and 11 off his 2nd persistence kept him on and
confidence tightened him up to deliver his first Nepo spell of 6-0-42-0.
Due to his late arrival, instead of opening, Ryan Styles (AUS)
replaced me for a full spell under the strain of last night’s
festivities with the still absent Magic. With just one cruel over of 14
to the short boundary, he was otherwise as good and as luckless as ever,
ending 8-0-49-1, his wicket crucially that of the ‘mad-as-a-cut-snake’
opening bat that swung at everything. Most of the time he connected but
one of the few times he didn’t, Ryan flattened his off stump. Great
Without replicating heroics from
Alexandra Park, Nilesh Thacker (IND) took over from
‘Bull’ and trundled
5-0-33-0 before being replaced by his young boy Jai (IND) for his first
8 over Nepo spell. He didn’t let the side down, and neither did local
In his one showing for the Nepos this year and his first for many a year, Roly showed young 'Bull' how to do it. Aside showing everyone how to get hit for 24 off your first over, Roly bounced back only conceding 24 off his next 3, which included a double-wicket 2nd over. This was only after Valley End had smacked 83 for the 3rd wicket, with 193 on the board. A huge chase was in the offing, we just needed to get the number 3… and the remaining 6 of course.
Roly home with 4-0-48-2.
Continuing to trouble batsmen with one ball and boundaries with every other, Jai kept working, and working, and working, and with a big leap and fists flailing, he celebrated his first Nepo wicket with the 3rd ball of his final over. Unsatisfied, he picked up his 2nd off his final ball to finish extremely pleased and rightly so, 8-1-39-2; his final over the only maiden of the match!! Heroic effort Jai to reduce the hosts to 7-245 in the 36th.
whilst every other Nepo toiled looking for lost balls in the Surrey
Forest on the short side of the ground, chasing leather to the long
boundaries, and generally bowling without too much excitement, Magic
decided to show up! Painfully for us, with very, very clouded judgment
Magic did his ‘I will bowl, I may bowl, I won’t bowl, I will bowl’
routine to piss all over us and walk off after 3.5-0-22-3, Valley End
wrapped up for 262; three batsmen adding 209 between them. It could have
been a lot more had their number 3 not retired for 101!
After a tea of tea and cake knowing the savouries were saved for the after-play BBQ, Carl Hoar (ENG) walked to the middle with Nilesh and set about chasing our highest run total for the year, and got off the best start possible, hoiking the first ball over backward square for 6. Nepos away! In what was one of his more ‘struggled’ inning, after trying endlessly to get out by swinging and missing, Nilesh eventually gifted a simple catch when on 39. Though deserving, Carl and Nilesh failed to get the hundred, Nilesh gone after 55balls, the Nepos 1-97 in the 18th.
Given every opportunity to make the most of his one appearance, Roly
came in at 3 and struggled as well as any number 11 might. After
reaching 7 off 17 balls, Roly must have had enough and in one over
smacked 3 boundaries before getting out for 19 off 21 balls, granting
him kit duties as the lowest score. Nepos 2-144 in the 24th
brought late comer Nick Grieve (NZ) to partner Carl.
As Carl continued to pummel runs, I questioned him, when at the
non-striker’s end, whether he too had to retire at 100. With a shrug of
the shoulders he ran a single and next ball summarily ended that
debate with an easy return catch to the bowler and walked off for 76 off
just 75 balls bringing Ryan to the middle with the Nepos 3-149 in the 26th.
A tight finish is coming. Or so one thought.
towering pull shot that fell just short of the boundary but eventually
crossed the line, but having first passed through the oak trees, 6 was
awarded to Ryan to help him bring up his 50 and victory for the Nepos in
the 39th over. Nick and Ryan displayed a masterclass of
middle-order batting to take full control of the run-chase, both ending
with extremely warranted red-ink.
Nick with 52 off 45, and Ryan 54 off just 38 balls celebrated a fine partnership of 118, taking us home 3-267.
In their process of success, they helped the Nepos to their 4th consecutive win, with number 5 looking good in 7-days; a pub team from Richmond next on the cards!
see shall we?
Nepotists v The Cricketers Cricket Club
Being asked to choose heads or tails is
one thing, but I’ve never been asked to choose a pitch. Certainly not
knowing local conditions, it was suggested the pitch we eventually
played was better as the other had been used two nights prior, and
dodginess was identified. With the Nepos having reduced our hosts to
5-35 in 6 overs, one may have suggested the pitch we were on was the
dodgy one with Chandan Kapoor (IND) and Ryan
Styles (AUS) ripping through the top order. Ultimately, how
they reached 171 was not so much a mystery as it was unexpected.
Dragging Chandan after his outstanding
4-0-13-4 to give other bowlers a chance was a positive decision at the
time, with Ryan offering to bowl up some dross to give
our hosts a chance to get more than 50. Try as he might, and though
getting success with his 1st ball ripping through the opening
batsman, Ryan couldn’t bleed the runs he wanted and too
was taken off after four overs, finishing 4-1-21-1.
After his excellent bowling the previous week at Valley End, Jai
Thacker (IND) replaced Chandan and simply
could not find the same mark, going to 18 off his first over. And though
claiming a wicket in 2nd over, he went for a consistent 10
per over, my thinking that he would tighten up, and the loose deliveries
would be miss-hit as we were deep into the tail of what should have been
the bowlers that don’t know how to bat. The theory was right, but sadly
the catching wasn’t.
The pink wig was bandied about
more than the address of a strip club in Baghdad, with some of the
simplest catches of the season being grassed, all the while the quick
outfield allowing our hosts to pile on 171! Taking that into account we
should not have been chasing more than 100. My replacing Ryan
was ineffective though ending with the same 4-0-21-1.
After 6-0-61-1, Jai was replaced by Carl Hoar
(ENG), dropping in his unusual mix of right arm robotic, going
in tandem with Rohit Maini (IND), whom both got the
3-wickets to end the inning with Carl rolling over
3-1-13-1, and Rohit 3-0-24-2. Nilesh Thacker
(IND) making no impact on anything but the total with 1-0-10-0,
and off he went to pad up without tea to begin the run chase.
Because there are 1000+ pissed locals swanning about the
green, it is too much effort to pack up the kit and move it indoors to
prevent local gangs rifling our kit and pilfering our possessions whilst
we enjoyed a refreshing Twinings and cucumber sandwiches. As such, after
a 15mins turn around Carl and Nilesh
strolled to the middle to do much better with our start than they did
By the end of the 2nd over,
the Nepos were 3-6 with Carl caught for 6,
Rohit bowled 1st ball, and Seth Healey (AUS)
on his cameo return to the Nepos this season, caught behind on his 3rd
ball and what was the 7th ball of the over. I had a clip the
6 balls bowled yet with the hysterics of wickets tumbling, I relied on
Chandan at square leg to confirm there was one left.
Disappointingly for Seth he was gone for 0 on the
illegal delivery, though I am not sure it would / could have made too
much difference, for after the 1st ball of the the 4th
over Nepo cameo Andrew Cullen (AUS) was plumb LBW and
the Nepos were in a big hole at 4-8.
Chandan and Nilesh looked to balance the inning, but with some slow deliveries that failed to come on to the bat, both tried to get out but couldn’t time the catches, before Chandan finally played through a low bouncing grenade and was castled for 10, the Nepos now 5-31. A 41-runs partnership between Nilesh and Ryan gave the Nepos a red-hot chance of fighting our way through, but just as the belief was riding a crest, the crest of Nilesh’s stumps was taken off when he was 23 off 41, after taking the Nepos to 6-72.
A 25-runs partnership between Ryan and Time Hardly (ENG) gave more false hope as they took the score to 97 before Time played a false shot to be caught for 4 from 11. Jai, sadly, didn’t trouble the scorers with the bat as well as he did with the ball, and after a solid 6 balls strolled off for 0, allowing myself to join Ryan with confidence of getting the job done.
There were plenty of overs left, and needing just 3 runs per
over, knowing at least 33% of those runs would come by wides or
no-balls, it was not a frantic feat. Ryan drilled on to
another 50 as we put on a comfortable 23 runs, before Ryan
miss-hit a ball that was there to be hit, only to be caught for 56 off
48, leaving Stevie Werren (AUS) and I the Nepos last
It wouldn’t be the first time Stevie
and I have added 50 for the last wicket to win the game, but it also
wasn’t the first time I’ve seen Stevie knocked over for
0. Playing forward, the LBW appeal was turned down as the ball bounced
through to 1st slip. Stevie thought the ball
had run down to 3rd man and unlike the ball, decided to run.
Quickly realising, but not quick enough, the ball was only 1m from the
stumps, Stevie darted and dived back but it was not
enough as the bails came off, the Nepos all out for a demoralising 122,
handing our hosts a 49 runs victory.
sat down after the game to ask me why he was dragged or why I persisted
with others that weren’t getting the wickets, instead only getting hit.
He understood why I wanted to give others a go but didn’t understand why
I let the game slide on such a dodgy wicket. Neither do I.
See you at Chingford next week where we aim to take our 6th
Chingford wicket in 3 games!
Yours in Nepotism,
Nepotists v Putney
We played Putney last year as a late replacement
after the cancellation of our regular fixture. When our regular game was
re-fixtured this year, I was admittedly not too upset at not playing
Putney. Nothing against the lads, I simply could not be fingered dicking
around with the backwards and forwards of it all.
Well, as it happened, Shepherd’s Bush cancelled, and Putney was the only convenient fixture available when I went looking. There were a few distant games, but I wanted to swap a local game for a local game, so Putney was it. The other concern about this game was Bomber Dale (AUS) being available, which meant only one thing. More wickets for him bowling lollypops than any other bowler actually trying to get a wicket!
Knowing the effort required to get the game started on time I tried getting the boys to Putney by 12.30pm but failed. With stand in skipper Ryan Styles (AUS) still missing by the time Putney wanted to throw the coin, I called heads, lost, and were invited to field. If anything, at least we could keep all the kit in the shed and only take over a new ball!! And a set of keeping pads. And keeping gloves. And sweaters. And chairs. All which were forgotten, requiring us to go backwards and forwards three times before the game finally started at 1.40pm!!
Following his excellent efforts with the new ball this season, Chandan Kapoor (IND) opened down the ridge and up the hill. Though he remained wicketless in his first 6 overs, Chandan ultimately finished the inning rolling through a fine figures of 6.4-1-22-1. In his first match for 5 weeks, Ali Baloch (PAK) was given the honours of opening from the other. With the pink wig doing its rounds, Ali delivered a tight spell of 5-0-33-0 and was dragged to allow debutant Matt Reed (AUS) to don the headband and introduce himself to the Nepos, with a double spell of 5 overs and then 3.
Taking over from Chandan, Nilesh Thacker (IND) only conceded 5 per over but crucially finally got the breakthrough with Putney on 86, plumb LBW and the Nepos were away. So too was Nilesh, replaced by none other than Bomber. Before Bomber troubled the batsmen, Reedy at the other end was troublesome and though also only going for 5, was replaced without a deserved wicket. His return toward the end was outstanding returning 2-15, Reedy finishing with a solid 8-0-49-2.
Now as bad luck would have it for the batsmen, when Bomber throws up his pies, the eyes widen and thoughts of 36 off the over come to mind. Such thoughts only get you out as proved by the opening bat who drilled Bomber’s 3rd ball down to debutant 12th man Ben Katona (AUS) at long-on, and Bomber was away. 1 over bowled, 1 wicket. Unbelievable scenes with Putney now 2-123.
Taking over from Reedy was young Jai Thacker (IND) in his final appearance for the Nepos this season. After losing his way at Richmond, he bounced back with a spell that yielded another brace and showing Bomber how to take an excellent caught & bowled. Bomber’s 2nd over brought another batting error, the #5 plopping the pie into Ryan’s breadbasket at short mid-on. Bomber 2 from 2, and then 3 from 5 with an amazing caught & bowled, giving him 3-20. Jai continued until he was replaced with tidy figures of 5-0-42-2, replaced by Reedy to do his tail-end demolition.
Credit where due of course, pies, lollypops or otherwise, it was nonetheless an incredible 8 overs by Bomber. His last over was his worst, conceding 11 but not before he snared his 4th, the batsmen swinging wildly across the line to hit the ball to Putney Bridge. He missed, Bomber hit and off he walked with 4-40 as Putney strolled off 10-220 off 37.4 overs. Well Bowled!
After what was a much better tea this year that scored 6.5 Carl Hoar (ENG) took to the middle with Nilesh to set the foundation for a solid chase. After last year’s first ball quack, Carl could only improve, and he did. Bowled for 8, and not before Nilesh snicked one down leg to be caught for 2. Not a great start.
Elevated to #3, Ali was hitting the ball sweetly until he didn’t hit one and was bowled for 14 off 20 with the Nepos 3-28. This allowing Ryan to join Mick McLoghlin (AUS) whom was looking to improve on his 2018 blob also. He didn’t, bowled for 0, Nepos 4-32. After another stalwart bowling effort, Chandan steadied the chase with Ryan adding 45 off 10, taking the Nepos to drinks 4-77. Ryan pepped Chandan during the break, “Don’t do anything silly, don’t get out, we can do this!”
Three balls later Chandan walked off for 17 off 32, and Ryan looked up in disbelief. Whether that was Chandan’s dismissal or seeing Bomber walk to the middle or both! The Nepos now 5-77 with not a lot of known trust left in the shed. To his credit again, no matter how dodgy Bomber looks with the bat, he stuck around for a 26-runs partnership with Ryan in which Ryan scored 26 on his way to his 3rd consecutive half century. Looking to lose the ball, he clipped the ball onto his pad that bounced onto stumps, the Nepos 6-103. Ryan walked off with a superb 53 off 50 as Jai joined Bomber.
I don’t know whom was supposed to play the dominant role, but it was academic when Jai was knocked over for 0 on his first ball, bringing our designated specialist fielder Rob ‘I can’t bat’ Jackson (AUS) to the middle. Surprisingly, Rob was outstanding belting two fours through mid-wicket and when his swipe to leg sailed over the line for 6, he cheered loudly! That pleasure got the better of him as the next ball took off his bails for 15 off 20 after adding 21 runs with Bomber.
Debutant Reedy strolled in, the flowing ginger locks tied back and hanging proudly from his lime green and magenta helmet and did not let the side down. Instead, showed that next week he should batter higher. 3 fours, 1 six, and 11 balls later, Reedy was on his way home for 18 after giving the Nepos are cracking good shot of pulling off the win.
At 9-145, the Nepos chance of batting out 40 overs against Putney for the first time was left up to Bomber and young Kahuna (AUS / POL), chosen to bat after our elevated 12th man Ben didn’t want to!! With 27 balls to survive they did remarkably well to play out 26. Bomber squeezing the ball to third man, I admit selfishness by telling Kahuna to try and get two as I wanted him to end not out.
Confusion mid-pitch saw Kahuna and Bomber running to the same end, before Kahuna turned back to the bowler’s end. Diving for the line, he was run out by a small but big enough margin and that was the ball game. Kahuna out for 1 off an admirable 14 balls, Bomber not out 6 off a remarkable 52. The Nepos dismissed for 154, handing our hosts a 66 runs win.
Well played Nepos! See you in Shepperton next week where this is a clubhouse on the field, power, internet, a bar, and everything you need during a game of cricket!
Yours in Nepotism,
NACA: Jai Thacker for wearing a white jacket with two black lines running diagonally across the front, which made it look like he'd been run over by a scooter!
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Nepotists v Shepperton
As I arrived at Shepperton CC to defend the ‘Holgate Trophy’ my mind cast back to the spiteful end of last year’s game that resulted in the trophy simply being handed over by the tea lady in passing instead of the usual speech and ceremony. It suggested Shepperton was more than happy to see us leave, which suggested doubt for this year’s fixture, which was confirmed by the silence following my consistent asking for a rematch. A change of fixtures secretary in February however brought confirmation of the match and 11 Nepos fronted for the 39th showing.
When asking for the Shepperton team to input into our online score program, there were only 4 names I didn’t have to change from last year. If the fixtures secretary didn’t know about last year, seven team changes suggested many players did, or perhaps I’m just paranoid. With the guy at first slip mouthing off since ball 1 and threatening to go home if his moaning was not taken seriously, I braced myself for an inning of aggro.
Admittedly, I was riled early. After a nonsense comment about my taking photos whilst umpiring I walked to square leg, shaking my head, saying, “here we go again!” I wanted to bite but only bit my tongue and let the twat carry on like a dickhead as deemed fit. If I thought we’d done anything untoward to piss him off, that thought was deleted as I accepted the many apologies on behalf of his teammates after we retained the trophy, defending a solid 216, and not by my choice.
Losing the toss and being asked to bat was a
pleasant surprise. Notwithstanding we only had 4 Nepos so it was easily
determined that Carl Hoar (ENG) would open with
Matt Reed (AUS), and a great partnership that was. They carded
63 before Reedy played over the top of a straight,
slow, looping dolly and was castled for an impressive 28 off 52. Less
impressive was John McCoy (ENG) whom absorbed 11 balls
for his scratchy 5 and walked off with the Nepos 2-76.
Carl was on his way to yet another hundred until he was stumped for 65 off 82, leaving the field with the Nepos 3-133 in the 30th. Cue the famous Nepo collapse. James McQuin (ENG) looked as good as I remember the last time we played together at Great Missenden, until he too was stumped 4 balls later after compiling a solid 26 off 33 at 4-234. Kahuna (AUS/POL) came and went, bowled by the ball of the over for 0 off 4, Nepos 5-136. Having arrived late, Nilesh Thacker (IND) must have been rushed to prepare but didn’t rush off at 6-138 with 2 from 6. Enter Nepo of the Moment, Ryan Styles (AUS).
In a rich vein of form with 3 consecutive 50’s, Ryan set about stopping the flow of wickets and replacing them with runs. With Rohan Maini (IND) playing the perfect foil at the other end and whom stoically ended with red-ink 19 off 26, Ryan smashed his way around Shepperton before being caught in the deep trying to bring up another 50. Walking off with 48 from just 28, Nilesh honourably offered Ryan his 2 to give Ryan his much-deserved half ton, with the Nepos 7-205.
Refusing to bat in lieu of watching world cup cricket, Kiso Kanth (SL) was dragged from the bar and ran to the middle where he got muddled with Rohan and subsequently ran off, run out for 0 without facing a ball and without missing one ball of the cricket on the telly. An unimpressed Steve Werren (AUS) strolled in and strolled back for 1 off 1, as the Nepos went to tea 7 – 216, a score when 5 down seemed very out of reach.
For the first time in my tenure as Nepo skipper, following the on-field ‘chirping’ I ushered the lads into the shed for a pre-inning chat to say, “React to nothing! Let any verbal interaction with the batsmen go through to the keeper, any overturned appeal to pass quietly without question. In short, do not fuel any fire and we will go away the better!” I believe we did, by 52-runs!
Using 8 bowlers, it was only Kiso that had a double spell of 3 & 3, otherwise a solid rotation gave the Nepos another good win. Opening with Reedy with success on the 2nd ball to signal the demise, he was rested after 4-0-11-1. Ryan opened from the other with yet another luckless 5-0-14-0. Kiso replaced Reedy and later Rohan with a superb 6-0-33-3. John bowled a spell he wished he didn’t, which included a consistent 12 wides in his 4-0-27-0, before being replaced by Rohan, whom once again kept it tight and secure with 8-1-33-1. Nilesh took over from Kiso after his first spell, to deliver an outstanding 8-2-21-2 and relinquish the ball to James for an under-bowled 3-0-8-2.
With more than 70 to win off just 5 overs, it was time to give Kahuna the ball to improve his abilities and he did not let the Nepos down. Though going for 12 off his first over, he proudly secured his first Nepo wicket in his 2nd with a beautiful line and length delivery that went under the bat and took out middle stump and walked off as the youngest Nepotist wicket taker at 14 years & 20 days.
Now if I thought being handed the trophy last year by the tea-lady, this year there wasn’t even a trophy. It wasn’t seen nor spoken of and we all went home. I for one wondering if we would ever play Shepperton again, the future discussed with a number of high-raking Nepos in the days after. It was decided to persist and maintain a positive approach for the sake of losing a 38-year fixture, and hopefully the bad elements of the last two years would no longer be selected! I would rather that if it meant not ever seeing the trophy again!
Well played Nepos! See you at Windsor Castle next week!
Yours in Nepotism,
Schwim Moment: Kahuna for his excellent bowling,
standing up to be counted when necessary
Back To The Top
Nepotists v Royal Household
Schwim Moment: Kahuna for his outstanding resilience in
facing the final over to save the game for the Nepos!
Nepotists v Royal Household
Schwim Moment: Kahuna for his outstanding resilience in
facing the final over to save the game for the Nepos!
Nepotists v Cowdrey
Nepotists v Cowdrey