Centenary MCC Match ends in Tie

Nomads enjoyed a dramatic finish to the Centenary match against MCC at the Denis Compton Oval, Shenley Cricket Centre on Sunday August 17th. With one over to go there were 8 runs to win and 2 wickets left. Charlton Lamb on 55* was facing with Daryn Williams at the bowler’s end. Lamb hit the first ball for a single whereupon Williams smote the next for four and then contrived a single. Running for the next shot Williams was run out leaving Lamb at the bowler’s end and number 11 and skipper Blumberg facing with 3 required to win.The skipper had borrowed Collins’ bat but decided this was too heavy and swapped it for Lamb’s bat in the middle.
     The crowd were hushed in expectation including the many children enjoying a reception at Shenley who previously seemed oblivious of the match in progess. Three to win and one wicket to go with two balls left. Blumberg played the ball to leg and they ran like hell. Last ball Lamb facing, two to win, one to tie. The batsmen confer, the field is spread to save two amidst much discussion.
     Eventually Craig steams in to bowl Lamb strikes and the batsmen run. Such was the head of steam achieved by the usually immobile skipper that he over ran the crease by 6 or 7 yards before managing to stop and turn only to see Charlton Lamb beseaching him to run for a second as he was already a third of the way down the pitch and the ball coming in fast, too fast. Lamb was run out and the match was tied. The best result for cricket on a wonderful day.
     Indeed the joy of the day itself was in welcome contrast to the gloom experienced by the match manager and skipper for as the days approached this match every mail and telephone call seemed to announce the withdrawal of another player. Almost all of them were seam bowlers of note as well as top order batsmen.Then the substitutes continued these withdrawal symptons making one wonder what was wrong with playing the MCC. In addition Mark Surridge had injured his shoulder and could not bowl.
     The toss was made with a 1903 Indian empire one rupee coin showing Edward VIIth’s head. Nomads won the toss and inserted MCC.
     In the absence of any pace and no seamers Nomads opened with left arm slow Joe Ireland and right arm slow Blumberg. Of the first six overs 5 were maidens. When Lamb replaced Blumberg from the Pavilion End after 18 overs MCC had amassed 45 for the early loss of O’Sullivan, trapped lbw on the back foot by Joe Ireland. Beiber, in particular, had great difficulty with Ireland’s flight while Green swept him and reversed swept him with effect. However Green should have been caught ‘twice ‘ at slip by Blumberg as he reversed swept the ball straight at slip. At lunch after 39 overs bowled in 105 minutes MCC were 123-1.    During lunch there were speeches from David Alexander and Charles Fellows-Smith and Charles presented Michael Blumberg with the 1903 Rupee coin commemorating both our founding year and our successful visit to India in January.

Mike Hodges replaced Lamb after lunch and after an expensive post lunch over from Ireland Williams slow medium came on. Green had failed to resume his innings because of a full flowing spontaneous nose bleed(he later recovered to field). Beiber having completed his century with a flurry of shots after lunch was stumped by Alexander off Williams, a gifted wicket. But Williams soon took a second when he bowled PatricK Allen for 5. MCC’s batsmen were under strick instructions to ‘get on with it’ yet Hodges and Williams bowled well conceding in the end only 5 an over despite the strategic onslaught. Williams was to take an extremely hard hit caught and bowled chance and also bowl Andy Stokes. With one over to go the skipper took the ball again but conceded 13 in the over which rather spoilt his figures as a result. MCC then declared at 260-5 off 60 overs.
    With a short top order line up it was important that Nomads got off to a good start. However MCC quickie Craig had other ideas and removed both openers for 11. Hills and Hodges batted carefully until tea although Hills offered Wakers a hard overhead chance in the slips which was not accepted.

 After tea Charles opened up the game introducing Paul Wakefield leg spin and himself in slow lob mode. Hill was bamboozled by Wakers lbw,51-3. Surridge joined Hodges who accepted the invitation to go for it with a series of mighty drives in the V and some powerful square cuts. This was in contrast to a mesmerised Mark Surridge who remained strokeless for 30 minutes and was finally bowled by Wakefield, 81-4. Jeremy Lascelles now joined Mike Hodges and the score began to rattle along.Jeremy departed for a well struck 24 to be followed by Joe Ireland in equally beligerent mood. Then he was run out as he dawdled to his end unaware of the ball zooming in on the stumps, 140-6. Simon Collins, crude but with a good eye, maintained the run rate with Hodges until bowled by Fellows-Smith, 180-7. 
    Charlton Lamb now took up the challenge and 48 runs were added in double quick time with Hodges passing the century mark. He was shortly afterwards run out thinking the ball would be thrown to Charlton’s end, 228-7,. Lamb struck and caressed the ball to the boundary in all directions and when the quickies were brought back manufactured an exquisite flick over slips off a bumper!
    Williams and Lamb thus required 8 off the last over. Williams was run out with Nomads requiring 3 to win. Blumberg achieved a single leaving Lamb to hit 2 to win. Blumberg charged down the wicket unaware that Lamb had struck the ball so well and over ran so by the time he turned round he found Lamb half way down the pitch screaming for the second run.Sadly Blumberg was some 10 yards behind the stumps and failed to respond so Lamb was run out and  the match was tied.      
  Much credit must go to MCC’s skipper Charles Fellows-Smith for the way he kept the game open and for most of the Nomads batsmen for accepting the challenge, in particular Mike Hodges 104 and Charlton Lamb 57 in his 67th year!
    There were many neutral spectators watching who had come to enjoy a reception at Shenley’s Pavilion and a very good day’s cricket they had. With the Nomads were Annette Tiberghien, Karen Williams and Diana O’Sullivan(Dan’s Mum) all of whom toured India earlier in the year with Nomads. Both President Emeritus David Alexander and President Richard Kershaw attended as did Tony Whiteway and Patrick Alexander.
    With the MCC party were Charles Fellows-Smith’s father who played Test cricket for South Africa.
 Match Miscellany.
 Edward VII (Emperor displayed on the 1903 Rupee coin) was the great great grandfather of Jeremy Lascelles!.
 *   In the MCC team were four Nomads all of whom toured India with Nomads earlier in the year.
At lunch some 39 overs had been bowled in 105 minutes conceding 123 runs.
Two  Nomads  Paul Wakefield and Andy Stokes  batted  7 & 8 for MCC. They would have batted 1 & 3 respectively for Nomads.
 *   Number 11 in the Nomads XI has scored more runs than any other current player for Nomads and last scored a fifty for the club 5 years ago.
Number 9 in the Nomads XI remains the youngest ever cricketer to be capped by Durham CCC (then a Minor County). He hit 57 off 36 balls in this match. He last hit a fifty for Nomads 15 months ago against Oxford Downs. Of current Nomads he has scored the second most runs.
  The original batting line up was Unmish Pathasarathi, Staff Etienne,Keith Alexander, Julian Howe, Mike Hodges, Mike Thewliss,Jeremy Lascelles, Mark Surridge, Charlton Lamb, Daryn Williams and Michael Blumberg.
Of the reserves Faisal Rana, Ric Harris and James While were injured. The official 12th man Tom Reader thinking he would not have a game pulled out on Saturday August 16th.
Joe Ireland was contacted at 10.00pm Saturday and invited to play. He bowled 20 overs before lunch for 42 runs. His one over after satiating his appetite at lunch cost 19 runs.
Green who batted number three for MCC, was dropped three times with one no try and retired hurt with a nose bleed, had driven from Blackpool for this match with three children and returned the same evening.
In 100 years this is the first time Nomads have played MCC.
Eleven players in this match plus one scorer, three ladies and the President Emeritus toured with Nomads in India early in the year.
  The MCC XI included two players formerly at Oxford and Cambridge Universities and another player is a practising Architect. Of the original 17 founding Nomads all were either graduates of the two senior Unis or practising Architects.
During the MCC Innings of 60 overs Keith Alexander conceded not a single bye and the bowlers did not bowl one wide.


This is Charles Fellows-Smith’s report to MCC
   The Match of the Century was exactly that, a match to celebrate the Centenary of the Nomads CC, formed up the road from Lord’s as Hampstead Nomads in 1903. It was therefore only fitting that the game was played at the magnificent Denis Compton Oval, Shenley, a ground that has recently become MCC’s second home.   
   Nomads, under the indefatigable guidance of cricket obsessive Michael Blumberg, now specialise in exotic trips to far-flung destinations alongside their usual staple of attractive village grounds in the South of England. It was therefore appropriate that the toss was made with a silver 1903 Rupee coin bought in Mumbai in the New Year on a fabulous tour of India which included many of these players, both MCC and Nomads.   
   MCC were duly inserted, and proceeded largely untroubled to a declaration score of 260-5. Williams bowled well to take four wickets, Ray Beiber century to add to his previous MCC ton made in Corfu, whilst Doug Green and Omar Faruqui helped themselves to fifties.
    The trick for this captain was to then keep the run chase alive whilst under control, not easy on the blameless Shenley surface. When Nomads lost both openers cheaply to Richard Craig’s opening burst, Plan B was brought to bear, and the slows were introduced immediately after tea. Hodges took up the challenge, well supported by the middle-order, but when the seventh wicket fell the rate required had risen above eight runs per over.      
   Enter sexagenarian Charlton Lamb though to play the innings of the day, reaching fifty off just 36 balls and bringing his side to the final over on the brink of an unlikely victory. MCC’s nerve held however amongst the mounting excitement, and Lamb was run out in going for the second and winning run off the last ball of the match, last pair at the crease. Phew!  
Charles Fellows-Smith
 MCC Match Manager