The Captain's (son's) Log

Mystics versus Wadhurst at Clyst Saint George, 27th July 1999

This being one of two consecutive Wadhurst fixtures, it seemed to be a little less auspicious than the other matches, and yet fantastic performances by certain Mystic batsmen provided the Magicians with a rapid and awe-inspiring innings at the crease.

Who would have thought that the yellow and orange of the Mystics could acclimatise so quickly to such a devastatingly hot climate at Clyst St George, being used to the cool valleys of the Lendrick Muir area. But the contributions of the solid openers, (particularly G. Sharland, he milking Wadhurst of 15 runs in 76 balls) sent the Mystics off to a swift start. Chris Cook also helped out a little with his 127 from 86 balls, but he was soon dismissed by the opening bowler Mawson, with a poor shot caught by Tunbridge...oh yeah, this also happened to be the highest individual score for the Mystics ever. Well done.

Following the dismissal of M. Sharland for four, cue the entrance of Chris Healey, who had been challenged to score all his runs in boundaries. He managed four "Wa-hey"s before stooping to claim a single, to the dismay of the spectators. Sid and Fred sparkled to end the innings, the latter striking some majestic calypso drives, whilst the former struck 13 of the 14 runs claimed in the last over, leaving the Mystics with a stunning 237 runs, the greatest team total for the Mystics ever. Mawson and Wright were arguably the best bowlers for Wadhurst in the face of the spectacular Mystic onslaught.

After a delightful tea, Mr Gardiner and I set out to survey the track we would shortly be opening on. This was a chance for us to make a game of it, as we eventually did. In this respect I was much more successful than Ollie, as I deigned to produce the worst ever return for a Mystic, 53 runs from 11 overs, for a consolation prize of one maiden.

Following Gardiner's one wicket haul, was a breathtakingly economical spell from Squire, conceding only eight runs in three overs. He was unfortunate not to walk away with an average of nought, had he only made sure that his arm brushed his ear on each delivery. It may have been the quality of Foster that meant Squire did not take a wicket, because he produced 66, whilst holding up the Wadhurst innings.

The Mystics bowling was then lifted with the assistance of G. Sharland who dismissed the number three batsman A. Dean lbw. Healey took some stick and some six-hitting, but came away with a single prize, a snick to the buoyant S. Thomson who took no less than three superb catches (and dropped a dolly), in a superb display of wicketkeepermanship.

Wadhurst brought the game to a close, a draw the result, but there had not been great retaliation from the spiffing home-county types, merely some sturdy batting; good scores coming from the aforementioned Foster, but also from Cooper and Wright scoring 54 and 36 respectively. Captain Cook, incensed at the late but inconsequential onslaught brought himself on at the last, (supposedly to protect his troops) and winged it down for the batsman to return with interest, thus dinting his earlier prowess with an expensive two-over bowling spell. It was exacerbated by a weary dropped catch from Sid, perhaps in premonition of the total lethargy that was soon to assail him. This, combined with a travesty of an over from Dudbridge, (35 runs were scored from the final two overs) caused the game to come to a less than satisfying halt.

What followed the game was the bizarre Wadhurst ritual of egg launching, which was a competition to reveal who was the most competent egg thrower and catcher (that means no mess) over continually extending distances. The last three all failing at 40 metres. All very amusing despite a less magical conclusion to the game.

I'd say a moral victory for the Mystics.

Matt Cook

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