After a warm welcome from Ian Manocha, MD of SAS UK to all guests and clients, play got underway just after 10am and occasionally in cricket, there is a rare occurance that brings smiles to many people. When the same person is involved and for different reasons, it can make for an interesting comparison.
Photo Galleries: Match 1 | Match 2 | Match 3 | General | Video
In 1994 England fast bowler Devon Malcolm was spurned into action at the Oval when hit on the head by a bouncer from South Africa fast bowler, Fanie de Villiers. Devon remembers it like yesterday as he turned to the smirking slip corden and famously pointed his bat at each one on turn with the words “you guys are history!” before taking 9 for 57 and demolishing the South African line up with one of the most fearsome exhibitions of fast bowling in history.
So roll on the clock a few years and Devon was one of three ex-England internationals playing in the SAS 20/20 Cricket Challenge at the picturesque ground at SAS UK Headquarters in Marlow. The teams were of mixed ability, some players very keen but not having picked up a bat in anger since playing at school. Devon marked out his now usual 3 to 4 pace run up and aimed, as he does, on a good length, so as to guage the abilities of the players.
What he (and most of us) were not aware was that on strike was former Warwickshire Cricket Board and minor counties batsman Neil Humphrey who proceeded to cover drive the first three balls beautifully for a four and two 2s !
Devon decided to lengthen his run, only to see the next two balls disappear over the ropes for two more boundaries. So 16 off the first over and Devon now had two contrasting stories to recount at the end of the day’s play.
How times have changed!
So onto the rest of the action and having retired quite quickly at 25, Neil Humphrey (39*) then returned to help his team post a score of 100 all out as good bowling from Shawn Lewis (3-10) and John Keohane (2-20) kept the score to a manageable level.
Gladstone (Small)’s Googlies team were soon chasing a lot of leather as Ian Zygmund (17*) and Devon Malcolm (28*) himself decided to speed up the process. Two huge sixes and Devon retired and although some of the remainder of the bowling was quite tight, the extras soon mounted up to allow Devon’s Duck’s to win game one at a canter in the 14th over.
A gourmet lunch was taken in the pavilion as players were able to view action shots from the morning’s play while the former England internationals helped the local Sports Development Team and Cricket Coaches with a coaching clinic and fun games for school children from the local Danesfield School.
The on pitch format required the losing team to stay on and in game two, Gladstone Googlies redeemed themselves by beating the Glowing Embers.
Skipper John Emburey was back to full fitness after an injury scare two weeks to help his team against a rejuvenated bowling display from the Googlies.
This performance restricted the Glowing Embers to a similar total of 102 which again was not enough as Neil Humphrey again passed 25 and retired and with good support from Skipper Small (24*), passed the total with an over to go, despite Keohane again taking wickets (2-13).
So onto game 3 with all to play for as with a win apiece, it would come down to overall run rate to see who were to be declared champions, unless Devon’s Ducks won.
Again the Glowing Embers batted first and proceeded to post the highest total of the day of 127-7 with David Annis (43*) returning to post the day’s top score with good support from Shah (25*) and skipper Emburey (20*).
Unlike game one, Devon’s Ducks were never able to get going with the bat and as the Glowing Embers bowled and fielded well and continued to take wickets, they were rewarded with a 38 run win. Only Ian Shanahan (17) and Zygmunt (12) really troubled the scorers,
This,of course gave the scorers a headache as now all three teams had won one match each, so on overall run rate Devon’s Duck’s were declared the winners.
The MVP’s received a bat each, the bowlers a SAS logo’d ball and for the magic moments, a bottle of rum. Mention should go to one recipient who probably had the busiest day – Chris Jobson whose celebration of a catch at fine leg of what turned out to be a no-ball, kept everyone amused!
Ian Manocha again thanked all for their participation and efforts before a BBQ and Question and Answer session with John Emburey and Devon Malcolm finished off the evening.
Gladstone’s Googlies 100ao (Humphrey 39*, Lewis 3-10, Keohane 2-20) lost to
Devon’s Ducks 101-1 (Malcolm 28*, Shah 1-10) by 9 wkts
Glowing Embers 102-7 (Emburey 25*, Ghosh 16, White 2-21) lost to
Gladstone’s Googlies 106-5 (Humphrey 25*, Small 24*, Keohane 2-13) by 5 wkts
Glowing Embers 127-7 (Annis 43*, Shah 25*, Emburey 20*, Traill 2-15, Lewis 2-40) beat
Devon’s Ducks 91-9 (Shanahan 17, Zygmunt 12, Emburey 3-10) by 38 runs
Winning Team: Devon’s Ducks (on run rate)
Players Of The Day
MVPs: Neil Humphrey (Googlies), David Annis (Embers), Ian Zygmund (Ducks)
Bowler: Anthony White (Googlies), John Keohane (Embers), Shawn Lewis (Ducks)
Magic Moment: Chris Jobson (Googlies), John Spooner (Embers), Tim Bean (Ducks)
© Cricket World 2011