London White-Sox vs Faire 2016 - Report
Faire journeyed through some of England’s finest country roads to Lurgashall to take on the White Sox, and it’s Faire to say that all the eyes of the village were focused on events unfolding on their green. With Faire fielding a team full of fresh new faces (potentially the highest proportion since the team’s first appearance as its prototype ‘And I Saw A New XI), nobody knew quite what to expect. It seems, however, that Faire took greater stock of their new-found surroundings than was wise, as the team’s batting display could only be described as ‘village’.
Hanrahan and de Minckwitz looked to play aggressively from the start, picking out gaps in the field and bludgeoning the ball through them. However it was short lived, as Hanrahan sliced to gully, Stephen allowed one onto his bails after a brief detour via his pads, and De Minckwitz was unlucky to be given out LBW to a delivery he swears vehemently he hit. Theo Bamber rocked up causally to the crease and, briefly, the tide turned, as he scored runs fluently with some actual real-life cricket strokes, not something for which Faire is well known. Faire’s main problem this innings seemed to be an inability to stop the ball from hitting the stumps, a facet of the game which its Chairman will undoubtedly be considering in great depth in the coming days. Having notched up a swift 45, Theo moved both his feet and bat away from a ball which was going on to hit the stumps, whilst notable cameos from debutants Alex Chance and George Elwell ended in similar fashion. Apologies go to Sam van Elk who was expertly run out on his Faire debut during an attempted single which, in hindsight, probably wasn’t a single after all. After a crunching cut for four from Tim Stobbs and some characteristic batten-down-the-hatches blocking from Kato, Faire were all out for the not-exactly-respectable total of 102 (which, in Faire-ness, is one run greater than Sri Lanka managed in their first innings at the weekend). We hope that, after this long weekend, Faire’s batting will return from its own holiday suitably rested for our next fixture.
Having given ourselves an uphill battle, things did not look good when the first ball of the White Sox’s innings was creamed to the furthest corner of the triangular village green. But after this loosener Faire showed admirable discipline in the field and with the ball, constricting the White Sox’s openers to a cautious 48 after 10 overs. Wickets were not exactly tumbling, but one did fall when Gan accurately directed Chance’s rising delivery to Stephen at short cover. The ‘Eds’ (de Minckwitz and Stephenson) got in on the act, partially thanks to some over-exuberant appeals from Faire men on the rope which the umpire did not have it in his heart to turn down. However the White Sox were in firm control and, barring a sudden downpour or some other divine intervention, they always looked set to ease past Faire’s total. This happened in the 26th over and both sides had more of a Sunday evening free than anticipated (despite Kato’s best efforts in the first innings).
Thanks go to the White Sox for inviting us down to such a splendid venue and our apologies for not making more of a game of it; we hope we can provide stiffer competition next year. For Faire, it’s onto one of our many spiritual homes next weekend to face The Gentlemen of Cambridge, where we will find out who exactly these supposed ‘Gentlemen’ are.
---- R. J. M. Stephen