Pink Elephants vs Faire 2017 - Report
Pre-amble: With expectations in their hearts and strong coffee in their hands, Faire took the pleasurable journey to one of the most striking grounds in this year’s calendar: Vincent Square, to take on the Pink Elephants. Following some careful practice both in the nets and with a rubberised catching-bat anonymously appropriated from Tonbridge School, Captain Hunt took the toss. Under bright spring sunshine and amidst the enclave of Victorian townhouses, Faire began their season with ball in hand.
Pink Elephants’ Innings: While the Elephants’ openers took guard, Faire soaked up the atmosphere and analysed the conditions. It was noted that the facilities were in astonishingly good shape for the time of year, with the carpeted outfield encircling a hard and even playing surface. Elwell and Greaves were decent foils with the new ball: Greaves getting prodigious movement away from the right hander and Elwell intent on boring the Elephants into submission. The first canto was notable for a sudden outbreak of quality in faire fielding, including a sensational slip catch from Hunt and frequent cries of “wait, no…, no!” from the Elephants. With the hosts at 32-3, Dolben and Jackson began a profitable partnership, before Ullathorne took over when a tight spell from Russell made for Dolben’s end. Kanagasooriam too, created chances on an unresponsive track but Faire couldn’t quite capture the snow-covered opportunities that came their way, until Ullathorne (35) succumbed to temptation one time too many. Once Jackson got to his ton, the Elephants declared at a respectable 213-5.
Faire Innings: Striding out to the crease with the ease and confidence of a pair who recognise the job in hand, C. Stobbs and Barley prepared to face up. Opening bowlers Chambers and Bucklett were consistent, but seeing little movement in the surface Stobbs took the reins and with deceptive ease started clocking up the runs. While Stobbs (35) played more freely, Barley harked back to the solid, conservative years of a young Geoffrey Boycott; our source tells us he had “developed a Yorkshire accent” and had “at least three whippets” concealed in his kit bag. After this solid start the visitors might have been forgiven for sensing victory, had it not been for the wily spin partnership of Ireland and Hargreaves. Once De Minckwitz got a good-un from leg spinner Hargreaves early on, the purple-capped dominoes started to tumble. As per the Pink Elephants’ psychological namesake, the more the Faire batsman tried to avoid getting out, the more they did. Putting on pads had become a relay activity, with even stalwarts Hunt and Stephen getting ducks. Bagnall (7) hit a few wistful strokes on the leg side, but when P. Stobbs (16) came in for a measured and valuable innings, the ship was at least briefly steadied. Together with Elwell (27), seemingly intent on boring the opposition into surrender in this innings too, the tide was stemmed for at least a while. Greaves joined and helped get Faire into three figures, but once Russell and he fell, Kanagasooriam was left stranded, thinking longingly of what might have been.
Teas: A plethora of scones, with options for both Jam and cream, were warmly received.
Conclusion: Faire will regret their diminishing focus in the field and a lack of concentration with bat in hand. They will need to be on top of their game for next week’s highly anticipated clash with Strawberry.
--- GE ELWELL