Sutton CC – Friendly – away – Sutton – abandoned – rain!

Gander Green Ln, Sutton SM1 2EH


Thanks to Jim for this match report

Adam won the toss.
It rained.
The match was abandoned.
End of match report.
I did of course create a proper report. Find it below.
Once again I find myself writing a match report (my second) on a momentous weekend for the club. I doubt any words I write here could fully do justice to the events last year and sunday but here we go nonetheless. Let’s hope reliance on my abilities on the field are never required at such a high stakes moment…
Match (fees) abandoned.
An incredibly important weekend was upon
us as we travelled south of the river to play another fixture with our friends at Sutton CC. For those unaware on the story last year,  while absolutely cantering to a target of 200 inside 25 overs a young keeper/batsmen by the name of Joe Lunn scored his maiden century to rapturous applause at Gander Green Lane. It would soon transpire that Joe had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and unfortunately he passed away on his 19th birthday earlier in March 2021. As such, we were warmly invited to partake in a friendly fixture in celebration of his life.
Arriving to a bone dry wicket but a slightly damp outfield a few of us made use of the excellent facilities with some overs in the nets, before some much needed fielding practice before the toss.
The toss was conducted by Joe’s younger sister Amelia and was won by Adam who
elected to bat. The opposition skipper informed us that the Lunn XI was ‘probably a bit stronger than last year.’ Oh. Good.
After some lovely words from our stand in skip about the importance of the day and ensuring we remember to enjoy ourselves, he and Manish walked out to bat. With overcast conditions and the threat of rain in the air they were happily greeted by 2 accurate line and length opening bowlers and 5 slips and a gully. No pressure, then…
It became quite clear from the opening 3 overs that this was not going to be an easy afternoon. Both bowlers were hitting the pitch nicely and a few plays and misses were seen (interspersed with some interesting run calls from one end of the track, mentioning no names…). Adam was offered a reprieve after an outside edge, dropped in the slips (by a thoroughly decent bloke) but this wouldn’t cost Sutton too much more as he was caught behind in the next over. We jested and joked about being out nicking off to slip at this level as he wandered back to us but truth be told, none of us wanted to be out there in his place!
Jesant joined Manish in the middle and the 2 set about their work nicely. Manish beautifully striking an off drive to the boundary and Jesant himself weighing in with a few delightful boundaries helped to get the score moving. Boundaries were feats in themselves given the ropes were so far out they were all in different postcodes.
The 2 put on 40 runs for the next wicket but then Manish was forced to retire hurt with a sore arm. Too many glasses of red held in that hand during lockdown, perhaps.
In at 4 was Mahi, who got into the 80s in this fixture last year so hopes were high for a repeat. Unfortunately it was not to be his day as he skied an attempted hook high and into the keepers hands. Mr Chairman joined Jesant in the middle but both would unfortunately soon fall. Jesant really keen to not dab to third man, getting out caught at gully dabbing to third man for a well made 31. Graces looking at risk at this stage of not making it to treble figures.
Those us due in from 5 down were relieved to see the bowling changes being rung. Politely referrered to by the oppo skipper as ‘declaration bowling only.’
Bena was next to the crease, fresh from a day on the beerz on Saturday. He struck a few excellent blows over the leg side boundary to get the score ticking along again and once he got out (bowled eventually but not before nicking off a couple of times to a guy who ‘never takes wickets nicking off’), Newton and Jim farmed the strike to try and get the score somewhere near a defendable one.
Sam had been ‘begging’ the skipper for a bowl and did manage one over. ‘Should pitch outside and swing back into you’ was the keepers advice to me when he took the ball. Cue a waist high wide 3 foot outside the off stump first up… ; )
Alas, once Newton was bowled and Simon saw out the rest of the over the promised rain began to fall in the 31st over of the game with Graces stranded on 122-6. The deluge that followed would unfortunately lead to a premature end to the game. The skippers shaking hands fairly soon after the umpire shook his head on his walk back from the square. Though he did later confirm that Graces had been awarded the win under the DLS method. So some solace there.
The weather may have intervened in the game but truth be told the day had always been about so much more. Some truly lovely words spoken by Joe’s parents and our skipper for the day at the post match ceremony meant there were very few dry eyes in the house. Friendships rekindled and strengthened for years to come.
Both sides and supporters shared laughs and memories of Joe long into the evening. I personally never had the chance to meet Joe but it was truly touching to see how much of an impact he had on everyone he met. A remarkable event for a remarkable young man.
We thank our hosts for their hospitality and for providing us with the opportunity to partake in such an important moment, both for family and for the club. We send our love and wishes to everyone connected with
Sutton CC and Joe’s family. We look forward to continuing the bond forged next year and for years to come.
I believe we’re back to league duties this weekend (in Dan Lawrence’s back yard). I’m sure our fearless leader will provide details over the coming days.
Stay safe and well all. Hope to see you soon.
Essex (soon to be daddy) Jim, 10*.