The sun was shining, the temperature was soaring, and much to the amusement of the New Court bedders, I’d got my straw hat out. It was 24 June, and the occasion of the 2005 annual TMS v. Adams Society cricket match, this year played away at St John’s. The time was 10am (in theory)—about 4 in the morning calibrated to the May Week time zone—but the TMS side were in high spirits, starting the match with an unbeaten record stretching back as far as 1999.
Controversially, the TMS opened the batting, which meant my comedy ‘bowling’ of an apple was to be postponed another hour or so. The TMS put in a (yet another) very impressive performance, with special mention going to Graham Sills and Bryn Garrod, forced into retirement at 35 and 36 not out respectively.
Next up were the Adams Society, with the TMS fielding. I had the customary apple (which I’d found left in my kitchen earlier in the week) and the not-so-customary glass of Pimms (actually it was a plastic cup). Well, I had never played cricket before in my life, and hadn’t exactly practised for the occasion either—and it showed. My first apple went so far wide it almost took out one of the umpires, and I was forced to bowl it again. The second time was no better, although it did at least roughly go straight. By contrast, TMS and BA Society bowler David Hodge bowled out the first Adams batsman with the opening (non-comedy) ball. That’s more like it. Hodge in fact bowled out three of the Adams batsmen, and Toby Kenney bowled out two—one of those also for a duck.
I had mockingly written ‘thunderstorms’ under ‘Weather Conditions’ on the scoresheet during the glorious sunshine at the start of the match. At around 1 o’clock the sun vanished and there were thunderstorms; just before 1.30pm we had to take a ten minute rain break. This only delayed the inevitable though, as the TMS soon romped home by 149 runs to 107 after 20 overs a side. Another splendid victory, well done.
[Apparently, although I couldn’t hear/see from the sidelines, we also won on banter and intimidation tactics—with chants including ‘bowling, bowling, bowling; keep those wickets rolling’ and the rather apt ‘do it for Newton boys—they’re in our cradle!’]
Special thanks to David Turton of the Adams Society for organizing the match and changing the start time at such short notice, and to Jenny and Ed for sorting out the refreshments.
The TMS team in full: Imran Coomaraswamy, Graham Sills, Simon Rees, Dinesh Markose, David Hodge, Jacob Shepherd, Oli Cooley, Toby Kenney, Chen Yin, Bryn Garrod, and Tom Huckstep.
NB The President accepts full responsibility for the lack of any photographic evidence of this year’s match and promises to try to be more competent in future.
Paul Smith, June 2005