THE decision to play host to Chaldon CC in the heat of July seemed a trifle rash, however as things turned out the two fixtures at the weekend turned out to be totally enjoyable. Saturday saw Mallorca's 1st X1 win the toss and elect to bat in extremely hot conditions. Opener Eric George hit a four off the first ball, but was out to a catch by Quail off South African Alan Gregory from the second ball of the over, maybe he just didn't fancy a long stint at the wicket! James Bodsworth joined Paul Heaton and between them put on 60 before Gregory held on to a catch to dismiss Heaton for 34 off Evans, just after the first drinks break at 10 overs. Raoul East was very soon into his stride, and he and Bodsworth were cruising, despite the endeavours of the tourist's bowlers. The heat took it's toll on skipper Leggett when he retired Bodsworth instead of East, the non-plussed Bodsworth was just 2 short of his 50! His innings included 9 boundaries, and he certainly looked on target for a good score. East went on to score 82, and yes, he hit 3 of his trademark sixes en route! Chaldon's bowlers who were not having a happy time, were delighted when East snicked a ball off Claus and wicket keeper Jones didn't miss the opportunity to send him back to the dressing room. Mallorca's score 185 for 3 off 23 overs. Mohammed Shafeek and Hijaz Yaseen took the score to 191, Yaseen falling victim to yet another catch, this time by Gareth Edwards off the bowling of Harris for 5. Shafeek and George East finished things off, and the homeside's total was 235 for 4 off 30 overs. I don't think that Chaldon's bowlers would thank me for recording their figures, although opening bowler Will Quail had looked impressive with just one run scored from his first three overs. I blame the umpire, who miscounted and instead of the allotted 5 overs allowed him 6, and that ruined his otherwise creditable figures! Shame on him! After a much deserved rest Chaldon's openers Wood and Claus strode to the wicket with much to do. The pair seemed to settle quickly, Claus had hit 3 boundaries, but Heaton who perhaps took exception to being hit twice for 4, had him bowled in his first over. The score 18 for 1 off 2. Jones came to the crease, and he and Wood took the score to 26 before Heaton struck again after Jones had despatched two more balls to the boundary. The next wicket fell at 58 when Wood was bowled by Shafeek for 12. Middle order men Harris and Dougall made a determined stand, Harris hit a splendid 67 before being retired, and Dougall carried his bat for 33. Despite a valiant effort the visitors fell short of their target by some 50 odd runs. Chaldon's members looked after this scorer far too well, with too many cooling G & T's, for which I was very grateful, however the concentration did lapse a little at times. However, the bowling figures for Mallorca were impressive.
Bodsworth 5 overs 1 maiden 1 for 8. Appleby 4 overs 1 maiden 0 for 10, and Heaton 3 overs 0 maidens 2 for 20. It was a bedraggled bunch of players who padded their way off the pitch at the end of the afternoon, but with more cricket ahead of them on the 'morrow. Sunday dawned with no respite from the soaring temperatures. Chaldon CC won the toss, I suspect to great relief, and elected to bat. Mallorca's Sunday X1 skippered by Frank Leavers encountered a resolute opening pair in Fox and Claus, the latter hitting a cracking six off Jamie Carter's second over, in fact the runs were coming at a rate of 6 an over, and we were witnessing some fine cricket from the visitors. Charles Holcroft made the first strike for Mallorca when Dowland, in unusual role as wicket keeper, had Claus caught for 33, with the score standing at 55. Price joined Fox, but it was to be a shortlived partnership when Leavers held onto a catch off Mal Leggett to dismiss Fox for 28. Price produced some classy stroke play, taking the score to 90 before Wood was bowled by Mal Leggett for just 4. James Housego came in at No.5, and he and Price shared a valuable stand of 44, but Dowland once again held onto a catch off Adam Leggett to send Price off for a well deserved lager. His score 38. The tourist's score 134 for 4 after 22 overs. Housego finished unbeaten on 28, and Chaldon's final tally was 152 for 5 from the allotted 25 overs. For Mallorca 'Veteran' Malcolm Leggett's stint of 3 overs produced 2 wickets for 15 runs. Charles Holcroft, Adam Leggett, and Jeremy Reed each took a wicket. Was I disappointed, due to the short 25 over game it had been decided that tea be taken after the match, only tea and biscuits were served at the interval, woe was me!! However after the men had collapsed for the required time, Mallorca's batsmen Bird and Dowland looked suitably refreshed and set about their task with gusto, even running a couple of three's which was quite a feat in the Sahara conditions at the MCG. Mel Bird was clearly enjoying life, until a beamer off Claus struck him at the side of the temple and felled him. There was a long break as the bloodied remains were scraped off the pitch. OK, so I can joke about it now, but it wasn't in the least amusing at the time, either for Mel Bird or indeed the perpetrator! Mel was carted off to the medical centre for treatment with the only consolation that he had contributed 33 runs to the Mallorca score. Jamie Carter and Joel Dowland, the young blood of the side, took the score to 72, before Lunn made a seemingly impossible diving catch at midwicket off Richard Claus to dismiss Carter for 12. Peter Nalty and Dowland shared a stand of 63, both regularly finding the boundary. Chaldon's skipper brought on Bolger who claimed Peter Nalty's wicket in his first over, bowled for 32. Joel Dowland hit the winning runs with a splendind boundary taking Mallorca's total to 156 for 2 from just 22 overs. The members of Chaldon CC from Surrey have expressed a desire to return to Majorca in the Spring. They are an excellent side, with quality players, and we hope to see them at the MCG in the not too distant future, when hopefully the conditions will be less punishing for all concerned.


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