Ivanhoe at Theydon Bois – The game that wasn’t

The Ives travelled to the lovely ground that Theydon Bois call home – last year we were serenaded by piano concertos from a nearby house as a tightly fought game came down on the side of Theydon.
The curse of 2023’s weather had temporarily abated but under leaden skies that threatened a downpour at any stage, but the presence of a fantastic clubhouse lightened any heavy hearts, Ivanhoe went into bat in a 35 over game.
Depending on where one bats in the order, the sight of a strapping young bowler marking out a runup over 20+ paces either excites or puts the fear of all that’s holy into others…coupled with the gloomy outlook, a large tree deep in the outfield and a pitch that sloped from the short boundary on one side to the long boundary on the clubhouse side, and a few ridges just outside off at one end suggested a challenge would be faced by the openers.
Phil K and Ciaran opened up and faced the wrath of the new ball…Phil made a handy 14 with some lovely strokes before falling. Steve joined the fray and played an exquisite square drive early on as well as a sweetly timed pull shot and looked utterly comfortable in scoring 16, before falling against the run of play.
One of Prasad’s friends was undone first ball by a big spinner bringing Bob Collins in, and the score rattled along until calamity struck and out of nowhere Ciaran fell for a very handy 44. Hansi Joined and was able to watch from the non-strikers end as Bob put on a masterclass of power batting, scoring around the wicket and utterly dominating the partnership.
The rain grew heavier, but the spirits of the Bois were not dampened, even if their shirts were sodden and rain dripped off the helmet visor and black and yellow cap of the batsmen but all and sundry stayed on the field.
Captain Collins was no-doubt cursing his decision not to play a 40 over game, as having scored 65 and led the Ives to 174/4 he left a century on the table. Considering last year Ivanhoe scored 156 off 40 overs this represented the kind of batting that was required last year…
During the luncheon interval, any prospect of play was utterly curtailed ad the downpour became torrential, and the game was called off – an utterly sensible decision but great applause must be directed to the Bois for sticking with the game for the Ives’ innings without complaint and then not getting an opportunity to bat.
Understandably Bob Collins (esquire) was player of the match, although due to some quirk of democracy he shared that accolade…

Author: Hansi B

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