By Charles Randall
16 July 2012
John Lever, the former Essex and England left-arm seamer, would have been delighted to hear that a fellow left-armer Gareth Fisher took nine wickets for four runs for Colchester & East Essex CC in a Shepherd Neame Essex League Premier Division game -- except that his son James was playing for the opposition.
James Lever, another left-armer and a former MCC Young Cricketer, was one of seven visiting batsmen who failed to score at Castle Park as Woodford Wells were skittled for 24 to lose by nine wickets. Fisher, bending the ball sharply, took four wickets in a row and returned the startling analysis of 4-1-4-9, the best bowling in the club's history.
The Cricketer magazine featured the game in their July edition with a picture of Fisher, 22, and the previous record holder Ted Phillips, who took 9-5 in 1967 while already famous as an Ipswich Town footballer under Alf Ramsey earlier in the decade. Wells did themselves a favour by taking 10 off the day's first over from Rob George, but their fragile batting wilted. There were seven lbw dismissals -- one to George -- and extras ended up as top scorer with eight. Of the four runs conceded by Fisher, three were wides and the other was a dropped catch. Colchester's reply took 4.1 overs, and extras contributed 16, including 12 wides. There could be few more unusual games than this.
Fisher, 22, hit a flat patch in the league after that success, proving expensive and ineffective against Ardleigh Green and conceding 77 off 10 overs at Brentwood, but he reimposed himself at Ilford with 7-47.