A Friday night red card in Spearmint Rhino for over excessive chundering for captain, Mike Simpson proved the catalyst for a match winning century at Coal Aston. Simmo was clearly in the mood for revenge and took it out on the Coal Aston attack in amazing fashion as he plundered an unbeaten 165 to lead the seconds to victory over our near-neighbours.
The morning sunshine had everyone in the mood from the onset although much of this was due to some rather savoury phone pictures courtesy of our junior members. It certainly got Waif’ blood flowing and he almost caused himself yet another pre-match injury in his attempt to snatch the phone in question. I have promised not to mention who the phone in question belonged to – all I will say is that if a young bird sent me, Bully, Waif and Rooty snaps of her in those poses, we’d no doubt be shouting it from the rooftops! Simmo lost the toss and we were inserted – not the only time I’m sure if the girl in question had been present. I lie in the sun was deemed better than a fielding warm up and no-one seemed to argue.
Wongy and Lister opened the innings and all seemed good until the Chinese-one square cut a short ball straight to gully where the fielder produced a stunning catch. Wong stood around for a good few minutes in disbelief at having to wear his chinos for the rest of our innings but he had to go. AJ looked in impressive form until a poor call from Lister and a direct hit from the fielder left the big lad short. Lister continued to put the bad ball away and we reached 50 for 2 until I played poor shots to the special one and left us in a bit of a mess. This is where Simmo entered the stage and what a performance he gave. He plundered 14 sixes, many of them enormous, to take us to a total of 271 with no else scoring 30 plus. Champagne moment (Simmo apart) was the condition of Waif’s new helmet. Using it for the first time as his eldest son, Daniel had started using his old one as a toy, he was run out for a duck. One returning to the pavilion, one can’t explain his reaction to find that the glue had come unstuck leaving it in 2 parts. Great amusement centred around whether he will use the inner cap for his next innings.
Tea appeared very good.
In return, the Coal Aston openers set about our target sensibly although both Bully and Melman bowled accurately. Waif made a t*t of himself in dropping Dave Furniss off Bully and was relieved when Dave played on a couple of overs later. 12 overs apiece was possibly a couple too many although they proved the best of our attack as the rest of the bowlers failed to bowl with any accuracy. We did manage wickets at irregular intervals but the batsmen had too many short, full or wayward balls to score from and took full advantage. Coal Aston finished on 224 for 6 with all our bowlers going for at least 4 an over.
In summary, Simmo’s knock was magnificent. He played with a captain’s responsibility in the middle of the innings and exploded to life in the last 10 overs. The game can only be remembered for his innings however in bringing us victory, it has camouflaged a number of areas that we need to take note of. Our batsmen scored freely although many of us suffered from the old adage ‘here for a good time, not a long one.’ We scored fairly freely but lost wickets at regular intervals and we need to be able to bat for 50 overs. Without Simmo’s knock we would have been lucky to make 200 and would undoubtedly have lost the game. Similarly, our bowling after Bully had come off and Melman was allowed to graze in the trees, was weak and lacked accuracy. We need to be able to restrict teams and in all honesty, 224-6 could well have won the game for our hosts if they had batted first. A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon but lots to learn from and practise during the week. I also suggest a very boozy night and a trip to Rhino next Friday for all club members!
Well done Mo – a joy to watch!