On Saturday the VP’s XI entertained the newly promoted Medics at Abbeydale. Thankfully I arrived on time which gave everyone plenty of time to hammer me for failing to write last week’s match report but as T pointed out, no one ever died wishing they’d done more match reports and to be fair, Saturday’s match provided a far greater amount of fodder.
With T back from gardening leave (and upping the team diversity quotient) and Entrepreneur Doc Varley back from whatever entrepreneurs do when they’re not playing we settled down to the job in hand.
Two completely independent impartial umpires in Club Vice Chairman, former team captain, occasional current player and all round club stalwart Sealy and Club Secretary, 5th team stalwart, occasional VP player touring umpire and player Picko. When asked if he’d been able to get any advice from any top quality international umpires for his stint, Picko had replied “no, just Ketts”.
Anyway, tossing into a stiff headwind Bully eventually retrieved the coin from Millhouses Park and announced that it was heads. By that time he’s forgotten what the oppo had called so it was decided they’d won and chose to bat.
Bowling and Fielding
Anyway Wellard opened the bowling and cranked up the pace into a following wind and bowled a miserly opening spell without reward.
Benjy, now working for a mechanical wind-up toy manufacturer, appears to have taken up a tax free company perk and has had all of his muscles and tendons replaced with the aforementioned mechanical equipment and managed to bowl a consistent spell into the wind until he needed winding back up an I replaced him.
Ground fielding was generally solid but Stewie, our usually dependable cover and sweary potty mouthed no.3, like a Gordon Ramsey with Tourette’s, dived over one, which I would call a Sydney Harbour but apparently in our impartial, independent square leg umpire Sealy’s day was a Weetabix (you’ll need him to explain). Stewie surpassed even his high standards of expletive dropping. If Roy Castle and Norris McWhirter had been there he would surely have got himself into the Guinness Book again for dropping more f**ks and c**ts than a Glaswegian taxi driver.
T had clearly been watching too much Britain’s Got Talent and tried to stop one on the boundary by breakdancing alongside it. It went for four.
Wellard was replaced by Danny the Snake and the aggression increased several fold while the pace dropped several fold.
The process of integrating the best parts from both bowlers starts this week when Dan will transfer his nasty glare and 20 years follow through (at a quicker pace than his run) to Wellard. The worry is that that will leave Dan as the cricketing equivalent of a 1.2 litre Ford Fiesta with no wheels but if it turns Wellard into a Pit Bull on speed then maybe it’s a price we’ll have to pay.
The breakthrough came when Benjy flicked into human mode and leapt like salmon and mid-on to snaffle a stunner off the bloke I’d dropped off my own bowling two ball earlier.
We seemed to quickly get them 4 down with Dan bagging two and me the same but then a missed opportunity or two saw their last reasonably capable bat build 65 with other chipping in around him with some fairly interesting, but effective smears to various parts. We could have been chasing 220 or so but wickets fell quickly in the last few overs with Benj and Wellard (2 fer) returning and Doc Varley (3 fer and pick of the bowlers) to mop up and we bowled them out for 175 in the last over.
Tea was Abbeydale average in the spare room. Quality OK, quantity fine except for running out of the hot brown liquid stuff which one would have thought the easiest bit.
On the telly was Serena Williams collecting her French Open trophy which drew a frenzied, sexually charged volley of language from the mouth of our sweary one before he lolloped up the hill to pad up.
Josh fell first after a decent start and then Ashy and the aforementioned expletive ridden one started to build a partnership until our impartial independent umpire Sealy sent Stewie back to the pavilion to swear at someone else. We kept wickets in hand generally but lost important ones at key times.
Ashy played well and his fitbit wristband was heading towards a personal best in terms of step per day. Unfortunately he didn’t manage the 2 additional steps needed to get back into his crease after wandering around following an unsuccessful leg before shout. Anyway in order to compensate Ashy then had to run for T who had eaten part of his thigh at tea mistaking it for one of the chicken legs.
We looked to have left ourselves too much to do with 31 need from the last 3 overs with T and Benj in the middle. Going into the last we needed 14 with 4 wickets in hand. T steered the ball into the spread field for a two and then the following ball, launched a knee high full bunger for a fantastic six leaving us needing 6 off 4 (just at the moment Tate had cleared off muttering about his dad not being able to bat). We managed 3 of them but unfortunately Benj struggled to get a bat on either of the last two deliveries and we finished achingly close 3 runs short of victory.
Summing Up & Beer
In summary whilst we had opportunities to restrict them to fewer than 175, it was a good pitch and 175 was below par & we should have been able to knock it off and perhaps didn’t put them under enough pressure in the field or take enough risks earlier on.
The oppo’s victory celebration was something to behold. We thought we’d lost a mid-early season league game but clearly we were wrong. We had lost the world cup. They whooped and high fived and, I don’t know if any of them are Baggies but they boinged just like the Black Country lads for the team photo in front of the scoreboard.
Stewie might have said his favourite expletives many more times than 175, we might have eaten more tea than them, Ashy did 25,000 steps that day and I managed 18,000 but they scored 2 more runs than us and we took home 9 points to their 20. Let’s hope we don’t rue the opportunity to have taken the full 25.
Whilst we’re on the subject of Steps they were a fantastic band and can anyone guess which of players would have turned down the opportunity to play in the National KO side of 2000 to go and see H, Lee, Claire and Faye in concert?!
Hey ho. It was off to the bar for a few points trying to use the pointless membership cards none of which seem to work but I’m sure someone believes they serve a purpose.
Thanks to Lady Beth Hickman for another fantastic scoring effort and to our impartial independent umpires Sealy and Picko. Top effort chaps.