Her Ladyship, having showed her chagrin at my “call for men but not for her” comment has decided that she will attend the charity ball for “Aristocrats Who have been Caught by the Tax Man” and has left me alone and in peace for this tome.
We fielded 11, eventually. Thanks to all who tried to help and special thanks to Matt, friend of Ryan, who turned out for us and quickly settled in. He will need a shirt for next season having already earned a well deserved nick name. (more later). Thanks to Slaaaaater (Mr Pimms, a much better name) for stepping in to help out. A fine example of what a great club this is.
So, we arrive at Belvedere Sports and Social Club for our first match against them and are immediately jealous of their facilities. Good size changing rooms, big pitch, (of which I suspect Stumpy was less happy having to run a lot when batting) a proper bar and great tea facilities.
Yet again our Skipper shows what a tosser he is and wins again. Well, when I say win, they won and chose to bat in a timed game which is what we wanted anyway. I count that as a win. The game on the other hand had a different tone.
As usual we have a team full of people wanting to bowl. Trying to fit you all in is not easy and if you feel you are not getting your share, or not bowling at the right time, then send your complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org
Vice and Slater open. Slater taking advantage of local knowledge having played here as a colt (I think that is what he said) convinces our Vice to chose the “wrong end” with the “tricky slope” Both excuses used before his first delivery. Both keep things very tight and, despite their batsmen looking quite good, within 10 overs we had winkled 2 out. “Winkled” being the code for “even shit balls get wickets”. Probably the quietest appeal ever to get the second one out caught behind. Vice 2/16 from 5 and Slates 0/23 from 6. Deserved a lot more.
Scrappy and Dino continue the good work. I would like to say supported well in the field but that wouldn’t quite be true. Would it Pussy? We wont harp on, but Pussy (also a former Belvederian) had, what can only be described, as a day in the field he would rather forget. To be honest, so would the rest of us but unfortunately for him, we wont. 2 drops and some misses making me look good! There was some good stuff, notably Matt the new boy (now known as Leo for his remarkable 1970s Leo Sayer haircut on which the cap would not fit) chasing down several good shots and saving runs all over the shop. “Quaker” putting in some great stops on the downhill side of the pitch also saving several runs. At drinks they were just under 4 an over and 3 down. Evenly balanced. Scrappy is a much better bowler this year and finished with 2/34 from 7. Dino continuing his good form and often being too good for the batsman 0/39. Anything slightly short getting punished on the up and down pitch. Scrappy got a delicious delivery caught by Walkie Talkie “what is the point of me being at 1st slip” at 1st slip. (the scoffer of teas even asked to go there as well!) Pussy, managing to hold on to the ball long enough to bowl, bowls 4 overs for 21 and Walkie Talkie 1/26 from 5. They seemed to bat all the way down, bar 1, and ended up with 180/5. Oaten 3 quiet overs at the end, for which we were grateful, only going for 21 when they were in slog mode. Dropping the guy who scored 60 before he got double figures was unfortunate. Wasn’t it Richard?
Tea. Great, and with those facilities, we would have hot sausages too!
It is a stiff target and a big pitch so we need to keep the scoreboard ticking and wickets in hand. Slater and Stumpy open and both bat the way you would expect. Nick, nicks one on to his pads, on to the stumps and joins us back in the pavilion for 6. Scrappy follows soon after for a classy duck and the signs look ominous. Vice to the rescue. Batting as well as he ever has, with the support of the “old bill young Mick” in the crowd. He plays the ball to all areas including a jammy/glorious 6 (depends who you ask )
over mid wicket/cow (same rule applies) which the fielder easily catches and then steps over the ropes. There is a further life from a cut, but eventually one to many risks trying to force it along sees him out for 38. Leo is next in and avoids a duck on his debut. “I scored more than Ryan is all that counts” is a worthy comment. Scored 2 but, if he had a runs for shots ratio, he would have had many more. We are way behind. Stumpy holding up his end (not a comment on his personal life) as the game sprints away from us. We are only 4 down but the rear guard is in. Semtex plays his one shot to every delivery and they can’t get him out. His stoic defense may not have set the pulses running but he has to be one of the most improved batsmen of the year. 6 not out from 10 overs may not win many games but he is our Horatius on the bridge repelling the Etruscans. (look it up) Stumpy had departed earlier for 26 which left Semtex and Pussy to see the game out. They did.
Semtex and Stumpy will be high on the “Comedy Running” award during their innings together. Semtex only seeing a run and calling yes several times. Stumpy, probably knackered from having to run all of his 26, bellowing back no. Both at the same end as the crappy throw comes in. Stumpy accepts the offer to reach the other end which he duly does (a really really crappy throw). Semtex’s shrug, as a panting Stumpy turns to glare, clearly shows that this run was never in doubt. Hysterical.
So a draw, and credit to Belvedere who got 40 overs in and played in a great spirit but, no doubt they will be wary of batting first next time, as we stumbled to 89/5.
A drink in their bar afterwards as we awarded a virtually uncontested SB of the day to Pussy. There were other contenders but it was never in doubt. Performance of the day to Vice “Binman” Garratt. 38 not out, 2/16 was also never in doubt. A dash to the Malt for more entertainment.
3 games left.