- v Mike Leas team
- Bank of England
- Sunday 25th July
It was a hot muggy day at a dry Bank of England ground. The track seemed flatter and with less movement than Stephen Hawking in a swimming pool. The Maladroits only had 9 players with Ed ‘Will he’ Ryder running late, but sadly the opposition had even less. This meant the decision on who would get first use of the batters paradise went down to who had the most late players and not the toss.
Mike Lea’s team opened with perhaps the least scary opening batsmen of the season. One was so old he had played alongside W.G Grace and the other had the body shape of W.G. Grace. The Maladroits sensed early wickets. Several maidens from Tricky early on and sharp bowling from Blinky kept the score reasonable. However, with the loss of the shine on the ball, and the batsmen’s aging joints warming up, runs started to flow over the lightening quick outfield. A few loose balls were dispatched with disdain by the largish batsmen and even his free-bus-passed partner joined in. It wasn’t long before the unlikely opening batsmen had brought up a 90 run opening partnership with very little risks and even less footwork.
This led to a change in the attack with Glen “The Liger” Lowis brought into the attack in combination with Matt “Rod Latham” Boland. Lowis found line and length immediately and bowled some rippers, finding the spot and nipping the top of off stump to remove the larger of the two batsmen. Boland soon removed the other batsmen, who happened to be playing in his 63rd consecutive year of cricket. Ryder eventually decided to turn up and signaled the start of even more wickets falling.
Glen started ripping through the top order like a German machine gunner on d-day, cutting them down with perfect line and length. One wicket saw the bail fly nearly to the boundary on the full. Ryder chipped in with a wicket to remind the crowd he was worth waiting for. By this time Scouse had lost about 3 stone through running (for charity?) from fine leg to fine leg and Mike had invented a new fielding position at close-in gully/point. Pick of the day for fielding was a close call. JC was challenging himself in the field by walking after balls, waiting until they got close to the boundary and then sprinting and diving at the last minute; thus making himself look much flasher than necessary. Meanwhile, Tricky was commanding at the top of his voice for someone to back up a sharp throw at the stumps, only to nutmeg himself with the ball and concede 4 runs. Luckily Both redeemed themselves with catches, although Tricky put on a show to the crowd by not only catching a ball, but juggling it as well. Not satisfied with the performance he also pulled a long series of handkerchiefs from his sleeve, bent a spoon and sawed the umpire in half.
With Mike Lea’s team on the ropes, and with a falling run rate, Blinky was brought back on from a different end where he soon discovered the mythical Line And Length. The ball was whipped down at near world-record pace and wickets were smashed. He bowled with venom and guile and cleaned up the middle order. At the end of the 34 overs (1 short due to the scorers confusing the 3 bearded kiwi bowlers) Mike Lea’s team had set a total of 191. Glen finished with 3 for 24, Blinky 2-20ish and Boland and Ryder with 1 apiece. Total figures were hard to determine due to the scorers’ screwups.
A pleasant tea of sandwiches and scones was topped off by two (probably of legal age your honor) young ladies doing their best to flit around in tiny skirts distracting most of the Maladroits. Rod Latham was heard to announce that he had cream on his scone.
With an imposing total ahead of them, the Maladroits were confident as the pitch was flat and outfield fast. Promised no match fees if he got a 50, Tricky opened up and bludgeoned the attack like a Canadian Seal Clubber. Playing all the shots in the book (not a cricket book) he dispatched the ball to all parts of the field. JC was his usual self at the other end, latching onto anything loose and punishing it like a hire car. Tricky eventually fell for 30 off about 3 balls to bring Lowis in. Lowis partnered with JC and continued to keep the run rate racing along. JC brought up yet another classy 50 which signaled his time to get himself out (some say just to give someone else a turn). Captain McBain came in fresh from jetting around Europe’s cheapest destinations and he picked up where JC left off. Hitting a few huge shots to the boundary he was looking good until missing a straight one and getting cleaned up. (Surely Boozer was tempted to inflate his match fees with ‘taxes’ and ‘surcharges’ just to get one back for the British holidaymaker.) Glen’s hitting eventually stopped when he was also cleaned up by a straight one, so a new fresh pair of Boozer and Mike were at the crease. Mike creamed one for six before departing almost straight away.
With still a few runs to get another Maladroit collapse was on the cards. However, Boozer played his anchor role with the text book in his back pocket, while Beale entered and opened the shoulders and smashed. One six nearly went back past mid on and straight over the tree on the full. The highlight of the innings was the shot that smashed into the bowler, felling him. Not content with nearly killing the bowler, Beale ran down the pitch and hurdled the him, almost literally rubbing dirt into the wound. Boozer and Beale (playing the innings of the season) continued to entertain the supporters until no runs were left to chase. The Maladroits cruised to victory with 6 overs to spare, wondering what total they could’ve set if they had only been able to bat first.
MOM Chris Beale for a great second spell and 29 not out.
DOD Tricky for ‘back up’ comments
Fielder of the Day: Scouse for running all over the field.
Honorable mention: Captain Baino for bringing down two cute girls