Cometh The Hour, Cometh Everyone
The Saturday Team beat Churchways 1st Team by 8 runs. The full score card is here. The reoprt goes thus:
This is the one where the Cowboys fluffed it, clawed it back, threw it away and then plucked the sweet smelling rose of victory from the malodorous manure of defeat.
The day got off to an inauspicious start when Garnier was grounded by the flight controller but Angelo was parachuted in to replace him. According to the fantasy cricket rules I think this means that Garnier gets placed into administration and will be sold off to the first dodgy oligarch that comes into view.
Even with Garnier missing we still had an embarrassment of riches in the bowling department. Add this to a crusty pitch with a soft centre and a little humidity in the air and it seemed to be a day on which winning the toss would be an advantage. Gibbo lost the toss and the foe put us in to bat.
Grove and Preece strode out manfully. A very short time later Grove sulked, man-flu like, back the dressing room having notched up a massive duck. Under fantasy rules I think this means that he will be birched by Sir. Gibbo and Preece fared little better and it was becoming apparent that batting was a little trickier than it at first looked, with the mossy pitch cushioning every delivery and telling them to calm down.
Kahlu is the ‘go-to’ man when the Saturdays need some runs and he strode out to the middle stating that he needed a fifty. A few biffs latter the go-to man came back. Lacking any breaking facility Kahlu had not taken any time to judge the pace of the pitch and was caught mid-biff. This should have been a warning to the foe, but it was one they chose to ignore. Our brave boys on the other hand knuckled down and ground out runs to recover from 51 for 5 off 18 to 122 for 9. Iggy batted splendidly hitting 39 and all the other batsmen patiently and resiliently managed to bat the overs out. Gretch got a magnificent 9 off 38 balls and Turbo-Budge got 11 from 25. The foe’s spinner, Fawad Sayed, chipped away at the batting and finished on 8-5-18-4.
122 did not seem like much of a target but with Gretch contributing to two early wickets things began to look a little better. The first wicket was a classy caught behind off Joe’s bowling. Then Grove managed to fool everyone (including himself) that he had limply let one get past him however, recovering with a decent throw, the batsman was run out going for a second. This put an end to any quick singles for the rest of the foe’s innings.
The foe had several biffers in their batting line up; all of them failed to learn from Kahlu’s demise. Several mistimed biffs flew high into the air and several were dropped. Kalhu did make up for dropping their best batsmen on the boundary by bowling him with an absolute peach of a delivery. But more drops came and crucially our brave boys seemed to have thrown it away when both biffers, in what was shaping up to be the match winning partnership, were dropped. Under fantasy cricket rules I think this means castration.
Again the Cowboys had to claw their way back with the foe on 90 for 6. Then needing about 10 off 4 with 3 wickets left the foe crumbled in the face of some very accurate bowling from RT1 and Gibbo and were all out for 114 in the 38th over. Kahlu took a catch for the last wicket to get some redemption.
All the bowlers were magnificent and Gibbo called the changes like a middle aged Alexander (sorry Gibbo but he was only 32 when he died) conquering the known world… or at least Downend. Uberpops with 3 wickets continues to enjoy his Indian Summer, RT1 also got 3 wickets.
This is perhaps the grittiest 80 overs of cricket the Saturday Team have ever played, grinding out a result making sure they batted out the 40 overs and giving everything in the field to defend a modest target.
When the Cowboys took to the field after tea the observant noticed a couple of teenagers standing under a tree by the boundary snogging. Three hours later, as the match reached a magnificent climax, they were still there in exactly the same position. They, like the Cowboys, learnt that if you have some stamina and keep grinding away, in the end you will reap the rewards and taste sweet victory.
Iggy won Man of the Match and also the cider moment for snapping up a low one.