With forward planning which was truly breath taking, Ian contrived to have his 50th birthday celebrations precisely as the Greys were suffering a recruitment crisis. The bringing together of such group of middle aged piss heads was sure throw up some deluded fool who thought playing cricket tomorrow would be a great way of nursing an enormous hang over. We needed two of these, but Ian was still relatively sober when he cleverly recognised resistance was futile and he would probably have his birthday ruined by a succession of increasingly shit faced Greysman rambling incoherently about duty and I love you Eo. Having harassed a number of likely suspects, a hero emerged in the form of Steve, who not only agreed to play, but had a whole set of unworn kit dating back to the previous time he was promised the earth and then dropped like stone when the Greys last took advantage of his drunken good nature.
Eleventh man duely secured, we assembled outside the Harty to piece together the night before, see who looked the most likely to faint at long leg, and play with James’ power ranger figures. Terry, who wasn’t late, showed some real affinity with blue power ranger, and re-enacted a scene about the dangers of using a friend’s moisturiser, but his friend yellow got the cold shoulder.
And so to battle, armed with a droopy bag of beer and some Speckled Hen. Jerry and I went to inspect the pitch and instantly decided we should bowl first, as it was still wet and could only get easier to bat on as the sun beat down on it. Skip saw a different wicket however, and arguing that because Sunday has an ‘S’ in it we should have a bat*. I think he may have a form of touretts, where he involuntarily blurts out ‘wellhavabat’ whenever he sees a coin on the ground. More on this descision later, dear reader. Suffice to say it was a shocker.
At 18 for 4, things looked pretty grim. Jerry out for a first baller LBW, me with a duck, Steve a plucky 2 and Biff mistiming a drive, which probably only his new Newbery Guevara could have carried to mid off. What was needed was a wall and an unorthodox left hander, as it so happened, that was what we got. In a situation tailor made for Terry (greys fashion corespondent, who may have never visited a tailor), he slowly dragged our total towards an unlikely looking 100, with the help of a solid display from Alan and then Dave. His 37 was a much bigger total than it looks, and included some off side shots like he sometimes executes in the nets before getting tangled up and falling over. He was cruelly run out by Dave “YES TERRY YES” Day. Ian, Rob and Ben chipped in with a few and we managed 110 all out in the last over as Ian was surprisingly caught near the boundary by medium sized boy sub fielder.
Tea was good with pizza and that.
Ben had had (yes, I did mean to write “had” twice) to have a runner (Ian apparently regards this as a not out innings for him), because he’d tweaked a quadrilateral or something, so I offered to keep wicket. After a warm up (not quite the same as when we have Del hitting to DIFFERENT fielders), in which Jerry took a blinder (got to mention him some where other than first baller), we started again.
One of their players had almost admitted defeat when we got to 35, so we felt all was not lost, and so it proved. Dave and Rob were magnificent, removing the top four for 18, and then the rest for no more runs. Jamaica Inn’s total mysteriously moved up to 24, but I say we bowled them out for 18, Dave 7-6-1-4 and Robbie (boombayay!) 6.4-3-17-6. The pitch played it’s part, but this was bowling of great quality, with swing, seam and accuracy. Nothing down leg side and not much out side off. You miss and we hit. And they missed quite a lot.During this carnage, Terry managed to cap his day by falling over in the wrong direction under a high one, Jerry and Alan performed synchronised cap throwing, their umpire threatened 2 two of their batsman with being timed out, and I won PSM for the unprecedented stumping a batsman off Dave’s bowling (slower ball on the slowest ever wicket, but that’s not in the score book, eh fellas?). We wrapped it up with a nice little catch behind for Robbie(boombayay!)’s sixth. The innings did become a little shambolic towards the end with J Inn’s batsmen forgetting/not having, a batting order/fucking clue what was going on. One of them came out with no gloves and his box in his pocket, and the next guy came with gloves, but they were those of a gardener. Jerry’s ears twitched when he said they were only a pound from the pound shop. After the game we sat around (will this match report never end?), I became chief arbiter on all things moral (this week’s dilemma -should we go to the pub with J Inn chaps? Answer. After careful consideration…..No.)
As I think I mentioned earlier, it’s a real pleasure to witness the brilliance of Biff’s captaincy, especially with regard to his preternatural reading of a wicket. It wasn’t obvious to everyone that this was an absolute belter, which was going to become a mine field later in the day, as I said before, well done skip, yet again.
Oh yes, and Ibu was in the team as well.
*Actually that’s not true. The real reason was that “we have to bat on it some time”. Undeniable, but still crap.