“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Benjamin Disraeli… But not in cricket, in cricket stats are king, and here’s a few for The Mighty Greys. This year has seen some milestones go unnoticed, Jerry and Del both joining Biff in the 4000 club, Del in an incredible 80 innings, DD cruised majestically over 3000 runs, these all past without comment, however, on Sunday a certain Rob Hoare joined DD with 200 wickets for TMG’s and was awarded the PSM.
This week we were at Warninglid, for the second time this year, having beaten them back in early May.
Biff uncharacteristically lost the toss and on a sultry afternoon he and Jerry trudged to the crease. The wicket looked as if it would play on the lively side and coming down the hill Lehkyj for Warninglid bent his back and bowled sharply and with good direction, at one point hitting Jerry with a good bouncer, it looked like it would be the bowlers day, but not so, Jerry and Biff dug in, the ball continued to beat the bat but with no luck for the bowlers, both finishing their spells wicketless. The TMG’s openers both moved impressively past 50 before in the 29th over Biff chipped a ball into the covers and was caught for 55, Jerry continued to smite and wallop the Warninglid bowlers around the pitch with a beautiful array of shots, in particular: a full toss driven through the covers dropping a couple of yards short of 6; an upper cut over the slips; and a crashing pull through mid on. He was finally run out on 87, with 182 on the board from 37 overs, a great effort. Lehkyj came back on to finally pick up 3 well deserved wickets from 14 overs, but unperturbed TMG’s batted on to tea finishing on 204 for 6.
It now fell to our bowlers to try and get some life from a rather tired looking ball, DD and Rob opened and set about the ‘Lid batters removing 1, 3, 4, & 5 in 14 overs for 34. Apart from a spell when the hard hitting Lehkyj joined no. 2 Nastys at the crease, Warninglid never looked like they would get close to TMG’s score, so the onus fell on TMG’s bowlers to get them out. Rickie had Nastys caught TWICE behind; the batter finally going after waiting for the umpire’s finger, for 35, Rickie also removed the limpet like Malik caught elastically by Io at slip. With a TMG victory looking likely, 2 young left-handers came of age for the hosts, Hopkinson at 8 and Vaughan at 9 saw their side to within 3 overs of the draw. Inspired field placement saw David ‘safe hands/iron shins’ Hadrill take his second catch of the match, at fly slip, to remove Vaughan for a battling 25. Cometh the hour, cometh the man, and so with 3 wickets needed off the last 3 overs Biff bought himself on, and had Hopkinson well caught by Ibu at slip, but even the ruthless Musolinei was unable to winkle out the final pair of Pratt and Rayner (Snr), the latter batting bravely with a pulled muscle in his back. So it ended in a draw, but at the end of the day cricket and stato’s everywhere were the winners.
Special mention to Jerry for not only batting for 37 overs but then keeping wicket, meaning he had his pads on for 75 overs!