Ansty have in the past provided very strong opposition, they have also been resoundingly thrashed, so we had no idea what to expect, as they warmed up they looked to have a good mix of youth and experience.
TMGs were playing at home, for the first and last time this season, at Braypool on a council strip on the edge of the busiest road in Sussex, hardly idyllic. The captains tossed, using sign language to communicate over the roar of the traffic and we were off, TMG’s batting first.
Once again Biff and Jerry set of at a good lick posting 46 before they both fell within the space of one over, Jerry bowled by a girl, again, young Ms Janman, a very promising young cricketer, who featured heavily throughout. Then a total Greys’ collapse 3,4,5,6,8,9,11 managing 21 between them only Ben tested the scorer, adding 23 to the total. Rob at 10 was left stranded after the bizarre run out of Ricky, who whilst sauntering towards the non-striker’s end was hit in the back by the throw, from Ms Janman, deflecting the ball onto the stumps and running himself out, and meaning TMG’s had only managed to amass 102 paltry runs.
Having said 102 was a paltry total, both Dave and Rob were champing at the bit to have a go on a strip that looked to have a lot in it for the bowlers, and so it proved. 8 overs in and Ansty were 4 down with 4 on the board, game on…It appeared that Ansty may have reversed or at least altered their batting order so the cunning Skip took the openers off, awaiting the arrival of the “proper” batters. Ms Janman was at the crease and had survived with Palmer at no.6.
The change in bowling brought Ricky and Io into the attack, Ricky was struggling with stiff thighs, apparently due to overzealous rubbing in the presence of young ladies. Io at the other end was just struggling, and the pressure on the Ansty batters was starting to ease. Ricky came off after 4 overs, to be replaced by the Shadow, and he promptly took the wicket of the inform Ms Janman, holing out to mid-off, for 20. A good thing you may think, however, she was replaced by the Giant of Ansty no.7 Parsons, it’s not often that men back on the boundary are cleared by 20 feet, boy he hit it a long way. With Palmer still at the crease and looking limpet like and Parsons scoring at will it was time to bring back the openers.
Dave’s first over passed by without much drama but the run rate was quelled. Rob from the other end had a go at Parsons, now hitting the Shadow for six is one thing but he won’t do it to an opening bowler, “Fuck me, that’s gone a long way!” Now in the past being hit for 6 would mean Robbie H would pin back his ears and bowl as fast as he could, but now he is older and wiser, “no I think this calls for the off-cutter”, and it worked nipping back beating Parsons who was playing a forward defensive, possibly the best ball he’s bowled this millennium, and bagging him his second PSM in 3 weeks.
Now the game was afoot, both Dave and Rob set about the remaining Ansty batters. Rob conscious of Dave’s lead in the wicket takers competition dropped a sharp slip catch, whilst at the other end he knocked over no.8 for a duck. There was then a frankly embarrassing phase of play when after 4 or 5 previous good LBW shouts had been turned down, Rob, Ben (behind the stumps), the slips and gully went up and stayed up for a cast-iron elbee only to be turned down, again. Now you don’t want to make Rob angry, you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry, an extra yard of pace and another LBW shout, not really expecting it to be given, but lo up went the finger, and Michelle was in deed my belle. Dave’s last over delivered no more wickets. Ansty were 8 down, Rob’s last over, Palmer was still at the crease Mundy Snr at the other end was not enjoying the roasting he was getting from the Greys openers but was looking solid-ish, so Rob gave him the old one-two, first 4 balls over the wickets, come round for ball 5, then back over for ball 6 fast as possible in the block hole yorked him – 8 overs, 5 maidens, 6 for 9.
Now this brought Janman Snr to the crease, obviously not normally a no.11, together with Palmer it looked like they would steer Ansty to a victory against Io and Jerry’s bowling. Now Jerry may not be the quickest bowler, or turn the ball, but he’s a wily little scoundrel; Ansty 1 run behind he bowled a long hop, Janman Snr’s eyes lit up and he hooked it…straight down the throat of Paul Sidnell at fine leg, who was out of retirement playing his first game for 12 years, The Greys had won, oh, and yes Paul injured himself.