With Britain a rudderless power vacuum in the wake of an outish EU referendum, it’s political elite having emitted a collective “Dunno mate, anyway, I’m off yeah”, the Mighty Greys headed to Denton Cricket Club’s comforting vista of sun dappled shipping containers, a fixture that marks the half way point in the season.
The rules were agreed to be village and the Greys were to bat first, opening with Biff and Wig (deputising for the absent Jerry), on a pitch that looked flat with the odd dead spot, and a refreshingly quick outfield.
Our ever generous hosts treated us to a bevy of extras; more byes than a post referendum Westminster, and our new opening pair were off to a good start until Wig, playing well, began to exhibit the first symptoms of a particularly contagious strain of Hamstringivitis and called for a runner.
“Not Terry!” was the cry from the skip, and Zack was duly dispatched to the square.
Terry was soon to follow however, when Biff succumbed on a score of 22, via his best shot of the day, unfortunately directed straight into the bread basket of Denton’s Jeff. The Shadow played himself in with a series of dots, leading to a flurry of 3 scoring shots, but then played himself out again with a rather long series of dots, eventually bowled for 10.
The hamstringivitis had now spread to Wigs other leg, which if anything evened out his painful looking hobble to and from the crease, but he continued to play well with one straight 4 of particular note receiving a PSM nomination. At the other end Dom was having difficulty getting away the tidy bowling of the Milnes, and was eventually bowled for 4. Cue some confusion as Zack and Dom swapped roles of runner and batsman.
Zack helped return some much needed impetus to the innings with some lusty swishing including PSM Nommed drive down the ground, hit hard enough that motivate a Denton fielder to take evasive action. Dom had been in the field for some time now and despite remaining at least 20 yards away at all times, he contracted the hamstringivitis from patient zero, for whom he was running a quick 2. Wig had been run out for 65 by a troika of hyper-twanged hamstrings, possibly a first for cricket.
In stepped Robbie H, supposedly slightly more injured than usual, so playing as a batsmen, but in reality moving with speed and suppleness beyond what we have come to expect. He was bowled for 8 and replaced by Alex.
Zack eventually departed for 42 when his quickness of foot could no longer compensate for his slowness of decision and it was left to this humble match reporter to step into his favourite 3-minutes-of-contactless-flailing-at-the-end-of-the-innings scenario. As it turned out, the 3 minutes yielded 2 PSM nominations; 1 for a square cut 4, and 1 for a rather manly and authoritative cry of yes when initiating a tight second run. Alex finished on 8no, I finished on 9no, and the Greys finished on 213 for 6.
Tea featured a satisfying combo of build your own sandwiches and baked sweet treats.
TMGs were forced into an attacking fielding arrangement in an attempt to quarantine the hamstringivitis outbreak within the slip cordon.
Alan and I opened the bowling and as soon as my gentle, dippy, in-swingy loosener bowled the Denton opener, Wileman, it was clear that conditions were in my favour.
Alan did all that could be expected of him to remove the other impressive opener, Lee Poulton. A text book nick originated from the corridor of uncertainty, but unfortunately was destined for the deck having passed, all too briefly, through a £100 pair of wicket keeping gloves. Alan’s delivery was PSM nominated, none the less.
Poulton looked far too difficult to bowl at, so I offered him a single off the first ball of each over and concentrated on bowling the others out.
Milne (A) was on the wrong end of some prodigious late inswing, a tossed up delivery did for a free swinging Smith, and there was another bowled (victim’s name uncertain due to scorebook inconsistencies). A second consecutive impassioned LBW appeal secured the Michelle, completed without ever having to trouble the (mostly crocked) fielders, and became the eventual winner of a PSM run off vote against some flakey hamstrings. 7 overs, 2 maidens, 5 for 14.
Meanwhile Alan had been bearing the brunt of some quality cricket shots from Lee Poulton, but he had picked up the wicket of Jayamering(?, scorebook photography leaves something to be desired) (LBW).
Ibrahim and EO made what went before look rather pedestrian by wiping out the remaining 4 wickets in 3 overs, Ibrahim bowling a double wicket maiden.
Denton were bowled out for 59 in 16 overs, TMGs second dominant win in as many weeks, out competing their opponents in every aspect of the game.
A nascent power is crystalising. TMGs are thriving amidst the chaos of a disintegrating Britain (soon to be Wangland).
The future is Mighty, The future is Grey!