SJFCC vs Crabtree
2005-06-09. Win by 6 wickets By Dave Boxer
Result: Crabtree, 151 for 3 from 20 overs; The Mighty Fishers, 152 for 4 from 19.5 overs.
Well, what can I say, a quite unbelievable match. It had everything: dodgy bowling, flukey edges, over-throws, big hits, dropped catches and Bullet ateman behind the stumps! What more can you ask for?!
Dave won the toss and elected to field. Reevo and Bungle opened up and bowled a good, tight 4 overs, giving away only 11 runs. Jules came on 1st change and made an immediate impact, trapping the no.1 LBW, and was unlucky not to get at least one more wicket after that.
Boxer brought himself on but had no luck. One edge flashed over slip, another dropped just short of him and a pull shot was dropped at square leg. By now the other opener was getting his eye in and was playing some pretty big shots. Neither Little nor barman Mick could halt his progress and he retired for a well-earned 29.
We needed another breathrough and Matt duly obliged, with a peach of a delivery straight down the old corridor of uncertainty, which drew the edge and was taken by Bullet ‘The Cat’ Bateman behind the sticks on his keeping debut.
Malcolm then took a third wicket thanks to a catch at point by Boxer, but by this point Crabtree were hitting out and Big Malc, Magnet and Mark were the unlucky victims. Catches went down, run-out opportunities were missed and Boxer was losing his rag. 151 was the target, and we knew we’d have to do something special, even by our standards, to rescue this one.
Reevo and barman Mick were the gladiators entrusted to win Fishers their freedom (sorry, I’m still in PR mode after writing complete bullshit all day!) And what a way they went about it! The two complimented each other perfectly, Mick playing the steady innings of 1s and 2s and Reevo giving it maximum tonkage. Reevo punished the opening bowlers, hitting four consecutive 4s and two huge 6s, giving Fishers real hope that the most improbable of victories might just be on.
Reevo finally retired on a magnifient 40, and Mick followed suit the next over on 27. Boxer and Big Malc were the men charged with continuing the fightback. Boxer started as he meant to go on, twatting a six to cow corner and into the bushes the other side of the road. The rate then slowed a touch, as the two dabbled a few singles and 2s, before Malc was bolwed for 9. Boxer continued, hitting a couple of 4s and finishing with another 6 across the road.
Bungle then went for a duck, given LB by Magnet in a contentious decision, but Fishers were now back on the run rate and victory was in sight. Bullet Bateman went in after recovering from diving around behind the stumps to stop our crappy bowling, and did a sterling job, sticking around and keeping the runs ticking over. He was aided in this, firstly by Mark, then Matt (who came out swinging like a total headcase – top man) and finally Jules.
The tension was reaching boiling point as the runs began to dry up towards the end, and we suddenly found ourselves needing 10 to win from the final over. 2 wides were very useful in the first two deliveries, then Bullet put the knife in with three consecutive 2s and a single. Last ball, 1 to win, Jules on strike. The crowd held its collective breath, and the bowler bottled it as he threw down another wide! Fishers win again.
Man of the match: Special mention must go to Bullet for his sterling keeping performance and gritty innings, but I can’t overlook the key contribution made by Reevo with the bat. He accepted the responsibility of opening the innings knowing we needed a quick start, and did exactly that, with some of the best and biggest shots we’ve seen all season.
Quote of the match: Novice keeper Bullet: ‘So, lads, do keepers wear boxes then?’