SJFCC vs STAGS Old Dads
2006-05-31. Win by 64 runs By Matt King
Result: The Mighty Fishers: 114 for 5, STAGS Old Dads: 50 all out from 12.2 overs
With Fishers not having won a match for nearly nine months the powers that be recognised that a change in leadership was required (Ö.oh, that and Dave was on holiday). The Chairman of Selectors (Sandsy) knew who he wanted, but with neither him nor the eight other alternatives being available Matt got the call (I think having lugged the kit bag half way across Verulum Park swung things). Anyway, and so it came to pass that King (M) made his debut as a cricket captain. Not since Mike Brearley has a captain made so little impact with his own personal performance and yet presided over such strong victory.
This match really was exhibition stuff!.if you like your exhibitions in the style of Ripleyís World of the Bizarre, that is. It could be said that we have used up a seasonís worth of good fortune in one cold, but sunny evening.
In a break with tradition, Matt lost the toss and KingFishersTM were put into bat. The Hodgson ‘Twins’ opened the batting with a solid and synchronized approach on a damp, slow outfield that made boundaries hard to come by. In fact they were so in tune that they both retired at the same time with the younger (and more athletic) Gary, edging two runs ahead at 23 not out.
The first wicket fell at 76 in the 13th over when Adam was caught LBW to a ball that bounced so low it appeared to be auditioning for a remake of ëThe Dam Bustersí. Bobís decision as umpire was less about whether the ball was in line with the stumps, but more about whether it had the necessary momentum to trouble the bails. Next to the the crease The Reevonator muscled his way to an impressive retirement with some quick boundaries, including one shot that broke a bail at the non-strikersí end. John King and Ethan put on runs with a few good shots and some impressive running.
SODs’ opening bowler returned for his third over and took 3 wickets in four balls to cause a mini-collapse at the close of the innings. Ethan took ten runs off the remaining over to bring himself conveniently to 20 not out on the last ball of the innings and take the total to 114.
Matt Hounslow got Fishers off to a flying start with two wickets in the first over ñ one opener was well caught by Ethan and was followed next ball by the No.3 who hit his own wicket. Bob opened at the other end and, but for a dazzling performance (by the sun, that is), a skied shot to mid-on might have been swallowed in the field.
Keeping the synchronicity theme going the Hodgson ëTwinsí were the first bowling changes. Again the younger Gary stole the limelight taking a wicket in each of his two overs, bowling both the remaining opener (who had progressed well to 14) and the No. 4 who was out for 10. The No.4 had literally thrown the bat. After an air shot he sent it spinning to Matt K at mid-wicket. Kingís initial thoughts of a circus act catch were soon curtailed when the prohibitive costs of reconstructive dental surgery flashed across his mind.
By this stage our tails were up and our fielding tight.
An excellent stumping by Adam (off Malcolm) saw off the No.5, but better was yet to come from John King who ran out No.s 6 & 7 in quick succession. The first was a superb piece of fielding and accurate throw for a direct hit to dispatch the No.6. The following dismissal was as comical as its predecessor was skillful. It was a classic double-bluff. After an overthrow the ball went towards John and, as he collected it, in an attempt to put him under pressure one of the batsmen made a spoof call of ìTwoî. Unfortunately, so convincing was his call that his partner took him at his word and scuttled back up the track only to find him almost sharing a crease with his team-mate. Remember, it was only a ball or two earlier that John had had his terrific direct hit so you could say they had been warned and, with hindsight, they would probably agree that he wasnít the best person to try to bluff. So, a good throw from John to Adam behind the stumps saw the batsman stranded.
Kevin almost took a wicket from his first ball when the ball was lobbed tantalizingly close just over his head, but he was rewarded two balls later when he clean bowled the No.10. Malcolm took another wicket in his second over and then Ethan finished the innings off with a wicket off his second ball when the ball was struck towards Reevo who dived like Owen in a box full of Argies to take a clean catch and so do himself out of the chance to get a bowl.
So, a good game played in the right spirit and a convincing victory for Fishers. With a return fixture in the pipeline the oppoís captain promised to find some new ways of getting out for the next match.
An all-round good team performance, but MoM deservedly goes to Gary Hodgson with 23 not out and 2 for 8.
Quote of the Day goes to Reevo who, in the pub afterwards, admitted that he had problems getting it up due to dampness. (Not quite sure what this has to do with cricket, but a trouble shared is a trouble halved etc etc)