The One With The Century

2007-08-12. Drew 

By Matt King

SJFCC vs Hackney Grasshoppers

(at Highgate)

The Mighty Fishers: 230 for 7 from 43.4 overs (dec.), Grasshoppers: 153 for 6 from 39 overs. 

Q: What has Simon Marriott got in common with Karl Marx?

A: Both left a lasting impression in Highgate.

With overseas player Grant making a (re)appearance after three years’ hard-labour in Oz for stealing Christie’s box, Simon (ex-Lower Red Lion) and a random Highgate player we found lurking in the showers all turning out for Fishers, it was fresh-looking side that appeared for our first Sunday game since Pretenders back in early June.

Actually, not all were looking quite so fresh. Coxy, who is turning more and more into a 1970s Action Man figure as the weeks go by, returned to the side with his bad back and strained it further putting on his cricket trousers. Si started to complain of a bad stomach before the match. Note to all; aim to eat what Si has before a game and ‘suffer’ a bad stomach too, it obviously works in strange ways.

Dawko waved to the crowd as he entered the arena. He scored a single from the first ball and saluted the pavilion. Grant raised a big cheer from his team-mates by blocking out his first ball. This confused the oppo somewhat. Fishers started steadily reaching 8 until Grant was correctly adjudged out lbw on the last ball of the fourth over.

As Grant walked backed to the pavilion Dawko blew kisses to the crowd.

Si and Dawko then went on to form what can be best described as a ‘not bad’ partnership. Si played himself in and Dawko waved to acknowledge passing sparrows. Fishers were pinned down at one end. After his first seven overs, one of the opening bowlers had bowled four maidens and conceded only eight runs. He went on to bowl the longest spell since (insert your own reference to Harry Potter here, I’ve never read the books or seen the films) of fifteen straight overs.

It was a batting performance of some note. Note: Good Batting Performance. With only a few shaky moments, Dawko and Si progressed to their respective 50s. Dawko’s was off 71 balls and Si’s off 57. Both included ten 4s. Si acknowledged his half century with a gentlemanly ‘nod’ while Dawko pulled his shirt over his helmet, ran in circles around the stumps and, best of all, tipped his bat towards his admiring girlfriend in a “This one’s for you, babe” kind of a way. Obviously, he only tipped his bat to her AFTER he had done the same to his celebrating team-mates. We are sure that the order of events was of no significance whatsoever.

Dawko was eventually caught to a masterfully juggled take on 64 going for big hit to the boundary. On any other day a score of 64 would have been the big talking point of the match, but today it was eclipsed by something far more noteworthy…..the bat tipping……oh, yeh and Si’s efforts at the other end.

Si was then partnered briefly with the Highgate Ringer (4), Harris (5) and Lower Red Simon (4) all of whom were out trying to add some quick runs to the board. Dawko beamed with team-spirited delight as Si beat his previous club record score of 93. We were edging ever closer to tea. The wind dropped, the crowd held its breath, ‘Would it be sausage casserole again?’ we wondered. Si had been batting like a real cricketer all afternoon, then, just at the crucial moment, he remembered that he was actually playing for Fishers and did the only sensible thing in the circumstances and flailed at one outside off stump and was dropped on 97 by the wicket keeper.

Moments later, history was made and the first century for Fishers in ‘living memory’ was completed with a boundary. Top stuff, well done, very impressive. Dawko tipped his bat in recognition. Si’s century came off 99 balls and included eighteen 4s. Next time, please try harder and aim for perfect symmetry by getting it off a hundred balls.

A fine spread was laid on for tea. Fishers, though, had a dilemma – indulge and risk being required to bat having ‘over-tead’ or stay lean and mean for a few hours in the field. Two plates of curry and couscous later, followed by fresh cream éclairs, we decided it was better not to eat too much.

After tea Dave scored 16 off six balls and Bungle nabbed 6 before completely ignoring his own captain’s orders to bat for five overs after tea and, in a wonderful display of ‘I’ve had a bat and am out so no-one else gets a go’, declared when he was caught. Fishers ended up on a mightily impressive 230 for 7.

The bowling attack picked up where we had left off batting. Four of the first six overs from Harris and Dave were maidens. Andy got the breakthrough in his second over when the no.1 was caught for 1. He bowled the no.3 in his next over when the ball stayed low. In the twelfth over Dave made it 24 for 3 when Sandy took a great low catch in the slips to dismiss the other opener.

Matt and Bungle then had five overs each (0-29 and 0-31 respectively) and the nos 4 and 5 formed a steady partnership. This was, naturally, broken by century-man Si with his first ball. Some people, they don’t know when to stop showing off do they? Sandsy, at the other end, weighed in with two maidens and a wicket in his tidy five overs for 21.

With a time constraint of twenty overs after 6.45pm, it was a matter of whether Grasshoppers could hold out for the draw or not. Si took another wicket to take him to 2-22 off seven and then Harris and Dave came back on for another spell each. Unfortunately, we couldn’t quite get the breakthrough required. The batsmen were solid, but we didn’t take our chances. It was a good bowling performance, particularly from Dave who deserved more than the one wicket, conceding only 11 runs from his nine overs.

The oppo finished up on 153 for 6 from 39 overs.

Some of you may have been wondering about the whereabouts of Chris recently. I’m sad to inform you that I have had confirmation from Mattel that he was one of the small magnets swallowed by children which resulted in the recent recall of toys. Our thoughts, naturally, are with the child involved.

Man of the Match: For 2-22 off seven……oh, and 116 not out, it could only be Si. 

Quote Of The Day: “Everything I do, I do it for you” – Dawko