A is for Armitage
2008-05-08. Lost by three wickets
By Matt King
The Mighty Fishers: 94 all out from 17.1 overs, Generics: 95 for 7 from 20 overs
A new season brings many things to the happy band of cricketers known as The (occasionally) Mighty Fishers: a new home ground (courtesy of last minute eviction by our previous landlords); gleaming new shirts (courtesy of £25 paid to Chancellor of the Exchequer, Chris, the nice people at Bathstore, ‘water closets to the stars’, and Andrew W); new rules (Chris has to retire after 49 consecutive dot balls per innings); and the need to buy parking tickets for all home games unless, like Dave, you collect parking tickets.
Anyway, with a trophy at stake this was to be an opening game to the season with an extra edge, and a fitting new episode in the Fishers’ soap-on-a-rope opera. You would have thought that, being a team with a particular affinity with ‘edges’, this fixture would have brought out the best in us, but, no, it was not to be so.
Generics won the toss and we were put into bat. In no way pandering to the source of our new-found sponsorship, Captain Bungle put Andrew W from Bath Times R Us in to open with Coxy.
All was going well until the oppo actually started to bowl. Like peace in Iraq, this was to prove no easy challenge for the Ba’ath Party. Andrew W (‘Here Bidet, Gone Tomorrow’) looked flushed as he was bowled by one that caught the rim and drained the life out of his short innings. If only he could have tapped it to safety.
Coxy followed soon after. There’s some debate as to whether he scored 4 or 1, and as to whether some of his runs have been ‘mistakenly’ accredited to Andrew W. (I think you’ll find that whoever gets the sponsorship, gets the runs). Reevo got a quick 12 and was briefly paired with Magnet. As Chris walked to the crease there was a sense of anticipation amongst the crowd: would he be able to continue this season with the same run of form in which he finished the last? We hoped not, and we were not to be disappointed. Needing only one run to complete the quickest two-innings 50 of his career ( 7 months, 29 days), Chris was out for a duck and was soon traipsing back to the (invisible) pavilion for an early bath (0% credit terms available). A stroke of genius, we thought; what better way to impress the sponsors than to plug their yellow, bird-shaped bath-time accessories? (Actually, hang on minute here, back up the bus, have we all been missing something really obvious? Is this whole Bathstore sponsorship
link just some ruse for Chris to forge commercial links with Victoria Street’s third most popular bathroom retailer and off-load a warehouse full of out of date ‘shower-breasts’? Hmm, that’s something to grapple with through the course of the season. Let’s not let the thought of that potentially dubious pairing slip through our fingers…..)
Meanwhile, back at the crease things were going from bad to immer schlechter. Concerned that Chris might get an early season lead in the race for the Ducks’ Trophy, Bob and Matt both followed suit in quick succession. We lost 5 wickets for 2 runs. Glug! (I mean ‘gulp’.) There was lots of talk about ‘last year’ and how well we played in the corresponding fixture. As I said, there was lots of talk about how well we played, but no evidence to show that it was anything to do with enduring cricketing ability that had stayed with us over the close season. At 37-7 off 10 the long winter’s evenings spent in the nets were really paying dividends.
Dave, despite being dropped first ball as he tried to Armitage Shank one that lifted, was the only person to weigh in with any serious runs (21). The anger from the parking ticket incident over-flowed and Dave clearly needed to rinse the whole matter out of his cistern. Thankfully, the oppo suggested awarding two runs for a wide ball to save time and light in this early season fixture. We gained a total of 36 runs from this rule, whereas they gained only 2. It’s a concept we should plug for use in future games.
When Ross was out for 4 to an unorthodox catch by a fielder who then hi-fived the umpire, the innings really had gone down the pan and Fishers’ first batting performance of the season closed on a none-too-impressive 94 all out.
We prayed for rain, but no power-shower was forthcoming.
Dave and Bungle opened the bowling tightly, giving away only 16 runs between them in their six overs. Bungle took 3-7, the first of which was well caught by Andrew W at silly mid-season 20% off. With 3 first game wickets, Bungle was up there on a pedestal (matching basins are available), although he looked drained.
A swift stumping by Dawko dispatched Keith off Big Malc’s bowling, and then Matt bowled no.s 6 and 7. It was tighter than we thought it was going to be, but not tight enough. No’s 8 and 9 formed a good partnership and it was a real nail-brush-biter as the game went to the last ball of the day. Our defeated captain, Bungle, toilet-brushed aside comments that his tenure was under threat after a poor opening result and guaranteed the sponsors that no inappropriate puns would make their way into the match report. “I’m not the kind of guy to be towel-rail-roaded into allowing the dirt to be soap-dished or any ballcock-ups to occur, and that’s a fact.”
Bathstore Man of the Match: Dave Boxer for getting enough runs to make a game of it.
Quotes Of The Day:
Dawko: “He’ll never catch that” as Chris’ skied shot was safely dealt with.
Coxy: “I was out to a 90mph in-swinging yorker.”
Bungle: “Only Dawko and me replied to my email about caps.” (?)