Killigrew: 63 for 9 from 20 overs, The Mighty Fishers: 65 for 3’ish from (about) 12 overs.
With games in consecutive days for the first time since 1897, it was a match-weary Fishers team who braced themselves for another glorious, warm summer’s evening of cricket. Despite the last ball victory the previous evening, the Chairman of Selectors had been ruthless in his approach and dropped a total of six players from the winning line-up in order to inject some energy and vitality into the battle-hardened side. As part of the on-going strategy of youth development, it was refreshing to see Bob and Paul back in the side at the expense of the ageing Anil and Chris.
As the players assembled in the car park, the grumbling amongst those retained from the previous night’s encounter was about nothing but the need for central contracts and improved mileage rates. With the second test due to start the following day, the need was all the greater.
It was a relief for all that, after the long journey to the away game on the upper pitch the preceding night, this was a home fixture at the much more convenient location of the lower pitch at Verulamium.
With a prompt 6.30pm start, ten man Killigrew batted first. Having over-exerted himself with an eighteen ball stint the previous day, it was Julian who opened the bowling in favour of the energy-sapped Boxer. This was captaincy at its best. Hitchcock was scarily accurate. If I could think of a witty link between ‘The Birds’ and the feathers scattered all over the wicket then I’d use here, but I can’t. Actually, nine balls were accurate; the other three were pecked out of his hand and scattered across the field like the people of quiet coastal town of Bodega Bay running for refuge from bird attacks. There, that’s better.
Basically, everyone bowled well. I’m scorebook-less as I write this, but I do know that Cam got a couple of wickets for only three runs, Paul was turning in all sorts of random directions and, as well as that, bowled well. Actually, everyone bowled pretty well and the wickets were evenly distributed. Bungle was suffering from delayed whiplash to add to his list of injuries. Normally he hobbles from the lasting pain of lashes from whips, but today it really was from whiplash. He hobbled in off a short run and bowled a maiden in his first, and then got a wicket for only a couple of runs in his second over. It’s ironic really, because usually he couldn’t hit a bus at 22 yards and now, having actually hit one, he’s gone all accurate.
Dawko was unlucky to see a stumping decision go against him and our sequence of impressive run outs continued when Dave, having failed to trouble the umpire’s finger with the ball turned in a great throw to see Dawko complete an impressive run out.
With a target of only 63 and Reevo opening, talk turned to bullfrogs, Bangkok bars and fruit & veg stalls. It was all a bit surreal (has Bungle got delayed concussion?)
The other main source of entertainment was to watch our stream of rolling replacement fielders, mis-field for the opposition. Bob managed to play the role the right way i.e. nothing dramatic, be steady and safe and don’t attract any undue attention; Dave went for a dramatically wild throw at the stumps (and remember, they know he was accurate from when they were batting) which nearly pinged for four overthrows; and Julian, impersonating Cocoa The Clown, went for the tumble, fumble, land in a jumble approach. Nice.
Dawko picked out the only fielder with a safe pair of hands. Reevo playing (for him) a restrained innings spent a lengthy eight overs at the crease before getting out hoiking one to cow corner. Must admit, I didn’t see this and don’t know it to be true, but it’s pretty safe guess really. Bob hit a couple of boundaries to see us safely to victory. Paul, umpiring, was doing his level best not to award us the winning runs from wides, despite the bowler delivering three and a no-ball in a row.
Man of the Match:
Someone who got lots of runs and a couple of wickets.
Quotes Of The Day:
Watson Snr (umpiring) to Bungle as the setting sun broke brightly out from cloud behind the bowler’s arm: “Can you stand up and move to you left a bit, we need a sight-screen.”
Dave to Bungle after further politically incorrect thoughts on the world at large from our liberal-minded captain: “Whereabouts on the Bernard Matthews’ family tree are you?”
(He meant Bernard Manning, but we enjoyed this version even more.)