The One Where Magnet Got 49

2007-09-16. Won by 4 wickets 

By Dave Boxer

SJFCC vs Washington CC

The Mighty Fishers: 148 for 6 from 30.5 overs; Washington CC: 146 all out from 37.2 overs 

The season’s final match was marked by one of the season’s finest (depending on how you define finest) innings. Today was all about Magnet – that immovable (his feet anyway) force of batting. 

After taking stick all year for his less-than-lightning batting displays, Magnet decided that this was to be the game that he proved he could score faster than Christie in a brothel. Yes, he would show all those doubters that he had more in his locker than the forward defensive, more to his game than the uncanny ability to consistently play and miss, more up his sleeve than a snotty hanky and a Ventilin inhaler. Then his alarm clock went off and Magnet awoke in a cold sweat.

As you may be able to garner from the title of this report, Magnet made 49 runs. That’s one short of 50. 51 short of a ton. 46.3 more than his career average. 48 more than anyone expected him to make. And by God did he take his time getting them. At one point I went to the gents, and upon looking in the mirror over the sink, was shocked to see that I’d visibly aged during Magnet’s innings.

I’d like to take this opportunity to give you a snapshot of Magnet’s knock. Here goes: dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, ONE, dot, dot, dot, NO-BALL (dot), dot, dot, dot, several more dots, four (leading edge), four (outside edge), four (bottom edge), dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, dot, leg-bye (struck on ankle after playing and missing), out (off forward defensive that would otherwise have been a dot).

To his credit, Magnet did accelerate after being told to, and I quote, ‘hit out or get out’ by 5 successive partners. Having ignored the pleas of Coxy, Simon, Christie and Adam, Magnet finally bowed to wisdom of senior partner/citizen Sandsy, whose quickfire 30 inspired Magnet to pull his finger out and start hitting some runs.

On 49 (that’s one of short of 50, just to clarify), Magnet fell to a catch at silly mid-off, and the longest rearguard action since the Battle of Rourke’s Drift was at an end. Trudging off the pitch, little did Magnet know how close he’d come to notoriety – not for scoring his first ever 50, but for being the first Fishers player ever to receive a congratulatory bear-hug from Andy Harris – man boobs and all.

I guess I should really tell you about the rest of game shouldn’t I? Well, Bungle turned up late, leaving Dave to lose to toss. Fishers were put into the field. Dave and Andy opened the bowling, and found themselves bowling at a man mountain named Hope. After striking a couple of lusty fours, it appeared that Fishers had two hopes – Bob Hope and no hope. However, Dave removed the other opener in the 4th over, and Hope followed soon after, going for one big shot too many that sailed straight to Walmsleyeyeyeyeyey at deep mid-off, whose catch was the total opposite of Christie’s DVD collection – completely clean.

That seemed to give Fishers the impetus and belief they needed, and more wickets followed – Walmsleyeyeyeyeyeyeyeyey bowled the number 3 with what he claimed to be a slower ball (in reality he was knackered and couldn’t summon the energy to bowl full pace), then drew a top edge from the number 5 that fell to Christie at mid-wicket, quickly followed by a lucky run-out by Si off his own bowling. Bungle then got in on the act, removing the number 5, again thanks to a catch by Christie, who hadn’t caught so much in one afternoon since his last trip to Bangkok.

Si then took a deserved wicket of his own, bowling the number 7, and, feeling left out, Harris took a wicket, clipping the top of the number 9’s off stump. Sandwiched in-between was a wicket for John Rudlin, whose cunning off spin eventually proved to be too tempting for the number 8, who trotted down the wicket and was stumped thanks to a sharp piece of work from Adam Hounslow behind the stumps. An impressive bowling and fielding display was rounded off by Dave, who bowled the last man for a duck.

After over-teaing on various cakes, Fishers took to the crease needing 147 runs to win. Coxy opened with Magnet but quickly departed for 12. After making a solid start with some neat late cuts, Si followed soon after for 16 after playing on, and Christie departed after an uncharacteristic looped drive back to the bowler for a duck. When Hounslow was also bowled without troubling the scorer Fishers looked to be on the verge of collapse.

Then Sandsy strode to the crease, stone-cold eyes focussed on the job in hand, hair (both of them) flapping in the cool September breeze. Like Christie at his annual rent-boy selection evening, Sandsy had a look, tickled the first one or two down leg, then targeted his victims with military precision before mercilessly battering them all over the park with his wood.

Watching greatness in action, Magnet couldn’t help but try to emulate the exploits of the Great Man, and threw off his (self-imposed) shackles. Boundary after boundary flew off the edges of his bat, evading the hapless and increasingly irate fielders, until eventually he succumbed on 49, just one miniscule yet all-important run off his fifty.

Still, the job was almost done, and Walmsleyeyeyeyeyey and Bungle saw Fishers home with some typical tonkage.

Man of the Match: Like Highlander, there can be only one – arise Sir Magnet of Fortynineshire. 

Quotes of the Match:

‘For f**k sake Magnet, hit the f**king ball or get the f**k out’ – entire Fishers line-up on the boundary.

‘I’ve just had a hallucination – I could have sworn I just saw Magnet crash a cover drive for four’ – Walmsleyeyeyeyeyeyey after witnessing Magnet’s first attacking shot of the day, two-and-a-half hours into his innings.

‘You looked like an epileptic frog’ – Andy to Dave on his unsuccessful attempt at a catch (which was bloody difficult)

‘How much do we owe you guys for the game – will 49 quid cover it?’ – Oppo player taking piss out of Magnet. Good man.