Keith Gets Out of His Box

SJFCC vs St Albans II

Clarence Park, Sunday May 2.

By Matt King

The Mighty Fishers: 220 (or was it 230 or 280 – I can’t read my scribbled notes) for 2 from 39 overs, St Albans IIs: Less than 220 (or 230 or 280) all out in less than 39 overs.

Spring had sprung and it was an optimistic Fishers team that gathered in the prestigious surroundings of Clarence Park for this inaugural fixture of 2009.
The sun made occasional appearances, the wind occasionally dropped below 40 knots and, as long as you had two jumpers on, it was great to be out there attempting to play cricket again…..well, occasionally.
With a new man at the helm of the Good Ship Fishers for the 09 season, a large crowd turned out to enjoy this bank holiday Sunday fixture. We had wintered well in the nets: three lost balls, Chris hit four times by (ahem) ‘random’ shots, one appearance from Dawko, no new players and an all-time classic quote from a guest player (see below). Some things were rusty about our performance at Clarence Park versus a St Albans development side, including my own notes, but in many ways it was a solid start to the season.

Things got off on the right foot when we realised that we didn’t have a scorebook. Being a fundamental item for most teams, it was fortunate that St A II had two, so we wrote in one of theirs, which we duly returned at the end of the game. Inspired. I have a few notes of my own, but Wisden it ain’t.

Someone one the toss.

We batted first. Two-box Cormack opened with “I’m captain so I’m opening” Dawko. Dawko was dropped off a caught and bowled opportunity on 15, whilst Keith batted like a man who owned two cricket boxes.
On reaching 50, Dawko ran himself out so as to spend my time with his adoring fans. I nipped to the gents and returned to discover that Reevo* was retiring upon reaching his own half century. (That lad, he don’t hang about). I’m guessing that it was mainly boundaries, but I was powdering my nose at the time, so may be wrong and it may have been a stream of quickly-run singles.

The electronic scoreboard was in use. To passers-by it may even have appeared like a proper cricket match (except if they were passering-by when Bungle was batting.). Now, you’ve got to love Bungle, haven’t you. Not only does he have a certain never-a-dull-moment batting style, but he offers such great quotes to boot.

Keith ended the innings on a near career-best of 65 not out. For most players, having scored the most runs they could sit back and let their team-mates do some work. Oh no, not hog-the-whole-game-whydontcha Cormack, but more of that later.

In breaking with 210 years of St Albans Cricket Club tradition, ladies entered the hallowed Long Room to join the players for tea. As you can imagine, this caused some consternation. Luckily, ex-captain and 2009 Ducks Trophy winner-in-waiting, Bungle was there to smooth things over with the necessary diplomacy.

As is the way with cricket, they batted next.

To be honest, I spent much of their innings watching the clock as I was keen to get away. Unfortunately, that included the bit when I was bowling and, as I was bowling from the clock-adorned Pavilion End, this was not easy. My memories of that day revolve more around seeing ABBA Divas as Phil’s club later in the evening, than of our bowling stats. Suffice to say that I remember that I got two wickets in two balls and that most people bowled. I also recall that Keith got a wicket. He also took a nonchalant one-handed catch. He also fielded 91.3% of all shots played. It was the Keith Show, in glorious monochrome. He claims that his fielding prowess was all down to his specially-sculpted ‘fielding box’.

We got them all out for a total that wasn’t ever quite large enough to put victory in danger. It was a good game and, as I didn’t bat, clearly only a warm-up fixture that needn’t be included in the averages. The key difference between us and the St A development side is that they, over time, will get better, whereas we…….

Man of the Match: Keith Cormack. We may not see him again this season and he obviously felt the need to over-contribute in this rare appearance.

Quotes Of The Day: Keith, on being asked why he had two boxes in his kit-bag: “Well, you just accumulate them, don’t you.” Err, no, Keith – most of us find just the one is plenty.

Bungle, on being out having tried to hoik everything towards the leg side: “I’ve had this terrible head cold all week and can’t hit anything on the off side.” So that’ll be the same head cold you must have had for the last 15 years, then.

Early contender for Quote Of The Season:
A young lad called Ryan came along to our last net session of the winter a few days before this game. He had never played cricket before in his life. He had neither bowled a single ball nor wielded a bat. On seeing Chris ‘bat’ at the far end of the net and, remember, this is before Ryan has literally even picked up a ball, he said: “Cor, he’s rubbish isn’t he, he keeps missing it.” And who are we to argue with the objective view of a novice?

* It has subsequently be drawn to my attention that this report may include a minor inaccuracy: Reevo and Bungle are not the same person (who knew?). It was Bungle who scored the quick-fire 50. Reevo, on the other hand, was out cycling with his family and did not even play in this match. An easy mistake to make, I’m sure you’ll agree.