Four Retire v Park Street Dents

SJFCC vs Park Street Dads

Park Street Rec., Thursday July 2.

by Matt King

The mighty Fishers: 175 for 2 from 20 overs, Park Street Dads: 119 for 3 in 20 overs.

It was good to once again be playing Park Street Dads after a few years’ absence. A glorious summer’s evening and a decent pitch set things up for a perfect evening. There were even changing rooms. And toilets. With doors on. It was good to be alive.

The first problem of the evening was posed by a question from the oppo’s captain: “Have you got a leader?” We looked at each other puzzled. We could see that he expected an answer, but no-one was armed with the correct response. Then we remembered Dawko (who was busy checking out the toilet doors at the time) and embarrassment was avoided on both fronts.

The aforementioned spreadsheet-loving, invincible skipper duly emerged having washed his hands and went off to toss.

We may have won, we may have lost, but either way we batted first.

Problem number two was who to name at no.11. It was a dilemma caused by only having nine men and Bungle.

Those of you living in St Albans will be familiar with the requirement to place your rubbish and recycling at your property’s boundary (by 7AM) for collection by the relevant contractors. Well, if the cricket square were a house, the dalek-like wheelie-bin boundary markers would have formed an intimidating cordon not very far away at all. There, I think I have succeeded in making a simple statement in a very complex way: it was short boundary on one side.

The third obstacle was how to park your car in a position so that it wouldn’t end up looking as dented as one of Dave’s after Keith’s 97th driving lesson.

Dawko and Andy W opened. One dented door and a broken light later they duly retired on 32 and 33 respectively. Andy may have got one more run, but he also faced (had/allowed/permitted/generated/caused/suffered?) one more dot ball. 8 vs 7. Shame on you, Springbok. Si and Coxy continued apace. Coxy was in fine form, but came unstuck playing the identical shot five balls in a row. Well, when I say identical, what I mean is graceful, lofted shots to wide long on (ahem, cow corner?) are ok when you get 4,4,2 and 6 in successive balls, but it’s always best to hit the ball if you’re coming down the wicket like that. On missing on, Coxy turned with all the grace and speed of an oil tanker in a swimming pool, and was stumped. Like, really stumped.

Things didn’t quite click for Si, but he grafted his way to 26 not out and Malc retired on 25 hoping that no-one would mention the seven dots balls in a row before he scored his final single. Or was the crafty ex-bank manager just padding out his time at the crease? No such restraint from Reevo, then again, he was clean bowled on his way to 10.

A special, everyone-in-the-car-park field was placed for Bungle’s brief innings of 8 n.o. and he and Dave saw proceedings to a satisfactory close.

As we left the field, a Messerschmitt buzzed directly overhead and across the pitch. For those of you not brought up on a diet of black & white war films, the ME 109 was the weapon of choice of the Bosh airforce, the Luftwaffe. I think the statute of limitations for neglectful parenting runs to 30 years, so some of you may still be able to bring actions against your parents for not force-feeding you ‘Battle of Britain’ and ‘Reach for the Sky’ in your formative years, without fear of your actions being time-expired.

Dave and Bob opened the bowling and gave away only 13 runs in their four overs. Tight bowling was the order of the day all round and Fisher’s Siegfried Line-like defences on the short boundary kept the runs down. There were singles a-plenty to be had, but we knew they needed boundaries. Some 72% of all scoring shots were singles. And, yes, I really did tally them up to uncover that interesting stat.

Three wickets fell in total: Reevo bowled one opener out for 29 (the other having retired on 30), Malc disturbed the stumps shortly afterwards and Coxy took a difficult, skied c&b towards the end of the innings.

Not a single maiden over was bowled in the course of the match. It was a batting strip and 294 runs in the one game is a total that takes some beating. No-one probably knows any better so I’ll just glibly claim that it was both our highest ever evening match score and the highest scoring mid-week game total ever.

After the match we retired to The Overdraught for beer, food and for Dawko to spend some quality time with his laptop.

Man of the Match: Big Malc (subject to verification i.e. Dawko may have said this or did I just imagine it? Anyway, with 25 not out, a hard to come by wicket and some sharp fielding, he was in the top 10 at the very least).

Quotes Of The Day: “I then realised my appearance was a bit odd. My right leg was no longer with me. It had caught somewhere in the top of the cockpit as I tried to leave my Spitfire,” Douglas Bader.

“Best pub in the village by far. Nice friendly atmosphere i almost felt as though i was a regular. The people make this pub and were always up for a laugh playing the quiz machine. The landlady was pleasent to me and my partner, however if you were a regular and seemed to be having to much fun she would soon turn into what can only be decribed as a deranged Rhino coming head on with a tirade of verbal abuse. Dont know why they put up with it??? Will make my up most effort to revisit this pub as the food that came out looked and smelled lovely. Friend has eaten here before and said food is better than most restuarants in st albans and for value for money aswell. Beer was good and wife said wine was good so take her word for it. Great garden area if only the sun was out, but it is england so you cannot blame the pub for that,” customer review of The Overdraught,

Dawko: “?” (on being asked ‘So where is St John Fisher [school]?)