The one where Julian lost it by Anil


Clarence Park, Thursday July 30th

by Anil

The mighty Fishers: 82 for 1 from 8.5 overs, Park Street Dads: 81 for 8 in 20 overs.

As the Verulam pitch had more cracks in it than a David Cameron radio interview the Mighty Fishers relocated to Clarence Park for their game against Sad Dads with Pads (aka The Nick Button XI).

Unsure of what to do if he won the toss skipper Mark Dawkins was pleased when he lost it and the options (all two of them) were taken away from him. Fishers took to the field.

Opening with Bob Little and Andy Harris proved to be a stroke of genius from the skipper as they bagged a wicket a piece before Bob had to be removed from the attack for remonstrating a bit too forcefully with the umpire over the wide rule – well that and the fact he had bowled his allotted two overs.

With the score 0 for 2 and the shine still very much on the ball Dawko (not a bowler) did what all good captains do with a new ball – turned to the spin option. However, despite being unable to grip the ball Simon continued the good work and removed the usually dangerous Ellis.

Having bowled an assortment of full bungers, long hops and bouncers, Bungle finally got the ball to hit a length. The batsman missed and the NBXI were four down without troubling the scorers.

If Anil had been playing he would have bowled next, given away our first runs, feigned injury (to make up for the pasting he was getting) and then promptly taken a wicket off one pace with a “textbook leg cutter”. Unfortunately, for him (and his wife and kids) he had to work late again so he didn’t.

Malcolm, off his full run up, bowled with guile, venom and pace and thanks to an outrageous catch from Graham Booth continued the trend of every bowler getting a wicket. Stuart Nurse bowled next and soon put an end to that. His partner at the other end was Graham. Following in Stuart’s footsteps he decided to set an innings precedent and gave away the first boundary of the innings. In fact he gave away two. Although one was due to Malcolm nutmegging himself and then kicking the ball 30 yards to the boundary rope. Had Graham known this was going to happen one has to ask if he would have taken that catch?

At this point in proceedings the match was delayed. A group of “yoofs” had decided to use the pavilion end sightscreens as goals. Up until now it hadn’t been a problem (apart from the odd ball coming onto the field of play). However, now NBXI had their best batsmen at the crease and they were causing a distraction. Enraged by their lack of courtesy Julian picked up a stump, calmly walked over, punctured their balls and threatened to do the same to them if they didn’t move.

With the game back on track Dave frightened a tailender out just by looking at him.

Julian bowled next. Simon dropped a dolly, the umpire called him for bowling a wide. After the umpire had a chat with Julian’s friend Mr. Stump no more wides were called and there were no more mis-fields.

If Anil hadn’t had to work late he would have bowled a second over (whilst being held up by members of the team to help support his bad ankle). But he was still in the office so he didn’t.

At the close of the innings NBXI had made a respectable 81 for 8.

Bob umpired from the Pavilion End and Anil, from his desk in Luton, took the Bowling Green End.

Bob umpired beautifully and many felt it was a shame when he was replaced by Stuart Nurse in the 12th over. However, it turned out to be an inspired change as Stuart decided to umpire each over in a different theatrical style. His version of Shylock in the 16th over being hailed as a particular highlight of the game and matched only by Olivier’s portayal at the Old Vic in 1963.

As for the batting Bungle plundered his way to 23 before being bowled, uncharacteristically for him, trying to hit across the line. Simon retired on 28 with an innings which would have made Michael Vaughan in his prime proud.

Andy Harris (18no) and Dave Boxer (6no) saw us home without incident (save the for Dave trying to run Andy out).

Man of the match: A tough call. However, given what we saw tonight I think it has to be Julian

Quote of the week:
Julian to the footballers: Excuse me gentlemen, but are you aware that moving behind the bowler’s arm as the ball is about to be bowled is terribly bad etiquette. I wonder would it be too much to ask for you to desist.