The first game of the season. Eventually.

SJFCC vs Mylan

Napsbury, Thursday May 24, 2012

by Matt King

The mighty Fishers: 180 for 4 from 20 overs, Mylan: 91 all out in 17 overs.

Great celebrations were planned by the simple cricketing folk of St Albans for, at long last, the rain had ceased and the floodwaters had receded. God had decreed that man could once again thwack leather on willow on summer’s evenings without risk of arrest following a raid on that special club Fishermen had been attending to stave off cabin fever during the rainy season known humorously as ‘early summer’.

Nothing could go wrong now; all we needed was 11 men to play against. Oh, hang on. Well, we almost got 11. Ish.

News had reached the almost completely dried out pre-match team-talk that Nursey was batting for the other side. This is something that many of us had suspected for a very long time now.

Anyway, a coin was tossed and people pretended to inspect the wicket. It wasn’t under an inch of water, which was all we needed to know.

The only grey cloud overhead was the one encircling Matt who had been dropped for the following fixture. In itself this was not an issue. It’s just that normally it happens after the captain has seen him perform, not before. Rumour has it that Matt and Robin have a night out at the pub planned for night of the following game. They will be plotting  talking tactics.

Fishers batted first. ‘Three Counties’ Tatlock opened. He opened with a story about how to rid plants of greenfly. And Dawko. That is Julian opened with Dawko, not that he informed people of how to rid plants of Dawko which is another story altogether.

Anyway, while play started, all the talk was of footwear. Having dispensed of their Wellies, team-members were keen to be back in cricket shoes. Reevo, Matt and Watson Snr. all had new boots. The first two had chosen orthodox white, while Watson had gone for a rather fetching NHS blue pair.

In return for Fishers lending Maylan Nursey as part of a three-season loan deal, Nursey, in turn, lent Bungle his phone so that Bungle could catch up with all his rellies in Oz (they still deport people from Hemel, apparently). Nursey’s phone was in Bungle’s safe hands. It was the only thing he didn’t drop all day. All Nursey’s work contacts logged in on Friday morning to discover that they had received a mail from Nursey inviting them to a naked horse-riding party in Hemel at the weekend. No change there then. Knowing Nursey’s lot no-one will have batted an eye-lid.

Angela Watson, or ‘Angie’ as he’s been known recently, strode purposefully to the crease, determined not run a quick single. He succeeded. By swatting everything and anything with his child-sized bat, he departed promptly on 26 not-out. Of course, if substitute fielder Ross, son-of-Angie, had caught his dad out with his valiant attempt at deep square leg then things might have been different. He’d have been walking home, for one thing.

Whilst later fielding for Fishers, Ross rolled heavily on a ball as he attempted another great catch. Then again, we’ve all done that. (Rolled painfully on a ball, that is. It really hurts, but is still better than getting yourself caught in your own fly zip.)

Si needs to get a mention in this report somewhere about here for to scoring 27 no.

Dave ‘please call me Anne in future’ Summers (25 no) did not kick his stumps over at any point.

We knew the season had properly started when Bungle swiped and missed and his bails were sent flying off the square. Normal service had been resumed.

Fishers ended up on 180, with Dawko, Angie, Anne and Si all retiring on 25+.

Dave ‘do they sell wickets on ebay ‘cos I can’t buy one anywhere’ Boxer opened from the Asylum End while Ross took the not-new ball from the J22 End. Ross took 9 wickets in his 3 overs while David got none. Actually, that’s a lie: Dave got -1.

There was some consternation amongst the fielding Fishers in the ninth over as we spotted a drone circling repeatedly above Anil’s head.  Standing on a bridge over the M25 in the distance we noticed Robin gripping with some purpose a remote control unit with a telescopic aerial. Carried on the wind along with the noise of passing motorway traffic, we could hear the words “Dive, dive, dive!”. At least, we think there were some ‘v’s in there…

People bowled pretty well, especially given that our pre-season preparations had peaked with the last net session exactly four weeks previously. We’d been like coiled springs since then. All bowlers, bar Boxer, got wickets. Jake has promised to give him some extra tuition in the garden.

Reevo finished off the Maylan innings with a tremendous one-handed c&b. Some would describe it as athletic, others as balletic. Detractors would say that it borderline camp. Either way, it was impressive.

Champagne Moment: Reevo’s match-winning catch off his own bowling.

Man of the Match: For getting runs, wickets and a camp catch – Reevo.

Quotes of the Day:

Encouraging the incoming batsmen and commenting on his benefactor, sponsor and loving father who was sportingly helping at slip as a replacement fielder for the opposition – Ross advised “Don’t take any stick from the fat c*nt”

To Matt by way of congratulations for a wicket from a ball which was in danger of having temperature-related vat added to it under the (then) proposed new legislation – Boxer: “You jammy Jeremy Hunt.” Or something like that, anyway.