Supported by: Fruitbox, Tantric, Korean
The day started with a rabble of Bashers congregating outside the Camel due it being a Thursday and closed for business (why is it not 24hours?). To add to the unfamiliar scenario of a Leisure game on a Thursday (and no pies), there were some unexpected but welcome additions to the party including Tantric in Basher’s blazer and a wild eyed, green trousered Fruitbox who had made the journey direct from Lola.
Turning up late was a new basher, the at this point yet to be christened Mumu (explanation later). Unwittingly preparing himself for heavy fines, not only did he turn up late, wearing what appeared to be sort some of Kiwi affiliated clothing (Mumu is an Aussie) but once on the road questioned the sanity of having a beer at the ungodly hour of 730am, which is half an hour later than usual. After Fruitbox’s verbal intervention, Mumu was soon sharing in the early morning liquid refreshment while captain Truffles fleeced him 80RMB for a floppy hat. Welcome to the bashers!
Once at SRFC, more liquid refreshments were ordered and it was collectively agreed that Dulwich took themselves far too seriously and deserved being taken down a peg or two for being happy to languish in D3 while having several batsmen of D1/D2 calibre. The big fish in a little pond.
To the field where as Tampon set a generous boundary, captain Truffles strategically lost the toss, ensuring Leisure could have a bat while it was cooler and have time to finish our beers. By now a topless Fruitbox had recovered from his party nap on the bus and was beginning what would turn into a match long session of relentless sledging of the Dulwich team.
Opening up the batting Timbers and Spanner made a spectacular start with Spanner hitting three sixes in rapid succession. The pick of the three was a monster 6 that cleared the fence and landed on the other side of the river. One of the Dulwich players was heard to say he wished the ball had hit ‘that twat in the green trousers.’
The twat in the green trousers was now combining sledging with scoring but the runs were being accumulated at such a speed that green trouser twat was using all his concentration just to keep track of the score. In the confusion the Dulwich opening bowlers names were recorded as Gavin Gaylord and The Knob.
Spanner was moving through the gears only to be bowled for 45, 5 short of retiring twice in successive appearances. Timbers got to 15 before he was bowled by big Gav G but showed a lot of nerve by refusing to walk, despite his wickets being splayed on the crease.
The fall of two wickets in quick succession brought the new pair of Parrot and Rolf to the crease. Rolf, on the back of a 40 knock for business showed that succeeding in Leisure requires a different skill set i.e. ability to play while tipsy and duly got 0 while Parrot hit 2. It seemed like another Bashers collapse was on the cards until Slag came to the crease and started the ball rolling again by hitting 3 consecutive fours of the the first 3 balls he faced.
Finger’s brief cameo saw him depart for 6 (dismissed LBW by umpire Tantric, Fingers claiming it hit the back of his leg so how can it be LBW? Tantric said he should have been facing the proper direction in that case then coz it was plum), bringing captain Truffles in. The new skipper contributed 15 runs, all in effortlessly ran singles proving that he’s hitting his physical peak for the business end of the season. While Truffles was doing his shuttle runs, Slag brought up his 50 and retired, bringing Tampon to the crease. The bashers were now aiming for a score of 200 and Tampon, showing an acute awareness of the match situation selflessly got out for 0 in order to get Slag back to the crease as soon as possible.
With Bullet following Tampon’s lead, number 9 Mumu and number 11 Grilla were now batting. Mumu was showing a cricket pedigree higher than D3 by actually having some foot work. A straight driven 4 from Mumu was one of the shots of the day, while Grilla French cut a couple of 4’s to keep Leisure on course for a good score. With Mumu out for 6, the retired Slag came back in to add 5 more to his 50. Grilla ended with 10 to ensure the Bashers had batted out the full 25 overs and amassed a score of 194.
After the break and a kamikaze fielding drill led by Fruitbox, Leisure took the field resplendent in the new line of Bashers official merchandise – Bashers floppy hats (available for 80RMB while stocks last from Truffles or Shit Shoes).
Opening the bowling were Grilla and Timbers. In what only now can be seen as a sublime piece of captaincy by Truffles; Grilla, disgruntled by being made to bat number 11, came out with something to prove and duly bowled a fiery first over. Dulwich’s 2nd and 3rd batsmen were caught behind by Parrot in this first over. Next into bat was Dulwich’s gun bat, the same batsmen who in the last encounter between these sides had retired on 50 only to come back in and make a big score, taking the game away from Leisure. This time Grilla forced an early mistake from him, and the gun bat sent the ball straight to Truffles at point, only for it to be dropped by the skipper, cancelling out the good captaincy from earlier.
Grilla finished his spell with only two wickets to his name, when a 5for was on the cards inlcuding Truffles dropped catch and two strong LBW shouts which weren’t given. The first change saw Rolf and Mumu handed the ball to apply a double dose of spin. This helped slow down the run rate but Dulwich were still keeping in touch.
At the halfway stage both teams were confident of victory with Dulwich requiring 100 runs off 12 overs. Leisure still had victory in sights and with Rolf and Mumu continuing to squeeze the flow of runs, the required run rate started to go up. Things started to look even better when Mumu topped his dayboo with a wicket, caught behind by Parrot.
With Rolf, Grilla and Mumu having bowled all their overs it was time for Bullet to step up for a bowl. With his first 3 deliveries, Bullet kept the batsmen honest, each ball going for a single. Maybe the batsmen had used these 3 balls to work Bullet out or maybe Bullet’s mind was starting to drift towards Chinese Cheerleaders (he was certainly talking about them a lot) but whatever the cause, the next 3 balls were each dispatched for 6, bringing down the run rate considerably. Although there was only 1 wide in the over.
Despite this, with 4 overs left Dulwich still needed about 30 to win but with the captain opting to give Bullet ‘a rest’ it was time for the remaining overs to be divvied up between the rest of the team. Timbers had two overs left but that left another 4 overs that need to be bowled by a non-recognised bowler. Spanner stepped up to do his duty and along with almost inadvertently decapitating the batsmen (twice) also claimed a wicket (caught by Rolf). Slag took the burden of the remaining two overs but though he didn’t bowl badly, Dulwich were able to reach the target in the last over. The last laugh went to Slag however as he denied the batsmen the pleasure of hitting the winning runs by bowling a wide for them to win it.
On to fines where new Basher Mumu was inducted. The choice of name coming from the fact that he described the girls at Judy’s, of which he is an occasional patron, as Mu-mu ha-ha instead of ma-ma hu-hu.
Alas Victory day did not end in a win for Lesiure this time, but it was a good display in preparation for the semi’s. We posted a good total but were probably a bowler or two short in the end. The performance gave Dulwich, and some loitering Pudong players something to think about ahead of next month’s encounters. Special thanks to Fruitbox, Tantric and Korean in coming to support Leisure when they could have been at home watching the Victory day parade or relaxing in a gentlemen’s way on the sofa.
Picture: Truffles spinning another ripping yarn