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Lumberjack – Pleasure v Devils Doosra – The Good, the Bad & the Ugly.

The signs were there early that it perhaps wouldn’t be the greatest day. I did a quick pre alarm time check only to find that it was 7:20am and I was due at the Camel in ten minutes. Once the panic had died down and I was on my way, I found I’d set my alarm for 7pm instead of 7am. Shit! All I could rely on was Sinbad being late also and with more consistency than a Basher batting collapse so it was: the bus was still there and Sinbad wasn’t (apparently the fault of the red taxis), but regardless, my first Basher Lumberjack was assigned.

So with the Leisure bus moving off in the distance and a distinct lack of Dragon bar leftovers around, the small pleasure team contingent headed to the SRFC.

A most informative journey to the ground ensued with stand in skipper Tank reciting the daily messages from our courageous but absent skipper Bugs’ journey back from the depths of typhoid hell (gastro) – Great work getting the scorebook back in time Bugs!

So with a few subtle sledges over the piss poor Indian test team followed by Swoop’s Mum calling to give her boy a Happy Birthday pep talk (“How good were those Hawks and how is my car going?” being Swoops contribution), the team arrived at the SRFC.

The team was in high spirits when Tank won the toss and elected to bat.

Despite some initial hesitation from Omega about opening he and Pothole set about dismantling the Devils attack with some lofty hitting and sweetly timed shots. Even the bails were on the Basher’s side, refusing to budge when Omega played on. An impressive opening stand of 49 was reached before Omega was the first to depart caught for 25. Growler was next to the wicket for a quick fire partnership before Pothole skied one to the boundary for the second wicket to fall, great knock 28 to Pothole.

Growler was the next to go with the umpire giving him the finger LBW for 18. An almost lucky dismissal, paving the way for The Rock and Tiny to come together for an outstanding partnership of 160. The Devils bowling attack was sent into submission with The Rock unleashing pulls, drives and agricultural swats, meanwhile Tiny accumulating boundaries with what seemed effortless ease. With the temperature and humidity sky high, the partnership was that of legendary stuff not seen before by the Pleasure in 2011. In the end the undoing of this partnership was the Rock himself fatigued and spent after such an impressive batting display he called it a day on 64 and retired.

Badabing returning to the batting line up was next in, but not for long, he came and went first ball, caught and bowled by a freak Devils catch. Sinbad was next to strut his stuff for a grand total of 1, while Tiny continued to wage war on the bowlers. With Swoop the next in, the end of the innings was seen off with Swoop not out 5 and Tiny not out for a very impressive 79 – great knock Tiny!!! With the scorecard showing a tidy Basher total of 260 runs off 30 overs spirits were high all round during the changeover.

Sadly, the good feelings did not last long. In what can be only described as a train wreck, the Devils absolutely plastered the opening bowling attack of Billy and Growler. Fours and sixes were raining down as the Devils opening pair notched up 50 from the first 5 overs. Sadly, it didn’t end there. Subtle sledging, clever sledging, in your face sledging, swearing, umpire bashing, even some pearls of wisdom from the Badabing sledge archives could not halt the run rate as the carnage continued.

After 8 overs, there was a bowling change and the team put their hopes in the spin attack of Omega and Sinbad to try and stop the onslaught. A good move with Sinbad quickly enticing a poor shot to claim the opening wicket, bowled.

The next hack into bat took a while to make his mark but meanwhile, the Devil named Varun continued to cart the bowling all over the ground. He was ably helped by some shoddy fielding on the boundary from Growler, letting one through for 4 that was moving so slowly it practically stopped at his feet and begged to be picked up on its way through.

This brought on a frenzy of sledging from the Devils in the pavilion matched only by the batting frenzy that was continuing in the middle.

It was a decidedly more glum Bashers team that convened for drinks at 1 for 120. Tank delivered a rousing pep talk to get us fired up for redemption during the next 15 overs. Unfortunately for the Bashers, Varun picked up where he left off and continued to smash the attack out of the park. Omega, Sinbad, Tiny and Tank all had a crack but nothing could dislodge Varun and his one man Basher destruction. Tiny, showing that not all was lost, chipped in with a wicket, Growler silencing his critics on the sidelines for a short while, taking a nice over the head catch.

With the devils past 200, Varun past the century mark and the boundary line chirps getting louder and louder, Tank pulled out one last card to try and psyche out the batsman, delivering five of the greatest beamers but, still the 6s and 4s continued and the Basher heads were down, along with a few catches. So all up, it was a bowling and fielding debacle with the Devils reaching the target of 260 in 27.5 overs and the opening batsman Varun 164 not out.

A few cold ones on the bus trip back did wonders for the pain. This was followed by an upstanding display in the fines session led by Swoop. Although the game was far from pretty, a good afternoon was had by all at the Camel and redemption will be ours at our next outing.

2011 Division Two

Monday 1 August 2011 P W D L F A P
Devils Digital 8 7 0 1 1219 1069 54.79
Pudong Power 10 5 0 5 1664 1514 51.04
Leopards CC 9 5 0 4 1356 1340 48.76
DPR Hot Dogs 9 4 0 5 1497 1678 44.57
Doosra Devils 9 3 0 6 1544 1594 40.04
Bashers Pleasure 9 3 0 6 1514 1599 39.54

Cheers to the Sinbad family, the Tiny family and Mrs Growler for some spirited boundary support.



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