The first scheduled match of the 2012 season for the Bashers saw the Pleasure in action against last year cellar dwellers the Doosra, since renamed the Dynamite Devils in a possible attempt to distance themselves from last years results.
And while Pleasure had posted a better record than the Dynamite last year, we were mindful that this was the team that had crushed us early in the season and run down what at the time was believed to be an insurmountable total on the back of a 164* performance. It was time to rectify these past performances.
The promised Big Bus was absent and so the Camel contingent of the Bashers piled in to the smaller, provincial party bus. Fully loaded and ready to go, we waited for Filthy to arrive. As nerves and Kooka pies were passed around, a person who has remained unnamed, dropped the entirety of his guts, forcing every window on the bus to be opened. Filthy arrived just as the tide of accusations was rolling towards Omega (One might have slipped by) and Tubby (First you called me fat and now you say I smell). Off to the ground.
Arriving at SRFC gave the entire team the opportunity to check in for the first time under the SRFC’s new U.S. airport-styled security procedures (apparently the millimeter wave machines are on their way). Alas, technical difficulties ensued and the entire team simply walked by the counter and onto the field. Amazingly, no terrorist attacks occurred.
New playing shirts were handed out (very light, should be good in summer) and the team took to fielding while Tank made sure the in progress Digital-Leopards match would be over on time (I don’t care when you started, you’re finishing at 1:30, use penalty runs if you have to). Filthy debuted a young new Indian fast bowler who had traveled from Suzhou to try out for the Bashers, then promptly lost him when the guy started talking to a couple of Leopards and then departed with them after their game.
Korean lost the toss, but achieved the desired decision, and the Bashers were put into the field.
Tight opening spells by Tubby and Growler produced a couple of early wickets and a fair bit of heartening Aussie chirp. Bugs followed, prepping himself for each delivery by uttering expletives at himself. Rock, playing in his final game of before departing for the Mid East offered flight and guile. Swoosh, Omega, Tank and Korean also figured in the Bashers bowling attack, with Swoop and Omega both taking two wickets apiece and Korean using his captain’s prerogative to boost the confidence of the batting side and his other bowlers by posting the most runs conceded from an over in his single appearance (after Tank had cowed the batsman into calling for a helmet).
The mantra of “Don’t bowl wides” was uttered at various points throughout the warm-up, but it didn’t have an obvious affect on the bowlers as the extras piled up throughout the innings (except for Bugs, who was the only Basher to not concede a single extra).
At the end of 30, Dynamites score stood at 187, a high but not ungainly total.
Pleasure opened the attack with Pitstop and A Trois at the crease. Unaccustomed to batting without Pothole, Pitstop lofted the 7th ball he faced to point and was out for 1. Following a swaggering boundary shot, A Trois went down LBW on 7. Rock scored a boundary with the first ball he faced, and then let the second one through to his castle, out for 4. Growler followed quickly with a questionable LBW after he charged down the wicket at a short-pitched delivery only to be called out by the umpire when the ball hit his pads. He returned to the pavilion out for 1 and the Bashers in the midst of an epic top order Bashers collapse – 4 for 20.
It fell to Swoop and Tubby to stabilize the innings. And with plenty of overs in hand and a stream of well placed shots, that is exactly what they did. Dynamite sledges and cheers slowly turned to silence as Tubby and Swoop began to accumulate runs. When Tubby was finally run out after a quick fire 37 from 26 balls, the partnership had produce over 70 runs and turned the innings around.
Omega, who had witnessed most of the previous partnership from the vantage of square leg, produced a picket fence of singles, before lashing out for some boundaries. When Swoop was finally bowled for 46, this second partnership with had netted another 70 plus runs.
After Badabing was called out LBW on 4 (the third LBW of the day for those keeping score), Korean walked in with the Bashers needing less runs than balls to win. What followed was the
best worst chirp of the day from Dynamite (All the pressure’s on them!). Needless to say, the confusion on the batsmen at the crease to this chirp didn’t affect their stroke play as Omega came within a foot of winning the match with a boundary, only to have to run three and leave the winning run to Korean, who finished the match with a single to claim the first victory of the season for the Bashers. 188/7.
Swoop: 46 from 64 (4 fours)
Omega: 44* from 42 (5 fours)
Tubby: 37 from 26 (5 fours, 2 sixes)