Spirits were high as Bashers Pleasure left the Big Bamboo in the team’s new transport mode of red taxis.
Captain Tank was well-primed that following Pleasure’s horrible loss the previous Sunday, the plan was to bat first and bat long.
He lost the toss and was promptly inserted, the God’s smiling on The Tank’s pre-ordained plan. Swahili and Smasher led the charge; Swahili lasting only a few balls including a dropped catch behind and Smasher contributing a quick fire 20 before perishing in the gully. Bugs followed and managed two boundaries before playing a horrible, mistimed pull which was snapped up at mid-wicket. Circus did not trouble the scorers which bought Tank to the crease to join Sir Dick who had come in at the last moment in preference to watching Lady Dick’s touch rugby game which was being played on an adjacent field. This was a rather pathetic attempt to show who wore the trousers in the Churchill household but one gratefully acknowledged by his team mates as he compiled 50 not out in a stand of 76 with Captain Tank whose repeated lusty baseball pulls from outside off to the leg side boundary seemed to consistently flummox the opposition. Long Dong aided Captain Tank at the end of the innings allowing Pleasure to set an imposing 169 to win.
All started well with the traditional first over wicket from Swahili and tight bowling from Circus who worked up some velocity and was unlucky to see an early chance go down to Made-in posted at first slip. Bugs and Capitellis son kept things reasonably tight and excellent spells from Long Dong and Inquisition saw wickets falling rapidly and a seemingly tough chase for Pudong Power in the latter stages of the game.
Circus was playing role of chief cheer leader in the deep and setting himself up for the role of “closer”, pumped, primed and ready for action. With three overs to go, 22 were required with Pudong Power 8 wickets down. With one over to go and 7 required, Pudong Power were 9 wickets down with Circus the Closer ready to deliver the victory blow against a guy who could barely hold a bat. Balls one to five went wide, wide, wide, no ball, wide, and with 2 required off 6, a fluky nudge saw Pleasure snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Circus took his implosion well and doubtless will be back to make amends in other close encounters. So a huge batting improvement, consistent bowling and surely that first victory just around the corner!