The pleasure were up for a mid-table medley on Sunday as they went into battle against Pu Dong. Pu Dong were right behind the Bashers on the table so a win would put some distance between Pudong and launch the Pleasure into the playoffs.
Things don’t normally go well in China at the best of times and as 7am is certainly not the best of times . So with the Camel closed we were again rowing without oars early. Bambi mustering his skills from life on the harsh streets of Songjiang was able to break into the Camel so at least we were able to get our gear from the stockroom.
Pudong rocked up about 3 minutes before the start time and subsequently won the toss and elected to bat. Skiddy gave a fist pump as he turned around suggesting he got what he wanted and after the first over he had made us all believers.
We got off to the best possible start with WarCry skittling their opener in the first over. The batsman then set themselves in and took Pudong through to 49-1 at the first ten over drinks break. Fluffer and WarCry took a breather as shitshoes and swoop taking over the reins. The batsman’s eyes lit up but a few ill-timed shots led to consecutive chopping on to the stumps. Pu Dong kept their run rate ticking and hit the 20 over mark at 106-5. They would have been more down had the umpire being officiating runouts when Fluffer threw down the non-strikers end from square leg. Some great athleticism was shown by Tucker in the field which reached its crescendo when he took a low catch diving to his right at mid-off to help shitshoes to another wicket. Somehow from this point despite losing their set batsman they accelerated through the final ten and ended up 172-9. The wickets were shared around evenly although a couple of tits-for-hands, cock catching moments from Bambi ensured no bowlers had inflated egos.
After the heavy rainfall, the day before the sun was turning the swamp into a sweltering sauna. We were like a plate of well steamed asparagus after fielding for 2.5 hours.
Pudong had struggled to put up big scores all year and allowing them 172 was not ideal as they did boast a couple of accurate enough bowlers. Pudong ensured a quick turnaround and before we knew it our chase was underway.
With the first over, so began the Bashers collapse. Sir Dick realised after the 3rd delivery he wasn’t wearing a box so thought if he could lose the ball in the creek he could buy himself some time to run to the tent. Pu Dong had another idea for how to get him to the tent and the next delivery Sir Dick edged to 3rd man. On the positive side no animals or children were harmed in the aftermath. The wickets fell in a very quick frequency in the first 5 overs as the sun had well and truly taken its toll. The umpire finally succumbed to the insistent sub-continent appealing strategy and gave the ambassador LBW for 5. Nuts and Skiddy soon followed and with the departure of Swoop we were 22-5, the pleasure top order had all been out for less that 6. You know it’s a bad day when your batting is starting to look worse than Shitshoes’ dog.
Fluffer and Bambi started to get the scoreboard ticking again and put on a 20 odd run partnership. The running between the wickets was the highlight of their time together and it was with great irony that this would be their underdoing when a classic yes-no-yes single resulted in Bambi being caught short. Fluffer was now on the deck of the post iceberg Titanic. Armed with his tiny bat he started to fiddle a tune of resistance.
He found an able partner in Tucker as they set-about getting the scoring on track. With a 53 run partnership things were starting to look more promising as the Bashers chase went over the halfway mark. Fluffer was deserving of a half century but in a moment which typified the day he was caught by the fingertips of the mid-wicket fielder on the boundary and robbed of a 6 which would have taken him to his 50. A good knock from Fluffer with plenty of crowd favourite 6’s including one into the creek. Tucker and Korean tried to keep the game interesting but the inevitable became our reality when Warcry was clean bowled in the 23 over. Bashers all out for 129.
The Pleasure remain well and truly in the playoff hunt and look forward to a big redemption outing against Pudong on the 19th of August. A win there would go a long way to securing a playoff spot.