Pleasure vs Pudong, 24 August
The morning dawned bright and clear, with that certain flavour of humidity that brings Shanghai to life. It didn’t wake up Tantric, or answer his phone, but Bullet was on time (although on the wrong day) to step into the XI.
Swoop lost the toss, but had wanted to bat first, so it was really a moral victory to the Pleasure. Hollywood and Korean opened up with a tidy start. Hollywood getting most of the runs and almost all the strike. Korean, over excited by getting to face his 7th delivery in 5 overs, edged behind and that bought Shitshoes to the crease for a significant partnership of 62 runs that lasted past the drinks break. Hollywood brought up his fifty with a flurry of boundaries, before getting given LBW for 57, in the first of a few interesting umpiring calls. Terracotta strode to the crease in his debut match looking very much like a batsman, but 10 runs later, also got given LBW (off a forward defensive shot). Shitshoes, after batting the better part of 17 overs started to hit out, but after a 4, was clean bowled for 30. Postop was unlucky, because after one 6, he was caught at deep square by a rotund fielder who stepped over the boundary. Loud calls from Bashers on the sidelines couldn’t get the decision changed and Postop trudged off furious. Swoop put in a good captain’s knock of 20 that helped Pleasure post 170/9, despite a late collapse. J.R. made his first appearance at the crease for the last ball and snuck a checky single to the keeper.
Terracotta and Swoop opened with the ball, until Terracotta had a wide problem (6 in one over). Enter J.R., and in the space of a few overs of accurate swing bowling, and two great wickets, the Pudong innings had lost momentum. Swoop at the other end also proved hard to play, and after he finished a spell of 5 overs, Shitshoes struck in his first over – a safe catch to Postop at gully. After drinks J.R. came back to claim a third scalp, caught by Toe. Shitshoes also picked up another couple of wickets, and when Toe took a return catch off his first ball, the Pudong innings was in tatters. However, they counterattacked with a strong innings from Gooding, which bought them close and off the final 4 overs, only 35 runs were needed. Terracotta held his nerve, keeping it straight, and combined with a great longoff catch from J.R. removed one of the batsmen. In the next over, a very sluggish Shitshoes combined with Hardon to run out the last batsmen and the game was won! Special mention must be made of Peking and Bullet, who patrolled the boundaries with energy and commitment.
Swoop and Postop then joined Tantric (who came late) in the Business squad, and the remaining Bashers melted into the afternoon in a general feeling of satisfaction at the good team effort, and exhaustion after playing in the hot and humid conditions. The result means Pleasure is still alive for a finals spot and a chance at championship glory!