The 2013 Pleasure Campaign began in the early dawn hours on Sunday. The team assembled at the Camel, Korean making sure to see if Long Dong had done everything that was needed to prepare for the game. “I’m the captain on the field, I’ve got to concentrate on strategy,” was his response when asked where Genghis was. Once he arrived (after a call from Sinbad who said that no, the 7 am meeting time at Camel was NOT a joke), the team got on the bus and headed to SRFC to face Pudong.
The toss was lost, but the result was positive, as Pleasure was put into bat in the unseasonably warm, sunny weather. With Chinese international players holding down the umpiring duties at both ends, the Bashers found themselves in a quick hole when Genghis was clean bowled and Post Op given out to a dubious LBW. New batsmen Growler and Shrek set about trying to build an innings, only to see Shrek quickly sent back to the pavilion on 12. Swoop lasted two deliveries and was out without a run to his name and Korean managed a boundary before falling to yet another LBW decision.
Tank walked to the crease with Pleasure on only 58 already 5 down in the 15th over. A partnership was needed. Backed by Growler’s driving shots and Tank’s quick singles, the batsmen begin to build one. Several boundaries and six hard run 3s moved the score to 99 by the time Tank was out bowled while trying to play across the line. Shortly after, Growler reached a half century with Shit Shoes and Hustler trying to keep the scoreboard ticking over at the other end.
By the time Growler was dismissed by yet another LBW, the scoreboard had reached 120. With 3 overs to go, it fell to the tail to add some insurance runs to the board. Unfortunately, Hustler, Sinbad and Long Dong were only able to muster two more runs and the Bashers watched Pudong walk off the field, having bowled Pleasure all out in 27.5 overs.
While 122 is not the highest total to defend, Pleasure was confident that sharp bowling and fielding would win the day. Shrek got things off to a roaring start with four wides in his first six delivers, but was rewarded with a wicket when the Pudong opener nicked an inside edge down leg to a diving Post Op. Long Dong then employed an unorthodox strategy of opening Sinbad from the other end, hoping to tie down the batsmen with spin. Growler and Swoop followed the openers but unfortunately no wickets were forthcoming, and after Korean dropped an absolute sitter off of Swoop’s bowling, Pudong went into drinks in a very strong position with 68 runs on the board and only one wicket down.
Following drinks, Tank opened from the pavilion end, taking a wicket in his first over (LBW). Long Dong brought hiimself on from the opposite end and was quickly on a hat trick after dismissing the other Pudong opener and his replacement with two more LBW decisions. Long Dong continued his dominating performance in his following over, taking yet another wicket. And that was quickly followed by Tank setting up former Basher Mr. Tickle with three slower balls before ripping a Yorker through the pads and into the stumps. Pudong was suddenly feeling the pressure, having conceded 5 wickets in 4 overs for just 12 runs.
Pudong captain Amogh walked to the crease to increasing Basher chatter, but remained calm and steadied the ship. Long Dong was able to extract one more LBW decision from the umpire, but in the end, 122 proved too low a score to defend as Pudong reached 125 with three overs remaining and two wickets in hand.
It was a promising start to the season, with a strong batting performance by Growler and a good response by the entire club to fight back into the match after drinks. Pleasure next face off against the SCA Nforcers on Tuesday, April 30.
Growler: 58 (Man of the match and expectant father…Congrats Howler!)
Long Dong: 6-0-22-4