The signs were ominous when Giraffe’s first three balls of the innings were all dispatched for 4 through long off. Omega was sent to field out on the boundary only for the next ball to fly for another 4 through square leg.
Before this rude awakening, spirits in Leisure had been high. Heavy rain the day before had led to much talk of what to do in the case of us waking up to a deluge, the forecast the day before was so dire that the Business game was called off prematurely. Upon arrival at SCSC the weather was surprisingly bright, the outfield dry and the boundary set, albeit a very short boundary; the game was on and we were glad about it. Tampon then contrived to lose the toss, again (3 from 3 for the season) and then we were out in the field with Giraffe meandering in to bowl.
With the first over done, on came Fake News with a testing over. That would be testing debut wicket keeper Fisty Gilchrist’s ability to dive to his left. A 10 ball over from Fake News and the end of bowling for the day for him (but not the last 10 ball over of the day).
Giraffe’s second over went pretty much the same way as the first and he was off for a rest as well. The captain then began the process of chopping and changing the bowlers in the hope of making a break through. One of Dulwich’s opening batsmen retired on 50 in what seemed like the 4th over, Leisure were haemorrhaging runs! He was soon followed by the other opening batsmen retiring on 50. We had bowled 8 overs, got no wickets and there were 108 runs on the board for Dulwich, we were staring into the abyss.
As any cricket connoisseur knows , the red ball game is all about the ebb and flow of the match and with the good batsmen back in the ‘pavilion’ Leisure started to ebb it up and go with the flow.
Damascus came on and was instantly rewarded getting the next batsmen out lbw for 0, followed quickly by the next batsmen caught in the slips by Oddjob. That’ll be a double wicket maiden, thanks very much. At the other end came on Omega for a couple of fruitless overs supported by a bit of Scuba Steve who was earning respect with his viscous turning leg spin but not managing to make a breakthrough. Dulwich were still accumulating runs, although not as quick as at the start of the innings but just as they were looking set their middle order partnership was broken by Damascus and a screamer of a catch my Omega. Damascus finished with 3/17
Bhenchod took the other member of this partnership, caught Giraffe. Next up to bowl was Pope whose first over was a very impressive maiden. He came back for another over with his, and all our hopes high only for him to bowl the second 10 baller of the innings and that was the end of his spell.
By now we were into the juvenile tail, saying that Dulwich’s children seem to get a little bit taller everytime we play them, they might be a good team once they mature a bit. Giraffe was back bowling and took two wickets and Bhenchod another one.
Up until the last over everyone except Fisty Bairstow keeping wicket, the Captain and Birdshit had bowled and we had Dulwich 8 down with one of their previous retirees back at the crease.
At this point Birdy came up to the captain and politely asked, ‘can I have a bowl?’ For some unknown reason, I had thought that Birdy had said he didn’t want a bowl earlier in the day…bit of a brain fade. Possibly with a point to prove Birdy came onto bowl and made things happen instantly. The first half centurion was promptly caught by Fisty Boucher bringing the last retired batsmen back to the crease. He was then stumped by Fisty Dujon on the final ball and Bashers had turned around the innings (kind of) and managed to bowl Dulwich out. To say the two returning batsmen were unhappy to get out was a bit of an understatement, but there was nothing for them to argue about, it was their square leg umpire who gave the last man out, and he enjoyed it too! Birdshit giving them a suitable send off certainly didn’t add to their mood.
Dulwich had set a target of 222.
Who better to chase it down than the new Leisure opening partnership of MS Fisty and Bhenchod. Progress was initially serene, fresh from keeping wicket Healy Cymbals was channelling his inner Jos Buttler by hitting 4*fours, at least half of which were intentional.
Although a little behind the run rate, Bhenchod and Fisty Sangakarra brought up an opening fifty partnership to much consternation from the Dulwich bowlers who were taking things a bit seriously. You scored 221 lads, so no you can’t change bowling ends because you’re slipping a bit.
Bhenchod was out caught behind off a top edge for 32, bringing Pope in. In a reversal of the usual roles Pope started off cautiously, while Fisty McCullum was flashing his blade at everything. Fisty was out C&B (23) bringing Omega into bat. With the Collins brothers (Phil and Joan) at the crease Joan (Pope) started to pick things up and scored 3 consecutive boundaries before getting out caught next ball for 17. Tampon in next and it seems the Dulwich players have good memories, as the fielders were dispatched to the leg side in anticipation of ‘that shot’. No worries, today I’ll be dining on the posh side. Out caught first ball.
Next in came Oddjob who played a cultured innings through to the close supported by Phil Collins (7) Damascus (1) and Fake News (6) he ended with his highest bashers score of 33 but left off before fines..again. No amount of cricketing skill can make up for that.
In the end we scored 155 but we lost less wickets than Dulwich which means we are either better at batting or bowling or both.
Fines were enjoyed on the bus and then back at Cages possibly, it was so long ago I can’t really remember.