Nobody was appointed lumberjack two games ago, so this is a double report. The observant among you may notice some use of cut and paste to save time.
After two rained out games, Pleasure finally made it through a couple of matches at the start of May, against the Leopards and Dulwich Knights on May 1st and 8th respectively. The first was a close-fought loss by 8 runs, and the second was a comfortable win by five wickets, with five overs to spare.
Against the Leopards we had an uneventful bus ride until the driver failed to negotiate his way past the concrete dividers at the entrance to SCSC, messing up the side of his 45-seater coach. We made it into the ground on a warm, sunny day perfect for cricket.
Skiddy lost the toss, and we were sent out to field. Early on, runs were hard to come by, and the drinks break came with only around 50 on the board, but the floodgates opened and over 100 runs came after the break, mostly due to unorthodox slogging by batters 7-9 who combined to play four shots to the boundary and three over it. Individual bowling highlights came from Long Dong, Pussy,Lunchcutter, and Skiddy, who were all economical, and Swoop, who picked up three wickets. Paps got spanked in his second spell. We also got to see Bambi take the ball for the first time as a Basher and proceed to take a wicket first ball (caught behind off a long-hop) then repeat the dose off the first legitimate ball of his second over, after which he was removed from the attack. It was a good effort overall, with only 10 wides given away and Skiddy bowling a maiden.
Catching was not good enough. Among a number of dropped catches, the funniest was at deep mid wicket where Bullet failed to see the ball coming until it was about a metre from dropping into, then out of, his hands. The captain had a shocker of a moment in the field too, picking the wrong line and running too far infield to let the ball go for four. Catch of the day was taken by Pussy, going the wrong way then correcting and clasping the ball one-handed at gully, and Long Dong made a difficult skier look comfortable.
There was a piece of questionable umpiring in the innings. On the last ball of the penultimate over, bowled by Long Dong, Korean dislodged the bails and appealed for a stumping which would have been the last wicket. The player umpire at square leg said not out, then elaborated that the batter had managed to keep his foot on the line. When the official umpire was alerted, the bewildering response was that the ball had been taken in front of the stumps in any case. This may have been partly due to the umpire being upset at comments made by some unnamed fielders (with psittacine and cervine names) earlier in the innings. Regardless of the reasons, the 10 runs scored off the last over proved to be decisive.
At the innings break the Bashers were confident of chasing the score down at less than six an over, but the chase got off to a shaky start. After running out Swoop, Lunchcutter batted solidly for 40 (5 x 4), but the wickets at the other end fell consistently. Pussy (20, 2 x 4), Skid Row (15, 3 x 4) and Bambi (24 not out, 3 x 4, 1 x 6) batted gamely, but three further run outs handicapped the innings and we ended up nine down and eight short of the target. Our strained relationship with the umpire also continued, as he threatened to walk off and forfeit the game because one of our players (culinary/queuing connotations) questioned his wide calls.
The game was followed by a rousing fines session on the bus in which Finesmaster Truffles brought in an innovative punishment for non-drinkers – Parrot was to be smacked in the face by Bambi for each fine. Parrot soon went and sat by himself at the back of the bus.
Special mention should be made of Bambi that day. He seemed to enjoy the violence of the fines, but went MIA between the Camel and Yongkang later on, as did his bike and memory.
The following week against Dulwich we had an uneventful bus ride alongside Leisure. The ride-sharing meant we made it to the ground an hour early on an overcast day, and some took the opportunity to use the nets, while others caught the start of Leisure’s game.
Skiddy (soon to be known as “Chunky”) lost the toss, and we were sent out to field. Early on, runs were hard to come by, and the drinks breaks came with only around 50 on the board, but the floodgates opened and over 100 runs came after the break, mostly due to clean hitting by James Perry (the guy who spanked a ton against Leisure last year), who placed seven shots to the boundary, and six over it. Individual bowling highlights came from Swoop and Lunchcutter, who were economical, and Long Dong, who picked up four wickets. Paps had a good second spell near the end. Bambi didn’t get invited to bowl. It was a good effort overall by the whole attack, with only 14 wides given away (including four runs conceded by Soggy Biscuit before the first legitimate ball of the innings), and with Swoop and Long Dong bowling maidens.
Catching was not good enough. Among a number of dropped catches, the funniest was at deep mid wicket where Pope, as he later explained, judged the ball well but forgot to put up his hands, earning a healthy bruise on his ribs. The captain had a shocker of a moment in the field too, spilling the epitome of a sitter. Catch of the day was taken by Bambi, who clasped a well hit drive as it slapped into his palms.
There was a piece of questionable umpiring in the innings. Lunchcutter had a huge appeal turned down and was visibly fuming next ball as he appealed more in frustration than hope, because the ball hit the batsman with a distinctive ping of a particular piece of protective equipment. To the amazement of all, the umpire made up for his gaffe the previous ball and sent the batsman on his way. Sometimes two wrongs do make a right.
At the innings break the Bashers were confident of chasing the score down at less than six an over, and the chase got off to a rapid start. Lunchcutter hit three boundaries in the first over, and another in the second before being caught for 16. Soggy Biscuit came into the lineup and top scored with 43 (8 x 4), supported by Swoop with a quickfire 41 (6 x 4, 1 x 6), and Paps with 21 (4 x 4). There were no runouts in this innings, perhaps because Soggy hurt his leg and couldn’t run. Bambi was not out again, hitting the winning run after new Basher Man Cow was out with the scores tied.
The game was followed by a rousing joint fines session on the bus in which Finesmaster Parrot, now part of the Leisure squad, failed to keep control, and somehow ManCow was christened.
Special mention should be made of the Club Captain that day. Rooty seemed to be possessed by the ghost of Sinbad, turning up direct from a night out along with short-lived spectator Jap’s Eye. After stumbling around in the field seemingly incapable of playing cricket, he was brought on to bowl with instructions to keep Perry away from the strike – which he did by bowling wides and full tosses to be hit for four by the other batsman. He was not required to bat, thankfully, but distinguished himself by having a no-ball call overruled when umpiring at square leg. It may also have been his birthday. Or Skiddy’s. Or Swoop’s. I’m starting to doubt the veracity of the Bashers WeChat.
Pleasure next face Hot Dogs on May 29, and need to keep winning as the points table seems to use a soccer system, and our no results are only 1/3 of a win. If we bowl better after drinks, hold our catches, and bat in partnerships with sensible running we’ll be fine.
May 1 2016
Leopards 172-9 (Swoop 3-33 ; Bambi 2-15) beat Bashers Pleasure 164-9 (Lunchcutter 40; Bambi 24*)by 8 runs.
May 8 2016
Dulwich Knights 166-7 (Long Dong 4-19) lost to Bashers Pleasure 167-5 (Soggy Biscuit 43; Swoop 41) by 5 wickets.