As his squad began to assemble at the Camel, early to fit in a net session before the game, Pleasure captain Skid Row took in the clear, blue skies and anticipated finally being able to lead a team in good conditions. Less positively, someone had dropped out and there was a desperate Wechat search for another player. After seemingly exhausting all options, he gleefully announced that we had Herpes, and all would be well.
On the bus to SCSC the team followed the ups and downs of the Leisure game on crichq, before arriving at the ground and hitting the nets. Bridget quickly showed he will be an asset to the club, sending the batters scurrying to square leg and announcing himself to the captain by hitting him in the body. The rest of the team got their eyes in and tried not to wear themselves out too much, and we were ready to go.
At the toss the coin fell the wrong way, and the Devils chose to field. Pleasure veterans Swoop and Korean went out to start the innings. They both batted solidly, but the patchy outfield made boundaries rare (only five in the whole innings) and soon fitness levels were tested by the amount of twos and threes being run. After putting on 43 runs in just over 8 overs, both openers were out caught in pretty quick succession, their wickets bookending Bambi scampering down the pitch first ball and being stumped. Tucker was soon bowled, blaming the umpire for not announcing change of bowler (apparently it was too hard to see that he was six inches taller and had double the run up), and there was a rebuild needed at 67-4.
Either side of the drinks break Shitshoes charged and swished his way to 24, the top score of the innings, before being caught. Then the captain strode out to join his workmate, Tango, and they put on the second best partnership of 32 in 4 overs. At 116-5 with 8 overs left, the innings could have gone either way. Unfortunately, it went downhill very fast as the last 5 wickets fell for 11 runs. Tango was stumped for a well compiled 19, Benchod found out that you could be LBW if your arm gets between the ball and the stumps, Bridget lived up to his own billing as a batsman, Skiddy was run out by half a pitch while Herpes did a superfluous forward roll at the safe end, and Herpes was stumped to finish the innings with a disdainful Long Dong undefeated.
129 didn’t seem enough, but the Digitals’s innings started in dramatic fashion. Third ball of the first over, the batsman hit the ball to Shitshoes at square-leg and took off for a run which was never there. Shoes decided to use his hands to stop the ball (later in the innings he opted for his foot for a ground ball, which worked reasonably well, but regretted choosing to attempt a catch with his collar bone as it was ineffective and painful). He then selected to throw the ball in on the half volley an interesting distance from the stumps, but Korean sprawled to collect and managed to shovel the ball onto the stumps when his lunge fell a few inches short.
Swoop and Long Dong mostly kept it tight, but served up a few four balls and wides, so Skiddy turned to his pacemen. Bridget quickly had the batsmen calling for helmets as his back-of-a-length deliveries reared up at them. Bambi also steamed in for a couple of overs before his year-2-Basher body gave up. Both quickies caused discomfort and half-chances, but the only reward was a caught behind (we think) off Bridget, now operating off the short run to avoid killing the batsmen and bowling no-balls.
Skiddy’s next gambit was to slow it down a bit by bringing on Tucker and himself. Tucker kept a good line and got good bounce but no reward, and Skiddy beat the bat (and Korean) a few times. However, they failed to take a wicket as the skies darkened and drizzle slickened the playing surface, almost claiming the captain as he collapsed trying to return the ball to the bowler.
The final throw of the dice was to bring back Bridget and Swoop, and finally there were some breakthroughs – Long Dong holding on to a high catch off Bridget, and Swoop enticing two batsmen out of their crease to be stumped by Korean. If Swoop had got the right call on an LBW appeal against the opposition captain, it would have become a close finish, but alas the Digis knocked off the runs in one more ball than it took the Bashers to score them, having lost half as many wickets.
It was a good effort all round in the field, Bambi and Herpes in particular covering a lot of grass, and the bowlers didn’t have much luck. The batsmen, however, need to step up if Pleasure are to win some games this season.
The trip home included the christenings of Tango (orange shoes) and, on the second attempt, Bridget (Darcy > Colin Firth > Bridget Jones), before the fine session spilled over into the Camel where a few stragglers from the earlier Leisure game joined in.
Bashers Pleasure 127 off 25.3 overs (Shitshoes 24, Swoop 19, Tango 19) lost to Digital Daredevils 229-5 off 25.4 overs (Swoop 2-32, Bridget 2-35) by 5 wickets.
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Spiffing stuff! Highlight for me -- "Bridget lived up to his own billing as a batsman, Skiddy was run out by half a pitch while Herpes did a superfluous forward roll at the safe end"
I like how Skiddy fell over returning the ball to the bowler.....and stayed down till we all got around him.
I was giving the bowler time to take a breather!
Might have been an excuse if it was me bowling!