Friday’s rekindling of friendships and reminiscences of past tours were now long past, time to get down to the nitty gritty of competition. The first fine went to Tank, who after organising some delightful transport to get us there in style, failed to bring the ‘music box’ and thus we had to sit in silence for the whole day. Cracker was apoplectic as his superior ‘waterproof music centre’ had been thoroughly rebuffed by our Manila local and had therefore remained in Shangers.
Three games to attend, three sides to assemble from ten available tourists, sorry, make that nine, team skipper Skid Row failed to make the bus and captained remotely from the hotel all morning.It was felt that our best chance of a victory would be in the first game, but to be honest, after the night before, how we felt would not be the best barometer for decision making.
Looking resplendent in inspired Birdy designed tour shirts, 6 individually selected Bashers took to the field in hopes of at least nabbing the ‘spirit of cricket’ trophy.
The notable playing moments can be summarised as follows…
Game 1 Bashers v Singapore Spirits
Bashers 52/2 – Shrek with a healthy 27 off of 13 balls. Shrek and Omega sharing 46.
SS 53/0 – 24 extras in wides
Highlight – Omega receiving a free hit in the nuts.
Game 2 Bashers v Cubao CC
Bashers 32/4 – Tank top scored with 15 from 9 deliveries, 1×6. 24 for Tank and Birdy in tandem.
CCC 33/0 from only 1.3 overs – Cubao opener scoring 21 off of 5 deliveries. His Kunt rating of 420 would have made Bambi blush.
Highlight – Fisty channeling Bairstow and going for a wander whilst the ball was still in play in the keeper’s mitts. Stumped for zip.
Skipper Skiddy finally rocked up at 1pm missing the first two games.
Game 3 – Cranky v Khalsa Club Dasmarinas
KCD 102/0 – Cranky leaking the most runs of the day with 25 from his over
Cranky 44/3 – Cranky top scored with 20. Cranky and Fisty nurtured 31 between them.
Highlight – ‘There you go lads that’s how to run two!’ – Cranky
Men down; Paps, Shrek, Cracker and Omega all feeling the weight of Bashers tour history.
Catch of the day; Paps pouching a beer bottle top launched by Fisty from yet another San Miguel
‘Tank, where’s the music box?’
Something about ‘bum eggs’
‘Iron it white side down!’
‘It looks like a Smurf has cum in your mouth’
3 matches without taking a wicket, would it improve on the Sunday? All that was left was to drag our sorry arses hotelward for some evening shenanigans.
Saturday Evening – Steaks and Spirits
Following a hard fought day of cricket at Club United (a whole three Sixes matches), the Bashers piled into the van for a “quick trip” back to the City Garden. Ugly memories of commutes past came flooding back as the van driver missed a turn and decided to take the scenic route back to the hotel.
Stuck in traffic with limited refreshment as Tank had NOT brought an Esky even though it had been strongly suggested that he bring one by Omega, mercifully the ride ended after about an hour and following quick runs to toilets, everyone assembled on the roof deck for the traditional Bashers Fines session, Tour Edition, with plenty of Tanduay and Ginger Ale to go around.
Rooty voiced his displeasure at the phrasing of fining “any Bashers who” when the Basher was usually known and should just be called out. Fines went around the group for several rounds with Omega noting, ruefully, that Skiddy was not punished nearly enough for missing the bus in the morning. Following two hours of fines, a bit of swimming in the pool, and a bit of dude soup in the hot tub, the entire touring party departed for dinner, a short 1 mile walk to the Texas Roadhouse.
Food arrived, and food was eaten. Beer and wine (and more wine) flowed. And by the end of dinner, the now stuffed and sated Bashers began what would be an overly complicated trek back to the hotel. With the mall closing, the route back suddenly changed as exits were barred. The group broke up into those following Tank and a bunch of laggards who probably needed to take a taxi back to the hotel as they got lost.
Cranky several times admonished the one man who lives in Manila for leading the group astray, only to have to take his works back when the gleaming sign of the hotel could clearly be seen in the distance. After going through several random underpasses, the lead team made it back to the hotel, while the laggards updated their ETA via WeChat and jumped in a taxi.
Champagne was the shout, and all straggled in, with some staying longer while others retired early, their eye on a 7am start time on Sunday. The last word came from Fisty at 3:11 am, “Still going!”
After an unsuccessful Saturday on the pitch, the Bashers pushed all thoughts of what might have been to one side for Night 2 of Pool, fines and an upper-class Steak dinner in a shopping mall just a few steps up the road from the City Garden.
The return trip seemed more difficult for those left behind by our Manila Guide, however all managed to find a Champagne bar, keeping things classy, as Saturday became Sunday and a 7am lobby call to return to Club United to play the ladies of the PCA Development Team at 8:00 am beckoned.
7:20 am and still no sign of Cracker and Rooty, who were at breakfast, and Fisty not answering any form of communication. Nos 1,5,6,33,36,58 and 259 piled into the 10-seater and left Makati for the ground.
Arriving to find our tent adorned with the flag of dreams, Cranky opted for a coffee and burger (not realizing the kitchen did not open till 10) and the dubious role of non-playing captain rather than risk losing to the chicks on the field.
Cracker and Rooty arriving in a taxi around the same time as the first tub of San Mig Pilsen but with still no sign of Fisty.
Cranky won the toss and the Bashers walked out to field with Skid1 taking the first over.
Details are sketchy at best however my notes recall Paps being hit for 4 by a chick, and Tank bouncing another. Shrek took the first keepers catch of the weekend and the Bashers held the ladies to a reachable total of 49.
Cranky inserted Skiddy and Birdy, who showed no mercy to the ladies and despatched them to all corners of the field.
With 1 run required, Skiddy generously retired on the last ball of the 4th over so Tank could bat. Tank swung and missed, and the umpire called wide.
Bashers through to the final of the Shield to face Squad XI who had beaten their opposition by more runs than we had just made to beat the ladies.
Sometime between games our first communication with Fisty assured us he was on his way and would be there in 10 minutes. 30 minutes later he arrived. With our opposition sitting at the table next to us, some friendly banter and disbelief they were not drinking yet, Rooty took command of the Final team, won the toss, and elected to field. Giving the gloves to Fisty, and a brand-new rock to Cranky, the remaining 4 lined up in a slips arc Noah would have been proud of.
Ball delivered and shown much respect by way of forward press back down the pitch, the fielders spread to a more traditional arrangement as Cranky got to work.
Paps had a wardrobe malfunction as he left behind the sole of his new shoes while avoiding a catch.
Bowling to the Leftie Philippines National team Opener, saw the ball disappear into and over the 30m high net over the next 2 and half overs. Cranky a tidy 16 , Omega a couple of dots with 20 runs and Paps helping them to 45 after 3 overs and the danger man retired. Paps then bowled a beauty to the set batter and Fisty’s feet almost leaving the ground took a stunner where first slip probably would have been. A personal highlight for his otherwise unproductive weekend on the pitch.
A bit of a fightback by Cracker bowling his offices kept the boundaries down and Rooty bowling the final over took a catch off his bowling, while cleaning the pitch with his knee, and a final ball direct hit from Omega saw Squad XI end with 70 runs. An excellent effort by all.
A switch to Bacardi in the tent was an inspired move by Shrek, as returning to the pavilion we were also greeted by Mrs Tank, EJ and Alex. Hugs all round and sugar fix in hand.
All eyes turned to Rooty’s mangled kneecap. Covered in dirt and a puss inducing blood clot in the making, it was suggested he might give it a bit of a clean.
“ It’s nothing but a flesh wound!” his reply.
We all realized he was just being a pussy and, it was eventually cleaned and bound.
I still don’t understand why he refused some medicinal help. Also assume it now resembles a corn flake one week out, and not possibly a little Gangreen.
For the return innings Cranky and Paps opened with Omega at Square leg.
Energized by the rum, Cranky set about smiting the ball to all corners of the ground, hitting boundaries at will and sixes for fun. Paps at the other end was content to rotate strike until faced with a free hit, his wild swing missing the bat but ball striking him in the nuts. With no offers to ‘give it a rub’ forthcoming he struggled on.
With the run rate on track, Cranky was retired at the end of over 4.
Omega at non strikers end, Paps hit a 2. Then a couple of swing and misses, and then called Omega through for a second on the fourth.
Unfortunately, the ball came back over the stumps and Paps was on his way.
Quote of the day by Birdy. “Fancy Paps being involved in a Run-out “
Fisty in to face the last 2 with 9 needed. 5th Ball – No run. 6th ball his march down the pitch resulted in his second stumping of the tournament, and Omega’s second time at bat without facing.
Bashers Runners up in the Shield final.
A lovely presentation by the PCC commenced after the Bowl final and a few fines at the ground in anticipation of saying farewell to Tank. However, possibly in hindsight regretting this, April decided his place was with his mates to watch the World Cup Final that night.
So back to the City Garden to polish off the remaining hoard of Tanduay by the pool, including some dubious fines of poor recollections by some, and joined by a couple of (“Spit “) Hot Dogs.
The Bashers adjourned to Evolution bar where it all started on Thursday night for Birdy, Tank and Mal to watch yet another display of Australia’s absolute domination of World Cricket by hitting more runs, taking more wickets, taking more catches, and hitting more sixes than the best team in the world (on paper) on a pitch designed for them with 97,000 blue shirts who claimed a moral victory.
The 7:30am wake up Monday morning seemed more brutal than the previous 2 days, as it dawned on us the weekend had come and gone all too quickly, but with a lot of laughs, with and at each other’s expense, and for many 8 plus hours travel back home.
Big thank you to Tank for being a great host, spending hours investigating the best eating places, drinking places, cricket watching places and any other places we may have been to over 4 very big nights.
To everyone who came, what a gift to have mates like you all. Pure Basherly behaviour.And to Rooty who was so determined to get there with one day’s planning, excellent work.
And finally, to Skiddy, who really needs to learn how to use a fucking Iron.