Old Emanuel 168 AO
by Paul Fortescue
The 3’s set out for Old Emanuel knowing that nothing would change their league position of third, After discussion with th eopposition captain, it transpired that OE weren’t that bothered by the result either and so both sides set out for an enjoyable game. Clearly OE’s idea of enjoyment was to turn up late, get the guests to do the groundwork and then have a senior club member turn up and give them a hard time about turning up late…….so be it.
Well, we moved the covers off, to discover a pitch quite possibly more damp than the surrounding square that had been dried in the sun. The covers weren’t together properly. Then JD finished off the boundary markers. W&H won the toss, elected to bat and the captain was informed by the side that the batting order would be in descending age order. Whilst Peter Allan and Trevor Woods is a perfectly credible opening pair, the middle order of Couch and Fortescue would not cause many bowlers to lose sleep. JD decided that he didn’t want to bat, so Woods Jnr was promoted from Youngest to number 3. Worgy immediately started to warm up for his anticipated bowling spell.
What an absolute shambles. Half their blokes rocked up at about 1.15 for a 1.00 start – they kept waiting and plonking about wasting time. Their 51.4 overs took 4 hours. The full times were in on the football during the tea interval. Highlights of our innings – Worgy and Munge in a fifty partnership for the ninth wicket and Couches howls of derision at scoring only 6 and being done by one that kept just a fraction low!
After tea Peter Allan reached a personal milestone. After years of unfulfilled promises from Smithy, Peter opened the bowling, and then took a wicket – smartly held by Gihan at short extra. Woodsy and JD continued with the old ball, taking the next two wickets between them, with good catches from Worgan and Couch. Staples and Gihan took a few overs, with Gihan showing promise for next year, and Rob and ability to turn the odd off break.
The new ball was taken. Worgy could finally stop warming up. We’ve all been that age, and hope that swinging our arms around to attract the skippers attention will mean an earlier bowl, and we all know it doesn’t work. Worgy took a wicket with a shocker and Rob showed clearly how spinners can struggle to grip a new ball. The score was 119-5 with 15 overs left, the game neatly poised with much of OE’s batting still to come in their rearranged order.
The sixth wicket fell in the 36th, Couch having warmed up for a couple of overs. The skipper was on at the other end as the game moved on. This was quite the dullest game of cricket ever until the last 10 overs when both sides were still in the frame. Anyway, Couch and Fortescue cleared up the last six wickets between them to result in a W&H win by 10 runs with a couple of overs left. Everyone headed off quickly to the karaoke, keen to hear Uzman ask if there was any Bangra music.