WHCC 159 AO
by Mike Walsh
As O2 announce record profits due to a throw back to the good old days of the 4XI and poor availability, everybody of past, present and future were rung for a game against our mid table rivals. Blokes were rang who I never knew existed until I was told of their availability and were addressed with, "hello, you don't know me but would you like a game of cricket on Saturday!"
With our weakest team of the season, six of them being under 18 (three being under 14), it was always going to be difficult bearing in mind our previous record with reasonable teams. The toss was won and we elected to field at Victory Park, hoping for an early break through and a slice of luck. The victory carried 100 guns on 3 decks and a crew of between 800-900.
With no strike bowler at the skippers beckon call the duty of opening the bowling was split between youth, Shazad Hussain and musical youth, Mr Peter Smith. As with the previous week the opening bowlers were the pick of the bowlers but failed to gain any wickets they deserved.
Faisal Saleem and Trevor Woods kept the bowling tight with Faisal making the first breakthrough with a good old-fashioned long hop! Faisal also saw off their skipper and finished with good figures of 2-18 off 6 overs. Trevor was whipped (wey-heh!) off after 5 overs to save him for the end of innings onslaught. With overs to be made up from the youngsters, John Travolta (Gribbler) offered his services. It brought a tear to my eye watching him charge in again and sly grin listening to him returning a compliment to the umpire after being signalled a wide and stated as being even wider than the previous delivery! Gribbler had more rust than the Titanic to offload (as well as alcohol and nicotine no doubt - Munge) but it is great to get him back in action. Rust - a reddish\yelllowish-brown flaking coating of iron oxide formed by oxidation by the presence of moisture.
Shazad and Trevor picked up a wicket a piece and a last ball run out left us with at least a point and 220 to chase. The majority of the bowling was steady but the failure top get regular wickets gave them the opportunity for a big dip at the end of the innings and probably 50\60 runs more than we were comfortable with.
With traitor Andrew Walker off with his friends in the threes, Trevor had the pleasure of opening up with the skipper. The opening bowlers hardly gave anything away, however their quicker bowler decided to bowl more at Mr Walsh head rather than his stumps. Obviously not seen me bat before would have been better off bowling straight! With the job of seeing the opening bowlers off done, concentration slipped and both the openers played disappointing shots. However, to be fair to the skipper that delivery would have sent Tendulkar back for an early shower as well!
We were soon 59-3 and 89-6 with batsmen getting themselves in and then out by poor shots or no shots! The oculist was on stand by! Just as last week the tail wagged which incredibly saw us through to 2 bonus batting points. The game was lost but there were fine shots from Faisal and smasher Smith despatching the ball all over the park and peoples gardens. If you don't believe me a copy of the scorecard will be available at the clubhouse for 50p each. The souvenir copies autographed by Mr Smith are retailing at £100 each. Don't delay as this offer is for a limited period while stocks last. This is your excellent chance to get one of those rare moments of history to treasure for the rest of your life!
Even though we recorded another loss I was less despondent than in previous weeks as it was a fine effort from a weakened team. It was always my intention to win this match but to go down fighting is very commendable and allot of pluses were gained. Shazad showed he can bowl at this level and Trevor batted and bowled very well,. Peter Grafton achieved some much needed time in the middle. The return of Gribbler and slogger Smith who found his rhythm again and the art of smashing the opposition out of the attack.
Lemon Tango Moment of the Match - Mike putting someone in hospital with his bowling! Unfortunately it was a lady in the adjoining bowls club who was hit on the back by a large six. Faisal attempted to retrieve the ball and shouted out, "Mike, they won't give us our ball back!"
Castle Moment of the Match - Robin "Peter" Smith striking the opposition bowler for a large six into a tree which is in the adjacent car park.