Sunday's Minority Report v LyneApparently they make up 10% of the worlds population, include Hitler, Moussilini and Timmy Mallet and have had a hand in many of the worlds most momentous events, this Sunday at W&H the left hand minority had another fine day. Unfortunately for the home team the triumphant left hander was not the now infamous Asbo but the Lyne opening left hander, with an early 5 wicket haul that ripped the heart out of the side like a blitzkreig.
Things were odd from the start of the afternoon as the normally jovial groundsman appeared to have got out of bed the wrong side. Indeed his mood suggested that he may have fallen out of bed and onto his head rather than just exited left not right from his bed that morning. Any half decent clairvoyant would have felt that more of this strangeness was to come
Asbo lost the toss and was put in to bat. The sun shone brightly on the now well established great great grandfather / great great grandson opening combo who started in their usual contrasting styles of graceful elder statesman and punchy young buck. Matt Dave Allen has still not oiled his pads and proceeded to hit some good lofty blows and take a few squeaky singles. Peter, the recent recipient of a telegram from the Queen, took a more measured approach – with his opening score being made off a slightly miscued led glance. Obviously feeling the pace of having to run for more of his great great grandsons shots than usual, due to a soggy outfield, Peter then took a rest by tactically sliding his box down to his knee. Rumours abound that he does 'hang low' but this was too low even for the oldster and it took a few minutes of high pitched squeaking to get everything back where it should be
Opening spells from leftie and a more conventional right hander were both tight, with the pitch a little sticky and slow and producing movement off the seam but not a great deal of swing. Matt (12) was first to fall as he looked to hoike once too often and the left handed demon took his first as the ball glanced off Dave Allen's pads and the bails went flying. This brought the skipper in with the score on 15. It also brought about the opening blows of the southpaw duel. Local authorities tell me that not since 1932 has a left handed number 3 batsman faced a left handed opening bowler and, although no one was actually sick, some of the right handers in the ever growing crowd did look a little green. Sal started well with the first boundary of the day up from his opening shot and looked comfortable from the start.
Peter (5), not looking as comfortable - possibly because of the earlier moving box incident - was next to fall, again to the opener, who was growing in confidence, bowling a good line and taking advantage of some variable bounce. This brought Albert Hall to the crease who was to leave very shortly afterwards, cursing the groundsman as he fell to a low bouncing left arm special. The groundsman, possibly sensing the trouble ahead, had just left the ground. This seemed like a wise move as Albert (0) stormed in looking for a lively conversation on fertiliser types, grass strains and why the damn pitch had just had him out for a duck. Leftie now increased his pace and next did for Dave (2) who had the chance to release his trademark cut only once before being bowled. At the other end Sal scored steadily but surely and seemed to develop a kinship with his left handed brother
Dave's departure brought a rare appearance from Greville Coe, who immediately looked uncomfortable but grew into an innings of 4 – not bad for the day anyway. He again fell to, you guessed it, our old friend leftie. Things were looking pretty dire for W&H at this point, with Asbo needing a partner to hang around so that he could develop his captains innings. That man appeared next in the form of Paul Forty-s-cue. Paul has long been famed for batting like an elephant – long, slow stride down the pitch, bat hanging down like a trunk before the ball leaves the bowlers hand. There are some who say they have seen him adopt the 'Nellie' position halfway through the bowlers run up. Although he is unlikely to ever win a prize for grace Forty (13) did his job well and the partnership took the side from a truly rubbish 40 odd for 5 to a more respectable 90 odd. Unfortunately this was where the good elements of the innings ended. Mandar (6) replaced Paul and got caught after a few good shots, vice captain Coachtrain (0) was out for a duck to a truly amazing caught and bowled. Nobody had told Coachtrain that the bowler was an ex Queens Park Rangers goalie or he would have put it ever so slightly wider I am sure. Jerry (0) was next in and Asbo now looked to get after them as he ran out of partners and was next caught – another good one. Asbo finished on 53, one of only three batsmen to get into double figures in an innings of 3 ducks – which I think makes a flock or herd or something. Smithy (0 n/o) then entered the fray and was left stranded, again, as Jerry holed out. All in all then some pretty abject batting bar Sal and Forty saw W&H end on 113 all out, in the battle of the left handers the bowler had definitely won.
Tea was a little underprepared – that will teach the W&H batsmen - and after a few quiet snacks the boys cameout determined to defend what little they had managed to accumulate. Mandar ( 1 for 10 off 7) opened and got some good movement, although some of it admittedly down the legside. At the other end Asbo opened with Smithy (0 for 29 off 9), our own chunky little Shane Warne – but with a bit more mouth. Smithy started well as ever and beat the batsman halfway down the track. Peter then pounced to know the bails off but in the excitement forgot the ball. A lesser man, possibly from Twickenham or somewhere, would have kept quiet as the batsman walked but, being of the right stuff, old man Allen called the guy back and confessed his howler. From here the standard of sportsmanship remained high and the standard of cricket low for the rest of the day. 'Gluehands' Khedekar dropped two fairly straightforward chances, Asbo put an easy one through his fingers, the usually cat like vice Coachtrain let a shocker go through his legs and in general fielding was poor to crap. Notable exceptions here were Greville, Albert and Dave who ran, bounced and threw ably. They also distinguished themselves by either not dropping things or falling on the ball effectively. Smithy regularly passed the bat in a good opening spell Mandar bowled a mixture including a great ball to bowl out the opener until being replaced by Coachtrain (2 for 16 off 4). At this stage Lyne were 40 odd for 1 and looking comfortable against the village fielding. Coachtrain bowled a tight spell and took a couple of wickets but got bashed a bit as well. As it turned out the few wickets never enough to put the batsmen under any real pressure. Asbo continued to tinker, replacing bowlers searching for the breakthrough and tinkering with the field endlessly – short leg in, short leg out, in out, in out, shake your short leg all about etc. Possibly tired from his elephant sized innings the normally reliable Forty (0 for 16 off 2) was occasionally off target and it fell to Matt Allen (1 for 5 off 5) late on to take a 4 wicket. Albert (0 for 10 off 3) had a useful spell and the fielding picked up a little – although in a notable piece of late action Smithy did dive in vain to try to stop the ball and ended up putting more pace on it off his outstretched knee.
In the end then W&H had, with a few exceptions, batted poorly to leave themselves a very small target to defend. Knowing this they needed to field and bowl exceptionally well and generally did neither, missing many of the chances on offer and meaning that the boys slumped to their first defeat of the season
This week the last word to our own 'wrong hander' Asbo “ a lot of people say nasty things about us left handers, including claims that Hitler, Napoleon and Timmy Mallet were left handed. As it turns out its all rubbish as we are often only misunderstood. Today just goes to show that when you give a minority the freedom to express themselves they can do wonderful things – and not just in the world domination arena”
Better luck next week gents
Views about left handers are made up and not real, shares may go down as well as up, nothing is certain in life bar death, taxes and the odd low bounce