(and MIMCC lose to Conwy 2nds)
Editor’s note: See if you can spot links in this article to a famous band from the skipper’s teenage years.. Some of our younger readers (under 50) will need assistance from their grandparents to work it out.
Those historians amongst you will know that the 18th June is the anniversary date of the battle of Waterloo, an encounter the Duke of Wellington called a “close damn run thing”.
The two generals of today’s battle met on the field and we won the toss. Choosing to bat on a green wicket, team mates thought skip had had a snifter of Napoleon brandy – maybe later he wished he had. Both skippers hoped it would be a fairly close game and in some ways it was.
Our battle formation had Apples and Siv in the vanguard, cavalry formation and Siv as usual was more than ready to charge. Facing a quick left armer and Mr Wobble, Apples was off the mark straight away and after 3 overs was on 10. Like last week Siv was more patient, but the bowling was tricky. After 5 overs and getting a boundary, Siv tried a square pull and narrowly avoided an lbw. Next ball he decided to try the same shot and it was given. Take a chance on me unfortunately was going to jail. 20 for 1 and Siv out for 8.
Next ball, new over, and apples hits a hollow cover drive straight to the fielder. S.O.S and 20-2, Apples out for 10. Abs and Wicked Will (surely ‘Wickets Willie’ ed) now the newbies in the centre. Will got his eye in fairly quick and after an over or so, with the score on 25 with Abs not off the mark, Fernando Abs gets bowled round his feet. Late swing bowling – that’s the name of the game and so far our troops were getting hammered.
Tom joins Will and they start to take on the bowlers. Will in particular was seeing the ball well and played a really balanced innings, despite being under attack, with a stream of boundaries. Tom was also warming to the task, punishing the bad balls. Their opening bowlers went all the way through to 18 and by drinks we were on 90-3. Runs flowed easier after the break and a couple of overs later our super trouper Will reached 50, unbelievably his first for MIMCC and warmly applauded. Two overs later in the 25th though, Will hits a loose one and gets caught for 55. 117-4 and a great partnership. Matt joins Tom and we expected to see some take a chance running. Tom reaches his consecutive 50 on the 30th over, a great knock, but then Tom turns for a quick second and pulls a hamstring. Ring ring for a runner – skip eventually joins once we’ve had a rule check from m’learned Judge Judy.
Matt meanwhile hasn’t been too shabby and carrying on his form from last week. A few byes and runs are run, before Tom is trapped lbw from So Long Abs – who when all is said and done seemed very light fingered today.
Skip in – handily at the crease anyway, and a few balls later trudges back to the pavilion without troubling the scorers wishing the cricket gods would lay all their love on him. Late swinging yorker took out leg stump. From here on it was a deja vu bit of knowing me knowing you – Jit soon back on his way after being given lbw (I do I do I do know who was responsible for this) and our very own dancing queen, armoured up and waving a wooden sword at the enemy, stood his ground for an over or two, creditably got off the mark with 2 runs after 10 deliveries, and promptly surrendered by getting bowled. Matt gets caught on 29, a great mini-charge to show the middle order are in good form, but then Prasad – who plays a few good shots joined by Sean who after a few dots stands and watches a ball bend around his permanently grounded bat to bowl him for 0. Prasad not out for 1. We did not go on & on & on to see out our 40 overs, which was a shame, but we finished 182 which seemed a respectable total. Conwy had dropped several clear catching chances to throw us more than a few lifelines, but on balance this seemed a total we should have done better with. Four ducks and only three of us got over 10.
Tea – clearly Tom was no longer a bowling option. Conwy’s player Windmill – had been their best bowler and was opening for them with Carwyn their skipper. Money money money couldn’t buy us a quick, but in Matt we had a great substitute. At the other end we had Jonty. But the name of the game is to adapt to your game situation. Both bowlers started out tightly, but as the overs went on the odd (and there were not many) loose ball was punished. 12 after 6 became 34 after 10. Prasad and Jit came on at 11. Prasad we needed to shine once more, like it did before Chiquitita, but these two were digging in and anything loose was put away. Jit was just a little bit looser but this was about trying some variation to get some way ahead. Our fielding was ok, but gaps and mistakes all round were not putting enough pressure on these openers.
Some chances went begging – Jonty had a chance to become a legend – one of us – but failed to lunge forward enough at square for a Jit delivery. Voulez vous?
Prasad and Jit did four each and then skip and Abs had one each. Abs was loose – thanks for the music – but it was daft punk.
Drinks and they were 100 without loss.
Skip continued after the break, with Prasad coming back as we needed to find a wicket. The next 4 overs added 20 runs. Matt replaced skip and had spotted that their no1 Windmill was halfway down the track backing up. One over he got an official warning, and his next he MANCAded him. Mama Mia! To be fair he walked, but with 60 runs he had done plenty of damage. The way old friends do Carwyn clapped him off, and his replacement seemed a much more Siv-like player. Swinging like Agnetha’s hips in a Eurovision final, he feathered an edge to our wonder-keeper Apples (blimey you really did put the red stuff away last night skipper – ed), who would concede I’m sure to a few too many byes, but also made some great stops as well. Head over heels he should be.
We had a point, but we weren’t feeling it in the field. Prasad got their skipper – but was called back as the scorers clocked Prasad was in his tenth. Wind back and eventually, when Jonty came back on, their skipper had a heave to the wrong length and Jonty bowled him. Dancing queen he was then! But they were 156 for 3 in the 34th and despite it being tighter at 30, we were running out of road.
Thank you for the music, but it was soon about to stop. Skip came back for one, Jit too, but we couldn’t break the Conwy wall, no matter how fragile it looked at times. They made it with 2.5 overs to spare. We were still too loose at the death, in bowling, fielding and probably tactics. The balance in this game was probably Tom going lame and their Windmill having the wind in his sails.
But we put 11 out and it was a good overall team performance, we just could have done with an extra few percent to make it closer. They certainly hadn’t had such a close run thing, but the winner takes it all (or 14 points at least) and we can be confident we belong in this league for the way we tried to adapt to match circumstances. As the visitors here the lack of second-strike bowler was a chastening experience.