The finale to the season dawned. The last weekend of freshly cut grass tingling the nostrils; the compulsory rubbing of balls on thigh; the OCD tapping of bat on village green to smooth out a slight imperfection; and the inevitability of Summs once again losing the toss. I’m sure it is appropriate to point out at this stage that he has only won 2 tosses all season, so we’ve very much gotten used to being sent out to field; indeed faith was so high in his ability to call a 50/50 correctly that Mr Harvey was fully donned in whites, boots laced up and ball in hand as the two captains wandered towards the middle, joined by the usual WGCC number 4 who had traded in the whites for greys and a questionable Panama hat.
Mabbs and Harvey set about debating who should have the ‘gym’ end; Harvey felt the younger should bow out to the elder; the younger refused to give in. That settled, from the ‘gym’ end Mabbs began with Harvey taking the less favoured ‘bin’ end. Both bowled good lines with little reward, until Mabbs produced a moment of magic with what everyone agreed was an unplayable ball, rising sharply up and glancing off the gloves to the gleeful Colin keeping. Queue, a very aggressive appeal, during which the batsman walked off unnoticed by bowler. With appeal still going and getting more and more irate, and fearing Mabbs may actually explode, Umpire Spencer motioned for bowler to look towards the pavilion… “ah… he’s walked”. 2 balls later and he had his second, 20-2.
Tight lines and solid lengths kept the opposition scoring down. Regular wickets fell and WGCC were in a very strong position. Bar some stoic resistance from Steventon’s number 4 (and being dropped 4 times), who scored an impressive 96 and was the last wicket to fall, only 2 others reached double figures. Magic Mike danced and jived his way to 2 wickets – in the process earning a jug for his first Saturday victim. Tweeky continued his fine bowling form, 9 overs – 12 runs (4 straight through Skips legs for which he earned a nomination for Pigs) – 2 wickets. Glorious stuff Sir! Ian, turned to for the second week running, twisted and dipped his way to a wicket caught behind… was it out? There wasn’t much confidence in the appeal from anyone bar Colin, but it was given so they all count. Final bowling mention goes to Willbo, breaking a long 36 over dry patch; should that be a jug – it’s been so long we had all forgotten if he had taken a wicket for the club.
Amongst all this enjoyment there remains to mention Tweeky’s scientific research. The title of his thesis project: “How many times does it take for a fully grown man to place a balloon one side of a rope, watch it float past in the wind, catch it and repeat, before finally giving in and popping the balloon?” Having read this thesis in depth, the answer the research came up with was 5.
Steventon ended their innings 162 all out.
- Mabbs 8.2 – 37 – 4
- Harvey 7 – 26 – 0
- Willbo 9 – 40 – 1
- Magic Mike 5 – 22 – 2
- Tweeky 9 – 12 – 2
- IC 6 – 21 – 1
Right, now onto the better side of cricket…because batting is far more enjoyable.
Colin and the in-form TPL strode to the crease and began chipping away at the target. With a partnership developing the chat from the side was all about how good TPL is and that these two would see us home. Cue next ball…a thick leading edge from TPL straight back to bowler… 14 and out. The legend is human after all.
This brought Skip to the crease who together with Colin saw off the opening attack. With 49 on the board, Steventon threw the ball to their spinner. A loose first ball, full toss, was gloriously put away through the covers for 4 by Skip. However, that was his last action edging behind the next ball and falling for 8.
Next in, Jonny, who true to his natural game set about hitting his first 10 balls for 28 runs. Colin at the other end continued to find the boundary with regularity, the difference being he knows how to play proper cricket shots. This was to be the last WGCC partnership of the season, Nelson was scored from a mere 12.4 overs. Jonny ending with 69* off 40, in the process hitting 2 straight drives for 6, the second of which struck the bin at the newly named ‘bin end’. Colin finished on 55* from 67 (missing out on winning his strike rate competition with TPL by 1 dot ball – something we were all pleased about). 164-2.
All in all, an enjoyable finale to the season. Wrapped up before 5.30pm with a substantial number of jugs added to the Jugs Board. Back to the club for curry and an attempt to clear the Jugs Board; there were certainly a number of sore heads on Sunday morning.
Onto the awards.
Nominations to Summs for being nutmegged for 4 and destroying Tweekys figures; Mr Harvey for “fielding” with his feet; Mabbs for his unnecessarily long and aggressive appeal. However, the winner… Tweeky for balloon play.
Nominations to TPL for his glorious on drive; Mabbs for his first wicket (which led to his Pigs nomination). The winner was Jonny for his straight 6 onto the bin.
A number of contenders for this award. Tweeky for another fine bowling spell; Colin for his fine 55* and 3 catches; Mabbs (and maybe harshly not the winner) for his 4 wickets. This time it was Jonny who scooped the award for his quick-fire 69* (all bar 5 runs were courtesy of the boundary).
RIP Your Majesty