4s v Friendlies 8/5/17
There are many great annual sporting competitions and matches: Champion’s League Final, Le Tour de France, Big Bash, Crown Green Bowls World Championship (not sure if that’s annual); but these all pale into insignificance compared to the biggest game in the UWMCC calendar, 4s v Friendlies. This year was no different. Ballo had called together a strong 4s team, determined not to be beaten by friendlies captain, The Merriman Express. Everyone arrived down at Cryfield to discover carnage. Incompetent General Secretary, Dan ‘useless’ Lewis, had failed to book the pitch for us. This then left us with the only option of playing on the artificial pitch, much to the disgust of everyone. However, thanks to the chirpsing skills of Freddie Reynard, the groundsman allowed us to play on a used pitch which was not going to be played on for the rest of the season.
After a mutual decision between the two captains that the 4s should bat first, the friendlies took to the field and Hassaan and Tasty opened up for the 4s. Clearly overwhelmed by the fact they hadn’t ever played in such an important fixture before, Tasty and Hassaan had a mix up off the first ball, attempting to run a quick single to Akash Milward-Bose, not something any sane man would do. Thankfully for Tasty the ball missed the stumps. Jewson was not so lucky as Tasty dipped his shoulder as he ran past the crease and sent the experienced wicketkeeper flying. Tasty didn’t survive for long though (shock), as he was bamboozled by a Jayaram off cutter which clattered into the off stump. Taha then came to the crease and had just started to look good when he the ball rapped him on the pad and umpire Roachy triggered him ruthlessly. Hassaan was later dismissed after a solid 22. This bought Seb Gemes to the crease to join Topper, who was going along nicely. Before coming to the crease, Gemes had been talking up his calling when running between the wickets, saying that loudness was the key. Somewhat predictably, Topper was run out by Gemes after a pretty big mix up, allowing Fred Kelly time to throw the ball to the bowler at a leisurely pace.
In Hinduism, they have a concept called Karma. In short, if you run someone out, someone else will run you out not too long afterwards. Rhys and Gemes were going well at the crease, until Rhys sold Gemes down the river, having hit the ball straight to Akash (not learnig from Tasty and Hassaan). Gemes was the victim, much to the delight of Topper and the other spectators. Quickly, any chairs that had been left unused were moved out of the path of a now raging Gemes. Unfortunately, the large water bottles used for drinks were not moved out of the way and suffered a pummelling at the foot of the ex-Bristol 1st XI Footballer. A few lusty blows from the lower middle order brought the total up to 202-9 from 40 overs, Chattle top scoring with 31. Kynaston bowled nicely, obviously unperturbed by the incident from the previous week, finishing with 3-24 from his 4 overs.
Dan Willey and Reuben Sanger were the chosen opening bowlers for the 4s, with Reynard and Mallows opening the batting for the friendlies. Things did not start well for the friendlies as Mallows was given a huge TFC, caught behind off only his second ball for a duck. This brought Aneesh to the crease, who looked comfortable at times along with partner Reynard. They were saw off the opening bowlers with a few plays and misses, but more poor running stopped them progressing further. Aneesh blocked a ball from Rhys into the gap, only for it to be stopped by a diving Ballo at short cover who quickly got up and ran out a trailing Reynard. Edouard ‘The Hitman’ Fox, came to the crease, only to be tempted into swinging at a wide one, caught at point off the bowling of Rhys. Aneesh continued to bat well, dispatching some filth from captain Ballo, but wasn’t helped by a lack of resistance at the other end. Eventually Jayaram came to the crease, who actually did offer some resistance. Aneesh continued scoring runs until Reynard mused between deliveries that Aneesh must be close to his fifty. This was the kiss of death and the very next ball he was out for 42, Chattle taking an excellent catch standing up to the stumps. Jayaram continued to swing until he smashed one flat to the boundary, only for Gemes to redeem himself a little with a ‘screamer’ of a catch (Gemes’ words, not mine). Fred Kelly and Merriman batted out the overs, to finish on a respectable 160.
Much to the relief of Ballo, the 4s retain their respectability with this victory. We all await the next instalment next year…