After a thumping of Aston 2s two weeks prior, Yeti’s 4s were in need of some game-time, with many players yet to start their season. After a friendly against BCU was cancelled due to general whoppery from them, Yeti turned to the Friendlies XI to offer some serious opposition. This fixture has previously seen players make their names and signalled the start of their BUCS careers: notably Sam Platt, who went on to take wickets in BUCS that season and Ollie Carter, whose nice knock of 40 and international runs have put him in a strong position to score runs in BUCS this year.
With Yeti unavailable due to the strains of 3rd year Law, it was up to stand-in skipper Inth to lead a fresh-dominated team, with the Friendlies being captained by Boeen. The Friendlies were fresh off the back of a defeat to WMG the previous evening, in a game which showed the promising talents of previously unseen wicketkeeper-batsman Angus (carrying his bat for 71*), and a solid bowling performance.
The Friendlies elected to bowl first, with Jono Cook and Adil Patil opening up for the 4s. With Platty’s first over last year in their mind, the Friendlies opened up with Akash and Radley. Immediately both began to find a solid line, with the ball finding its way past the outside edge on multiple occasions. Eventually the breakthrough came from Radley [6-2-12-2], with a ball that nipped in to bowl Adil Patil . With Akash [5-1-15-0] bowling economically at the other end, the pressure told as Jono chipped one to mid-wicket, which was subsequently shelled by Larkins. Mercifully, Inth  shnicked off next ball to reprieve Larkins from Boeen’s ire.
The middle overs saw birthday-boy Rhys Probert take a four-wicket haul. Despite some erratic bowling in parts, he would consistently tempt batsmen into playing false shots: seeing Jaimin  hole out to mid-off (shock), Jono  chipping one to point and Taha holing out to Larkins for an aggressive 35 (having previously edged twice past Boeen at first slip). Probert also took the wicket of Jonny Hall  with a peach of a delivery that nipped in to hit the top of off. Boeen was bowling at the other end with some round-the-wicket offies, and despite the bad balls being punished by a clean-hitting Tutt, Bozza [8-0-48-2] took the wicket of Carter , bowled by one that kept low, and saw Jayaram  heave at a straight one. The job of cleaning up the tail was left to the up-and-down of Rajakanthan [4-1-25-1] and Merriman [2-0-5-0], Sean in particular unlucky to go wicketless with some solid line-and-length bowling. Kynaston [2-1-5-1] then saw Murphy  hole out to the casual fielding of Reynard, leaving Tutt [56*] stranded at the other end having played magnificently in guiding the 4s to a total of 151ao.
After some confusion amongst the Friendlies about the lack of teas (sorry gents), a quick turnaround saw the duo of Reynard and Mylne open up. Reynard [2 (14)] looked solid for the first few overs before shnicking off to first slip and Angus [10 (17)] played two sumptuous shots down the ground before falling to a gun catch at slip by Jaimin. This left Larkins and Tasty to see of the remainder of Murphy [8-2-19-1] and Jayaram’s [7-2-24-2] overs, unfortunately seeing Tasty [1 (11)] out to a dubious LBW off Jayaram’s bowling. In the middle overs, Bowen [2 (9)] and Kynaston [2 (11)] fell cheaply to the probing back-of-a-length bowling of Carter [6-2-9-4], as the victorious “3s” wandered over with crates of Bud in hand. Larkins [32 (52)] was run out amidst some confusion with Kyanston, Bexson noting that there would have been “no question” that he would have simply sold Kynaston down the river. Carter would go on to collect a four-fer as the remainder of the middle overs were picked up by the economical bowling of Adit [8-1-18-0], who was unlucky to go wicketless. The run out of Larkins would see the Friendlies’ prospect of victory rapidly decline.
An 8th wicket partnership between Probert [25 (57)] and Merriman [13 (29)] provided much entertainment to the audience, Rhys in particular looking very solid against both seam and spin and hitting some very clean aggressive shots. However both eventually departed and the Friendlies would see themselves 103ao.
Highlights from the day included Kynaston fielding 40 overs with his cap on backwards; Jayaram being booed everytime Probert played a well-timed cut shot only for the crowd to remember that he was at deep 3rd; Bexson bringing on a crate of Bud at drinks because no one could be arsed to fetch water; Teds being persuaded to give a free-hit only for Merriman to miss it; Boeen making a pig’s-ear of counting to 8; and the developing friendship between Angus and Turner over their mutual love of hideous chinos (Angus sporting a truly awful shade of green).
The U1 home saw Angus reveal that he had once played Joplin’s Entertainer on the organ at St Paul’s Cathedral during a day trip (much to Boeen’s envy), and Larkins persuading him to join the ranks of UWMCC’s finest golfers/hackers/towel-wearers. The Friendlies will build on this performance looking ahead to the big game against Cov 3s next week! With all other teams playing away, it would be great to see some club support!