Warwick 4th XI (H) 83-10 (36.3) def. by UEA 1st XI (A) 84-0 (11.1) by 10 wickets
Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom. This was not the Vengaboys 90s classic but the sounds that woke the mighty 4s boys on Sunday morning. The weather forecast was ominous, stormy weather was set to ruin any prospects of getting the already rearranged game in. Perhaps it was this overnight thunder that scared away so many squads players and threatened availability. Yet again actual 4s players were distinctly lacking from the lineup to take on the University of East Anglia 1s with call ups from friendlies for Sander and Kilpatrick and call-downs for Bird, Narayanan, Royle and more. Pre-match chat generally concerned the level of gun-ness of the opposition with Sash, Rav and Rajakanthan all having insider sources within the UEA setup. But, much like a game of Chinese Whispers, rumours flew around that they were gun, not gun and a mixture of gun and not gun. Not nearly as enlightening as the lightning strikes.
But pre-match hype and post-champion’s League hangovers were banished for what had the potential to be an exciting game. With the weather in mind, BUCs rules for rain affected games were discussed (any of Duckworth Lewis) at the Bluebell carpark meet. Amogh’s extreme lateness was forgiven by ever-present skipper Rhys as the SU failure to organise any transport meant we would be getting Ubers to the game. Does Jack Martin not bother with British Summer Time? Unfortunately it transpired that this did not mean we could all get Uber Execs, and even if we were able to, all Ubers were much like trophies in Liverpool’s recent history – elusive. Eventually taxis came in staggered intervals and clubmen made their way to the ground. Rav also brought along enough bags to fill a bus by himself, to ensure he could fit in his single folder of economics revision in. Said folder saw daylight once, and his revision was about as productive as a preindustrial wage labourer.
The final taxi to arrive took the last of the boys, Rhys rode shotgun with his new friend Ahmed and quickly found himself in a deep conversation surrounding the future of cricket’s direction as a sport. Ahmed’s persuasive arguments for making the sport more international would undoubtedly have secured him full marks in any university presentation in spite of an inconsistent use of the English language. His points were so effective that Rhys has in fact invested his remaining maintenance grant with Ahmed’s businessman cousin into African school cricket outreach. Coming soon: Rhys Probert’s Cricket Academy, Somalia. Sachin Tendulkar eat your heart out. In between the investment pitch, the driver did also request direction clarifications, as if we could provide them. If circle continued throughout exams a muppet nomination for him would surely be inbound.
Arrivals at the ground were greeted by typical cricket facilities for a rugby club; the outfield’s long grass resembled a nature garden, left to grow long and provide wildlife a habitat (*note* not to be confused with a naturist garden). They were also astonished to witness Murphy’s new hairstyle, a fantastic and eye-catching bleached blonde bonanza. He did however justify the monstrosity with a bleak future, no job, interviews or events of importance to be embarrassed at in the next few months. A football warmup soon kicked off with the teams being Akuma versus Non-Akuma training kit. The opposition had even worse warm up gear catastrophes with Lionel Messi trying his hand at fielding drills in his 2012-13 away strip. His quick feet did worry the boys but they were reassured by his lack of handling skills. Much more of a Karius than a ter Stegen. The umpires then arrived and the boys were happily surprised by the appearance of a female umpire for the day. The success of UWWCC this year has demonstrated that female cricketers and umpires can be entirely capable of playing and officiating games. This was reinforced by the comprehensive chat she had with on-field captain Birdy and their captain in regard to rain affected games. These rules heavily favoured the team bowling first and disappointingly after the toss and were…. Batting. #BirdyOutMezzaIn
The UWMCC innings started off slowly and declined from there. Birdy and Charlie opened up but the latter was out early for a duck. Nish followed for 3, then Rory for 2 missing a full toss. Amogh stabled the ship with Birdy for a while, finally scoring some BUCs runs for his avid fantasy league fans but still only made 12 from 26 (potentially still negative points??). At 20 overs, before Birdy unfortunately fell for a solid knock of 28 under the circumstances, the umpires called over all the boys for a chat. On the sidelines, there was speculation that sledging may have gone too far, that birdy may have snapped and ripped one of the oppo to shreds. It emerged that in fact the umpire was proposing a two innings game of 20 and 30 overs each (or something stupidly complicated) to try and ensure a legitimate game was played in case of rain. Bird was having none of it given that we were on 41 runs and would have obviously played differently if we’d known it would be in effect a T20. Although there were no controversial triggerings, the umpire’s creative solutions to weather problems would get a -1/10 at best. Simultaneously, when asked for a contribution to the sacred club twitter (@UoWMCC), Suchin credited Birdy’s success to him ‘watching it like a hawk’. After Birdy’s wicket fell, Nikhil played some nice shots for 15 but there were few subsequent contributions. Seb Sander got a duck and Suchin’s punny chat was compounded by yet more runout drama as failure to ground his bat cost him his wicket very cheaply. Rav’s 5* at the end of the innings was a sad sight, left to walk alone much like his Liverpool hero Karius. Louie and Raj also turned up mid-way through the innings, expecting big things and being thoroughly disappointed. Incidentally, they did spot an opposition player wearing his cap backwards for the entire innings, almost certainly an absolute LAD. Drinks were even more village than our batting with no cups meaning that we could only provide a handful of water bottles for a day so humid that even an Amazonian tribesman would’ve been gasping for a drink.
At the midway break, Birdy and Millman used the opportunity to inspire and motivate the team to go out, play well and that with effective execution of bowling plans we were in with a shot on the dodgy deck, even in spite of the low total. Rav optimistically chimed in claiming that he could chat out his mate on their team by ripping into him about his dead dog. Absolutely savage, but at that point we would take anything we could get. In the past, Sun Tzu’s writings have inspired UWMCC clubmen but it in that changing room it was instead Niccolò Machiavelli’s words echoing in the boys’ ears ‘Since love and fear can hardly exist together, if is far safer to be feared than be loved.’
The captain’s energy translated to an aggressive start with Sander testing the batsman’s reactions early on, not as a bowler but by thumping him with a ball thrown from mid-off. Murphy also tested an opener with a bouncer finding its way to the ribs. Rav’s no-nonense attitude had clearly spread. Although as Machiavelli also said ‘If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.’ This advice was not taken on board and the batsmen quickly recovered and knocked off the total in 11.1 overs. In spite of Birdy’s best efforts their opener was like a carpenter making stairs, always one step ahead. He kept finding gaps in the field and played very well for his 59*. All the bowlers had 6+ economy rates except Murphy who managed to bowl a maiden and go at 4.2 runs an over. Must’ve been a combination of the wild look in his eyes and his golden locks that made him too intimidating to attack.
With the cricket and another dressing down from Birdy and Millman over, the boys headed to the clubhouse for tea. The mood was sombre and exams were the focus of chat. The onion bhajis had to be the most gun part of the game and hopefully remain part of UWMCC teas. Birdy didn’t eat tea, instead clearing the outfield. His UMWCC commitment perhaps hiding a newfound dedication to Islam and the holy month of Ramadan? There was also F1 on the TV with everyone captivated when a sneaky driver tried to overtake on the inside and rise a few positions but clipping the car in front and crashing horrifically. Somewhat similar to Amogh’s attempts to rise the fantasy league rankings only to experience bitter disappointment. Dan Lewis’ arrival during tea also coincided with thunder emanating from the skies. Alas Zeus had arrived too late to end the game before the chase – if only prayers had been answered earlier.
Fines were brutal with almost everyone maxing out deservedly, although JBird was kind enough to share his Man of the Match Church Farm Brews around. The pale ales got a good reception with clubmen ranking them as 2nd best with only the ‘orange ones’ superior. Lack of chat was noticeably punished with Nikhil, Robson and Rory all having work to do before the next fixture. The return to campus was also dramatic with the lack of Ubers again causing significant problems. After a thirty minute wait, eventually drivers accepted the rides. In the meantime, Racist Rav took the opportunity to stereotype that Uber drivers were all called Abdul. Maybe he should get stuck into his stats revision and hypothesis test his claims before making such brash statements. The only upside of the Uber drama was that there was potentially an opportunity to defraud the SU of some cash. Watch out for any clubmen who are suddenly wearing new Rolexes…
All in all, it was not a good day for Warwick cricket. A full day of revision had been lost and very little gained although, as Nish so eloquently put it, ‘sack your degree, it’s all about UWMCC.’ Onwards and upwards for the 4s.