UWMCC ‘Short XI’ v Combermere CC

MATCH REPORT: UWMCC Short XI vs Combermere CC (?)

As part of our 2022 international tour to Barbados, someone decided it would be a great idea to have me captain a cricket match, and it went about as well as you’d expect it to.

With only two clubmen braving a night out the night before due to the intense boatyard beach ‘party’ with unlimited soft drinks(!!!), I was hopeful that all my players would be fresh as daisies and up for the game. I opted to not make them wear shirts and ties, mainly due to the kimming my shoulders had received from the sun the day before.

We were all ready and waiting to go outside the hotel reception when the minibuses arrived, apart from the fact that Mr. Larry Bilton hadn’t given me a tie to give to the opposition after the game, making me the only captain on tour to turn up empty handed.

Once we had set off, we’d been driving for about 10 minutes before the mini bus driver shouted back asking us what ground we were playing at. Surprisingly enough, none of us knew, so he had to phone the other driver while hoping that he was driving in the right direction.

We somehow made it to the right ground on the first attempt, and walked around the front of the clubhouse to see that the grass hadn’t been cut in a couple months, and after going out to inspect the wicket (not that I ever have a clue what I’m looking at), we saw that was hay all over it. Bat first I reckon.After having to spell out every single name in our team to the opposition’s scorer, I headed out to do the toss against someone who couldn’t have been any older than 15. I was told that the options to call were ‘heads’ or ‘fish’, which left me disappointed as I only ever pick tails . I stuck to my anti-head agenda(this time by choice), and chose fish. I won the toss and elected to bat. Happy that I wouldn’t be fined for the toss, and that I had a 100% toss win rate at UWMCC, I headed back to the pavilion to pad up ready to open the batting with my twin Mikey Rowlatt.

Performance players Eitan and Sreehari, as well as borderline 2s cricketer Tanmay, seemed surprisingly okay with their positions lower down the order, but having looked at the top 5, they knew they’d definitely be batting.

Mikey and I headed out to the middle, and as I was still scarred from my 2nd baller in the Shit XI game, I made Mikey face the first ball. He left the first few, with one of them being wide over his head, before we ran a leg bye and I found myself on strike. I won’t lie, I was shitting bricks. I knew that if I got another duck the abuse would have been relentless, which is why I raised my bat to the pavilion after notching up two runs with an edge down to third man. My innings didn’t last much longer though, with me chipping the ball straight to short mid wicket, as I departed the crease for a quick 3(7).Pole lover and the clubs worst umpire Div Sacheti came in at 3 to replace me, and with a right handed thigh pad on the outside of his trousers despite being left handed, I’m sure the oppo were shaking in their boots.

Div appeared to be seeing the ball well early on, with some nice shots including a Joe Root esque back foot punch that didn’t leave the square, but he shortly departed for a rapid 1(20) leaving his and Mikey’s partnership at 4 off 27 balls.Neil Bhattacharya was down to come in at 4, but he had been suspiciously missing throughout Div’s whole innings. He appeared just in time after taking an “MH shit”, and made his way out to the middle. In case he hasn’t told any of you, Neil once made a BUCS 50, so I was hopeful that he would actually be able to make some runs for us.After a few more overs of dooring it, Mikey was eventually bowled out for a 26 ball duck, which was one of the more impressive knocks I saw on tour, which probably says a lot about the rest of the knocks I saw.

Sachin Balaji then made his way to the crease, and I was hopeful that he could make as many runs as he had been hit for in the previous two games. As Sachin was walking out one of the other teams approached me and told me that they had a batsman that played Windies u19 in the changing rooms, and that he’d bat for us if we wanted him to. Me being the stubborn man that I am, declined the offer, and 6 balls later I saw Sachin get cleaned up for a duck.Eitan was the next to walk out to bat, and just before he went out, Div asked him if he was in performance. Div claims to have “ known that he was in the first team, just forgot that he was captain”, but no one really knows with Div anymore.

Not long after this, Neil danced down the track, missed the ball, and got stumped, sending Sreehari out to bat. Eitan and Sree proved that they hate fun by actually scoring runs and putting on a 62 partnership, before Sree was caught and departed for 22(29).

Tanmay went out to bat with Eitan and looked good for 11 before being bowled, further diminishing his hopes of a performance spot. Anuman then came out and hit a couple nice shots, before Eitan was caught going for a big shot and departed for 47(46). Aditya came and went for a two ball duck, before Cameron Taylor blocked out the last over because he’s boring and hates fun.We finished our innings on 126-9 off of our 30 overs, a score that didn’t seem too defendable looking at our bowling attack and the fact that the oppo had a Windies u19 player opening the batting.Lunch was the usual chicken, rice, and macaroni cheese, with the veggie option being fish, and Tanmay and Div having to explain yet again that vegetarians don’t eat fish. They ended up going lunchless, good thing the breakfasts were always nice and filling!

We headed out for our bowling innings, and I tossed the new ball to Cam Taylor, who told me that he hasn’t bowled in 2 years and that the last time he did bowl, he bowled offies. Cam set his field with a sweeper either side from the beginning, and the batsman looked around at the field and started laughing. Cam would have the last laugh though as on the first ball of the innings the Windies u19 player sent the ball flying into the air with a leading edge.Unfortunately for us, Div was under the catch, and after initially running away from the ball, he eventually made the ground, and shelled it. It was later revealed that Div is actually scared of catching the ball, something which he revealed to me and Neil on the final day of the tour.We hoped that this drop wouldn’t be too costly, but in the next over, Aditya got hit for a massive 6, losing the ball and causing Sree’s dad, who had flown all the way to Barbados to watch him play cricket, to leave the match and go back to his hotel.

This was much the story of Aditya’s spell, as he bowled 2 overs for 0-27, and then asked for another one. I decided that seeing as I was such a nice guy (and that I wanted to go back to the hotel), I’d give him one. His third over only went for 6, leaving him with figures of 0-33 off 3. Cam bowled a 4 over spell going for 21 runs, which was surprisingly okay considering he isn’t a bowler.I then realised that we needed a breakthrough, and despite having kept the previous two games and being taken out of the attack last time I bowled for Warwick, I gave myself a bowl. Everyone laughed at me, but 3 balls into the spell the 15 year old opener smashed a half tracker to Eitan at mid wicket and I claimed the first wicket of the game. It turns out that cricket was just too easy for me, so I took myself back off (after two more overs where I got smashed around).

Eitan came on to bowl at the other end, and in his first over got a run out by getting his finger tips to a ball that had been smashed back at him and the ball going on to hit the stumps. Eitan was trying to claim this as a wicket, with his justification being that he needed to get more wickets than Bennett, but none of us were having it.Eitan bowled two more overs finishing on 0-26 off of 3, before Anuman and Sree came on to bowl one over each as Sree got hit for a 6 ending the game as we lost by 8 wickets in 15 overs.

After the game, Neil and Sree tried to steal one of the oppo’s bats, before we all headed off without any presentation or team picture, and ended up back at the hotel at 4pm. I walked into my room to find Kam Sidhu still asleep and annoyed that I woke him up, but he soon cheered up after I reminded him that he’d need to eat before his inevitable trip to Hal’s and Cove.

All in all, we got battered, but I don’t think anyone expected any different before the game, so no one really cared.I think I’ll stick to football.

Tom x

(Averaged 78 with the bat this weekend, did also get out stepping on my own stumps, excited for Akaash‘s return to music)

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