With Rory, Ivan and Owen falling victim to the new rotation selection policy, an inexperienced side headed to the Connexion Arena in high spirits. Debutants Thomas Townsend, Jack Ridge, Saurav Parmar and James Sood were added to the squad in an attempt to reverse the fortunes of the previous two weeks. Upon finding the car in the sports centre, the journey was delayed by several minutes, with skipper/driver Jonathan bamboozled by the unexpected location of the handbrake (under the steering wheel). Once we had finally departed, a team effort from Sanjay and Jack allowed backseat DJ Rav to connect his phone to the bluetooth system, providing some tunes to get us in the zone ahead of a crucial match. Alas, this was to be the only successful team effort of the night.
Despite some heavy traffic on the A45, we arrived unusually early, and searched for the opposition captain. The toss was lost (for the fourth time in four games) but we were invited to bowl first, with Jack and James leading the attack. Two wickets fell in the first two overs, one to an inswinging yorker from Jack that perhaps even Shane Watson wouldn’t have reviewed, the other a thick edge off James that was smartly taken by keeper Jonathan.
BWG were on 47-2 at the halfway stage, with the game in the balance. Unbeknownst to us, one of the batsmen had advance past 25, but was not called to retire by the scorer, uncoincidentally of his teammates. Said batsman had unfortunately not lost his voice from loudly repeating the umpire’s calls, and would later be seen aggressively explaining the rules to the umpire. With the exception of James’ second over, containing a wicket and only four runs, the final overs were expensive, some quick running and wides allowing BWG to post a total of 106-5. Umpire Eaton Gordon, upon realising the levels of deception from the scorer, decided on a three run penalty, which was overturned after all 7 BWG squad members (6 players and a specialist square leg umpire) surrounded Eaton, not allowing him to leave his seat to commence the second innings.
The opening partnership of CSK and Jonathan was back, and chasing 107 to win we knew that quick running and deft cuts and paddles were required. Three run outs in the first two overs was the exact opposite of the game plan, Rav not helping the case by backing up from the stumps rather than the different indoor popping crease, several yards further forward. James and Thor attempted a challenging rebuilding job from 11-3, but the incessant appeals from BWG fielders, regardless of whether the ball was driven to the wall or left alone when wide of the off stump, infuriated both batsmen and Eaton, who asked them politely to shut up, to no avail. The keeper dropped the majority of what he thought were catches, but appealed nonetheless leading the below capacity crowd to suggest Thor use his bat to gently encourage him to quieten down. James, already a MOTM certainty with his 3-26, top scored with 8, one glorious cover drive being rewarded only with a paltry single. Advancing down the track, he was caught and bowled, the ensuing collapse from 34-3 to 34 all out being confirmed when Thor and Jack were clean bowled.
A thumping defeat means we have just the one win from four games, needing to win our last two matches to stand a chance of qualifying for the latter stages. On the journey home, Rav misread the mood by playing ‘We Are The Champions’, part of an eclectic selection including Taylor Swift, Robbie Williams and Big Shaq. Once again, the reverse bay park in the sports centre was lauded as the most technically superior moment of the day. With keys returned, the idea of drowning our sorrows was suggested, and quickly turned into a team meal, which unsurprisingly lasted longer that our batting innings.

‘Awaiting a very undeserved meal at the Dirty Duck, current scenes reminiscent of the Bridge Cafe in The Apprentice’ – UWMCC Twitter (@UoWMCC #reshapingdefeat)