Cold, dark, and miserable – an adequate description of both Mezza (at being the unenthusiastic designated exec team member) and the weather outside the sports centre at the pre-match meet. Sheltering in the reception area, there was plenty of chat about Kasbah antics the previous night as well as grumbles about over-sesh: Mezza, Rory and Turner all victims. The lineup was somewhat of a Friendlies Fest with only Turner evading Mezza’s vice-like grip. It was also revealed that, without Dan Lewis, Jonathan would be driving the banter-mobile this week, although there was some trepidation and raised eyebrows at the mention that he hadn’t driven in seven months. Prayers to the sesh gods were mumbled quietly and thoughts of undrunk purple raced through everyone’s minds whilst clambering into the car. The journey was an optimistic one, the won one – lost one record meant high hopes for the upcoming fixture, helped by Turner putting in a solid DJ performance up front. Despite a slow, tentative start, Jonathan managed to get us all to the sports centre without incident, parking up next to the departing Women’s’ team, although their good-luck wishes were somewhat overshadowed by Ivan’s blushing face… still awaiting the return of his tie.
The oppo looked like a fairly typical bunch, however, one of the players hadn’t turned up yet, obviously fearful of the might UWMCC side. This didn’t stop Merriman who, during the delay, was merrily chatting to the umpire, trying to negotiate a fixture for the friendlies side against Coventry 3s; impressed freshers already optimistic given the tenacity of their new skipper. Eventually the last man arrived and the game could start, but not before Owen had a light warm up against Ivan, getting clean bowled middle stump to cheers from last week’s opposition who were watching. Jonathan lost the toss and we were to bat: Turner and Ede would open, followed by Owen, Ivan, Rory and Sean.
We started strongly, 14 from the first over and 7 from the second, Turner managing a few audacious scoop shots, but a flurry of wickets jeopardised the prospects of making a decent score. Jon out to a highly dubious LBW (5), followed by Turner (12) and Ivan (1).
‘Our hopes now rest on Owen, Rory and Merriman, so no hope at all’
– UWMCC Twitter (@UoWMCC #reshapingvictory)
However, perhaps the criticism was premature. A strong batting performance from Owen guided the innings, top scoring with 22. Rory on the other hand somehow managed to get 18, despite too many dots, although it’s fair to say that Owen’s ‘enthusiastic’ calling was instrumental. It clearly pays to put pressure on the fielders. Sean scored a cheeky 3 off the last ball to bring the score to 94, somewhat respectable considering we were on 26 after 4 overs.
The bowling performance was equally average. Sadly, the opposition couldn’t figure out how to score properly so the actual figures are up for debate. Crucially, we didn’t finish well with almost 40 runs coming from overs 7,8 and 9. Thankfully, Jonathan (smartly) elected not to bowl Rory having seen his performance these last few weeks, allowing the game to make it to the first ball of the 10th over. Astute captaincy. However, the most significant and controversial incident of the innings was during Owen’s over. Using all of his cricketing insight Owen tossed one up, above the eye-line, plenty of flight and guile. The cheeky bat, with absolutely no respect, charged it. Naturally the best man won the battle and the batsman found himself half way down the track turning around to see the ball drop onto the base of his off stump. Jubilation. Celebration. A route back into the game. Umpire: no ball. Despite almost completing a single before reaching the ball, the batsman survives, and the umpire has yet again kimmed our chances and robbed Owen of a wicket. Outrageous.
The bus back was a quiet one. Only Turner cheerful, playing 80s hits and David Bowie, although ‘Let’s Dance’ wasn’t the most fitting song for the mood. The post-sesh fatigue was again kicking in and the bittersweet thoughts of circle the following evening lingered on peoples’ minds. Owen did manage to nearly crush Mezza’s legs with the back seat when repositioning it whilst moving, the darb-mentum almost resulting in darb-mageddon for those in the boot. Jonathan’s driving was also much improved, whipping around the large people carrier. Plus, he successfully completed a bay park at the end of the route, 10/10 for control of the vehicle and 10/10 for observing the surroundings. I’m pleased to say that he passed his Cov Indoor Driving Test with no minors.
Onwards and upwards for the next game, maybe a return of CSK will get us over the line and push us towards the eternal fame and glory of Edgebaston 2018.