UWMCC travelled to Coventry Indoor League with a 100 per cent record, looking to secure their appearance at Edgbaston next term. The team was Jewson (C and W), Kraus, Cooper, Hall, Bradshaw and Bennett (who got selected due to the fact that Rooty had already packed his bag for South Africa some thirteen days beforehand leaving). The journey there was littered with Michael Holding anecdotes from Kraus due to his Auntie connection, but the promise of the tourists meeting him have now evaporated. Best comment also goes to Kraus, with tourists discussing whether penguins live in warm conditions; ‘Have you not seen Surf’s Up?’
After a lengthy warm-up in which Hall, Bennett and Kraus created a style of bowling which involved no movement of the front foot – Cooper all at sea (a sign of things to come). Jewson won the toss and elected to bat, and things were looking good as the village-looking opposition only had six men. Judging a book by its cover appeared to be sound judgement, as Bradshaw and Hall rocketed to 41 off the first two overs, exploiting the gaps and running well between the wickets. From there, the tone was set, both Bradshaw (26) and Hall (26) retiring, followed by Bennett playing one of the more destructive innings of the Coventry Indoor League, simply planting slamming every ball back down the other end despite the obvious threes on offer. However, with four 4s and a 6, Bennett did reach 26 and yet another player back in the shed. What followed was Cooper’s absolute bemusement on how to play a bowler who makes Jewson look quick, skipping down the wicket and yorking himself mostly. In his desperation, he went for a quick single and was run out, the first wicket for UWMCC’s batting line-up in some 19 overs. Despite the lack of impetus at the end of the innings, it was still a commanding score from UWMCC; 160-1 off 10 overs, and the players were already thinking of where their post-match meal would be.
To prevent Bennett causing some kind of heart damage to the opposition, it was Kraus who opened the bowling. The first ball went swimmingly with the tone of the match, the Diamond Ducks’ opening batsman nudging into the off-side, calling a single, and being run-out, a direct hit from Bradshaw, who was looking fairly gun as a consequence. Kraus’s wicket in the last ball of the first over was reminiscent of an adult stealing a child’s favourite toy, an absolute schooling, skipping down the wicket and swiping away like a samurai warrior, unsurprisingly not coming very close, and Jewson whipping off the bails. With Cooper snicking off the third batsman in just the seventh ball of the innings, and Kraus taking another wicket in the next over, Hall was given the ball for his first bowl in the Coventry Indoor League. What followed was almost certainly the worst over in the League’s history as Hall, who had not bowled a wide in a lengthy warm-up, went on to bowl six wides in six balls. The wides were four off-spinners, and Hall, turning to his renowned Paul Collingwood bowling, still couldn’t find the off-side, but was certainly getting closer. Despite his protests, Hall was not given the ball again, citing ‘that’s what pressure does to you’ as his excuse. Somewhat ironically, the over went for 20 runs, less than three separate overs in UWMCC’s innings. With Jewson threatening a potential Muppet of the Week nomination for Hall, the latter was delighted with Henry Hayes interaction with a dominatrix.
After all that, Kraus turned the screw back on, finishing with excellent figures of 2-13 off his three overs. The last batsman, who had been on his own since the third over, was merely knocking the ball against the walls, egged on by his teammates to ‘make them bowl their overs’. Entertainment was provided shortly as Cooper was dismissed for a 4 and a 6 in the first over from the batsman who had an uncanny resemblance to Welsh darts player Mark Webster. Despite that interlude of attacking batting, Mark Webster’s lookalike went back to being boring, overs 7,8 and 9 going for a mighty 12. Webster’s knock of 30 was ended by being bowled by big-swinger Bradshaw, a commendable knock given the crisis which he arrived to. The Diamond Ducks finished on 71 all out, mainly helped by Hall’s bowling efforts.
In celebration of UWMCC’s success and following long deliberation, the minibus parked at the Phantom Coach, Bennett already excited about the prospect of a ‘Mega-supercurlycrunchielistic-choccaberry-sundae’. The Phantom Coach’s food, at commendable prices, provided very well for UWMCC’s culinary needs, except Cooper, who may be the slowest eater in the world, taking a good 45 minutes to eat a basic meal. All other UWMCC members took advantage of the very seductive desert offers. A fine note to finish the UWMCC’s successful Coventry Indoor League term, Edgbaston awaits…