Eleven distinguished UWMCC clubmen, a select task-force if you will, made the trip to a picturesque Moseley Cricket Club as the 3s perennial relegation dogfight meandered towards something of a climax.
The task: ‘Don’t get sent because net run rate is very important and the 3s have a gun side out in a winnable match on Wednesday. ‘
Inspirational (and divisive) captain Jonny Hall led the side with the verve, positivity and boundless enthusiasm that has become his trademark over the years, beginning the day by explaining that he had not captained a cricket team in ‘about 3 years’ and would probably ‘get stuff wrong’. He then won a crucial toss and remembered to insert the opposition as per Bradsure’s advice.
After BooClark’s early wicket, the other Birmingham opener made hay in the baking sun, sending the ball with consummate ease to the shortest of short boundaries and taking a particular liking to Jayaram’s G. Ash bowling. Although Platt took his key wicket, ending up with a respectable 3-63 in his first ever competitive cricket match, cameos down to number 9 ensured that the run rate touched 6 an over for the duration. Birmingham were eventually all out for 306 in the final over, delivered by renowned death bowler Jack Gould, and Warwick could look back on a decent if unspectacular first half.
Notable moments throughout the innings included Kimmerston repeatedly wandering from his fielding position to the distress of the apoplectic Hall, both Adeel and Larkins deciding to field the ball with their faces instead of their hands and a rather comical dropped skier from Henry Bowen reminiscent of his ‘ball in the long grass’ incident in Barbados. Hall also chose breaks in play to poignantly reflect on missed opportunities, as he mused that he ‘would quite like to be friends with BD and maybe Barclay too’. Cue discussion at extra cover between Adeel and Larkins as to the art of friendship and whether they had ever quite grasped it as God intended.
At the tea interval, chat centered around BooClark’s unrequited love of the chocolate éclair and how a TFC for Michael Kimmerston was the most likely outcome of his debut (how prophetic). Hall informed his batsmen that they were to bat the 50 at all costs, while the Dragon went out early to practice his now iconic leave.
Promoted to the top of the order after a stellar run of form, Haque (8) escaped the dreaded duck with a first ball boundary and then succumbed to the short ball, before Hall (14) and Gould (9) joined him back in the hutch soon after. Any fanciful notions of a run-chase were now quickly abandoned and batting the overs also looked an uphill struggle to rival that of a weekly 2-hour 10am Thursday seminar.
A top-knotless Kit Winder briefly dared to lift his head above the parapet of mediocrity with a breezy 42 off 40, while the ‘compact’ (ref. Jack Gould) Kimmerston (0) and absolutely distraught Bowen (0) departed without so much as threatening to engage bat with ball. Sam Platt (4) faired better on his BUCS debut than the aforementioned pair but the tail refused to wag even slightly, meaning that that the UWMCC crumbled to 124 all out in 26.5 overs.
Cue rapid calculations from the Baguetti in his Leamington abode, the conclusion being that Cooper’s 3s still have a chance of staying up but must win against Aston 1s on Wednesday at Cryfield. One would imagine that the likes of Aamish and Thornley may well be replacing the Kimmerstons and Bowens of this world for that crucial affair.