4s v Nottingham Trent 4s

Surely after last week’s availability crisis the 4s would be back to their usual full-strength side? Wrong. The club was hit by yet another availability crisis due to a combination of the exam timetable omnishambles, SU incompetence and poor admin from people who are more passionate about cricket than paperwork. This led to the absolute catastrophe that was Ridge racking up a 3rd BUCS appearance (tying with Murphy),

The first L of the day came pretty early doors when Amogh failed to contact all his players, so one poor bloke who was meant to be playing 3s was still in bed when the bus left because he had no idea he was meant to be playing. Any of making sure your players know they’re in the side?!? #AmoghOut. Obviously this meant that Amogh stole Kunj from the 4s to cover for his complete and utter incompetence so we went to Trent with 10 players, and we all know what happened last time when we had 11… The second L of the day came just 5 minutes later when the graphics were released. There were a few, what may be described as, minor SPAG errors on the graphics. Consequently, welfare was out the window and Ridge-o copped a whole coach journey’s worth of abuse on the way to Notts. You put yourself out for the club and that’s what you get back ey… This was only compounded by the news that Mez had not provided beers for the journey back home and thought it was acceptable to leave his 4s boys thirsty. Fuming.

When we arrived at the ground – an equestrian centre – it soon became apparent that we would be playing on a cabbage patch in the middle of the field. This of course was not ideal, especially given that our batting lineup didn’t know what end to hold the bat at the best of times, let alone score runs on a crap deck. After settling in to the changing room we changed to warm up in what can only be described as a mixed set of training kits. Mez, SJ, Ridge, Jede and Sharky all opting for stash, while Angus went full village in whites, Harsh going for the gym look and Marcus Foux in his fucking Spurs kit. In what world is that acceptable? After a warmup of mixed success, Mez went out for the toss and returned with nothing to show, losing, with the 4s being put into bat. Any.

Mez asked Ridge and Frangus to open up with Ridge-o to door it at one end and accompany the genuine opener. Foux piped up saying ‘I don’t mind opening if you don’t want to’. I do mind. No. Frangus and Ridge got off to a cracking start racking up 5 wides early doors and getting the scoreboard ticking along nicely. Extras would continue to bat well for us for the rest of the innings. Great bloke. After playing a couple of nice cut shots inbetween dooring it and also making the opening bowlers look like Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath, Ridge-o was gone for a beautiful 5 off 35, having seen off the openers and been bamboozled first ball by the Trent Dan Lewis. After being stuck on 1 for 11 overs, Frangus played the shot of the day, a back foot punch through the covers that even Joe Root would’ve been proud of, then started to move through the gears. At the other end, Harsh’s BUCS debut came to a brisk end, getting genuinely bumped out. Angus was also soon gone having snicked off to the keeper for 16, claiming ‘I’ve left a hundred out there’. Only 84 short fella… but I like the ambition. At 35-3 there was a #NeedForJede and he responded well, looking confident at the crease and playing some nice strokes, eventually departing for 14. Things starting to look a little scary. Sharquiss came in and played a swashbuckling 17, and very visibly upsetting the umpire who described him as a ‘genuine 4s batsman’ and that he didn’t play ‘proper shots’. Ouch. The Foux-meister General decided that the packed slip cordon was a good scoring area, attempting to uppercut the quicks. You aren’t Mihir mate, pipe down. Soon he was gone for 9, racking up more BUCS runs than Amogh did last season. That really hurts. Pitkin added to his collection of ducks that he’s been lining up this season, but not before he stared down the umpire and claimed his glove was off the bat. Mez’s moral compass went into overdrive, while simultaneously channelling his inner Rushil Gholkar, shouting ‘GET OFF’ to Pitkin about 3242 times while Non-Essex was busy giving umps the evils. Mez was swiftly in and out for 0 (MORSE produces very efficient blokes), leaving Ary not out at the other end without the opportunity to put a BUCS run to his name. The 4s were all out for 99, giving Trent a target of 100 to win the game.

After a typically BUCS-esque bang av tea, we were back out to defend our total. Mez rallied the troops and it was Sharquiss and the skipper himself to open up. Early doors we struck, with Sharky delivering one of his signature full tosses and trapping one of the openers in front. A couple of overs later he was at it again, claiming the number 3 courtesy of a smart grab by Frangus at point. SJ replaced Mez and bowled nicely, claiming a wicket early doors. To the cries of ‘one for Lufu’ in the field, Jono responded a few overs later, taking a second. All of a sudden we looked right in the game at 48-4, with Trent in serious danger of bottling a small chase a la UWMCC. However, their skipper had other ideas. He only had one shot, but boy did he play it well, sending anything in the slot to cow corner. The Trent 6 came out donning a cap, which prompted the umpires to intervene and genuinely get the rulebook out. This caused a 10 minute delay due to questions over his age and bringing the helmet off and on the field. However, after proving that he was in fact 27, not 17, the game resumed, with the 6 going full Krishan playing scoops and paddle shots after removing his helmet. Ary came on and bowled with good wheels, making the oppo batsmen look a bit uncomfortable, but was a tad too erratic at times to make a breakthough. As Trent approached the target, Pitkin came on and looked good, bowling some nice areas and providing some horror chat. Unfortunately, he had nothing to show for his efforts. With the reintroduction of Mez the game was soon over as the Trent skip played his one shot to great effect, with the oppo reaching the target. It’s fair to say that nothing was left out on the field, with great energy levels, enthusiasm and most importantly, great floppies. Every single one of the boys put in a good showing, even if Foux did try to slide tackle the ball at mid off and make Ridge chase it all the way to the boundary for the 3rd time in one over, but I’m not salty.

Mez congratulated the boys on a great effort and I think he’s right in saying that none of us disgraced ourselves out there, especially given that most of us had been in development all winter. There was great jubilation in the changing room when Jede pulled out the Earls Regent Kandy shower gel (great mems) and Ridge-o provided a delightful akai berry and clay Radox number. A great team effort. With that a set of great smelling 4s players set off to watch the 3s finish up, but not before Pitkin hogged the post-match game of one hand one bounce for about 20 mins while we waited for the coach.

Although we took a 6 wicket L there were plenty of positives to take and certainly there was nothing left out there in terms of effort levels. The batting let us down a bit but it was certainly no repetition of Tits Up At Trent 2K18. The 4s will go again on Monday, but the development boys had a great day out in Notts.

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