With Clobber’s absence, he scraped around to find possibly the oldest UWMCC team in Coventry Indoor League history in the form of Jewson (C), Davis, Yeti (W), Hall, Larkins and Peters. Hall and Yeti, both longing for a return to the Connexions Arena, formed probably the most excited back row ever in a Warwick Sport vehicle. Their excitement was only boosted by Larkins being convinced very easily to shout “BUS WANKERS” at a stampede of commuters waiting to get on a U1, only for the minibus to have to sit at the red lights awkwardly. Soon after, with Jewson relieved of his driving duties to a man with a much-treasured minibus license, Yeti told Mr. Davis to “put his foot down, I could do with a pre-match dump.” Fearing for the Yeti’s speed between the wickets, Davis tried his best but was restricted by the rush hour traffic.
Upon arriving, Yeti and Hall took the much anticipated trip to the toilets – afterwards Hall concluded that a doctor’s appointment was much needed, for reasons too violent to disclose to the internet. Adding more drama, Hall managed to unknowingly lose his phone. Hall’s mother received a phone call from a nice old lady asking if her daughter was on a school trip in a 4-a-side U9’s girls football tournament in Coventry. Somewhat confused, Mrs. Hall made it clear that he was more likely to be playing cricket, and the old lady managed to return the phone to the waiting UWMCC batsman.
Meanwhile, Yeti and Hall were making a fluid start, putting on 69 in 5.1 overs, Yeti bringing out all the tricks that one might expect from a man who was playing indoors against James Kettleborough at the weekend. One particular incident is worth mentioning: a player who had turned up late, in notable stash, was brought on to bowl. His first three deliveries made Joe Livesey’s bowling look quick – barely reaching the other end. Larkins joked to Hall to watch out for the quicker ball. Against all odds, stashman went on to bowl three decently three paced and directed balls, before putting on the gloves. Hall asked what was going on: his excuse was needing to stretch. Bizarre, and the description doesn’t really do it justice.
After Yeti gently lobbed one to the point fielder (sporting a ginger Maneka-styled beard, multi-coloured-fluorescent football socks, and shin pads), a spectacled Jewson didn’t last long. Unable to resist dabbling outside off stump he says, Jewson put it to the point fielder who spooned it up to a diving keeper. Momentary jubilation ensued. The experienced Davis came to the crease, but no iconic sweep shots on sight as he and Hall kept the rate ticking along. Hall retired shortly afterwards, bring Larkins to the crease, but his stay was a short one, trapped by a demon Yorker and dismissed with a rapid-fire-finger from the umpire. Peters lasted one ball, chipping it off the roof and to mid-on, bringing Hall back to the crease. After an impressive six from what would have been a wide and a delicate reverse sweep, he missed everything trying to send the incrediball back to campus, including the luckiest survival of a missed stumping in the history of cricket. Still, UWMCC managed 123-6 off their overs, Hall making 42. Given the somewhat-ropey quality of Marton’s bowling, it was a kind of markets-closed situation.
Jewson chose to open up with the fresh-faced spin-twins of Peters and Larkins, the former bowling very well, with some excellent turn off the receptive surface. Larkins was sharp down to a hit back from the batsman off his own bowling, quickly feeding the ball to Davis at the stumps for a run out. Yeti took an excellent stumping off Peters, before taking another stumping – the square leg umpire literally looking the other way, leaving it to Hall to declare the batsman not out and resulting in an unimpressed Yeti. The other notable dubious decision was the umpiring awarding a six, and not a run out, despite the ball hitting the top-roof about half-way to the back wall. Hall dropped a dolly (as did later Davis) off his own bowling but managed to change his record of 11 wides in his last 12 balls bowled indoors, despite being called for a wide over the batsman’s head off the deck. After another Yeti stumping off the impressive Peters, it was all over, Marton having limped like a drunken Jonathan Bradshaw to 53. It is probably fair to say that UWMCC will face some trickier challenges this term, this game perhaps acting as a testimonial match for some.