The vagueries of the timed-match still escape me. I understand the 20 over after 6pm, but have no idea how long the team batting first can go for. Not that it mattered.
All eight of us arrived at Manny Rd - Raj sporting his new lightweight haircut - in time to bundle into two cars and get to Abingdon in plenty of time. Stu Grieve met us there, having been sculling for four hours and then riding his bike to Abingdon. Madness, I say!. Unfortunately, none of us had a footy to kick around, so I made Raj run a couple of laps to warm up.
We were informed that it was a timed match, and Lawrence (henceforth know as Skep since both Slip and Skup are taken and Skap and Skop just don't sound good) and Rhodri (apparently that's how it's spelt) started as if they were going to bat all day. The scoring of runs they were less concerned with. Realising that the bowlers weren't bad, Skep cunningly retired hurt rather than giving up his wicket foolishly. I made a two-ball duck, expecting wides but getting straight balls, and prepared myself to pack the kit. Migwara made a 20-ball duck, and I felt cheated. Skep went back in after the good bowlers went off and plundered the others. Rhodri made on Boycott-esque 8. Charles supported Skep well, making a career best 21, (he told me to put that in) before running Skep out for 70+. Collapse then ensued, Stu going whooska first ball to claim kit-pack, despite being asked/told to look at the first few. Martin was fired by Coombes senior (Abingdon's donated player), who delighted the oppo (who unsportingly brought back their fast opening bowler to clean up our tail) by getting out cheaply. Bilbo followed, happy just to avoid kitpack, and behelmeted Coombes junior (who officially got a golden, but faced a wide as well). Raj was not out, and would like eveyone to know that he took a quick single. There was also a slow two that required Bilbo telling Raj to "Come on!" All out for 149.
A good tea saw Skep and Raj offering each other many weight-inducing cakes and biscuits. There is a bet on about losing 5kg by December. Unfortunately for Skep, he put in a clause about having given up smoking for 10 weeks by then as well. The prize is a ticket to the test match of the winners choice - but not the plane fare to the Caribbean, Skep.
Bilbo opened the attack, and struggled slightly with his line. Their umpire employing international one-day rules didn't help. Their openers started slightly differently to ours, in that they scored runs. They were barely slowed when Bilbo took the first wicket. The number three hit a lot of balls in the air over slips. Stu nearly took a blinder at second slip. Martin managed a very low-key caught and bowled, bringing to the middle a guy who looked good when he was scoring, rubbish when he wasn't. He upset Martin by hitting him for four, so Martin stared at him after the next ball. Not sure if it contributed to bowling him. Raj dropped a catch because he was standing too close at slip, although it only counts as a drop because it hit him. They needed 90 off the last 20 overs and seemed to be cruising towards the target. Coombes senior couldn't get the breakthrough we needed. Raj did, but it was perhaps a little late. Bilbo got them close enough by bowling wides to ensure that the winning runs wouldn't be hit off him. Raj got the opener, who stood about a metre down the wicket so would have been stumped if he wasn't bowled. They won with a four.
Addendum to last weeks report: If you see Migwara wearing a garbage bag when it's raining, don't be alarmed. All the kids do it. At least, that's what his parents told him.
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