The game was supposed to be against Langford but they cried off. They maintain it was something to do with a golf tournament but insider sources have revealed that they are worried by the mangling of the letters a, e, i, o and u which seems to have overtaken Manny Road at the moment. So in the absence of a game, Martin organised a Kiwis (+ others) vs South Africa (+ others) intra-club match. Dave Frame led the Kiwi side and there were roughly 4-6 captains on the South African side depending on when you were watching, I think it was actually supposed to be Stanton but who can say?
Stanton's side batted first with Quentin and Jim keen to get into the opening bowlers of Benson and Dean. Sam, as usual, was on the spot from ball one only giving away 8 runs during his first spell. Unfortunately, I was on at the other end but despite my usual mix of full tosses, wides and no balls I still managed to trap (some would say mug, bowling right arm round) Quentin LB in the 2nd over. Mr Emmett came in to replace him but had obviously never been told not to take a second to Marty Elliffe's arm, especially if you don't actually intend to break into a quick walk over the 22 yards. The result was a quick departure back to the pavilion for 2. Alex came and went quickly with Nigel holding his nerve well under a high catch off the bowling of Will Dobbie. Then the batsmen staged a minor fightback before the secret weapon, Nigel Gray, tore the heart out of the batting order with his left arm medium bowling. Will repaid Nigel for his catch by snaffling a mistimed stroke from Jim, and Dave performed an excellent stumping to remove Jez. Charles, Stanton and Parrington all contributed double figures to the total and a special mention must be made of Julian who despite having never played cricket before 3 weeks ago batted solidly and deserves a lot of credit for performing so well whilst having to listen to quality advice from Stanton. Final total: 120-all out.
Unfortunately that score was never going to be enough, not with the Marty Elliffe batting masterclass in town. Jim and Stanton both tried hard and Dave Frame became the only wicket to fall in the innings by missing a straight one off Stanton. Marty and, towards the end of the innings, Chalky then proceeded to dismantle the bowling. Marty retired at 56 NO allowing Will Dobbie the chance to see whether someone chucking a ball at you very fast in the nets compares to Sunday afternoon on a damp, early May wicket. Not that he had much time to check that out as the score was overhauled in a matter of just under 18 overs. Of particular note in this run fest were Quentin's one over for 23 runs courtesy of Mr Chalk and the scampering nimbleness of the singles taken by Marty and Chalky. Turning circles and oil tankers were mentioned frequently and especially indicative of this pace down the pitch was when a straight drive from Marty was deflected onto the stumps by Jez. Mistakenly expecting the non-striker to be backing up a loud appeal was reduced to a whimper when Jez realised that Chalky hadn't actually moved more than about a foot during the whole affair.
Whilst not actually making up for the loss to Pakistan the whole thing seemed to have boosted Kiwi spirits a little so in true Manny Road style we went to the KA for a beer.
Bring on the Rhodes boys!