The day started as always with Chalky arriving excessively late, and Jason being called up by the hospital leaving us one man short. After the usual in-car debates about girls' backsides and the five-pence toll bridge fare, we arrived in Eynsham eager to avenge our winless record at their ground in the last ten years. We were greeted with the greenest and roughest pitch I've seen since my time here in Oxford, and the bowlers were soon seen licking their lips in anticipation.
I won the toss and immediately decided to bat. Chalky started us off with an impressive six over covers, but we soon lost our openers and were struggling at 49/4. Tom Wrobel and I tried to steady the middle-order but it was to no avail and we found ourselves in the unusual position of being at 67/7. In the panic I called Jason and told him that we had a batting emergency that was more serious than the patient's brain he was working on. Jason, being the teamman that he is, left his work and rushed off with some very flimsy directions to Eynsham. At 81/8, and still no Jason in sight, Tony Mcnally was sent out with the instructions to last for the next 15 minutes until Jason arrived. To the surprise of all, Tony scored a delightful 12 and lasted for more than 20 minutes. Unfortunately Jason got lost at the second, or was it the third/fourth roundabout and only arrived right about the time Chalky was going for his second round of teas. Despite the Mcnally cameo we were out for 113, our lowest score in 3 years, with Wiesne top-scoring on 23 not out.
Now we all knew that we needed commitment, passion and a spirited display to win the game. Instead what we got was pure Aussie aggression. Being short of medium-pace bowlers I had to open with Jason. He was fired up after being chased around the English roundabouts and used the grass to seam the ball into the batsman, so much so that it hit the batsman right in front of off, on its way to hit middle stump. Howzat!! was the call; Not out!! was the answer. In his best Aussie manners, Jason gave the umpire a mean look and politely asked what was wrong with the call. The umpire answered: "That was just a bit, just a bit ..," slight pause; "just a bit forward." After a few short balls and full tosses that was smack for four, the same thing happened, and through pure intimidation the umpire had to give it out. In walked a youngster that was clearly their best batsman. Jason seamed the ball into him, the batsman went back, and the ball struck him on his backfoot, right in front of middle. Howzat!! was the call; Not out!! was the answer. Now to say Jason steamed in after this, is an understatement. You could see the veins bulging on his forehead, the damp rising from his head, and his face turning red in pure anger. He bowled a full toss roundabout waist-high. 50/50 but the square umpire called it no-ball. this was just about the last straw Jason could handle, but being a "bigger" man then Watto, he didn't say much, just stood their and looked at the umpire. Many other people were shouting things though: "Get back to your mark, Mr. Bowler" from the square leg umpire. Jason didn't listen; maybe he should have said "Dr. Bowler." "Aren't we all here just to have some fun, shouldn't we all just get along." from McNally. After a few short verbal exchanges between Jason and the square-leg, things calmed down, and Jason finished his spell with 1/30 after 5.
With them at 72/2 after 18 overs, we were staring defeat in the eyes. I threw the ball to Tony, second-top wickettaker of all time for Manny road. With a beautiful spell of swing-bowling and English passiveness, he got the game back into our grasps and finished with 4/21 off 5 overs. From the other end your captain gave a rare display of quality legspin and finished with 4/13 off 7.5 overs. They were all out for 84 and we were rewarded with one of the best victories ever.
Fines for the day:
Jason - 3x Angry Watto?s 1.50
- Catch avoidance (at shortleg) 0.50
Julian - Firstballer + Being outrun by Chalky 1.00
Tony ? Unable to hold out for Jason 0.50
Quentin ? Running partner out 0.50
Chalky ? Best comment of the day 0.50
(Something about ?the longer you wait, the higher the internal testicular pressure gets?)
Chalky - Fastest fielder on the day