After last week’s incredible blunder from Anant, normality has been restored and the UBCC’s resident Dick of the Club is returning to write this week’s match report.
The change of skipper this week saw the 4XI make their name as the first UBCC team to get a league win this season. A 9 am start at the SU is no pleasantry by any stretch of the imagination, and arriving to be confronted by an irritated coach driver made things no easier – it transpired that he had been told by Starkey to arrive an hour before the rest of us. The perennial threat of rain also sought to dampen the spirits of the gents, and did manage to postpone the start of the game by an hour or so. However, cricket was inevitable, and we eventually began at 1330hrs.
Derby had won the toss and elected to bowl. Ultimately the correct decision, and no one likes spending 5 hours on a coach only to be skittled and chased down in 5 overs. The narcissist then elected himself to open the bowling, alongside Jonah. What followed can only be said to be a phenomenal effort from both bowlers. Jonah’s first over last week lasted about 4 hours, and about 373 balls, but this week had managed to find both line and length which saw him take 1 wicket and conceded just 6 runs in 7 overs (incl. 4 maidens). At the other end, Derby was attacking. A wicket in the second over was the first of 3 for Skip. Ending with figures of 8-0-22-3 and taking a sublime catch off his own bowling had him stand out in a truly MOTM performance. Next to come into the attack was Horny, who was similarly effective. Having also found his rhythm this week, Giles took three wickets which, had it not been for his batting, would also have held him in contention for MOTM.
After much persuasion, Derby eventually took himself out the attack and in came me. 4 overs of completely haphazard medium-pacers saw some spectacular keeping from Wilf behind the stumps as he found himself diving down the legside thrice an over to do his best in minimising the extras tally. However, the balls that did pitch on the correct strip were seemingly unhittable. That, alongside some excellent fielding saw me walk away with figures of 4-0-11-1 – I’ll certainly take that. Wilf still reckons that the one wicket was in fact his, despite it being caught at mid-off. In fairness, the gentle giant had been living inside the poor batsman’s cranium for 3 overs without providing any intent of paying his rent.
We took drinks (and rollies) onboard after 25 overs with Southampton on 50-7. It only took another 5 overs to see off the last three batsmen. This exhibited some tidy bowling from newcomer George ‘Lanyard’ Wallbank and the greatest spell ever seen from Taif (1-1-0-1). We walked back to the [general bag region] for teas having the 69 all out, lol, thinking we might just be the greatest bowling side to have ever graced the sacred red leather. However, this euphoria was quickly dampened when we realised that we had forgotten to bring any batsmen with us.
Due to Barnesy insisting on having more important things to do than play with boys, and also due to my possession of freakishly large testicles, it would be me who would face the first ball – with Felix at the non-strikers end. Wilf insisted that I got 400 words out of my, admittedly short, innings. I will not be so narcissistic. Much to my dismay, Southampton decided to open up with two spinners and, rightfully so, I decided I would be better served going to finish the dart that the umpires had quite rudely interrupted after facing just three balls. My season average of 2.500 is at least double my career average so I won’t complain.
Taif was next to step up to the plate and hit an enjoyable 14-ball 17, with every other ball hit chest-height straight to mid-wicket who was apparently completely uninterested by the proposition of catching the ball. The next 5 wickets all came very quickly: fresher, Matt Knight, and club stalwart, Wilf Brooke, came and went for scores of 6 and 8 respectively. This was followed by another first-timer, Alex ‘Knowlesy’ Knowles, picking up a golden on debut. Captain Derby was next to step up, managing to push 2 singles behind square before he too conceded his wicket. Following him was Horny, who claimed the third quacker of the day whilst trying to thunder a middle-stump yorker over the British Channel. He still insists it was a cover drive, as if that is any consolation. 62-7, 8 to win. It could go either way…
Felix still remained at the crease, and in came Avi. Lanyard had taken my lead in making Derby look as village as humanly possible by branding his thigh pad in top of his whites. Alas, Avi (6*) and Felix (21*) managed to nurdle a few balls down the legside to see off the final few runs and Southampton’s fate was sealed. A first UBCC win this season, let us hope for many more to come.
The bus journey back was much the same as last week. Another conveniently placed supermarket, and a generous offering from the coach driver, ensured that all were well-oiled for a 2 hour journey that felt like minutes. Wilf still doesn’t know the words to American Pie. Fresh still don’t know their multiples of five. I still don’t have a fucking clue where the moon is. Shock.
Bath Ales Man of the Match: Elliot Derby
WG Grace Stylish Player: Jonah Duggan
Nibs Nibs Perfect Catch: Elliot Derby
Chai Pani Dick of the Day: Yours Truly
Sandwich Sandwich Wet Sandwich: George Wallbank
As you were,