By Ben 'Griggsy' Griggs (2s) & Rowley ‘The Gun’ Wing (3s)
After threats of rain all week, it was to much joy that the 2s vs 3s game went ahead. Dingle was set to be home to
the finest of BUCS cricket as the 2s set out against the 3s in a thrilling contest of bat and ball.
The day began with numerous badgers congregating early around the astro nets, with many keen to get their eye in,
none more so than Panko to who the phrase ‘keen for some runs’ does not scratch the surface. It was here that Tom
Spano also led the 2s research operation, as he tried to get a hit in their net, which was not taken kindly to.
However, whilst distracted by the intense netting, the Exeter women’s team had slowly crept their way onto the
main pitch, to the dismay of many. It soon transpired that the real contest of the day would be occurring on the
other pitch. Yet this turned out to be to our advantage as it was thought by many that this wicket was in a better
state anyway. It was mutually decided under the assumption of rain that the game would be reduced to a 40 over
game, before the toss was taken, with G Harris electing to bat first – potential for huge runs...
Pitch Report: Rather wet, rather soggy, rather green. Summed up by the state of the ball, whose seam formed a
strong bond with the pitch. A proper April English wicket, yet played remarkably well IMHO.
Opening up for the 2s was G Harris and T Panto – what a partnership it promised to be. WKT – Panto b Derby 0 (3).
UBCC 2s 2-1. We go to Norwich, or at least it appeared he was trying to run there, after leaving the field faster than
he chops a wine. Next in was Dickie, who began to combine well with Harris, despite two strong opening spells from
Jonah (8-0-0-31) (big shift up the hill as well) and Derby (5-2-15-1), with the lack of leg side wides working
desperately in their favour.
The 3s were presented with numerous opportunities to break the deadlock, but instead chose to keep the pair at the
crease. Personal favourite being a fine leave from R Wing, from behind the stumps, as G Harris came crawling down
the track before missing a straight one. These miss chances enabled a strong base to be set, putting the 2s at 80-1
after 20, with some crisp pieces of timing, including a particularly aesthetic pull into the road from Dickie, companied
with a shocking 8 of 2 from Harris.
Unfortunately for G Harris, the 2s do in fact have a limited amount of lives (as will be further explored…), and so
seventh chance lucky came and the deadlock was broken - caught for a fine knock of……. 48. Not sure Harris even
realised. Bottled. What a shame. 94-2 of 23. The new man was Spano who formed a neat partnership with Dickie to
keep the scoreboard moving, despite not actually being able to check due to a design of permanently placing the
scoreboard directly behind the sightscreen. As per, more chances were presented, more regos were shelled.
Eventually Spano was indeed caught with an outrageous piece of fielding from an unnamed player, just
unfortunately on the wrong side of the boundary. Cracking mixer. These two were putting the 2s in a great position,
with UBCC reaching 135-2 of 31, with Dickie also completing his very well-made half-century.
Unfortunately for the 2s, the 3s decided to start catching again, and Spano was dismissed for a classy 38. In the
following overs, Joel (2) and Steve (1) came and went, before Dickie was also dismissed for a very well made 64,
bowled by Elliot. Despite the wickets, the score kept ticking over, helped by possibly one of the biggest sixes the
dingle has seen, with Jonah somehow still managing to get a hand on it. Gill also chipped in with a solid 5*, leading
the 2s to a grand total of 203-6 of 40 overs. Game well in the balance, though rumours of an above-par score
Tea was not taken, with the impending threat of rain leading to the decision to get the second innings underway
imminently. Opening up for the 3s was Gilet and Felix, who were met with the combination of the Gilly and
Steeeeevo. In what can only be described as an effort to show solidarity to the late Panto, Gilet went wildly fishing
first ball to a half-tracker which stuck in the pitch, and plinked the first ball straight to point for a diamond duck. 0-1.
This brought Mitchell to the crease a few balls earlier than anticipated, and the pair began to dig in. Gill was the
latest player to make full use of the no leg-sides, bowling some seriously unplayable dots. At the other end
steeeeevo was sending down some serious nuts, but Felix knuckled down. Mitchell then fell for 2 caught of Gill’s
bowling, bringing in R Wing – still looking village as ever. Walking to the crease, it transpired that Wing and Panko
had made a bet: whoever gets the longer duck makes the other do a wine. After further investigation of this bet by
resident slipper G Harris, the phrase ‘I’m a fucking gun’ was said one too many times. First ball comes, and it is a rare
straight one from Gilly. Plink sums it up far too well as Mr Wing gives mid-on catching practice. Standards. UBCC 3s
4-3 of 4. At last, cricket that even vaguely resembled a BUCS fixture could resume. The new man was Choudhury,
who constructed a much more composed innings before being the next man to fall - caught of Gill for 4 with a
screamer from Dickie at gully.
Next in was Burridge, with one of the more interesting innings of the day. Gill steams in. Another leg side ball.
Burridge middles it onto his pad, Panto makes an excellent catch as the 2s celebrapeal. Yet umps’ fingers are glued in
his pocket. Burridge was off nowhere anyway. Couple balls later, a carbon copy is produced, and the finger is still not
going anywhere, as is Burridge. More robbery. Eventually, the edge of Burridge is found once more, with Panto
taking another good catch. Yet Burridge remained plonked at the crease, and the umps hand remained in their
pocket. Quite astonishing scenes, abuse ensued. Overall, two tight opening spells with Steve finishing with figures of
1-6 of 5, and Gilly robbing 3-10. Things you absolutely love to see. UBCC 3s 17-4 of 10. This point was felt to be apt
for the long-awaited tea break, with burger and chips on the menu.
When cricket recommenced, a change of bowling saw the introduction of spin, as well as a drizzle, as George was
brought into the attack alongside Brierly. Another tight spell was observed as the following 6 overs went for 6 runs.
Tight stuff. Yet Felix and Burridge were not going anywhere. Spin was continued as Popham and myself were next
brought into the attack, with the rain managing to hold nicely. The word spin here is used particularly liberally, yet
the Brick-wall and Burridge did at least enjoy playing for spin on numerous occasions nonetheless, including Burridge
genuinely nicking off to first slip…… less said about that the better @G. Harris. Wouldn’t have walked anyway. Yet
the 2s remained focused, and eventually Burridge chased a fuller delivery from Popham, as he holed out to myself at
cow. Burridge departed for a well-made 30, scoring at an average of 6.
The tail was beginning to wag, yet Felix, now partnered with Avi, was as composed and resolute as ever. Step up Mr
Spano, as he performed a Jadeja-esque piece of fielding, hitting the stumps from under the 3s dugout’s nose. Avi
was unfortunately the man gone for 0. This brought Knowlesy, a man on a pair, to the crease. Unfortunately, this
was followed with the second Golden of the day, as well as a team hattrick next ball. The man with the honours to
face was Derby. The hat-trick ball delivered was a juicy 4th stump half-tracker – ideal. Well bowled whoever that was.
Anant, alongside overs from Brierly and Harris, was brought into the attack opening with two serious looseners,
before finding his rhythm, and what a rhythm it was, bowling the oppo skip in his first over. This brought in Horny
who was also soon into his rhythm, playing a lovely cover drive over mid-wicket and getting bowled top of off. UBCC
3s 9 down. Anant 2-2 of 2. The end was nigh, and the last man in was Jonah who had already started his post-match
routine, coming to the crease a couple cans deep. Jonah soon fell for 2, and the victory for the 2s was confirmed. I
would say that Felix finished on a well-fought 20*, but I think he’s still batting. UBCC the real winner.
Bath Ales Man of the Match: Dickie
WG Grace Stylish Player: Tom Spano
Nibs Nibs Perfect Catch: Dickie
Chai Pani Dick of the Day: Yours truly
Sandwich Sandwich Wet Sandwich: Dickie
Excitement was in the air as the squads entered Fortress Dingle and exchanged pleasantries in the nets as a way of warming up. Introductions were made and tactics of ‘playing for rain’ were being discussed as we eased into the net session. Scouting was a key part to the opening of the day, as shown by Spano who cheekily managed to slip into the 3rd team net for a couple balls in an attempt to get some key information on the fiery bowling attack. Some strong catches were being taken in the fielding drills as the 2’s looked on with fear.
With the coin tossed, we were sent into bowl first. Openers Jonah and skipper Derby packed the pressure on a pair of openers who had featured regularly in the first team. Captain fantastic was the first to strike with an unplayable yorker, that is if your name is Tom Panto, that sent the bails flying and the slip cordon into a state of ecstasy. With the opener gone, we saw an opportunity to get our teeth into the rest of the batting order with part time cricketer Raif and full-time ‘hockey geeza’ set to enter the crease. The pair of Harris and Raif put on a fine partnership, with Derby, Jonah, Charlie and Taif trying to stem the flow of runs. Some tough chances in the slip cordon and a near screamer from future Indian number 4 Felix left us with some work to do going into the drinks break. Harris failed to turn his 48 into a half century when he skied one of Taif. The spy Spano entered the crease next with some nervous shots to open up. He did however say that he was ‘feeling good’ when he hit a lovely shot straight to cover for no run. Play was stopped for a minute as Taif was hit in the face by Spano’s bat on the non-strikers as he went to stop the ball. Raif moved to his half century, played fella, and Spano get out with a plink too mid-on, guess he was there for a good time after all. After the 3’s managed to get Raif out, it was into the ‘all-rounders’. A time to bring on the man who invented death bowling, Horny, who managed to pick up a couple of wickets leaving the 2’s with a chaseable 203.
The panic to try and find the opening 5 batsmen began as we had Derby chasing around for someone who was keen to fill the void of non-existent batting line-up. A few spectators started to filter into the ground and with Gilet opening the batting, the stage was set for an electric chase. This hope of a rapid start was cut to an abrupt end with Gilet cutting the first ball of the innings straight to point for a diamond duck. Tom’s quick dismissal meant it was the turn of yours truly to take the match into his own hands. I’d dreamt of this moment, the runs I would score, the admiration I would receive around the club. As I was taking my mark, the chat from behind the stumps was about my impromptu promotion to four:
Harris: “How have you managed to get yourself in at four Rowley?”
Panto: “Your out of your depth here fresh.”
Rowley: “It’s because I’m f***ing gun.”
Needless to say, the innings was brief (a single ball) with my cannon of a pull shot having to be left in the locker for another day. Not what I dreamt about from my first innings for the mighty UBCC. After Taif’s dismissal, Charlie entered the arena. In between innings, Charlie had decided that he was peckish, so he ordered some scran to arrive in plenty of time before he headed out to bat. Thanks to Gilet and my heroics, he was forced to jog onto the wicket just as his lunch arrived, rotten luck. Some may say it was
karma for ordering a meal deal from the co-op (worst supermarket bar Morrisons). Rumour has it that he ordered a ham sandwich, ready salted crisps and a sparkling mineral water which would have had more of a hostile reception than Charlie did while he was in the middle. Charlie and opening bat Felix put on a handy partnership that frustrated the 2’s bowling attack. Numerous nibbles from fellow non-scorer Panto and Dick of the Day Ben Griggs meant that when tea was called, we were still in the game (not really).
As the threat of rain approached, the chat in the dugout amongst Derby and Gilet was about beers (Derby still yet to bat). No need to go into too much detail about the appeals for Charlie’s wicket. Only thing that needs to be noted is his new nickname of Mohammed Amir. When Charlie’s wicket finally fell, it was down to the rest of the boys to try and pull something out of the fixture. Avi was looking handy with the bat until a Maxwell like run out by Spano from outside the ring left us 6 down. Knowlesy was in next, who mentioned earlier in the innings about his desire not to get a pair of golden ducks. Unfortunately for him, he was bowled first ball. Again. It gets worse for Knowlesy as his very obnoxious mates had decided to show up creating what can only be described as an anti-social environment for Derby to be sent into. It wasn’t to be for the skipper who was out on 3 and swiftly went to the side to finish his Stella off. Horny, the best death bowler in the West of England, was in next with his ‘golfing’ batting technique. He too didn’t last long at the crease. Jonah put up a fight, but it was to no avail with the 2’s winning comfortably. Honourable mentions from me goes to the Bristol Pujara, Felix who grinded down the opposition bowling attack and saw every batsman come and go with his tenure at the crease. Shot fella.
An excellent day for cricket and for the UBCC with some memorable moments and some lessons to be learnt for the next games. Maybe don’t try and hit the first ball you’ve faced for the university team into the next county and try hit the ball in the first place please Panto.
Bath Ales Man of the Match: Felix
WG Grace Stylish Player of the Match: Jonah
Nibs Nibs Perfect Catch of the Match: Jonah
Chai Pani Dick of the Day: Rowley
Sandwich Sandwich Wet Sandwich: Charlie