Charlie Feltcher manages to spell everybody's name wrong.
Many members were eager to open their season account due to the cracking weather of late April and the opportunity to secure season long bragging rights over fellow UBCC members. The farce stakes were high.
After a quick pitch inspection it was obvious that the usual blustery winds and occasional showers had returned after the April heatwave. The wicket was damp in places, worse in others. The 4th XI won the toss and sent the 3rd XI into bat.
Louis and Whitehouse opened up. Harding and Van De Peer faced. The wicket didn’t quite suit Louis’ raw pace, and after only 2 deliveries Louis’ front foot was sliding all the way to city centre, wherever that is. However, Whitehouse was seaming the ball in every direction, beating Harding’s edge at ease. Van De Peer settled in, content to allow Harding to face Whitehouse. Harding was the first of many to farcically chip one up to JJ from a dodgy bounce, or so he claimed. The Tree strolled in, nonchalant as ever. Van de Peer looked solid but then received a nut on 37 and followed Harding’s demise. A vital wicket; 61-2. Williams and Derby slung a few down however didn’t quite manage to replicate Whitehouse’s excellent movement.
To take farcical advantage of a rapidly deteriorating wicket, JJ and S Roy were brought into the attack. JJ gave it some serious revs, beating Aarons with some corkers but not finding the edge. S Roy bowled some tight lines to The Tree, however stuck one in too short that sat up, asking to be hit to the Moon. The Tree politely obliged; but failed to spot Whitehouse out in Cow corner. He advised the rest of the team to “wait for that ball but not do that”. Fisch was next and promptly spooned one up to cover off JJ. The 4th XI smelt blood. Aarons withstood the pressure but eventually snicked off to JJ, after making a handy 21. The spin partnership of S Roy and JJ continued to restrict the 3rd XI but after Moreow played across S Roy, Methers and Browny frustrated the 4s. 126/6.
The 3rd XI’s long tail loved to wag. The 4s leaked extras while Wish proceeded to tee off, hitting especially when facing his old school rival, Cairns. Methers playing some tidy shots. Whitehouse thankfully resumed his wicket taking streak, breaking the 42 run partnership, and added another two to his tally. The 3rd XI finished on 191 off 45 overs. After spells of impressive bowling, Extras was the top scorer and some good knocks meant the 4th XI were set a daunting task.
The lads were excited to witness Crano’s farcical return with the new ball alongside Wish. For the 4s Rohit faced up with Cairns at the other end. Rohit’s endless chat about pinch-hitting came to fruition when he sent Crano for 6, third ball of the innings. Much debate ensued post-match over how intentional Rohit’s 6 was. Crano did then manage to shore up his line for a ball or two, unsurprisingly taking Rohit’s wicket when he also spooned one up to point. Harding had previously spotted Fletcher receiving some throw downs with his thigh pad on the outside of his whites. God knows why.
They couldn’t quite believe their eyes when Farcical Fletcher did not realise his foolish mistake. The lads deservingly heckled him. He ignored the chat, presuming it was a tactic to get inside his head. When he looked down to take his guard, he knew why everyone was laughing. What a mug. DOTD was decided there and then for both teams. Rumours circulated that a new DOTS would be created with the S standing for season.
Fischer had strongly advised Crano, despite his track record (56 off 5) to bowl anything but wide to Fletcher. First ball; short, wide and 4. Cheers Crano. At the other end, Wish clipped top of Cairn’s off stump with a beauty, second ball. The 4s were struggling.
Raj and Fletcher then attempted to stabilise the 4s and managed to get all the way to 51; 8 runs from the eventual total. Wish beat Fletcher’s outside edge around 5 times out of 8 dots, with otherworldly movement. Raj enjoyed Crano’s width at the other end; late cutting everything to 3rd man for 4, gaining him stylish player of the match. After Fischer dived over one, Fletcher gave Wish an easy caught and bowled. 51-3 was the score.
Moreau and Browny came into the attack and pinned down the 4s. In fact the pair sent the middle and lower order to the cleaners. They both finished with excellent figures of 6-3-6-3 for Moreau who was voted MOTM for the 3s and 3-0-4-3 for Browny. Adam and Raj were dismissed and then the next 4 batsmen fell without a run being scored. Van De Peer took two impressive catches off Moreau. Methers and Tando had a little trundle and the 4s ended up all out for 59.
To conclude rebalancing of the side was required for the 4th XI. Consistency was also an issue but talent was shown. The 3rd XI batted sensibly in the conditions and bowled superb line and length.
Chai Pani DOTD: Fletcher
Bath Ales MOTM: Whitehouse
WG Grace Stylish Player of the Match: Raj
Nib Nibs Perfect Catch of the Match: Whitehouse
Sandwich Sandwich Wet Sandwich of the Match: S Roy for extras
Chai Pani DOTD: Fletcher
Bath Ales MOTM: Moreau
WG Grace Stylish Player of the Match: Wish
Nib Nibs Perfect Catch of the Match: Van De Peer
Sandwich Sandwich Wet Sandwich of the Match: Fischer