Tuesday, July 15, 2008

MCCC V's MPA/G&CCC combined

Here's some pic's - I think the expressions on these peoples faces says it all.

Strewth I'm inundated with cricket, I don't know if I can keep up with it all. Here's the headlines and I'll try get this all put in with pictures over the next few days.
I had a nightmare lead up to this match. As you're probably aware Michelle thinks that cricket is the work of the Devil and that I've been posessed by some evil form that has removed what there was of me and has taken my body and mind. So there was a fair lead in to this match with plenty of advance warning marked on the calender etc and things were ticking along okay until Sunday afternoon when suddely I'm being asked to look at her tonsils because they "Feel sore". Sure enough inspecting the tonsils with a torch they did look swollen and sore. This then developed over the next day turning into a sore throat and increasingly sorer looking tonsils. The solution is easy - you get a garlic clove, peel the skin off it and suck the clove. This is antibiotic, anticeptic, anti-inflamatory and anti-social but cures most basic illnesses. But Michelle wasn't having any of it - she was going to suffer instead of suffering garlic breath for a couple of day!
Come today, it had got worse with a general malaise and feeling weak. By the afternoon her Mum was involved "She's ill she should be resting" etc. I'd sloped off early from work to go to the kids dance festival at the school. Before leaving for that I got all the cricket gear ready and ironed my whites and was 90% good to go.

On returning from the dance festival Michelle went to bed at 3.30 and I'm looking to leave at 5.00pm at the latest. I committed myself to sorting the dinner out and getting it on the table at least - probably not eating any myself. So at 4.15 I started to make spaghetti bolognese from scratch with the intention that it'd be on the table by 5pm. Did all that and cleaned all the pans and stuff as I went along and served it all up at 5.10, Michelle eventually rising from her bed at 5.10. I piled the stuff in the back of the car and then zoomed off to Grays as quick as I could in rush hour traffic. On the way came across a set of timed traffic lights that must have been set to 5 minutes per rotation - felt like 15 minutes! Eventually got there about 5.35 and unloaded the bag.

There were loads of people there mostly Tilbury blokes - 6'8" Billy Mayell with a set of kids stumps whacking a ball 1/4 mile across the field to the flats. I saw The Wizard....
"These blokes look a bit handy with the bat", he said "They're hitting out right across the field.... How much cricket do they play"?
"None as far I know, Boffa has played for Grays in the past, but for the best part I've been told they haven't played for 15 - 20 years, longer in some cases"?
"They're looking good, what's their bowling like"?
"Dunno - same story, but they all play football, so they're well up for it from a competitive point of view they're definitely going to play to win and they're generally sporty blokes. Although I don't know all of them and for all I know they may have some ringers"?

Neil turned up and there were now more Grays blokes and boys. Within a few more minutes Alex, Jack and Chris turned up from Great Berry Open Space/MPA days, but at this point it looked as though Chris was out of luck even though he was one of the first people I contacted. Unfortunately he works casual hours and as far as he was concerned he was going to be working tonight and G&CCC's Wozza got his place instead. The team sheet and stuff was down to me - Neil put me in charge of that while the bar was opened in order to maximise on a return across the bar. With everyone and more now in attendance and people looking for a game our team ended up being -
Reece Downes
Lee Downes
Phil Downes
Swiss Tony
Jack (MPA)
Alex (MPA)
The Wizard
Dave Thompson (Me)
I did kind of sort out who was going to be bowling but Neil over-ruled that and seemed to be intent on giving Wozza and Chirpy a go, probably because there's a big colts match coming up after the weekend and he wanted to give them a bowl to see how they'd fair against a bunch of adults in preparation for the up-coming match?
Somewhere in amongst the mayhem it was decided that the Tilbury Boys MCCC (Modlife Crisis Cricket Club) were going to field first and we were put into bat. The order is as above.

So a beautiful blue sky hot evening at 26 degrees centigrade with a light breeze coming in from the West acoss the wicket. Opening the bowling they had a great big brute of a bloke by the name of Johnny O'rourke (Sorry if I get names wrong or mixed up - or if I use your nickname - blame Boffa he's the one that gave me your names). Facing the bowling first was Lee Downes backed up "Mason". at the other end. Lee's first ball batting from the Pavillion end was hit out towards Chaz at (5) and was almost caught, a younger Chaz carrying a lot less weight may have got to the ball, but not on this ocassion! The first over passes and the Grays boys survive. Next up for bowling is John Claricoats and within a few balls "Mason" is bowled clean - it looks like these blokes can bowl and a ripplpe of concern is felt around the Grays camp as we all look on with a bit of anxiety. I'd asked Mason who he normally plays for because I'd not seen him before at Grays and he'd said that he bats for the 1st team here at Grays. So with him going for a duck in his first over we were looking at either a fluke or a bunch of blokes that played cricket pretty well when they were at school! Digressing here a bit I don't remember playing cricket once at St Chads or there being a track there?

Phils in next joining his son Lee at the crease. The bowling carries on in the style that it started fairly good but with a few wides. After three overs we're on 14 for 1. Phil and Lee stick it out till the 6th over when Billy Mayell is brought in to bowl. At 6'8" Bill looks pretty formidable with the potential to stick short balls in at acute angles and get some dangerous bounce. Phil doesn't see the over out as Bill bowls him clean and he goes for a duck! The Tilbury boys can't believe as they'd gone into the game well aware of who Phil was and the fact that he can bat - they'd even said "Phil Downes isn't playing is he"? Inferring that would be unfair! They'd got him!

Next out is our premier T 20 player Danny "Swiss Tony" ****. Swiss takes a big swipe at the ball and hits it and Bear produces a very impressive and commited fielding effort stopping a ball that without a shadow of a doubt would have gone for 4. Mayells over finished and replaced by Chaz bowling from the Pavillion end. Lee is making big attempts at hitting the ball but the deliveries are wide some of the time. Lee knocks one down his to (11) with ball just glancing off his bat - very nice. Lee's next ball is straight down the wicket that runs for a 4 with 2 of the Tilbury boys making concerted efforts to stop it going to the boundary. We're now on 24 for 2 off 6 overs, more than 1/4 of the way through the game and we're only on 24! Lee's next move off Chaz is a Pieterson style switch from his Left hand to his right hand with goes down to (2) and goes for almost a 4, they manage 2 runs. Danny meantime is not coping with the unconventional bowling and flailing around with the bat but not connecting with any of the balls! Lee in the meantime batting at the Pavillion end pulls a classy looking hook shot out to (5) but again is stopped by one of the fielders. We're all sitting here really impressed with their commitment in the field - they are really going for it big time!

Swiss gets one in the nuts off of Bills bowling and Chaz in soon back on bowling more wides.

We won! by only a handful though.
Everyone had a bit of a laugh and it was good fun.
The Wizard took 4 wickets.
The weather was brilliant.
Loads of beer was drunk.
They are up for more - Sunday 40 overs games.

More to follow......