The Master Plan


The 20/20 Cup team were spanked by Whitchurch 1st Team. The full scorecard can be seen here.


The Saturday Team beat Avonside by 27 runs. The full scorecard can be found here and the report goes thus:

This week the foe was Avonside, a side renowned for flinging the bat at everything and thus getting out quickly. Hugh, our host at Windford, informed us that he had a twinge in his duodenum which could only mean one thing:  heavy rain at 6pm. This was vital information because to get a result from a rain affected match 20 overs must be completed in the second innings, 6pm would be more or less the time at which we would get to that point in the game. Once the match is abandoned if the team batting second have a run rate greater than the net run rate they win. If they are below the net run rate they lose. If the run rates are the same to three significant figures the result is settled with fisty cuffs in the gypsy manner. But if their score is a prime number, regardless of run rates, there is sherry all round in the Anglican manner, the match is drawn and phone numbers are exchanged.

So, Plan A was to win the toss, get them into bat, get them out in 30 or so overs for about 130 and this would set a low required run rate and it would be easy to have enough runs on the board when the rain arrived. The worst thing that could happen would be that we batted first, not score enough runs leaving their slogging batsmen a low run rate; 20 overs would then not be enough time to bowl them out and they would win.

With this in mind Gibbo lost the toss in the usual manner and the foe put us into bat… bugger.

So Plan B was to put loads of runs on the board, set a high run rate and then bully the foe with great bowling and keep them behind the run rate, they would then self-destruct and with them thrashing around we would take awesome catches and send them home to mummy in the defeated manner.

Unfortunately one of our bowling heroes from last week was missing, Garnier had been grounded, apparently he had failed the pre-flight checks because there was too much play in his undercarriage. Luckily Gibbo had bumped into Preece and his mate Ray O’Really on Friday night. Gibbo had met O’Really once before at indoor nets and knew he had a liking for sherry. Selected! More importantly though Preece had been round to Garnier’s house to get the beer. The foe also reported team trouble: one of their bowlers was still making his way to the ground, lost somewhere in darkest Somerset.

With one eye on the barometer, one on Hugh’s duodenum and another on the sky Preece and Grove strode out to bat in the manly manner. Plan B.1 was put into operation; this is where Grove and Preece get off to a slow and steady start and get to 10 overs without losing a wicket. Surprisingly Plan B.1 actually worked and reaching 10 overs with 23 runs on the board our brave boys decided it was time to accelerate (Plan B.2) and hit the next over for 9 runs. Paying absolutely no attention to this Gibbo scribbled a note on a piece of paper and sent it to the middle. It read:

“Time to get a move on now. Lots of love, Skipper.”

Grove, incensed, turned to the pavilion and in the English manner waved two figures in the Skipper’s direction, he then hit the first ball of the next over for 4 and repeated the gesture. At the end of the over the batsmen had a conference, Grove said to Preece: “You bat carefully, I am going to bat like a twat”. Failing to putting Plan B.2.1 into operation Preece was stumped of a full toss in the next over. Gibbo strode to the crease with Plan B.2.2, this was to run poor asthmatic Grove into the ground.

Dear reader, what happened next was an obscene crime against humanity; with the field pushed out and both batsmen failing to hit boundaries Gibbo forced Grove to run on everything in the very humid conditions. The foe laughed as Grove wheezed and gurned his way through to the drinks break but no matter how cruel Plan B.2.2 was the runs accumulated quickly.  Not long after drinks Grove gave a tiered swipe at one outside the off stump and was caught by the keeper. On returning to the pavilion he was informed that he was guilty of jug avoidance because he was out on 48.

With Toole at number 4 the Saturdays look like a much more balanced team and it was time for Plan B.2.3; let Toole, Iggy and Kahlu pile the runs on. This part of the plan started well and Gibbo and Toole were looking good, tall Toole had on his Albion sun hat and Gibbo sported baggy cerise at a jaunty angle, which silenced the foe. In the face of mediocre bowling and with such stunning head gear the scoreboard ticked over nicely and with 150 at the 30 over mark more than 230 looked possible coonsidering there were only 2 wickets down. Time for Plan B.2.3; the batting collapse in the Cowboys manner. This part of the plan seemed to be triggered by Garnier and his daughters (Our Oar and Agamemnon) arriving at the ground.

Gibbo was bowled for 32 and Toole was caught by an impressive low catch by the only fielder not on the boundary who was at cover point, he had 34. Iggy followed in a similar fashion for 1. Kahlu was caught at long on for 6. O’Really was bowled for a golden duck on debut; this is called a Right Royal Cock-Up within cricketing circles. Poor O’Really was probably wishing that he had never admitted liking sherry in the first place. With 2 LBWs and another catch the Cowboys limped to 188 all out in 38 overs.

As the players reached the pavilion for Iggy’s tea the foe’s missing bowler arrived. Strictly speaking he should not be allowed to bat, but Gibbo was too soft and said he could bat down the order as long as he would join him for a nice sherry after the game and they exchanged phone numbers. The foe’s captain not only had the bowler’s phone number already but he was also made of sterner stuff and suggested that they should toss for it and then lost. The foe were thus down to 10 batsmen.

This score was not enough when the rain and run rate situation was taken into account. The Cowboys would have backed themselves to bowl out the foe given 40 overs but to keep sloggers below 4.7 an over for 20 overs would be difficult. Time for Plan B.3 bowl superbly and catch everything. Half of this plan went well. RobT1 and Budge kept the foe’s opening pair pinned down, one of whom averaged 87 last season with a top score of 147 not out. It was great bowling indeed to get this run machine out for 17, bowled by Budge charging down the hill.

The foe’s number 3 was an eccentric player, he swished at everything and connected with nothing in the hay maker manner, hence their run rate dropped and dropped until it was well below 3. It was a slight shame therefore to get him out. Higgy then got the other opener, as Filton put it on Twitter:

“Doink! Higgy strikes again. The competent opener suffers a brain fart and plays around a straight one. 3-71 off 23 chasing 180 odd. Game on.”

With only three wickets down and well below the run rate the foe’s batsmen met between overs and decided to go for it. The very next over they were both dropped off skiers. If our brave boys had held these catches the match would have been over very quickly. The foe’s umpires steadfastly refused to give LBWs and in all 4 high catches were put down in the crap manner and it looked like all was lost as the run rate climbed steeply. It was therefore a bit of a shock when Grove stuck his hand up at backward point to ask to go to the toilet and found the ball in it. After this catch the wickets came quickly and when Gibbo bowled their top scorer the game had swung towards the Cowboys. As the rain started Preece held onto the only high catch of the innings and the foe were all out (9 wickets) for 161 in the 38th over.

RobT2 had an impressive 8 overs for only 18 runs. TT got 2 late wickets, Iggy had three wickets and Gibbo, despite being expensive, got 2 vital wickets. Budge had perhaps got the most important wicket.

After the match Hugh admitted that it was probably his jejunum and not his duodenum that had the twinge, which accounted for the fact that the rain was an hour later than expected.

MOM was Grove for his wheezing and he also won the Cider Moment for his reaction catch.

After the game our brave boys enjoyed a beer at the ground and then went back to a building site for more beer.


Both Sunday games were won by the weather.


One Comment

  1. Another day of top cricket highness crowned by this written piece, itself bejeweled by the usual comedic trinkets.

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