Match 9 – vs Statics – 22/09/12

The last game of the season proved to be an unusual game where Churchleigh gave visitors ‘Statics’ a lesson in cricket, but the visitors demonstrated the importance of raw talent!

Upon losing the toss, captain James Webb, after being told to ‘relax’ by the opposition’s captain, looked around his array of stars searching for his perfect opening bowler. Joe Woolgar was tossed the ball and with little fuss got the game under way, not too long after the scheduled start time. With the opposition only having four players at the time, the had two batsman, two umpires, and the square leg umpire was forced to score. When asked, ‘shouldn’t one of you pad up’, the reply of ‘we only have two sets of pads so far’ followed by ‘relax’, was met with rolled eyes. Joe began with a mixture of some line and some length, but proved initially difficult to score off. From the other end, Graham Woolgar proved impossible to score off, the opposing captain prodding helplessly and landing the ball just shy of fielders on both sides of the wicket, despite ‘relaxing his hands’. After a very economical start, Graham had his relaxed man. After attempting to put Graham off in his run up, he finally edged one to gully with Robin Hopcraft, on debut, took the easiest catch he’ll ever have. Relax.

When Joe had got through 4 overs fairly comfortably, Shiv, who turned up his trademark relaxed hour late, took over and struggled to find his rhythm as the run rate started to increase. At the other end Graham bowled straight through his 7 overs, being cruelly dispatched for 6 in his last over to, presumably, ruin his figures. New boy Robin the reluctant bowler took over from Graham and began with a maiden, buying himself at least a couple of extra overs. Unfortunately for our Churchleigh heroes, things began to go wrong. Shiv was starting to go for runs so was replaced by other debutant John Doyle. With his spin bowling, there was a feeling that a wicket was coming any ball, but in-between these chances, including one dropped catch at slip, boundaries came. After two tight overs, Robin was carted around with ease as the batsmen marched down the wicket, lofting balls high and long to all parts. The run rate was increasing quickly and James was forced to bring lead bowler Shiv back on to take a wicket. As boundaries were smashed effortlessly, seemingly more 6s than 4s, Churchleigh were suddenly completely out of it. I think Shiv did take a wicket, (caught behind by Andrew Woolgar maybe??) but I’m not sure. I would’ve checked the scorebook, but…

Eventually, after a drinks break where James chatted to his senior players for inspiration, only to be laughed away with sarcastic wishes of ‘good luck’, there came the breakthrough. John, finally took the wicket with a seam-up delivery, bowling the expansive opener. However, this brought no respite as the number 4 came in and carried on with the carefree hitting. Even when John picked up his second wicket, it just continued.

When Churchleigh are in dire straights, there is only one man to turn to. Uncle Ray Dyal came on to replace Shiv, whose seven overs probably went for plenty, maybe for one wicket. His first over didn’t end the carnage, with lofted thwacks going everywhere. However, after he had finished the over, he told the batsmen that they should respect their elders and not continue to behave in such a ‘disrespectful’ manner. His grumpy/aggressive words and demeanour did the trick as the two batsmen both retired. At the end of his second over, Ray had found his rhythm (or inferior batsmen) and took two wickets in two balls. At 193 off 30 overs, and with the Cat on a hat trick, the captain declared… in a 35 over game.

Upon reaching the pavilion, the Churchleigh players checked the scorebook. Rather than the usual ‘scoring’, our opposition had just kept a tally of the teams total. Some runs were attributed to some batsmen, but no runs or wickets were allocated to any bowler. We therefore have no idea quite how many runs were scored or by whom, or off whom.

Despite the confusion, James and Graham opened the innings, playing a mixture of pulls, cuts and flicks to tick the score along and set a platform for an onslaught. Unfortunately, James had only got to 13 before being bowled by an off cutter. Clive Puttock joined Graham at number 3 and the two set about taking bites off the target. Graham looked set, with some lovely pulls getting the scoreboard going, before he got out for 23. This brought Joe to the crease fresh off the back of two consecutive ducks – the opposition’s captain reminded Joe that it was important that he’ relax his mind’.

A nervy start ensued, with some tentative prods and one or two well hit shots finding the fielders. On his ninth ball, he got off the mark in some style, with a huge six over square leg. You could sense him relax. Despite some quick boundaries and some wild shots, the run rate was getting way out of hand. With the score nearing a hundred, but with time running out, Joe holed out to deep mid-on for 23. This brought Adam Bicker to the crease, whose season tally so far was far from impressive, getting just one run in total across his four previous outings. Some stout defence saw off the straight balls before a late cut got him a very welcome boundary behind point. The bowler was then reminded by his captain to relax his fingers. Adam’s celebrations continued as he struck another sweet cut shot in the gap. Clive continued to play aggressively as the run rate reached 15 an over before Adam was finally dismissed for his first double figure score for Churchleigh, 12.

Stephen Woolgar entered the fray, with no time to relax, but didn’t last long as he was bowled by a straight one for nought. Andrew Woolgar replaced his brother, and Clive tehn struck one or two sweet boundaries through the off-side. Eventually, with time running out, he took one too many risks and was dismissed for 33. With the game over, young Jack Doyle, who had fielded before Shiv arrived, came out to have a bat. His confident calling and one lovely pull shot surprised the opposition. Despite being constantly reminded to relax by his captain, the bowler couldn’t prevent Jack from making his way to 11. Eventually, with the game somehow in overtime (overs 36 and 37!), he hit one straight to mid-on and the game was over with Andrew (who was also told to relax every ball) on nought not out, the Churchleigh scorecard reading 132 for 6. This was then compared to the Statics scorecard…

Although their tally said 193, the runs attributed to batsmen only totalled 67 so it’s only fair to take an average of these two scores to find Statics real final score. Any decent mathematician will tell you that is 130, which means that Churchleigh (sort of) won with 132!

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply