Yes, the big ‘C’ as Forrest (my Dad) has advised.
Hello sport fans and welcome to the Chronicle of Bush!
As luck would have it, it was a 9:30pm game, so this meant that after travelling all day from Ballarat to Canberra, I had arrived in time to wear (proudly, of course), my as-new ‘wife-beater’, which only looked as-new owing to the fact that I haven’t worn it to games as much as I’d like to. But here I was, at Weston Creek’s finest indoor establishment, welcomed enthusiastically by a side that differed a bit from my last look at the website a couple of hours earlier. Mary was in, Sticks was out with runny bot (or something like that), Bevo managed to get Harley into the side at the last minute and Herc, looking gorgeous in his purple and lime green, was keen to watch and reluctantly would play if required, owing to some kind of stiffness (I think that’s what he said) in his leg. Best leave that one alone….
As it turned out, Herc wasn’t required to play in Game 18 of Season 17 and Wazza would be our umpire. How good was this? Not only am I leading the Famulee as the Big C, but I was sure to hear Wazza call many a “Wuuuuuuuuuuuuuun” from the ref’s chair. In fact, it wasn’t only Wazza who would call “Wuuuuuuuun”, but Bukkake/Boo-Cake/Car-Keys would also chime a few in there too during the game!
Speaking of Boo-Cake, he was shooting for a milestone of 300 season runs and from what I had gathered in loose conversations, was that “Surely he couldn’t lose the Tooth from here?” And to remind him what it looked like, current Tooth Holder, Hersch, proudly wore the great jacket into the centre.
So, despite some heated discussion and disputes about who was batting and who were fielding, our opposition “Juicy Ham” decided to take it upon themselves to bat. A quick protest from Da Famulee and Wazza required a coin to be tossed, so Wazza flicks the coin, Mayo (from Juicy Ham) calls ‘Heads’ and it is a head. Okay, so they can bat.
As your big C, I select Mary to open the bowling, to be followed by Bevo. Mixing it up with pace and fizz, Mary is on fire with the 1st over and concedes a handful of runs and also manages to keep the kitty happy, with a ‘cha-ching’ for mankating. Bevo starts off well with over number 2, his first ball is hit to your Big C who in turns gives a quick flick towards the stumps and a run-out is the result. Cricket is the winner on the night, at this rate! Bevo collects another wicket before then carted into the back net for 2 successive zaks. I decide to give over 3 to Forrest. A fine piece of captaincy as it turns out, with the kitty picking up another goldie for 3 leg-side wides. Oh, and 4 wickets in the over also helped! I then take over 4, sort of a ‘Father/Son’ combination, and another 4 wickets are picked up, 3 from run-outs. Suddenly, the Famulee looked liked cricketers, duly noted from the sidelines with Herc, and it was as if the lateness of the game had something to do with this early success.
After 4 overs, Juicy Ham were minus 9 runs and the scoreboard flashing was pleasing to see.
Their next pair came in and after a couple of moments of wondering how we were to continue this great form, Wazza said “Hurry up” and so the order for bowling would be Dubyah with over 5, Harley with over 6, Bukkake with over 7 and Herschelle with over 8.
Dubyah was on fire (as were the entire fielding side) with another run-out against his name (on the scoresheet that never lies), Harley got zakked (sadly) despite some excellent spin and fizz with the ball, Boo-Cake missed out on a wicket in his over and unfortunately for Hersch, who had been his usual brilliant self in the field, his bowling didn’t match the team’s fielding during his over, and he deserved a lot better.
So, after 8 overs and the half way mark, we’d held bravely in the field and had the Juicy Ham’s reeling at 36 runs. (Well, as a first time Captain, anything that was not triple figures on the scoreboard was good in my eyes hence they were reeling!)
Now, not wanting to pressure our opposition too much, seeing as they had only 6 players and we had 8, who next to bowl overs 9, 10, 11 & 12? Well, as your Big C, I thought, “Hey, let’s keep the same combination like the 1st overs. Surely we couldn’t go backwards from here?”
So I give Skull, er, Mary the yellow ball to get us underway. Another fine piece of pace and spin from Mary who produces a wicket, a couple of dot balls and a leg side wide with accompanying chants of “That’s One ah ah aaaaargh.” Bevo’s 2nd over fails to impress the tally of wicket takers, but at least he wasn’t zakked again, then Forrest is zakked but collects a couple of wickets, with Bush (your Big C) producing 3 dot balls, a leg side wide and several runs on the scoresheet that never lies. This batting pair got away from us in the end but we were still doing well after 12 overs and Juicy Ham had a total of 65 runs.
As there final pair strode out, even though we hadn’t selected any of them given their short numbres but we felt sorry for them anyway, I gather the team around for one last piece of motivational Captain talk. Well, actually, it was more like I really don’t have any idea what I’m doing but if Dad says it looks like mediocrity, then I’ll be okay and will have disguised it nicely!
So, leading off over 13 is Dubyah. What a start! First ball and the stumps are scattered. A nice wicket to pick up and deserving too. Then Harley has his 2nd over. A bit of a repeat performance with more zaks cracked but he does manage a wicket against his name with yet another run-out recorded. Is this some sort of record for run-outs???? With the 2nd last over of the game given to Car-Keys, sureley he’d improve from earlier in the evening. After all, this is the guy who surely couldn’t loose the Tooth from here! Well, perhaps it’s not too late, as Boo-Cake goes wicketless again. He went over the wicket, around the wicket, almost through the wicket. The 16th and final over from Herschelle saw some tight bowling that restricted their scoring and the usual story of, if you want a wicket, do the work yourself. Hersch managed this on the 2nd last ball of his over when the ball was smashed back in his direction, he gets one hand to it, it jumps out, he gets his other hand to it, a bit more juggling and finally he hangs onto the catch. And then ended our time in the field.
After the 16 overs that the Juicy Ham team had, their score was 104 runs.
Decisions, decisions. Who would open the batting? With the team shouting “Who’s up with the bat Bush?” I decide that it would be Forrest & Bush to open for the Famulee to be followed by Mary & Bukkake. Other batting line-ups would be determined later in the innings.
I select myself to open as their skin was minus 9 and I was confident that we could beat this. So, I wasn’t too keen to face the first ball, and send Forrest off to bat. Wazza thinks it’s ‘Steptoe & Son’ rather than ‘Father & Son’, but he’s always been a funny man.
Our first over was a mix of 3’s & 4’s off the bat, 2nd over a bit quieter, but we soon collapsed during the 3rd with 5 wickets going down. The scoreboard was also going backwards. A bit of dabbage in our 4th and final over saw some pride return and we make 16 runs, together with the skin.
Next in were Mary and Boo-Cake who started off in a blaze of glory, including a fine zak from Mary. Shouts of “Seven to equal” could be heard across the centre, along with “That’s not a zak” for Boo-Cake, who was trying his best. In fact, the harder Boo-Cake tried, the worse it became. While for Mary, he managed a zak in each of the 4 overs he faced. Yes, a total of 4 zaks in his innings, including a questionable one that somehow managed to sneak through the netted doorway and out of bounds. Mayo, the Juicy Ham’s regular noise maker, protested to Wazza something fearful that the ball was out of bounds, but it was too late. Wazz had decided that as the ball had come off hands from the field prior to leaving the arena, it was to be counted as a score and a zak against Mary’s name. Mayo was not happy! Even Herc said, “You’ve really got to wonder whether he enjoys playing this game.” Still, a fine effort for a partnership of 49 runs and a second skin comes to the Partridge Famulee.
At the half way mark, we have 65 runs and look on track to snare a win and my first as the Big C.
Next pair were Harley and Beviour who did well and some gentle dabbage and circle work in the early stages of their innings. In fact, their 1st two overs together saw 25 runs being added, however, their last 2 overs together saw their good work undone as they batted without luck. Bevo was run-out 3 times and harley, despite getting a few cracking shots off the bat, unfortunately placed them where the fielders were. Their partnership pushed the total along by 1 run.
In comparison, after 12 overs, we were 66 they were 65.
I ask Hersch and Dubbya to put in a solid performance as our final batting pair and with no pressure (or stitch-ups) make a platform to victory. They must’ve been listening, as Hersch and Dubyah selected 2 of their bowlers to make up the final 4 overs and they prodded quite a few 2’s into the side nets to keep the scoreboard ticking over towards a winning total. But like Harley and Bevo previously, it all suddenly went to custard and as Herc said, “Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory! Very Famulee like…” Yes, it was. Both Herschelle and Dubyah did their best to resurrect some of the total, but it wasn’t to be and we lose another skin and ultimately the match by 24 runs.
Final scores: Juicy Ham 104 runs – Partridge Famulee 80 runs.
I must say that despite the loss, I really enjoyed being the Big ‘C’ for the night and I appreciate being included in the team on those times I’m in Canberra and for the support everyone gives me.
Some stats from the scoresheet that never lies…
A total of 9 run-outs by the team when fielding. (Is a record?)
Mary’s mankat is proof that it’s not only Knuckles who does this.
5 catches were made when fielding.
A total of 23 dot balls were bowled.
When bowling, Forrest picked up 6 wickets, Bush picked up 4 wickets and 2 wickets each to Dubyah and Mary.
Mary top scored with the bat with 40 runs, including 4 zaks.