Okay, now that the disclaimer is out of the way, on with the show!
In what could be a first for Da Famulee, I nominate to be the ‘Big C’ a week in advance. A couple of reasons behind this. One, it ensures a place in the side. Two, it prevents the usual disquiet it causes amongst players and debates as to who’s name was at the top of the list on the web. Three, it saves Reuben having to actually pull a name out of the hat at the last minute. And four, because I can! Oh, and it was probably my turn anyway…
A quick check of available players prior to game time on the Famulee website saw Knuckles and Bukkake elevated to 8th and 9th position respectively, with Herschelle listed at 10th, but as it would turn out, Knuckles & Boo-Cake were a ‘no-show’, Hersch was back in da team, together with Bevo, Sticks, Twiggs, Schlang, Pabs, Herc.
Another quick check before the 8:40pm start witnessed Twiggs playing, with summer strip, on the WACA for the arch nemesis, The Polar Bears. Yep, there’s a cha-ching straight away for the kitty before a ball has been bowled in our game.
So, with a chill in the air around 12 degrees, with the summer strip still in vogue, our collective side gathers at the House of Bloooodayfaaarkin for our scheduled 8:40pm start, also known as the new ‘Graveyard Shift’. Confusion of whether it was still a grading game, given it’s the 4th game of our new season and these things are usually settled earlier, not that it matters, we’ll still end up playing against the same handful of teams that take great pleasure in thrashing the be-jesus out of us, we’re on the WACA against The Founding Fathers, a side that we played twice in the previous season for a 1 win and 1 loss record.
The coin is tossed, cries of “We’ll bat” were heard (loudest by Herc) and The Founding Fathers win the toss and decide to field. Given Herc’s enthusiasm of “We’ll bat” he’s up to open with Schlang, who also mumbled something about “We’ll bat”, just not as loud as Herc!
I didn’t care much for the fact that they had beers in their hands, the 12 degree chill would still keep their beverages at a nice temperature for the time it’d take to get through their 4 overs. What a start, 19 runs off the first over. To think that a platform was in the making was quickly shattered, with several stitch-ups by the lads and lusty swinging, clearly they weren’t bowling to their batting arcs! Well, except one delivery to Schlang, who hits up a lovely zak.
Sticks, the resident “keeper of zaks”, it dumbfounded as to the zak form of Bang-Schlang thus far this season, although you’d think after 20 season he’d finally have his eye in!
It was pretty to watch as a 26 run partnership was made.
Next pair of the ‘Big C’ and Sticks was up next. While we couldn’t match a first over of 19 runs like Herc (or Hirk as it was recorded on the scoresheet that never lies) and Schlang, we did manage a cautious 16 runs. Spurred on by Schlangy’s zak, Sticka adds one of his own in true style – heaps of bottom hand and good use of the top net. His ‘swaying’ finesse was also on show by the big marn until it was overshadowed by a zak from the ‘Big C’ off the toe of the bat. Perhaps never seen before and one of the most unlikely shots to ever be hit, while it looked awkward and sounded like a thud that was better suited in another sport, and completely bamboozled everyone except the umpire, who duly noted it on the scoresheet. Sticka was searching for an additional zak after hitting the ball through a hole in the top net that dribbled its way along the top and over the back net but was deemed a ‘dead ball’. If he’d had his hat, I’m sure he would’ve thrown it down in disgust, but he didn’t have it, and was reminded accordingly!
Runs aplenty here with the partnership of 52 and a progressive score of 78 runs at the half way mark.
In recent weeks, Bevo & Pabs have been a formidable force as a batting pair and while I could continue this trend, I thought “Nah, why would ya”, I break the combination and send Bevo and Twiggs out as the third pair, just for something different. And different it was!
Twiggs, still fresh from his warm-up with the Polar Bears (and resultant cha-ching) is runout 3rd ball faced, Bevo is caught off the 4th ball of their first over and suddenly the scoreboard’s broken. Further outs didn’t help the Partridge cause in their 2nd and 3rd overs and by the time the fronted for their 4th and final over together, the scoreboard hadn’t been fixed. Yes, it was flashing so much I was beginning to worry that it was about to inflict an epileptic fit! Alas, no fit, only more goldies for the kitty as a negative partnership was recorded of minus 1.
Surely we couldn’t go backwards from here?
With Hersch looking a million dollars wearing the Houdnstooth, he soon scaled back a few thousand dollars and with Pabs, headed out as our final batting pair.
The curse of the Tooth was in da house for Hersch, or “Curse-Shelle” as he was quickly dubbed, as he and Pabs made small inroads through their overs at first. It picked up towards the 16th and final over with plenty of side net 2’s and despite Pabs’ customised ‘dabbage’, the boys push our final total into 3 figures – 101 runs.
By the halfway mark, our opposition were down a player to 7 due to injury and with no particular strategy in mind for fielding/bowling, I give the ball to Schlang to open. Surely his zac-ability prowess can transfer to getting wickets. Well, not exactly as it turns out. He has 20 runs taken from his over, then Hirk, er Herc, takes the 2nd over and while he collects a wicket, The Founding Fathers continue to punish Da Famulee. The next over to Twiggs doesn’t begin well. His first ball is smacked into the back net, the 2nd was better as Bevo brings the wickets crashing down with a lovely stumping, but the 3rd delivery from Twiggs is again zaked. An expensive over from the ‘Son of Sticks’ with 26 runs and then Pabs comes on for over 4. Like Twiggs’ previous efforts, he too is zaked twice and no wickets against his name.
Not only do the opposition win the skin resoundingly, they also manage to nearly equal our total score after 4 overs! An 88 run partnership is a case of “Ouch”. Or, as it was noted, “We’ve seen enough fellas, bring it in!”
As their 2nd pair come out, I choose Curse-Schelle to whip in a bit of style with over 5 of the innings. By the end of this over, they have already overtaken our combined score. Again, “We’ve seen enough, bring it in” was heard and as the ‘Big C’, I was seriously contemplating such a move, but in true Famulee style, we’d forge onwards and upwards. (May have actually been onwards but no evidence of upwards – except in their score!)
Sticks came to the rescue in over 6, picking up a couple of wickets and it could’ve been more, but the dreaded kitty wanted a piece of the action and from this point on, dropped catches, missed run outs, excessive leg side wides and an ‘Harbour Bridge’ (courtesy of Twiggs) for good measure meant “Cha-ching” was uttered more than “Howzat!”
Over 7 from Bevo sorta reflected this along with over 8 from the ‘Big C’. At least we win the skin on this one.
All the while, the runs mounted upwards for The Founding Fathers, who at their halfway mark, had amassed 124 runs.
As we gathered together to endure the next allotment of overs, Schlang and Herc had begun their traditional song and dance of “This club is faaarked – Hey!” and as amusing as it was, there was a slim hope of salvaging some respect, not that we’ve really ever had any! Mediocrity sure, but not respect.
Over 9 goes to Twiggs, who’s 2nd over was an improvement on his first, but still cost him 10 runs. Curse-Schelle follows up with over 10 and bowls a tidy line for 2 wickets, then Bevo comes from behind the stumps with over 11 of the game. Like Hersch, Bevo also gets a couple of wickets against his name and while the runs aren’t as free flowing with this batting pair, Herc in over 12 manages to get a couple dot balls and 2 wickets in there but it wasn’t enough to win the skin but the opposition’s total has moved to 139 runs (on the scoresheet that never lies).
We pick a second batter to pair up with their last player and with 4 overs in the game remaining, I nominate Sticks with over 13, Pabs with over 14, Schlang with over 15 and myself with the 16th and final over. I could’ve given the 16th and dreaded final away to someone else but seeing the game slip away by the stage, I figured it really wasn’t going to make much of a difference.
Sticks bowled without luck (again!), Pabs did his best with the shiny yellow pill, Schlang got another zak against his name (the ball hit the coke sign on the back net on the full – not that Tony’s about to cough up a free softie) and when Twiggs dropped a catch off the Big C’s final ball in over 16, there was the Captains fine summed up beautifully.
Final scores: The Founding Fathers 190 – Partridge Famulee 101.
Better scores with the bat: Forrest 27 runs, Sticks 25 runs, Schlang 21 runs, Herschelle 14 runs, Pabs 10 runs.
Not so better scores with the bat: Herc 5 runs, Twiggs 4 runs, Bevo minus 5 runs.
FORREST – Your ‘Big C’