Yes folks, its Forrest here and it’s another recollection of 80 minutes of match time from Game 14 of Season 21.
Seeing as it was going to be the last game of 2009 and presumably half way through Season 21, I gave Reubs the heads-up early that I’d be the ‘Big C’. Actually, I self-nominated about 8 hours before actual game time but thought it’s been a while since I was the ‘Big C’ and was really looking for some lame excuse to write a chronicle in anticipation that an additional scoresheet would be published as they’ve been few and far between so far this season. Plus, and to the best of my failing memory, it would be an ideal opportunity to remind ourselves of what we got up to. Or not...
So, picture if you will (or can), it’s Toozdae 22 December 2009 and it’s about a million degrees in Weston. The heat is then upped somewhat from the steps radiating as you enter the House of Blooodyfarkin. If that’s not enuff, available players put on their Santa hats in keeping with the theme of the night. It’s now a gazilion degrees and we haven’t even started! As Herc observed, we would be playing on the MCG, the only pitch which is closest to the vents on one side of the House, although good thinking, it wasn’t going to help with no breeze, but I was lovin’ where his head was at. Or part of what I could see of his head, given it was covered by a mixture of red and white furry material. Even Jacko’s last minute purchase of a hat from some reputable business in Coolaman Court was the business with bells on for two dollars fiddy. *
* Said business reputation is questioned.
Our ref for the night would some kid called Russo (where was Merrick?) and as 6 o’clock approached, lining up for the sauna were Bevo, Bukkake, Harry, Herc, Herschelle, Jacko and YCFTN (Your Captain For The Night). Kleenex, as it turned out, was running late due to production issues at work, whatever that means. Me thinks the kitty is off to a good start with a goldie before a ball is bowled. Our opposition would be a side known as The Scorpions, and after much thorough research (may have actually quickly checked Da Famulee website) it turns out this is a side the Partridge Famulee hasn’t played before. Ever. What’s up with that? Surely it was a Tawny scheduling error. Don’t we usually play Juicy Ham, Polar Bears, Modern Gurus and Kerwins Mob every second week?
Apparently Russo did the toss of the coin manoeuvre and I say apparently, as I certainly didn’t witness it, shouts of “We’ll bat” were made from the bar, not that it did us any good as by the time we all got to the MCG, we would be fielding. So with 7 present Famulee members, looking hot (literally) with our respective Santa hats, we take to the ‘G’.
As YCFTN, I thought it’s been a while since I’ve seen Bevo bowl the first over of a game as he usually takes straight to the keeping position and gets (usually) over 7 or 8, so with him fresh to go (may have actually been panting from rushing straight from work, several amber beverages and 300 gaspers) he starts us off. First ball, being the jackpot, is wide. Oh dear, that 2’s ah ah aaaah. Unfortunately for Bevo, but fortuitously for the kitty, there’s another wide delivery in his first over and a goldie is the result. No wickets either but a couple of dot balls were in there for good measure. Herc is up next with the ball and had Waz been umpiring, we would’ve been overwhelmed with the call of “Wuuuun” but seeing as it was Russo, it just wasn’t the same. Over 3 to Jacko and by this time, we’re starting to learn that our new opposition were handy with the bat. Jacko gets a wicket early but then gets zaked with consecutive deliveries and narrowly avoids a goldie with 2 wides. YCFTN gives Harry over 4. Time for a bit of pace. Bevo, from behind the stumps, yells out, “Let’s go Potter!” and so he did. Alas, a heap of wickets we were searching for never arrived, although a run out off Harry’s final delivery was a small consolation.
After 4 overs, The Scorpions had 56 runs. Ouch!
Still no sign of Kleenex as the opposition’s next pair come in and with 7 players, surely we couldn’t go backwards from here! Herschelle, who had been doing his best Pele soccer skills from the back net up to this point, begins over 5 and it’s a dot ball. Well, actually, it’s 2 dot balls when you apply the jackpot rule. Apart from getting zaked, it was a tidy over which was then followed by Bukkake (spelt Bakarky by the ump on the scoresheet that never lies) and he manages to capture a wicket despite the scoreboard ticking over against our wishes. Over 7 is with YCFTN and the first ball is zaked. Phaaark, that wasn’t supposed to happen! Revenge was sweet when later that over, the zakee is bowled twice. Herc is given the ball for over 8 and he too gets zaked. Yes, these guys knew how to hit. Either that or we just bowled to their batting arcs! While not as big a partnership as their first pair, they still managed 36 runs. Could’ve been less runs had it not been for missed opportunities with run outs and dropped catches. Cha-ching!
After 8 overs, The Scorpions had moved onto 92 runs.
At the halfway mark, we’re all feeling the heat of the House more than we care to remember. The Santa hats aren’t helping. We’re all sweating up. There’s nothing like having a soaking white knob swinging about your face. (The pom-pom bit of the hat, that is) Even Boo-cake, when keeping, said putting his hand inside one of the keepers gloves was like putting it into Brittany! Oh dear...
By this time, Kleenex graces us with his presence and as a timely reward, begins over 9 and the batting stylings of The Scorpions continue. Another zak and a bit of side net action and Kleenex goes for 20 runs. Harry is then brought back into bowl and manages 3 dot balls out of 8 deliveries, which you’d think would be good, but it wasn’t, ‘cos there were also 3 wides (cha-ching). Over 10 sees Bevo mixing it up with some fine ‘pie action’ and it was a good thing too, as we managed 2 run outs in his over. YCFTN decides to bowl over 12, and like Harry, manages 3 dot balls out 8, but the rest was ordinary to put it mildly. The Scorpions third pair manage 44 runs to their total and our run of missed chances persisted. For memory, there was a parry against Bukkake’s name and fingers to the ball from Herc and Jacko which were additional goldies into the kitty.
After 12 overs, their score was 136 runs and it wasn’t looking good. What did look good was the bar (for a change) and a few cold frothies.
With 4 overs to go, the order would Bakarky, Jacko, Hersch and Kleenex. Sadly, Bukkake went wicketless despite mixing up his deliveries to bamboozle the batters, Jacko’s second over saw a wicket against his name (on the scoresheet that never lies) and narrowly avoiding 3 wides, Herschelle got zaked for the second time of the game (but would get revenge later as it turned out) and no wickets, while Kleenex, with over 16, managed to not give away any extra deliveries. What he did give away were 2 zaks but also got 2 wickets, a fine stumping from Bevo and a catch off the last ball of the innings.
The Scorpions had built a total of 180 runs.
So, now for the chase.
As anyone who’s been the ‘Big C’ will know, faced with the all important task of selecting an opening pair is never easy. Careful consideration to matching the right pair is required, who has a drink in their hand, who looks ‘fresh’ from the field, previous efforts with making runs, zakability to chase the skin, speed between the wickets, dabbage and ladle work. None of these qualities crossed my mind as I was too buggered from the heat, like my fellow chicken-duck-things, so I give the nod to Jacko and Harry to open.
Harry faces the first ball, minus his Santa hat, and as this was not in keeping with Reuben’s theme of the night, me thinks there’s an instant Captains fine. Cha-ching. Jacko, however, at the non strikers end, was wearing his hat and so all was good in so much as potential fineage. By the end of their first over together, Harry had been run out once, Jacko twice and the scoreboard was broken. The second over was a huge improvement as Jacko, who hadn’t swash buckled the blade for a while, zaked it up big time twice, helping to fix said broken scoreboard. As they worked their way through their third and fourth overs, much smacking of the ball ensued, although Jacko was robbed of another zak in his innings when the ball went through the top of the back net and out of play. A dead ball. We all thought that Tawny’s Christmas present to himself would be to learn crocheting and fix the holes with some fine needle work. Seeing Jacko run between wickets was reminiscent of Partridge times gone by as we were sure he’d been to the “Big Al School of Lumbering Between Wickets”! With Harry’s efforts, the guys put on 20 runs.
Given the second skin was 36 runs and the smallest one on the night to chase, YCFTN thought it was gettable with the ‘Dabbage Brothers’, namely Kleenex and Bevo. Never to disappoint, the Dabbage Brothers lived up to their name and pushed, dabbed, edged and snicked the ball around the nets of the MCG to the point that the centre circle was beginning to feel left out. And we all know you can’t get out in the centre circle. Had Bevo not thrown his wicket away at one point, the skin would’ve been ours, but they went close, managing 33 runs.
After 8 overs, Da Famulee had scored 53 runs and reaching a winning score was starting look out of reach.
Third pair of Bakarky and Herc would be next with their challenge to chase down the skin of 44 runs and knowing Bukkake likes it hot (insert innuendo here), the gents didn’t get off to the start YCFTN was hoping for. After their first over together, that scoreboard was broken (again) but in true form, they turned it around with their second over. The tempo picked up from here with additional runs added, although Herc was robbed of a zak after being caught shy of the back net. A bit too much top net with the shot, something Sticka would’ve been proud of. Not to be outdone, Herc comes back and makes up for it next ball with a beautiful zak. Their partnership of 17 runs wasn’t enough to get the skin but at least we were going forwards and after 12 overs had amassed 70 runs.
Final pair of Herschelle and YCFTN get ready. We only need 110 runs to tie, 111 to win and a skin of 44 to beat. Three fine challenges but which one would we meet, if any at all? As it turned out, we’d capture the challenge of the 44 run skin. In several words, Herschelle was on fire! Over the course of the partnership, Hersche had managed to zak it up 4 times (a first for him) and almost take out YCFTN in the process. He was middling everything off the bat that came his way including the shot that brought YCFTN down after being struck in the back of the neck. Had I not turned (and the reaction time had to be quick for someone like me at 44 years of age) it could’ve been worse. Phaaaark that hurt! After a short ‘time out’ to check if I could still move my head, proceedings continued, as a large red mark quickly came up. Not the usual ‘Forrest Peach’ colour on this occasion. Perhaps the blow to the back of the neck was what I needed as the next ball I faced was a zak. Still, Herschelle’s great effort along of 49 runs was enough to take the skin and when combined with YCFTN’s score, we well and truly captured the skin but not the game.
Final score: The Scorpions 180 runs – Partridge Famulee 137 runs.
Still, it wasn’t all bad news on the night. Milestones achieved were Herschelle 6000 career runs, Herschelle 400 games, Herschelle 200 season runs (yes, it’s all about Hersch) and Kleenex with 100 season runs. Oh, the kitty did well with around $20 worth of gold.
Subject to Reuben’s confirmation, 3 Tooth points to Hersch (like there was never any doubt) with positive 21, 2 tooth points to YCFTN with positive 1 and 1 Tooth point to Bevo with negative 3 net worth.