It’s Forrest here, also known as YCFTN (Your Captain For The Night) with a review of game 25 of season 22, a season that hasn’t produced too many highlights, with the exception of Cali’s ‘Lucky Charm’ Michelle, but plenty of lowlights, mostly accompanied by the shouting of “Stitch up!” and “What about NOOOOWWWWW!”
For some strange reason, only known to Bloooddyyfaaaaaaaaaarkin, we’re on the WACA for what seemed like the 3 millionth consecutive week (may have actually been the third week in a row) for the semi new Midnight timeslot of 8:10pm. Accompanying YCFTN (and in no particular selected order), lining up for the purple and lime green would be Knuckles, Hersch, Cali (fornia), Conan, Boo Cakes, Herc and Schlang. Mary was a late ‘pull out’ for the game, Jacko arrived for support (or is that to sledge?), Canada had been MIA and Pabsy was no where to be seen and Sticka was unsighted. Could Sticks’ mysterious ‘no-show’ in September be linked with his beloved Piez and the AFL finals? Was he saving his best ladle work by barracking at the tele and not with his fellow Partridges? Hmmmmm……
With typical Herc shouts (or is it just a given) of “We’ll bat”, YCFTN meets our opposition of Festers Jesters for the ceremonial coin toss. We may have lost the toss, but Fester Jesters decide to field and we get our wish to bat first. So, as we came into the 25th game of this season, this would be the first time we’ve been matched against Festers Jesters in season 22. Surely we played them only 2 weeks ago? Isn’t that how it works? Apparently not.
So, YCFTN makes the early decision to send out Knoo-clays and Herc as the first pair. I sensed Knuckles kinda new it was coming as a mild form of payback from the previous week’s game, still, it was nice to see the big fella take to the WACA with his batting partner who’s only trademark shot is by swinging his left foot as far across the pitch as possible with scant regard for where the ball was actually bowled.
To say their first over together wasn’t the best would be an understatement and is best remembered by Boo-Car-Keys constantly reminding them that there was something wrong with the scoreboard, it flashed a lot, must’ve been broken, and how does that stitch-up go again? Not even a zak from Knuckles could stop the scoreboard from going ‘off and on’ and help their cause. Their second over somehow did fix the scoreboard but by the end of the third over, it was broken (again). With some lusty swinging in the fourth over by the lads, including a tally of 4 zaks from the bat of Knooclays, both he and Herc would finish with a partnership of 13 runs. As they came off the WACA, Herc was doing the math in his head trying to guess his negative batting score. Let’s just say it was plenty!
YCFTN makes the call to go in next with Herschelle, and as we go in, Hersch reminds YCFTN that going in as the second pair isn’t always a good strategy as you don’t get a good look at all the bowlers. YCFTN acknowledges this but thinks “Bugger that” and sends Hersch off to face the jackpot ball. Not that any runs were made but YCFTN was confident in giving the rubberman a chance of a jackpot zak. While Hersch couldn’t get the ball to stick into the back net on the full at any stage of the innings, YCFTN did hit up 2 zaks in his ever enduring chase to equal Sticky’s zak total, and along with some dabbage reminiscent of Pabs, a sway worthy of Wa Wa, the pair built a platform any Pakistani book maker would’ve been proud of, and finished with another 50 runs added to the scoreboard which managed to escape any ‘broken’ moments.
After 8 overs we had a total of 63 runs.
Next pair selected by YCFTN would be Schlang and Buck-Lay-Mees and what looked like ‘Scissors, Paper, Rock’ ended up with Schlang to open, which he did by crafting something that resembled a shot. With Pooh-Cakes facing the second delivery, he quickly found the hands of a fielder and was duly given out. Oh dear, the WACA scoreboard was flashing (again) and for a moment YCFTN thought “Surely we couldn’t go backwards from here?” As good fortune (or was it luck?) would have it, they managed to push the side nets (but not the back net) with monotonous regularity and not give away additional wickets and build a second platform of 42 runs. The Pakistani bookmakers never saw that coming!
Final pair was Cali and Conan, and for memory, YCFTN couldn’t recall if they had batted together (but I’m sure Boo-Cake will review this advise accordingly as the stats guru of all matters Partridge) and while Conan really wanted to avoid batting last (as it didn’t go well from the previous week), YCFTN told him to dry his eyes and get out there. The thinking was Conan could amble while Cali would sprint. Confusion to reign supreme, not just for the Jesters, but for the chickeny-duck-things too! No jackpot zak from Conan as he faced the first ball of their partnership, but Cali did manage to leave his wicket open and get bowled a few deliveries later. Then, after some fine bunting with the intent of hitting the centre circle, (‘cos you can’t get out in the circle) both Cali and Conan threw a few runs away chasing deliveries that deserved to be smacked into the back net every time, but it wasn’t to be, getting caught several times. As they came into the 16th and final over, Conan belts a 5 then Cali zaks it up. WTF? Still, it was a moment to saviour, if only briefly, as he’s stumped a few deliveries later after running (or is that dancing?) down the pitch trying to emulate the effort again. They finish with a partnership of 14 runs, with all 14 runs credited to Conan and zip to Cali, narrowly avoiding a cha-ching.
So, after 16 fine overs of criggit in its purest form, Da Famulee have a total of 119 runs.
Surely we could defend this? Surely we can still make the finals? Surely….!!!!
YCFTN felt it was only fair that as Knuckles had opened the batting he could also open the bowling, and with his second delivery, a catch is secured. Now, the WACA scoreboard was doing its flashing bits again! It soon stopped going ‘off and on’ as Knuckles continued his over and he narrowly avoids a cha-ching having bowled 2 wides. Conan comes in with the second over and while he has the ability to mix it up, it didn’t quite work out as YCFTN had hoped and goes for 9 runs. YCFTN tries his luck with the third over and on the last delivery, Cali takes a screamer of a catch, and while we were still trying to defend the skin, Herschelle’s over gave away 2 runs but it was not enough to keep the Jesters from taking the skin. They have 25 runs on the board.
As their next batting pair come in, YCFTN decides to give Butt-Sharpies the ball to open over 5, as he usually gets to bowl late in a game given his wicket keeping duties. YCFTN thought we’ll mix it up. All good in theory but quickly crashing back to earth when the jackpot ball is smashed back over his head as a zak and an instant 14 runs off one delivery. Tone bowled without luck and went for 25 runs. Ouch! Schlangy didn’t fair too much better with the sixth over, managing one wicket, and with Conan back into the attack, their batting pair had worked out that we couldn’t bowl for sh*t and with Cali doing his best with over number 8, a second skin went begging.
After 8 overs, Festers Jesters had 89 runs to their name and trailed Da Famulee by 30 runs to equal and 31 to victory. It could’ve been better had we held a few catches, but the kitty was cheering the fact that we’d dropped a few too. Funny about that…
The game turned in our favour from here, if only fleetingly, and with Herc sending down the first ball of over 9, a runout is the result and seeing minus 10 (and the return of the broken scoreboard) was a delight. Sadly for Herc, the joy of a jackpot wicket quickly turned sour when he was zaked later in the over. Knuckles was brought back into the attack and was immediately no-balled for a front foot infringement and bowled without luck and suddenly our defendable total was slipping out of reach. Boo-Cake did well with his second over, bringing up a wicket with his first ball and then with Cali having over 12, 3 wides for a cha-ching and zak wasn’t good for his stats, but it was enough to win a skin but not quite enough to keep them in check, as by this stage, Festers Jesters had 126 runs.
So, with 4 overs left and we’re trailing by 7 runs, the remaining bowlers of Schlang, Herc, Hersch and YCFTN would have to work a miracle (or just pluck a fluke out of our backsides) if we were to remind ourselves of what that winning feeling was like. So, in that order, Schlang leads off and does well to make the scoreboard flash for their final batting pair with a couple of wickets. Herc comes back with such ferocity (may not actually have been ferocious but it’s nice to write it!) that the scoreboard continues to be broken and suddenly it looks like we’ll snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Or would it be the other way round? With Herschelle up for the second-last over, he keeps a good line and length to hamstring the batters and with YCFTN having over 16 (it was the honourable thing to do), we just couldn’t contain their score for victory, although we did secure a second skin.
Final scores were Fester Jesters 131 runs. Partridge Famulee 119 runs. A loss by 12 runs.
At games end we learn that next week would be finals. Yep, we knew we’d make it! YCFTN also announced his Captain’s Fine which would be for anyone whose age was less than the Captain. Given Reubs likes to highlight on the website everyone’s age, YCFTN figured that everyone playing this game had to be under 45 years of age and there were 7 easy goldies for the kitty. (hehe) Plus, there would be an extra kitty from Pabs who was seen playing for another team at the 9:30pm game. Cha-ching big time, especially as Pabs was playing for the Pork-Hunts, er, the Polar Bears.
Reuben has advised that Tooth points from this match are: Forrest (YCFTN) with 3 points, Knuckles with 2 points and Schlangy with 1 point.
On a brighter note, several milestones were achieved as part of game 25 of season 22. Herschelle reached 375 career games. Cali reached 25 games. Knuckles hit his 325th career zak. Conan reached 200 runs for the season.