Although after announcing to our umpire that we would bat first, the decision was overturned and it was decided that we were going to field. I made the executive decision that Sticks was going to serve up the jackpot, although to the tune of "You little prick!" He did not appear to appreciate it. With Pabs (or "Babs" according to the scoresheet that never lies), Forrest and myself following in the bowling, the Larry Gomes managed a skin of 32.
It was good to see Skip back in the mix so he’d be up for another of the jackpot bowling efforts, then Plus 1, then Hersch and then Pretty Eyes. The usual cries of "Bowled without luck" were said for Skip and Plus 1, Hersch managed to get wickets by doing it all himself, and Pretty Eyes, well, he’s just got pretty eyes. Their second skin was 22 runs and if you can’t do the math, the Larry Gomes were 54 after 8 overs.
As the Big C, I decided that I would keep the bowling order from the first eight overs as the same for the next eight overs, which meant Sticks thought of me as a ‘little prick’ (again), but he jagged a few wickets, so it wasn’t that bad. Pabsy got zaked, but he also grabbed a couple of wickets, Dad, er Forrest, took a catch off his own bowling and as for me, well, Sticks did well covering the back net which eventuated in a runout, but apart from that, the real victory was a zero from their batting partnership.
The Larry Gomes only had 6 players so they pretty much picked 2 of their own to bat again for the last 4 overs. They faced the ‘wild thing’ of Skip, some great deliveries from Plus 1, more tight bowling from Hersch, and then an avalanche of wickets from Pretty Eyes to round out the 16th over. While there was some advancement in the score, the Larry Gomes would finish with 86 runs.
Surely we could defend this?
I was feeling confident that our opening batsman would build a platform, so with Pretty Eyes still feeling the exhaustion (and elation) from the 16th over, I choose him and Skipper. Skipper, by the way, would be listed as ‘Sticks’ on the scoresheet. Could this mean Sticks would earn extra runs? Not if I could talk Reuben into it! Anyway, Pretty Eyes was using those eyes and seeing the ball well enough to zak it up, while Skipper was playing some fine net shots and before you knew it, a partnership of 45 was made and we’ve secured our first skin of the game. Geez, we’ve even managed to pace ourselves to be within half the runs required for victory!
It was never going to be easy to get our batters together, having not seen their form for some time, so on a whim, I pick Plus 1 and Herschelle to be our second batting pair. It would turn out to be a stroke of genius. In fact, there were 2 genius strokes by Hersch which we’d call ‘zakage’, and plenty of genius-like stroke play from Plus 1, and between them, an even distribution of deliveries faced and a partnership of 41 runs. Not only another win of the sin, but we’d managed to equal the Larry Gomes score of 86 runs after only 8 overs. If there was a rain delay, surely under the Duckworth-Lewis system we’d be winners!
Next in would be the father and son pairing of Forrest and Bush (the Big C), a combination that had united for about the 14th time since I first thought fondly of the colours of purple and lime green back in season 15. Here we were as part of season 25, chasing a skin of zero, and feeling confident about it too. So confident, that I didn’t care about wanting to face the jackpot ball and hitting the potential winning runs. Actually, runs wouldn’t be coming all that fast in the first over. I blame Dad of course, he should’ve mentored me in the art of zakage a lot earlier, but we pushed on. Plenty of side net punishment between us for a partnership of 35 runs, another skin and suddenly this being the ‘Big C’ is becoming easier.
With no pressure, Pabs and Sticks come in and if it wasn’t enough for Sticks to bowl jackpot balls, he’d have to face one as well. He missed hitting it, but soon made up for it with a lovely zak in the first over, while Pabs was up to his usual dabbage that I remember well. It may have been a while since I’d played, but you never forget that true Pabs dab! Sticks really got his ladle into gear the more the innings went on and would eventually top score with 41 runs, with Pabs managing around half that amount. When they’d finished batting, the scoreboard showed a partnership of 61 runs and a final total of 182 runs for the Famulee.
After the game, as the kitty started to gobble up goldies for lack of catches (or dropped ones), the Captain’s fine would be anyone who shared a batting partnership of 61 runs. Oh dear, that’d be Sticks and Pabs. As Sticks reached for the coin, his displeasure was duly noted as I was no longer referred to as ‘a little prick’, but something more akin to a girls frontal anatomy. So, with all fines paid (about $15), the scoresheet arrives and reveals after a quick check, that Pabs and Sticks partnership was not 61 runs, but actually 62 runs. But it was too late by then.
Final scores were Partridge Famulee 183 runs – Larry Gomes 86 runs. A winning margin of 97 runs.
While I wasn’t successful on gathering a ‘Tooth point, there were 3 points to Sticks, 2 points to Hersch and 1 to Forrest.
Even though I don’t get to play all that much, it’s always fun and I really enjoyed being one of the select few in season 25 so far, and that’s a winningest one!