It had been declared Mad Hatter Tuesday at Weston ICA and the Family had responded in grand fashion! Many a doubtful look was cast by others inside the centre, but the family ignored the spiteful sledging (mainly coming from Tony behind the counter) and strode on court (seeing as we had 6 and they had 4 we were selected to field by Chopper up in the box seat).
So there we stood awaiting the magic that was to come - WaWa looked the goods in the slightly less streamlined version of Cathy Freemans speed hood, Herc in his Mr Bo Jangles white hat complete with decorations (alledgedly belonged to one of Caitlins friends), Herschelle in a borrowed blue terry towelling hat complete with white vents on the side, Mojo - in no danger of sunburn under his sombrero, and Schlang had all the local wildlife under control in his Mick Dundee hat. Beanies were popular and varied with No Looks trusty Saints version, Sticks in his Green two foot long beanie and Big Al in his speeessshal fluro yellow number propped on his head homie style!
The magic took a while to fire, but it was Croc Dundee leading the way -the hat had given him something (other than a nasty rash) that had been lacking and he was everywhere in the field. Herschelle had an unusually ordinary night in the field, topped off with dropping one dolly at the front net and another off his own bowling that went straight through his hands without touching even a finger (as witnessed by Sticks who was at the back net and almost defouled himself when the ball came hurtling through melon high!).
WaWa kept beautifully for the first few overs, with the highlight being the ball that he forgot to use the gloves and wore one on the upper thigh/groin region. Wee Willie Winkie in his 2 foot beanie had all sorts of trouble getting his line and length anywhere near right and Chopper took great delight in overseeing possibly the worst over in cricket history. 5 wides and a no ball, but in hindsight probably saved another 20 runs by making them unhittably wide down legside. Calls of cha-ching rang out around the court and deservedly so!
However it started to come together when WaWa sent down his patented lobbed slo-mo hand grenade to knock the batsmen over middle stump. Big Bird followed up by shattering the stumps and the Croc lured the batsmen into hitting sixes so hard that they rebounded off the back net in plenty of time for them to be run out at the bowlers end.
Mojo and Marty "Oh When the Saints" Beggs kept his good form going and bowled beautifully - unfortunately they were bowling to spooks who couldn't have hit water if they fell out of a boat. Countless times the ball fizzed past the outside edge of the bat or stumps to the frustration of the family. Clint "Terry" Fritz led the way though with a tight line and being backed up marvellously by Croc, who couldn't set a foot wrong!
However as always the score had crept (or should that be blown?) way beyond what it should have been and chasing 143 runs for victory.
Sticks and Mojo were first up at the plate and were both keen to extract as many zacs from the opposition as possible. They both came out swinging - unfortunately for Sticks he was swinging like a rusty gate. It was an AFL Grand Final day like cheer that erupted when he was bowled neck and crop... and then stumped and then stumped again! The Family loved it, but they steadied the ship and managed a few zacs in between coming from the field with a good start of 42 runs.
Up next were Herc and WaWa were up next and also decided that attack was the best form of defence. Herc broke the shackles with his first zac for the season and WaWa attempted the same, falling just short on two occasions. This rattled the big man and the heat exhaustion also kicked in under his -15 degree proof headgear. Herc's running was a highlight - not because of his running between the wickets, but the melody that his hat pumped out every time he took a step! The partnership came from the field with 6 runs, and WaWa owing a dollar for his minus total.
Next up were Herschelle and No Look and attempting to correct the flagging run rate. In a polished display (particularly by No Look) they worked the ball to all corners of the oval - without even a hint of the flailing displays of previous partnerships. Protecting their wickets grimly, only one wicket fell between them despite the appeals of their teammates on several run out chances! Herschelle staked his claim for the new title of Two Dots, prompting Schlangy to mention he was unfairly dealt with getting the nickname Two Dots as he hadn't done it for ages. They came from the field with 48 runs to their name and the scoreboard looking healthier on 96 runs - still a sizable 47 runs behind.
Last up were Croc and Big Bird to chase the unchaseable. Mutters of - surely they can't possibly win it from here were heard and Mojo departed for overseas without the confidence to watch his teammates (and he had a netball game on). One over down and the boys were going OK. Two down and they were closing fast. Croc couldn't put a foot wrong (apart from his couple of two dots efforts after making the big call earlier) and Big Bird was rock solid in support. Third over and Croc broke his season long zac drought and Big Bird added one for good measure.
With one over left to go, the boys were in real striking distance. Croc and then Big Bird worked the ball to the side nets and then with four balls left and only four runs behind - disaster struck. Croc got a half volley and cracked it straight down the ground - unfortunately straight to the backing up fieldsman who ran out Big Bird at the bowlers end. Bugger was the call - well really the only call I can print in this family edition, and all heads around the stadium dropped.
Nine runs down and four balls left and with Peter "Two Dots" Bolton facing - the Family was nervous to say the least. However he reacted with an almighty slog which went all the way to the back and the crowd in the Great Southern Stand erupted! He pumped his fist in celebrations just about all the way down the pitch as the family clawed back and the boys iced the victory with sensible side net work to finish with a 50 partnership and a mighty victory by four runs.
So victory again for the Family for the second week in a row, which just happened to coincide with Gadjs two game absence. Coincidence or not - this week we will find out for sure.
The team will be left with a large hole as Mojo departs (his new email address while away is firstname.lastname@example.org) and Gadj will step up.
The team is:
* Gadj (c)
* No Look
* Big Bird
No theme this week and the game is at 9:30pm. Be sure to be on time and bring money for your fines, as with Gadj back to strictly enforce the rules - the current $4 fine kitty is sure to increase!
Until next time, keep on winning and bye for now.
P.S. Anyone got anything for Bonaduccis Briefs?