SETTING THE SCENE
As any good story goes, there has to be some background. And the background goes "a little somethin like dis".
Ring, ring..........ring, ring...........ring, ring.....
Scott : Hello Tony : Hi Scott, it's Tony from Indoor Cricket...........
What followed was a lot of "ah, you're fuckin' joking" and "fuck me!" calls as Tony proceeded to pull the pin on the first game of the season.
Stuey (tactical advisor - brought in to the side to add some ........ah, tactical advice) and I had a quick team meeting. Hmm, it's 6pm, the game's been forfeited, but should we tell anyone, "nope, fuck em".
The decision was made, all we had to do was pull it off (so to speak). With Luke and WA WA uncontactable we thought we'd drag everyone out there and have a scratch match much to their expected chargrin.
The phone rings again, this time, it's 6.40...............
Tony : Hi Scott, it's Tony from Indoor Cricket..........
This time I hung up with a bit better frame of mind. They'd decided to scrounge together 7 low-lifes with nothing else to do other than get hounded by "C'mon get happy" for the better part of 1 ½ hours.
The boys gathered at my place for pre-match warm ups (various types of beer were consumed) and then we headed off to the bus for the epic voyage ahead.
Stuey was heard to laugh in embarrassment as the "da, ding, ding,..........." started up. Inzy cranked up the volume and off we went. Luckily, we got all the red lights, so Stuey was able to hear an extra 4 times, the wonderful world that we know and love, called Partridge.
We snuck into Weston ICA looking our usual (dis)graceful selves. Now incorporating Sticks' own personal uniform of wearing the bright yellow footy socks (pulled up to the knees) as made famous by Hawthorn. The CD was blaring and heads a turning as the first dulcit tones of the Partridge family bellowed into the arena.
Beers in hand, we were hastily ushered onto court. We hadn't fielded first for a long time, but this being an 8.10 game bid well for a hasty retreat to the bar afterward and a long night ahead for the barkeep.
THE TURNING POINT
I looked around.................."Hmmm, who can start us off"..............WA WA had done the job for us before but I wanted some variety, and none other than Inzy was the man absolutely cut out for the job.
Inzy's first three wickets provided 2 catches, one to me, one to the bowler himself and a stumping to Baby John. The bowler's catch second ball was made even better by the fact that when Inzy caught it he let out a "whhhhhhhoooooooooooaaaa" as if to say "that was a great catch". I could almost hear another great caller of our time call out "what-a-catch, WHAT A CATCH". Modesty is a valuable asset to teams like ourselves.
The fourth ball was slapped toward the back net, I made several yards to my right (OK, two yards) and threw out the right hand, only to hear it slap into the palm and fall to the ground. Inzy, as every good bowler should, gave me a deathly glare Curtley Ambrose would've been proud of. I failed to make eye contact for fear the spinner would tear me to shreds with one feverish look.
Stuey bowled tight round armers, even though his now famous "Chookless Chucker" career is on hold in Sth Australia because of a severe shoulder injury. That occurred after downing one too many a Canberra schooner too quickly, thereby sustaining virtually irrepairable damage to his drinking, er um, bowling shoulder.
After that, the norm prevailed...........I dropped more catches, Burgo threw the stumps down, Luke missed from close range (and managed to throw one straight through without dislodging a bail), Dave got hit by a zinger hit straight at him and saved a glorious 1 run, we all bowled wides including a (now customary) 13 ball last over by Sticks (who's now filed for bankrupcty due to fines), and in general, we were pretty ordinary. After 8 not very memorable overs, we had 115 to chase.
THE WEILDING OF WILLOW
We had our work cut out for us, chasing a fairly respectable target. One look at the slightly miffed Victorian and Jase knew he had the nod to open up the inning. Now after mentioning in despatches that he and JB had put on an "incremental advancement" (very public service speak) every week in batting scores, the pressure was really on. Especially seeing the umpire (Cheetan Prick) seemed to inadvertently be on their side.
The music played and out they went. The opposition, clearly exited about having the Partridge family on CD, danced a jig until the music stopped - for it was time for action.
Action man Jase and young Baby John "top dollar" Burgess stepped up to the plate. After 4 overs of weilding of above said willow, Burgo had scored about 28 of the 24 partnership (figures supplied by my intoxicated mind). Young Jase was not a consolable man, especially after I told him that we'd had a forfeit and this was a scrubbers game. I funnily enough, saw the humerous side of that conversation but the steam coming out of Jase's ears made me feel quite uneasy about telling him that my joke on the team may not have quite worked the way I wanted. As one sportscaster would've said "Oh well, stiff shit".
Anywhooooooooooooooooo, Inzy and Dave, who manage to run between the wickets like Dilip Doshi and Ewen Chatfield would've in their prime, managed their 3rd minus partnership together (thanks Sticksy for pointing that one out today at the match committee talks). Dave mentioned to me via E mail that he was not wanting to get pissed this week so he could see "the ball, the arena". No doubt he saw the ball better, it's just when he hit it, he could see the fieldsman with the ball in his hands graciously accepting another catch. Inzy, ever the thinker has come out with the "I knew it was a scratch match" call, which incited veritable riots within the camp.
With work to be done, the third pairing of Sticks and WA WA toiled away. WA WA's now infamous, "that's just outside leg stump..........and it's gonna hit me..... Ouch" call whilst lifting his bat straight above his head, in a style that could only be looked upon has "I'm a teapot, I'm a teapot" but in some sort of demented fashion, brought calls of "see that wooden thing in your hands - well hit the fucking ball with it!". WA WA, oblivious to such banter carried on as if nothing was going on. They did however score about 40 runs with WA WA contributing 3. Sticksy, now on the ball enough to know that WA WA, being mute, doesn't call, looks for the quick single even when it's not there. Sticksy's game high 38 was to be much talked about after the game. We just could not shut him up.
In this situation 2 weeks ago, myself and Schlang folded, hitting only 22 after requiring 50. Schlang had been sent to think about his cricket and we'd recruited the Hoik from Adelaide in a pre draft agreement which saw trade talks between us, the bar staff and some old chick walking down the road one Saturday afternoon after grocery shopping was done. Even though these talks were held, at a high level mind you, we still finished up with Stuey. Bugger.
Stuey, surprisingly, planted the front foot down the pitch and swung lustily into the leg side nets. "I tried to hit that one straight" he said as is whisked away for two into the leg side net for the umpeenth time.
With about 20 to go off two overs, and players "peeling off" to play next door, we were a monty to win, so I thought I'd take the short route home...............I'll explain. I'd taken off for a sharpish single, sprinted in (as only I - and perhaps Phar Lap could do), turned around to bounce off the net, hit the entry/exit part of the net at the keepers end and fell "awrse up". The boys were in raptures of laughter, with me on my back, outside the net. Bastards! My cover as a cool, sophistocated, intellectual person had been blown. I had almost passed for the 007 James Bond, smoking jacket-type-fellow that would pass as Hugh Hefner(except perhaps for the bevy of chicks!), but with one faus pax, I'd fucked all my 10 months of hard work up.
I dusted myself off and went back on with the job as any highly embarrassed person would. I think I might have gone a tad red but there were more important things than feeling embarrassed, for we had a cricket game to win. And win we did. Stuey's little "bleeder" over the infield was the winning runs, as the last 4 balls were bowled, all we needed was to not get out. We finished with an amazing 123. SPEEEEEEEEEECCCCCCCCCCCIIIIIIIIIIAAAAAAAALLLLLLL MENTION
A special mention goes to our "ever increasing" cheer squad. After last week having Pam Mc out, this week we were blessed with Kaye's presence. And I think (and I say this on behalf of everyone), the sooner we get the girls out there with matching Partridge Family outfits, the better off we'll be.
This weeks' cameo goes to.................................the guy from Hale and Pace, yep, Norman was there last night, except that he's a bit of a hybrid between Norman Pace and Boooooooonie.
We can only look forward to learning something from the great man in future games. (By the way, his team got slapped 216 to minus 60).
Thanks for watching, see you next week