Slowly the bar fills with purple shirts. Adam scouts us out and asks me what I want, heads or tails. Game time is upon us and I confidently call heads. He disappears and two swigs later returns. "You won, whaddaya wanna do?". I'd considered this all day, rang Richie and Tugger and they'd given me the nod to bat seeing as our opposition was called (incorrectly on the sheet but correctly as it turned out) 'One man short'. The board said 'Boonies' so figuring one bit of advice is as good as another I elect to bat. Looking at the team gathered there with Forrest already raring to go and me without a beer I figure the first partnership is decided. Forrest and I. As Hersch and Gadj/Gadg/Gadge are the only ones within earshot I tell them they're next up.
The opposition is indeed 'One man short'. I realise that my decision to bat was Nostrodamus-like in it's accuracy.
The first over is a shambles of dot balls and near legsides. This guy is damn fast and our eyes aren't in yet. No wickets though as is the second. The third over sees both Forrest and I go once each for 2/1. The fourth over is steady and we emerge with 32 runs.
Hersch and Gadj take up the challenge. In a chanceless innings and no two dots they amass the previous partnership's total in 2 overs. No zaks but plenty of running on legsides and wides. Or so the score sheet says, I was out the front having a smoke. After 8 overs our total is 98.
Looking around I figure Schlang and Holzy are the obvious next pairing as Knuckles has a pretty full beer and Bukkake (McKarky) isn't dressed yet. Their first over proves my theory as they race to 21 without loss. Every ball went for runs and no extras. Their second over wasn't quite as chanceless with Schlangy caught twice with some freakish fielding from a now eight man fielding side. The power spoon was out and wielded viciously. The 11th over was much the same with Schlang bowled once and runout once. Holzy was giving nothing away and there was only one dot ball this over. 130 after the 11th. The 12th over was steady with one dot ball and a total of 147. Remember that number, it will come up quite a lot later.
The last pairing. McKarky takes strike blissfully unaware of the horror that was about to unfold. The infamy of these 4 overs is hard to comprehend let alone narrate. The ninth over sees 7 scored for the loss of one wicket. Knuckles runout. The 10th over starts well with a dot then a mighty McKarky zak. Unfortunately it's on the other side of the back net from pizza but we'll forgive him for that. Knuckles is caught twice spooning and isn't happy. The end of the over and it's a healthy looking 163 with two overs to go.
Then a real boonie takes the ball for the penultimate over. I'd say this guys bowls fruit but that's denigrating to all seeded botanical progeny. This guy makes Saddam look like Mother Teresa. His first ball goes for what looks like 'Stumped' to McKarky and 2+1 for Knuckles, the end result being the total moving to 166.
Then a moment of infamy for which this bowler shall forever be marked as a low down yellow snake in the grass. He runs in and stops, then looking at an out of his crease McKarky, strikes the stumps with the ball. Mankad. The gallery is stunned. The batsmen are shaken by this foul piece of play and are out a further 4 times this over. 5/-16 is the result. Watching this partnership crumble I exclaim "I wish I had two wigs!!". 147 at the end of 15 (remember that number). The last over is unremarkable except for Knuckles gesture of frustration in throwing his bat into the side net whilst Adam wasn't watching. Fortunately for the total which was as it stood after the 12th and 15th over. 147. 12 for McKarky and -12 for Knuckles.
I'm worried about giving Knuckles the wig because he has a bat in his hand but he makes the decision for me. In a gesture of humility the total opposite of what he's just witnessed he takes the wig and proudly puts it on the first four fielding overs.
The Boonies first partnership moves in, including the disgusting low life mankadder. Hersch bowls without luck and it's 16, half the skin. Schlangy's next with the ball and bowls much the same. 33 from 2 and 2 from winning the skin. I take the ball hoping to save the skin and get one wicket, Forrest taking a clean catch off the net in the covers. Figuring Forrest can save the skin I send him up next and he comes close. A clean bowled and a catch sees the total at 39. As some consolation the filthy rotten piece of dog excrement mankadder is his victim both times.
Holzie's up next and the Famulee can smell blood. They have their eyes in and a great over sees three wickets fall, one clean bowled and two catches to see him on a hat trick at the end. 34 at 5. Knuckles is next up and he's fired up to grasp some tooth points no matter what. Bowled runout two dot caught one runout dot sees him 5 to the positive (4/-17). Gadj is up next and bowls tidily but without luck and 11 runs come off the over. Three great overs sees the Boonies at 28 after 7. McKarky and Knuckles swap ends and the next over sees a very good (if I say so myself) slips catch off the back net by yours truly. The Boonies total now stands at 30 with 8 overs to go and 118 to get for victory.
Hersch starts the second stanza with some luck. A brilliant piece of diving into the side net, grabbing the ball and being thrown back out sees Knuckles take a catch which was headed for 5. Schlangy's up and in a very mixed bag snags thee catches and every ball changing the score. Unfortunately a no ball, wide and two leg sides sees him coughing up to the kittty at game's end. 36 after 10.
Holzy's up next and unfortunately misses out on completing his hat trick but does get a runout. Every ball changes the total which at over's end is 46 after 11. Forrest sees this partnership out and is given a bit of a caning (27) without luck. The score has crept up to 73 but two skins are in the bag.
I take the ball and bowl without luck (or purpose it seems) and in an over in which every ball's a winner get struck for 19. Looking back on it now I should have bowled so that they could hit for the back net where Knuckles 'The Human Flypaper' was fielding. Knuckles was up next and bowled without luck to have them 12 off the over. The total was now 104 and I was getting a little worried.
McKarky was next and as I called for him I told Gadj 'You're last' to which I got the obvious answer 'No sh*t Sherlock!'. I guess I asked for it given that Gadj graduated from Sturt University in 'Quantum Statistics and Probability Paradigms'. McKarky's over broke the back of any fightback with a runout, stumping and a catch to go for 3/-8. Gadj bowled like someone who knew the game was run and won and managed to get the inning's second 'two dots' and a dot for the last ball. Unfortunately for the kitty it was an extremely tidy over.
Knuckles wore the wig for 12 overs and I for 4. I couldn't pick anyone for the priveledge and Knuckles wore it as a badge of honour.
Final score us 147 them 105. The skins were split evenly.
Holzy 3 (26)
Gadj 2 (23)
Bukkake 1 (18)