I arrived at the Weston Creek home of Blardeefarken to find that our mortal enemies (& virtual sister club) the Woden Wandering Polar Bear criggiters were locked in a last over match. And they managed to sneak home with the points - putting pressure on my captaincy.
Time enough for one beer before the start of play of the repercharge, semi-final elimators follow-up, consolation game. Thanks god for that.
Head downstairs and advise Adam that we'd be calling heads...the first win of the evening and I took my own advice when I pointed to the city end and said we'd kick with the wind (what was it you had for dinner Forest?). A quick scan of the 7 available players showed me that WA2 and Schlangy were tonguing for an opportunity to lift us to a quick start (they didn't have beers in their hands at the time).
What a start. First ball - run out. WA2 hadn't even faced a ball to find himself on -5. But from then on the boys put their heads down and grafted away at those 1's and 2's to finish with 37 for the first 4 overs.
Herschelle and Forest are next in. The opposition falling for my cunning plan (so cunning you could put a tail on it and call it a..... oh you're familiar with that one, sorry!) of having them bowl their best bowlers at anyone other than me. Forest starting with a finely grafted -4 after the first over, including a dot, a single and a caught. After another 3 overs Forest had got on top of the bowling and walked out with a finely crafted 5 runs. Herschelle meanwhile had constructed an inningsin the finest tradition of Chris Taverer, his 16 runs including 10 runs scored by ignoring the wide balls delivered down leg-side (and unfortunately ignoring one straight one the cleaned up the three sticks someone had inadvertently left standing behind him).
Knuckles and I strode out for the third pairing, after having greeted Al and advised him of his responsibilities as defined in the 10 commandments and regretfully required that he tender at the end of the match a small donation to the treasurer, to the minimum value of one legal tender gold Australian coin. After the first 3 over swe had seen Knuckles dismiss the bowling with his usual cavalier attitude, two zacs, two "wuuuunnn's" and several other scores of various value to accumulate 30 runs. The fourth over saw Knuckles add another 0 to that total. However, by this time I had warmed up somewhat and managed to drag my total to 17 after 2 run-outs and a bowled but determined to finish in a flurry hit a pre-determined stroke, that the bowler complied with and appropriately struck the end of my swinging bat to hit the back-net on the full with 0.7cms to spare.
Next in were Bukkake and Al (this time Al's name was spelled correctly, and if I am reading the scoresheet OK it would seem Boo-Cake got the right name too). Al got off to a mighty start, with some fine support from Bukkake, let me summarise over by over:
Over 1 - Al = 0, Bukkake = 14
Over 2 - Al = 0, Bukkake = 1
Over 3 - Al = -2, Bukkake = -2
Over 4 - Al = 6, Bukkake = 5
There we were then, a total of 124, defendible, but not much fat in it to allow for those overs that the opposition might take a liking to.
I threw the ball to Schlangy, ya gotta start with the clubs leading wicket taker donchya? Maybe I should've checked how many runs those wickets cost??? Hersch, WA2 and Knuckles following showed a total of 40 for the first pair, one skin lost and 3 runs behind on the comparison chart.
Following spin with spin, I put Bukkake in charge of bowling the first over to the next pair, and at the time it seemed to pay off. A hat-trick of catches off the first 3 balls, followed by a 2 then two zacs and a 5, I think Boo-Cake won that one, but I'll put it to the vote. These boys wanted to accelerate the run-rate and our "worm" wasn't looking good compared to theirs after 8 overs, with a total of 56 scored for those 4 overs, and I think Al's worm was moving too, as we saw him drag his arse down the pitch.
The next pair scored 41 runs, we at least had the skin defending a total of 47 but that put the opposition at 137 total with us defending 124. It was gunna be a hard last 4 overs, but this game wasn't lost yet (whats that I can hear you yelling Sticksy? "Surely, they couldn't.....")
0/19 off the 13th over...d'oh.
A caught and a stumped off the 14th over saw only 4 more added to their total.
This left Al and me to finish, a quick "paper, rock, scissors" saw me win (again) and bowl the 15th. Three wickets, no back-nets saw a -6 off the over. All we needed now was Al to bowl a -30 over and the game was ours. 6 wickets and no runs from 8 balls, could the big fella do it?
Ball 1 - caught
Ball 2 - caught
Ball 3 - caught (was that another "surely, they couldn't...." that heard there Sticks?)
Ball 4 - 1
Balls 5 - 9 included other runs, the over a total of -5.
Under any other circumstances a great over, but not quite enough. With heads hung low, Da Famulee made their way upstairs, another loss under their belts, looking for their repercharge, semi-final elimators follow-up, consolation - losers Pizza and the presentation of the Houndstooth.
The pizza was made available, strangely enough moments before Mojo stuck his head in. (Top effort by the way, being the only non-player to make the effort to show on the presentation night.)
Schlangy "Bruce McAvaney" gave a round by round run down, with the 'tooth finishing over Al's shoulders again and the women flocking to be seen on the arms of the wearer of the 'tooth.
Post event discussion determined that in the future the Houndstooth Presentation night will be considered a formal and compulsory event in the future. It will also be held on a night other than a game night, to allow much laughter, joking and drinking. More details later as we plan & determine the shape of this event that should be the night of nights for Da Famulee. If youwant to contribute to the planning, that's easy....simply hang around after the game & buy a round of beers and your input will be considered as all others that remain afterward.
Hope to see you all there next week. Likely to be a theme night, after those left lastnight decided we need to do this more often & award the "cardy of crap dressing" more often.
9:30 game, look for more from Reuben in an Inbox near you.