After the first 3 games of Season 9, defeats and the death of Da Famulee were grossly exaggerated, although some should say we should be put down after haemorrhaging for consecutive weeks!
Despite struggling for 8 players (and with a distinct lack of a 9th reserve), I arrive to learn that Big Al, designated Captain, has pulled a heartledge* (*may have actually been a sore foot) and Knuckles has withdrawn with a sore shoulder* (*may have actually been a sore shoulder but didn't want a shalacking off his bowling for another week) and the news from Hersch that I'll be the captain for the night and could we win the toss, as ring-in support player Pablo, would be running late.
As luck would have it, I win the toss, and with Boof, we head off to bat. Mind you, the rest of the team decided to stay in the bar, which was where the shirts were, so I head up the stairs, grab Boof and myself a shirt and leave with the instructions that Schlang and Herschelle would be in next.
A cautious start saw us 14 after 1 over, then 24 after 2 overs, but the 3rd over saw us lose runs, including a freak run-out against Boof, after the ball was smacked back to the bowler, it deflects off his hands and clips the stumps. The stuff of Hollywood, not Weston. A big finish looms in the 4th over with Boof cracking a zac, next ball, me, Forrest cracks a zac and we finish with a tidy score of 46 runs for the partnership.
Surely we could go on from here.....!!!!
In a word, no. Schlang and Hersch face 4 overs, each producing a negative. Over 5 saw a minus 3, over 6 was a minus 9, over 7 also a minus 9 and over 8 a negative 3 for a combined negative 24 runs. Gee, there's a skin we can defend! Yet, despite efforts of heroic proportions, it wasn't to be Hersch's night with the bat. 5 run-outs and 1 bowled meant a fine at the end of the night. Schlang finished his innings by being clean bowled, much to the delighted calls from Da Famulee gallery of, "Leave the straight ones!" The score after 8 overs is 22.
Third pairing of the great man Wa Wa and fill-in Terry (Tezza the mobile man - more to come on this later) could only mean one thing, sheer Famulee brilliance like we've never seen before. A good start by this pair even before they hit the field, with Terry (who hasn't played too many games) saying to Wa Wa that you can steal runs anytime, to which Wa Wa replies, "Not with me." Anyway, some nice bat work and the trademark sway from the great man (including a cracking shot into the back net for 5) saw Wa Wa finish with the highest individual score for the night of 31 runs. Terry, however, forgetting to ground the bat when running and standing out of his crease, saw him stumped, run-out, stumped and caught for a negative score. Cha-ching, another fine to the kitty. After 12 overs, our combined score was 44. Hey, at least we're still with a positive score!
Final pair of Herc and Pablo (who finally arrived late from South America) took to the bowling. Well, they may not have actually taken to the bowling. Familiar cries of "leave the straight ones" could be heard on numerous occasions as the lads did their very best in true Familee form. Their first over saw 1 run-out and 3 bowled wickets taken, but following from this, some nice Wa Wa swaying for the odd leg side delivery and a couple of successful singles by Pabs (much to his delight) didn't contribute to the team's overall performance. More cha-chings were sounded for these guys, negative scores each, and backwards our total went. After 16 overs, Da Famulee had amassed a grand total of 24 runs.
Is this a record? Perhaps Reubs could do a quick scan of previous scoresheets? Perhaps 24 runs can go as a 'Milestone' to be bettered for next week?
To cut a long story short, in the field we got pumped. It wasn't a pretty sight, except for the wig on Schlang, then Hersch and finally to Terry, our fearless stand-in. Captaincy brilliance is not something that comes to mind immediately. Afterall, it's an undervalued field of endevour!
Try as I might, I select bowling prowless to no avail. Where's our 'Strike Bowler' Knuckles?* (*May not actually be a strike bowler)
Still, during the course of events, Wa Wa's gernades prove that fruit gets wickets, leg sides save 5, and bowling a ball that results in a zac is a timely reminder of, "Hey, don't bowl them there!"
Highlights in the field (thanks to Hersch for some of these)
Herschelle 5 catches and 2 Runouts
Forrest 1 Runout
Boof 1 Stumping
Terry 1 Runout
Wawa 1 Runout
And, during the 10th over, Terry is fielding near the back corner when his mobile phone rings and he not only answers it, but carries a conversation as Herschelle continues to bowl his over, hence he got the wig. I don't think he needed to field at any time he's on the phone.
Da Famulee 24 - Flotsam 200. (The umpire was a dud, he couldn't add up!)
3 Forrest 21
2 Boof 2
1 WaWa -18