*Grading games are a living document with no end timeframe under the Blooodyfaarkin system of match scheduling.
Still, after some last minute calls from Reubs to replace those who had been selected for 'Pine Cones', 'Junkets' and 'Fraud' reasons, Herschelle quickly nominates Forrest as Captain. Why? Well, it's a milestone of 100 games from Forrest for Da Famulee, so why not! By default, we win the toss and elect to bat with 7 players. (Cha-Ching is heard for a 'Mo Jo no-show') Rabs is happy too, he gets to play despite being named as 'Reserve' for the past few weeks.
So, off into bat goes Herschelle and Forrest as the opening pair. Not a good start with -2 after the first over. Plenty of umpire announcements of "2 dot balls - score must change" is heard, several outs from catches and a couple of lofty swings with the bat, and the Da Famulee has 19 runs on the board after 4 overs. The 'thrill-of-the-chase' of 2 more zaks from Forrest to reach 75 career zaks was fruitless, and a shonky* call sees Hersch losing sight of the ball and his demise of being run-out.
*May have actually been drowned out by several Hugh Jass players!
Still, surely we couldn't go backwards from here? Enter The Chad and Rabs who were each out first ball they faced. The Chad was run-out and Rabs caught. A quick recovery from the lads soon put a bit of respectability* on the scoreboard.
*May not actually have been respectable.
Rabs and The Chad each scored a zak each (the only 2 for the night from Da Famulee), some lovely edge work and shots into the side nets to produce a partnership of 41 runs and our total was 60 runs after 8 overs having given a bit of 'pay-back' to their bowlers from the Grand Final, the game that really matters, as we repeatedly told them, especially Bevo! The score rose like the price of petrol!
Our third pairing of Bwyan and Schlang take to the playing surface and cautiously take to their bowlers Orto and Bevo and proceed to smack 13 and 9 runs respectively from their bowling. Again, the odd cry of "2 dots batters - score must change" echoed around the hallowed halls of Weston, but to their credit, one wicket fell during their partnership (a Schlang run-out) and they finish with 39 runs and out total has moved onto 99 runs after 12 overs.
Skipper is our 7th player, and with the 'Mo Jo no-show', Hugh Jass select Schlang to bat again. Surely after 4 previous overs he'd have his eye in? Surely with 99 runs on the board we could make it 3 figures and progress pass the magical 100 number? Well, it was pleasing to see Skip return to the fold with some lovely edge work and dot balls, ably supported by Schlang having some dot balls pencilled against his name. By this stage, Schlang is really sucking in some big gasps of air! A few more wickets fell and they end up with a partnership of 9 and we finish with 108 runs after 16 overs.
So, with our 7 players, including a very weary Schlang, we take to fielding and Forrest throws Schlang the ball to open the bowling. Cruel, but fun all the same. Not the best of starts, but as Schlangy said after the game, it was an effort to forget. Carted for 27 runs off the first over is not exactly awe inspiring, especially when Orto is in one of moods for smashing the ball to all points of the field. Rabs comes on as second bowler for a bit more 'pay-back' to no avail, Bwyan pinned them down with his first over and Skipper begins with a wicket and then proceeds to bowl 'Bodyline' style. Before you know it, their first pair have amassed 56 runs, or half of the required total.
Enter the second pair for Hugh Jass (with Bevo for a bit of fun) and The Chad's tight bowling keeps them at bay with his first over which included 4 dot balls. Forrest's first over permits only 2 runs with 2 wickets. Herschelle, who's been doing tidy work as the keeper and not in his customary position at the other end of the pitch, begins with 3 leg-side wides (Cha-Ching) and has 16 runs taken from him and then Schlang comes back on (still sucking in the air) and has 17 runs taken from his 2nd over, but it did include a last ball wicket to allow Da Famulee to win the skin.
Hugh Jass were now 91 runs after 8 overs.
Rabs begins against their 3rd pair, collects a wicket. Bwyan gets smacked for 22. Skip produces a better over with a couple of wickets, then Forrest picks up 2 wickets (including a caught-and-bowled), but it was all in vain as Hugh Jass have moved onto 131 runs after 12 overs.
By this time, Hugh Jass were thinking that revenge for the Grand Final was sweet, despite the calls of "It's only a grading game!" and "We only win the games that matter." It didn't seem to bother them as their 4th and final pair strode to the crease.
The Chad begins with a tight over that produced 6 runs, including a run-out off his last delivery. Herschelle tried in vain to kerb their play and has 15 runs taken from his bowling. Then Schlang and Skip are chosen as the 2 'extra' bowlers. In an over that Schlangy would sooner forget, 28 runs are taken from him. Another 8 from Skipper and Hugh Jass finish with a grand sum of 188 runs and Da Famulee are humbled into mediocrity (still) and defeated by 80 runs.
Bwyan 29 runs
The Chad 29 runs
Forrest 21 runs
Schlang 10 & 2 runs
Skipper 7 runs
Herschelle -2 runs
3 - The Chad (Net worth of 23)
2 - Forrest (Net worth of 15)
1 - Bwyan (Net worth of 2)