With the boys assembled (well those that hadn't withdrawn 32 seconds before the game) in the bar making much jovial conversation, Matt the umpire for the evening came up to declare that that captain would need to join him downstairs for the coin toss. With no actual (C) named by Reubs, Forrest and Rabs declared that I Sticks was the closest thing to a c*. This was roundly cheered by the rest of the boys, and so I was put forth as YCFTN. Much to my disgust I was not able to convince Matt that I would win the toss and bat anyway, so he should just send them in to field and save me the walk. Sure enough I won the toss and had much glee in sending the Mod Squad out to field, and even more glee in declaring that Rabs and Knuckles would bat last, and the rest would work itself out.
Using my highly scientific captaincy skills, I sent Forrest and Boof in first (as they were closest to the door). And my wisdom and foresight** soon paid off with the boys blazing their way to a fantastic 51 run partnership courtesy of 2 zaks from each batsmen and Forrest reaching 300 runs for the season and Boof notching his tenth zak. Highlight of the opening four overs however was the lofted cover drive that Boof dispatched into Forrests shoulder, almost removing his entire arm from his body!!!
Using my talent for reading the game situation (and also given the fact I hadn't finished my beer) Schlang and The Chad were in next. The Mod Squad made it tough work for the boys with some tight fielding and fruity bowling enticing the batsmen into some bold strokes. However they grafted away and carved an innings slowly, and were looking good until The Chad was controversially run out from the last ball of the partnership with umpire Knuckles giving him out from the back net (I think because The Chad had been batting well!) However it didn't stop the Chad from making 19 runs of the 17 run partnership and Schlangy was left stranded with the first cha-ching of the night!
Hersch and myself were up next and strode to the wicket full of confidence... and with the bowler spraying wides all over the shop, we looked the goods. Of course once he bowled it on the stumps, we were in strife, but that's another story. Facing some first class bowling*** we struggled to get the ball into the nets, and lucky that Wazza wasn't umpiring as he would have deafened the arena with the amounts of WUUUUUUUNs that we made. I also didn't help Herschs cause with a number of text book Famulee runouts and ensured another goldy in the kitty with Hersch struggling to a minus 1 in a partnership of 16 courtesy of a last ball zak.
Rabbity Babs and Knuckles strode to the wicket with the score on 84 runs - Rabs hamstrings were already protesting the onset of the cold weather, and they were screaming by the end of the first over with a scintillating score of 19. Someone must have muttered surely, as the next over went for minus 2 with Rabs losing 3 wickets along the way. Still the boys went on to make an excellent final partnership of 35 runs (briiiyyant captaincy I think) and Da Famulee would be defending a score of 119.
Judging by our career average winning score of 150 against the Mod Squad, I wondered if we had enough. However with a career average total of 118 against the rivals, I was confident that we slightly ahead on points... and in keeping with my pregame announcement that Rabs would bat last and bowl first, I gave the big fella the new ball and pointed him in the general vicinity of the strikers end. This was enough advice to see the big fella bowl well and with a starting over of 1, we were travelling well. Schlangy bowled next without luck, and despite a first ball wicket went for 15. I decided that it wasn't fair on Rabbsys hamstrings to make him bowl the last and instead gave him the 3rd over, which saw no wickets but plenty of dots. Hersch was up next in a captaincy masterstroke and took 3 for minus 8 in a soup-burb display of fruity swing bowling and after 4 overs they were reeling on a paltry 16 runs.
The next pair came out to a charged up Forrest (still stinging from where Boof had attempted to remove his bowling arm) and he bowled without luck going for 11. The Chad was up next and bowled one of the finest overs in recent history**** taking 2 for minus 5, while Schlang also chimed in with a couple of wickets in the next over for a zero. Boof bowled the last over and truly bowled without luck earning a couple of goldies for Da Kitty with 2 dropped catches from his over. So after 8 overs the score was on 46 and we were still in the box seat.
Next pair saw Hersch, myself, Knuckles and Forrest send down some fruit and with some unrewarded good bowling (and a couple of dropped catches from Forrest) the score ended on 24 runs. Highlight for mine was not being called for wides even though I was sending two down about a metre outside off stump, followed by the lowlight when I actually bowled on the pitch and was promptly zakked!
So with the final batting pair needing 49 runs to equal, we started the final four overs full of confidence. And Boof made the task even more difficult for them with a soup-burb over of 4 runs, despite suffering another dropped catch from his bowling. I was up next and this time was stung for 3 extras (cha-ching!) in an over of 13 and the pressure was mounting as a couple of catches went down and some mediocre run-out attempts. The Chad bowled the penultimate over and was zakked twice, before we finally made a runout to ease the pressure slightly.
Knuckles bowled the last over and with the score on 103 surely we couldn't lose it from here. As captain I ordered Rusty Rabbity Babs to switch sides with the Indian rubber man Hersch and it proved to be a master stroke*** with a catch from the first ball of the over. However the next ball was dispatched for four runs and the pressure was back on. However Knuckles showed that he is a class (minus the CL) above the rest, by sending down some unplayable fizzing and dipping deliveries and soup-burb keeping from Boof saw two dots and a paltry single. The last two balls saw a run-out and a freakish reflex catch to Rabbity Babs (again proving my genius and foresight) for a marvellous over of minus 8, and a victory to Da Famulee with the final score showing 119 to 95.
And so it was written that Da Famulee would advance to another G.F. next week at 8:10pm, with our opponents to be decided in a repacharge catch-up game between Mod Squad and Warwick Todd before the main event.
So how's about we all get together for a few beers and maybe some pizza around 7:30pm and have a good old fashioned sledge fest before hopefully taking out the third championship in club history!!!!
* May not actually have meant captain on this occasion.
** May actually have been pure @rse.
*** You know what sort of bowling it actually was!
**** I have no proof but it was good!
***** May not actually have been a masterstroke as it was a complete dolly that anyone could have caught.