I wandered upstairs a couple of minutes before kick-off to see a large crowd assembled in the general vicinity of the bar. Having said hello to all the regulars, Herc introduced me to the latest Famulee inductee Damien (yet to be nicknamed) Benney, who has apparently been schooled on an indoor cricket diet at Lyneham playing in a mixed team where you can't hit the girls for plenty... and to that I say BOOOOOOO!!!!
I shook Damien's hand while thinking to myself "you poor bastard" and settled in to watch the final couple of overs. Having been named at 6 on Monday afternoon when I last checked Da website, I nonchalantly asked who was captain for the night (in order to suck up to them to avoid bowling the 1st and 16th). To my shock I was informed that I had been elevated from 6 in the order to be YCFTGS (aka the big C - refer to KinChron 22 March 2005 for more info).
Well words could not express my delight at being handed Da Famulee reins and I immediately began planning* about how we would end our losing streak of 3 games.
My immediate concern was on winning the toss and batting first - not so that we we could establish a tough score to chase, but because I wanted to get onto the MCG quickly and get the game started to get Knuckles a late fine as the game he was umpiring** was running late.
The toss was duly won*** and phase one of the get Knuckles fined plan was in place. As YCFTGS I handed out the shirt starting with Damien. Shaking his hand I said "Welcome to the Famulee son... and by the way you're opening the batting with Herc". Much to Herc's disgust I had disregarded the time-honoured tradition of being saved by having a beer in your hand to throw him into the action with the 91st player to wear the P&LG.
Knuckles was still sitting in the chair at the WACA with an over left when the boys took guard and the cheers were beginning to rise - that is until Wazza noticed that Damien was wearing only one glove and sent him packing (surely a nickname beckons here). Panic broke out amongst the ranks at the back net and about 37 gloves were thrown onto the court in an attempt to get the game started ASAP.
Thankfully the first ball left the bowlers hand with Knuckles still in the umpires chair and the first roar of "CHA-CHING" echoed throughout the house of Blardyfarken.
Damien fell victim to Herc's masterly Rock Scissors combination and was up to bat first, and he opened his scoring account with a couple of freebies courtesy of Orto's wayward bowling. He also unleashed a cover drive that went all the way along the carpet to the back net, much to the disgust of those assembled who had hoped to see him start with an ungodly slog (like the rest of us).
However we were soon able to cheer as he lost his first wicket to a delightfully spooned catch. Herc was unlucky on a couple of occasions with Waz seemingly falling asleep (the only possible explanation for a couple of non-wides that were 3 feet outside off-stump). Despite this they came from the crease with a handy 23 runs on the board and a positive start to the game.
Whilst this had been going on, my job as YCFTGS was being made more difficult with Knuckles and then Skip dropping some absolute bombs behind the back net. Gasping for air I decided on self-preservation and sent in Forrest and Skip next...
Forrest was full of confidence declaring that he would be setting a zak tally for the rest of us to chase, and took the strike STILL not knowing how to participate in Rock, Scissors, Paper. He then started in fine fashion with a delightful top net slog that was caught out - obviously struggling to cope with the strange purple cloud hovering near Skipper at the non-strikers end. Skipper had no such problems though and displayed some fine side net touch. He also proved his eye was well and truly in as he ducked under a (knee high) full toss which barely missed the stumps on legside - if it was on target it would have hit the stumps halfway up, but Skippers eye was in!
After swinging like a rusty gate, Forrest eventually gave up the zak chase to focus on avoiding a cha-ching for a negative score. Lots of wuuuuuuuns in their partnership of 14 (Skip with an even dozen and Forrest as many runs (2) as lost wickets) and a solid (for us) team score of 37 runs.
Meanwhile I had been enduring a Vesna/Rita combined like badgering from Mary at the back net, complaining that he didn't want to bat with Knuckles again. I duly noted**** his wishes and sent Hersch and myself in as the third pair. After perhaps the biggest debacle of RSP ever (except where Forrest has been involved), Hersch faced the music and to Wazzas delight we were off the mark with a WUUUUUNNN.
Plenty more wuuuuuuns were on the scorecard with the legs getting a fair workout from the opening two bowlers. However we soon settled and courtesy of Mary and Knuckles cheering***** us on, we hit our straps. As YCFTGS I took responsibility for the partnership (i.e. hogged the strike) and we flayed the bowling to all corners, coming from the field without losing a wicket (despite trying our hardest) and a partnership of 64 runs. As an aside, we also left ourselves both perilously close to some big career milestones. Hersch only needing 14 runs to join the elite 3000 career runs club and myself needing two zaks for 300 career zaks... S U R E L Y ! ! ! ! !
And so the last pair Knuckles (only needing 4 zaks to 200 career zaks) and Mary (only needing 177 zaks for 200 career zaks) went out to bat. And they started in scintillating****** fashion losing 4 wickets in the first over, before Knuckles steadied the ship with a zak and a soup-burb first over of minus 5. However they soon righted the ship and Knuckles claimed another zak with Mary joining in to spoon a couple as well. Knuckles claiming afterwards he was robbed as he thought he had scored three zaks, only to get a rousing chorus response from those assembled of "the scoresheet never lies!"
However the highlight of the innings was undoubtedly Knuckles trying to emulate Skippers feats earlier in the innings (and I don't mean the feats with the bum trumpet as he surpassed those!).
One of their slow bowlers trundled in and released an absolute WaWa special. It fizzed through the air at head height and Knuckles was heard to shriek in fear******* as it approached him. He ducked out of the way, only to realise he still had enough time to stand up and play a shot. And so he stood up - and watched without playing a shot as the ball dipped straight into his middle stump. The crowd roared with delight and I wiped a tear from my eye reminiscing back to the good old days when Wa2 would deliver such specials on a weekly basis.
Anyway the boys came from the field (Knuckles now 2 zaks short of 200 career zaks) with a great recovery and 28 runs on the board for a team score of 129 - and given that we have lost every game this season when we have scored less than 114, I was highly (un)confident that we had a defendable score on the board.
In a carefully considered move (i.e. whoever was closest) I gave Herc the pill to start us off and carefully set the field (i.e. moved Skip and his runny-bot into the WWSOD to distract the batsmen with his foul odour). And it immediately paid dividends with Forrest on the other side of the pitch taking a one handed ripper of a catch at gully first ball. It had to be one-handed as he was shielding his nose from Skips foul odour with the other at the time!!!
Hersch bowled a tight over while Forrest was tonked for a zak before Damien bowled the 4th over. Despite taking his first two wickets for Da Famulee, the batsmen managed a single from the last ball to win the skin by a run (BOOOO).
The next four overs from Skip, Knuckles, YCFTGS and Mary could only manage 3 wickets despite some decent bowling, and after losing two skins we were looking slightly shaky with them on 54 runs.
The next four overs saw some big hitting from the Jass batsmen and some big scores from the bowling. Herc and Skip bowling without luck before Knuckles came on and took a corker from his own bowling. After releasing a beautifully bowled delivery********, the ball was slapped straight back at his torso region. In a captaincy masterstroke earlier, I had assigned him the FB (Fat B@stard) shirt for the night and the ball wedged beautifully in the bigger sleeve for a well-earnt wicket. Forrest rounded out the third pair and his figures were not helped at all by two dropped catches, one from YCFTGS (which turned into a parry to add insult to injury) and one from Hersch in consecutive balls.
After three skins the writing was on the wall with their score on 109... S U R E L Y they couldn't lose it from here... #;)
Looking for inspiration, I threw the ball to Damien and sure enough things started to happen. A tight over without much luck early until Herc took a screamer of a catch at third slip late in the over. The ball found the edge only to get to Hercules and slip from his grasp - luckily for him (and not so luckily for the bowler who had to hold the ball next) the ball landed on his upper stomach and rolled down over the "dude" region before mysteriously "popping" back up into the air. Upon completing the catch, Herc threw the ball into the air and immediately lit up a smoke and went to sleep with a satisfied grin on his face.
Despite the miracle catch we were still in the poo with them only needing 13 runs from 3 overs. Hersch bowled a briyyyyant over beating the edge several times before a catch was made and with two overs left they still needed 11 runs from the final two overs. With a choice between bowling myself last or Mary last, I did what any good Famulee captain would do, and bowled myself for the 2nd last over. Two wickets from the over saw the score moonwalk back to needing 15 runs from the last over and with the pressure stacked right on the batsmen crumbled. Wicket after wicket fell in Mary's last over (much to the dismay of those looking for 'tooth points) as the Weston Indoor Sports statistician of the year finished with 3 wickets in the final over.
And so the losing streak was broken with a gritty 24 run victory...
Highlight of the night Damien taking 3 wickets with the ball, scoring 17 runs and earning himself a €˜tooth point on debut... however he still needs a nickname and at this stage all that I can come up with is something relating to the one-glove incident, or perhaps Pholous (a friend of Hercules from Greek mythology). So yeah that really needs to be worked on over the next couple of weeks. Remember these things can't be rushed as it took us a few games before we finally got one for Mary!!! #;)
Upcoming milestones of note
As previously mentioned Hersch, Knuckles and myself have some big ones, but Hersch and Knuckles ones might be a little bit harder to acheive next week seeing as they're not playing.
To those milestones you can also add:
* Special guest star Bluey needing 1 wicket for 50 career wickets;
* Forrest needing 6 wickets for 250 career (will be difficult if we continue to "catch" the way we did on Toosday from his bowling);
* The Chad needs to lose 9 runs and score 1 to remake 500 career runs; and
* Boof needs to first lose 17 runs and then score a single to remake 2000 career runs.
However the Grand-daddy of then all is the ever-(purple and)green Schlangy who needs only one more wicket to take 500 career wickets for Da Famulee.
And so it is for this reason I vote that whoever is YCFTN throws him the ball for the first over (and if he doesn't take a wicket in the first, then save him until the 16th) and that once taking his wicket, he shall be known as the Pidgeon for the night.
Unless of course he gets drunk, waves a stump while dancing a jig at the bar and sends lewd text messages to everyone in his phone in which case he will be known as Knuckles...... whoops sorry I mean Warney.
Until next time,
* No planning actually took place.
** I question your sexuality!
*** May actually have been due to Bevvo losing the toss.
**** May actually have been completely ignored.
***** May actually have been sledging unmercifully.
****** May actually have been schissenhousen!
******* May not actually have shrieked at all.
******** May actually have been half track poo