Double Blue-Stripe winner, Dushy, almost had to pull out of today’s game because he dislocated his arse playing karate, yet he still managed to post his highest ever score. But would it be enough to see Park home? Well, without revealing too much too soon I think it’s safe to say that when Dushy sits down to reflect on his performance he will say “Ouch, I should not have sat down on my dislocated arse”.
 
Having lost the toss, Park took the field welcoming three friends of UP for their first game with the club: Srin, Mahesh and my favourite ever bowler, Raji. The attack commenced with Mikey, who has taken inspiration from Curly and decided he’s a batsman now, so was soon replaced by Atul. From the other end it was Curly himself who was delighted to pass the yellow cap to Herro after a failed juggle in the gully.
 
With much further yellow cap passing, the Wantage openers accelerated to 107 in the 18th over. By this time Raji had passed his Trilby to the umpire, scratched his head, and come up with a cunning plan that had Burton stumped for Jurgo’s 99th Sunday dismissal. Not long after it was Raji again for the Jurgo 100. This time caught behind.  
 
The remaining opener, Bramley, was hitting hard and looking set. But Mahesh had been bowling well and did just enough to dislodge a bail as the unfortunate Bramley played on. 152-3 and the tide had turned.  Tight bowling from Herrington, Hayes and Srin Kumar kept Wantage in check and wickets continued to fall. A superb Atul hurl executed a run-out, Srin bowled batsmen 4,6 and 8 and Em bowled the Wantage skip and now it was 191-8 in the 37th.  
 
Herro had got excited when Weekes came in. Apparently, they have been rivals since before the rule change to add the third stump. Weekes kept the score moving but Herro got the last laugh (well actually we all did), Herro declining a catch off the last ball and running him out instead.
 
The target was 219 to win. Park started sedately. The opening partnership ended in the 10th over with Jurgo (6) having marginally outscored Dushy.
 
Yet with his arse still tender and Dr Ludgate unavailable to pop it back in, Dushy braved on. The only apparent symptoms were an utter inability to call sensibly and an occasional tendency to run in the same direction as his new partner, Mahesh. The partnership prospered and the rate dramatically accelerated. 86-1 at drinks.
 IMG 0193
Dushy reached his 50 off 68 balls and then smacked the Wantage quickie straight for a superb six in making 86, finally holing out at 151-2. Mikey played a canon off his foot onto his stumps and Mahesh, who had also played beautifully, went for 56. 181-4 after 35 overs. 38 required to win off 5.
 
The 36th just yielded 2 as Brooksie played himself in. Then Herro launched. VDT was lost as Wantage kept mislaying the ball. 18 off the over. 14 to win off 3. But 12 to win off 2 and nails were being bitten. Nine runs off the 39th helped.
 IMG 0241
Now Herro’s arch rival was defending two off the last over. (Three to win).  First ball, no run. Second ball no run. Nails get shorter. Third ball: wide. Third legitimate ball, Herro scrambles a single, scores tied. Fourth ball, Brooksie defends like he has a test match to save. Herro runs two halves but two halves don’t make a whole (not in this game).  Fifth ball. Cover drive! Brooksie beats the field!
 
It’s Park by 6 wickets!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Epilogue
So everyone was very happy. Dushy enjoyed his Blue Stripe. Herro’s match winning finale left him 41*in 22 balls and with a 102 run start on Will. Jurgo bought lots of beer to celebrate the 100 dismissals, then made Dushy buy even more beer to celebrate his 86. And with all the attention on Dushy’s arse, one interesting fact was almost overlooked …
 
Sunday strike rate this season:
Herrington:         21 balls per wicket (5th place for the club)
Cale:                  111 balls per wicket (still better than Cheese)
Whispering:       16 balls per wicket (good, but not quite Em)
 
Hayes:                12 balls per wicket (leading strike bowler)
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