Sam Sargant is an old friend of the club. He’s taken 79 wickets for us but today he was looking to even up the score, leading his International Rescue team against us. Sam had been hoping that someone else that we all know well would be on his team too, but alas not. That person certainly wasn’t otherwise engaged flying Thunderbird One. Perhaps the cabin pressure was too much for him. Or perhaps he really had bumped his leg. Can you tell who it wasn’t yet?
Having won the toss Sam opened the bowling. There’s never a doubt that he’s a quality bowler and a peach of a ball forced Dushy to play and edge to second slip at the start of the third over. He sprayed it about a bit too though, indicating that he does need more cricket to avoid the rust setting in [contact Jamo, Curly or Herro to arrange it Sam].
Herro, whose begging and pleading to open the batting had been, frankly, embarrassing, was now joined by Will for a Herringtons spectacle . Straight drives through long off and tickles to fine leg occasionally interspersed with inside edges toward fine leg and straight drives through fly slip put on eighty for the second wicket.
And then it was time for the first in a series of utterly irrelevant record breaking. Having scored eight, Brooksie then broke the Jurgo record for the most number of balls being within one shot of 1,000 Sunday runs without actually scoring any more runs. At the other end Mikey replaced Herro who had made an impressive meal for two, promptly called Brooksie through for a second run that Joe Brown would have made at a canter, and became responsible for a second run out in two days. 146-3.
The sun was still shining and a day like this deserved a procession so it was Srin, Uzair, Ashish and Jurgo who provided it. 151-8 and 165-9 in the end.
Park began very quietly in the field but were soon encouraged, possibly by a narrow miss at utterly irrelevant record breaking or possibly by a quality ball from Curly. My money is on the record attempt being the key. Inspired by a recent Park Under 9s triumph, a Park Sunday team first was almost achieved: passing the ball from keeper, through the slips and around the ring without dropping it, getting as far as extra cover before disaster struck. Curly’s wicket was quite good too though.
So now normal banter was now resumed and, next up, in an inspirational piece of captaincy, Jurgo told Kiran to get a wicket. So he did, glancing the Jurgo nose with the deflection off the stumps. 24-2 and Kiran finished with figures that other bowlers eyed enviously: 7-1-7-2.
The next bowlers were Ashish and Srini. Both bowled impressive spells. Having not played for a long time before this season, Ashish’s bowling is getting better and better despite having to navigate around an invisible lamppost in his run up. He bowled the no.5 early in his spell and did likewise to the no.4 toward the end of it. Srini bowled tightly, conceding just 16 in his five overs.
Faced with a left/right hand partnership, Dushy was unnecessarily worried that his line was off. All’s well that ends well and a ball that looked to be sailing wide of the left hander’s leg stump took the bat and provided a leg side strangle.
Ten overs to go. Sixty-nine runs required. Four wickets left. A double change introduced the Herringtons to the attack. Will found big turn and soon bowled Moore. Sam was still a threat. Successive sixes reminded Park that there was work to do. But Herro is not one to shirk a challenge and he continued to take responsibility to tie up that short boundary end.
Will continued too. Devastatingly. Three wickets for five runs as he bowled two more opponents. Not all over yet. Sam needing less than ten per over is still a concern. But in the 37th over the International Rescue no.11 found himself facing Herro. Since the dawn of time (if not longer) it’s been the same:
“The no.11 misses. Herro hits.”
Thunderbirds are gone! It’s Park by 28 runs.
Spinders had come to watch the end of the game. He looked nervous when invited to join the Blue Stripe huddle and his desperation to remember which leg to limp on was transparent. Nonetheless, the Blue Stripe went to Will for being too thirsty to contest it to the dubious Blue Stripes panel.
Park did eventually achieve the utterly irrelevant record breaking feat of passing the ball all the way around the circle without dropping it (so put that in your pipes and smoke it Under 9s!). And, perhaps most remarkably, Mikey now holds the utterly irrelevant record for the most successive balls wearing the yellow cap as Park took the one and only chance that was offered.
Disclaimer: the match report author takes no responsibility for the accuracy of utterly irrelevant records. Neither the author nor any member of Welford Park Cricket club will be responsible for hurt caused to any person being denied an utterly irrelevant record or, more likely, for hurt caused to any person being incorrectly credited for an utterly irrelevant record.