Tag: CWC19

The Kyle Experiment

What fabulous gifts Mother Cricket has served us up this summer. From game to glorious game of the World Cup, to an unexpectedly sun-soaked ashes finale at The Oval. Saturday was spent there with Hareen ’The Mexican’ Potu, who amongst his countless other failings, proved that he is literally incapable of getting a drinks order correct. Even better (well, almost) was the prospect of Putney CC the next day, old friends and traditional late-season opposition. A chance for me to put my feet up and have a few more beers, indeed. Yet, Mother Cricket had other intentions. Aiden Naude had to pull out (paralysed with joy about his Superbru score). Would I like to Bat in Ant’s stead?  Well, of course I would happily sling the willow one last time to end the summer, and field a few overs in the mix?  Rarely do these things work out so fortuitously. Naturally, by the time I had arrived at Putney, I was playing a full game. Not for The Scotties mind, but for Putney. So what started as a few beers by the boundary became a few beers and a bat, then became a full game, for the opposition. One simply has to accept that sometimes, cricket has other plans for you. It’s best not to spend too long trying to resist.

The fact that I played for the other team perhaps foreshortens this week’s report, as well as the writing time that will be going into an end-of-season review (otherwise known as The Chronicles Of Justin : The Bat, The Wicket and The (lack of) Wardrobe for his many adoring fans. I’m sure he’s gunning to write these reports first, and will be manfully learning such new tasks as, well, writing, in order to ensure his inclusion next season. This is not a democracy. Oh yes, where was I? Putney CC. I can’t access the scorecard for some reason so won’t bore you with the stats, but Putney scored roughly 210. I chipped in with ahem, a personal best of the season with 16 runs, only for Kyle to bamboozle me with a rank half tracker. I top edged to Sean Ryder, dressed fresh from Magaluf in the 1990s, and ironically calling himself Jake ‘Smart’. Ant Thickett, fresh from CCF training with all sorts of twigs sticking out of various places, chipped in, and Kyle struck a bit of fear into the opposition, many of them grumbling to themselves as they walked off that he was ‘a bit handy’.

Then it was Scotties turn. Westy and new addition Ed Kilpatrick took the shine off the new ball, and Westy continued his run of form with some beautiful shots. Boycott, fresh from his marble-floored halls, would have purred. First drop saw the arrival of Danny Watson to the crease. All I can say, Gentlemen of Putney, is I said so. It was actually rather fun to be in the field and get a close look as he unfurled shot after shot and made the bowlers toil. Westy departed and in came…Kyle Pack. Bestowed the position of 4 for his birthday, he was promptly dismissed for a duck after an almighty heave. What a squandering of such a kind present from the team.  Putney’s nightmares continued though, when it turned out there is not one, but two Watson brothers.  Like sort of bogeymen for misbehaving bowlers, they set about dismantling everything thrown at them, until Watson D(anny) fell to leave Watson, D(avid) to finish the job. Alas, it was not to be despite his manful effort, and Captain Scott XI fell short of the runs needed for victory.

Never mind though. In the end, we have a special club, and as one player was heard commenting “sometimes it doesn’t really matter if we lose, it’s just loads of fun”. This was one of these days (I know, I know, I played on the winning side – but agree with the sentiment). We played in glorious sunshine, against a great bunch and ate a delicious tea. We drank a few cold ones and for bizarre reasons, downed shots of “Thunder Bitch”. I am reliably informed Kyle was a complete mess after Sean Ryder/Jake ‘Smart’ took him out to the local Weatherspoons (classy) for his birthday.  It seems like mere weeks ago that we stood in the late spring on Englefield Green, with a whole season’s delights stretching before us. As stood on Putney’s turf looking back in the other direction, we could all agree that cricket had been the winner, and a fine season it had been. New additions to the club, some great wins, some delicious teas, and firm friends. We merry band of brothers, we lucky few, and all that. Whereas Shakespeare’s lot were about to endure a winter of discontent, we had enjoyed a summer of quite the opposite. Good luck in South America to those going on tour, we are green with jealousy and expect regular dispatches!!

Always bat first, Always!

Statistics from the Cricket World Cup, which at the time of writing, is three games away from finishing, clearly show the team that bats first has a better chance of winning the game (two thirds of the time) and it’s an unwritten Scott’s rule that you bat first. That being said, with the Skipper late once again (you can blame Kyle Pack, having to be picked up at the train station, this time), Chipstead, Coulsdon & Walcountians CC deciding to leave the square uncovered over a wet Saturday night and stand-in-skipper-for-the-toss, Jamo-Love, actually winning the toss, it was decided we’d field first. In Jamo’s defence, the nine other players told ordered Jamo to bat first if he won the toss, after they’d all cast an appraising eye over the damp strip.

The Skipper was so horrified by the decision to field first, he decided that he’d only field for the first 16 overs, leaving Jamo-Love to step in as the Jadeja-esque substitute and do the remaining overs. It turned out to be 26 more overs, as it was a timed game and Chipstead, Coulsdon & Walcountians CC were bloody well going to bat until tea or until all their wickets fell, whichever arrived sooner.

Tight lines, tactical bowling changes and good catching kept Chipstead, Coulsdon & Walcountians CC to 174/7 dec after 42 overs. 42 overs – what do you think about that Sprat?

Tea was taken and we figured we’d get about 33 over back with the final 20 overs starting at 18:30. 5.3 per over – could we do it? Our first two wickets fell with only 19 on the board. As one of these wickets was the Skipper, and he was off to New York the next day, in love, and having to see his daughter before he flew out, he showered, packed his kit and left a couple of tyre marks as he peeled out the car park, leaving the rest of the team to face the consequences of not batting first. They would have to learn the hard way!

However a third wicket partnership of 72 saw us work our way back into the game. We weren’t far off our estimates as we were going to receive 35 overs in total as they’d bowled 15 by the time 18:30 arrived. The fourth and fifth wickets fell for 113 and 147 respectively, and Prateek was out for 78.

We were also moving along at the required rate, but things were beginning to look rather close. Was the Skipper correct – should we have batted first? Wickets were falling regularly and trips to the change room to pad up were becoming more frequent. But, with Kaps keeping his head and rotating the strike and Ayman hitting a quick-fire 15 from 9 balls, after Jamo-Love fell, restored calm to the camp, well almost. Ayman managed to get himself out with the scores tied; it was up to Mr Pack to see us home with a only single needed from the last three overs. Aidan and Billy, numbers 10 and 11, having loads of faith and composure in their compatriots out in the middle, were furiously looking for their kit and putting it on a fast as they could.

Kyle’s first ball, a dot, his second, a HUGE heave across the line. So big the wicketkeeper had to take evasive manoeuvres and proceeded, just like Kyle, to completely miss the ball, and so a bye was run and the match was won with 3.4 overs spare.

A. Successful. Run. Chase! Though, I can see why the Skipper prefers batting first as the tension cannot always be good for everyone’s heart and fingernails.

One last thing; be wary of an angry Prateek! He felt Chipstead, Coulsdon & Walcountians CC were taking the proverbial, batting for as long as they did. Our umpire, while at square-leg, got to hear first hand at how incensed he was and left nothing to the imagination when describing their approach to the game. After Tea, he was heard to be saying “Hulk Smash” to himself while putting on purple pants and padding up. After the first wicket fell, he strode out to the middle, like an angry dad stomps into a child’s room to spank their naughty bottoms, and spank them he did! I not sure, but I also think Prateek agrees with the Skipper. Always bat first!

The detailed scorecard can be found here.