ion8 Forfarshire Cricket Club
ion8 Forfarshire Cricket Club 3rd XI v Kinloch on Sun 01 Jul 2018 at 1pm
ion8 Forfarshire Cricket Club Lost 135 runs
The old legs dragged me out of bed on Sunday morning. Saturday had been a restful affair, mainly spent acting as a taxi to children and watching the World Cup so I was in reasonable fettle.
I switched on my phone to the news that one of my star all rounders had ( in a clearly inebriated state) advised me at 12.50 am (thankfully for him my phone was off) that due to some catastrophe of gargantuan proportions he would not be able to play cricket that day. I thought best to clarify the situation as his message was fairly incoherent and when he eventually replied he confirmed his definite non-appearance. He suggested it was a work related tragedy based on the illness of a co-worker at first; but that story changed to one of senior management issues…. Which was it? One can only presume he forgot what he had written in his first text in the early hours of Sunday morning when the story later got changed!
Irrespective of the truth, my planned relaxed Sunday morning spent sitting in the garden sipping coffee, chatting to my wife and contemplating my tactical approach for the day ahead was replaced by some tense and unwanted hours on the telephone trying to find an eleventh man for the days game.
Next time anyone is thinking of calling off at an ungodly hour on the day of the game please think of the pain it inflicts on an undeserving veteran captain who has already given up his family Sunday to umpire, skipper, cajole and encourage a team of whipper snappers ( plus Ted). The added pain of spending Sunday morning trying to find a player at such short notice; especially when the skies are blue, the World Cup is in progress and lots of alternative leisure pursuits are on offer is not really welcome.
Thankfully a willing body of some serious skill was located and the captain will be eternally grateful to the young man for playing - and will also be eternally critical of the offending player who called off. I am renowned for having a long memory in such matters….
In between boosting Vodafone’s coffers, I also had to endure extra time spent in Tesco purchasing additional food stuffs to pad out the tea offer as I gave the young replacement a tea amnesty due to the late notice of his inclusion in the side. I then had to come home and prepare further beautiful filled rolls to increase my contribution to “tea for four” rather than the standard “ tea for two”. To add insult, I had to wash up.
It was therefore in a rather tetchy mood that I arrived at the ground. Players were instructed to remove covers, assist with ground preparation and get changed for the match ahead. All really instructions that should be unnecessary for players who regularly play cricket at Forthill – but which seem to have to be dished out every week. Imagine my mood when my instruction to change attire was summarily ignored and sundry young players continued to lie down outside and in some cases smoke cigarettes. My second request to change was thankfully heeded.
Clearly some of the young lads had undergone some socialising on Saturday evening as it was very clear that bleary eyes and sore heads were in evidence. Do some of these young lads take their cricket seriously was a thought that crossed my mind…?
On a sunny day and in less than happy mood, the winning of the toss is essential and of course in such circumstances the inevitable happened and the toss was lost. We were invited to field first under the hot sun. With the players assembled and ready to go; I delivered another one of my speeches that Churchill or Klopp would be hugely proud of. Whipped into a frenzy - the team slowly ambled on to the pitch giggling…
Glenn and Lewis R opened the bowling and they bowled well. But this was against Kinloch, a team renowned for expansive, risk taking stroke play so no delivery was safe from a swish or a smash. Young Lewis C fielding at cover found a smash (or maybe it was a swish) heading aerially in his general direction and with some aplomb dived to his right and took a wonderful catch. An early wicket. In amongst the swishing, smashing, biffing and blatting we took some more wickets and whilst Kinloch slightly had the upper hand they had not yet managed to get to the out of sight point. The wonderful game of cricket came back and bit James S in the you know where’s. After seven wickets last week….the Kinloch batters made it clear they hadn’t read The Courier last Monday and biffed him out of the attack. That’s cricket.
Not since I myself bowled for the first team in the previous century has a Forfarshire bowler displayed the art of prodigious inswing to any real effect. It was perhaps considered a lost art, but what is this?? Enter young Joseph, who has arrived on the scene at 15 years old to bowl inswingers of some distance that will be a handful for any player when perfected. After his four wicket haul last week, a further three were added in this game and at one stage one Kinloch player actually went against club rules and added another stroke to the list of Kinloch’s armoury with an unheard of “block”. The groans from his team mates on the sidelines were audible. Ted (playing his second game of the weekend) managed to get through his allotted overs tidily, but the remainder of the fielding session proved troublesome even for his superhuman limbs and the walk from third man to third man at the end of each over was a lengthy and painful process to watch. God knows how he must have felt. I could of course have taken pity and found a way to shorten his walk by adjusting the field…..but rather cruelly I chose not to.
With the rogue blocker dismissed, an interesting and crucial passage of play emerged around the 32nd over or so. The game was evenly poised when at number 10 for the visitors emerged a chap who decided to bat wearing navy shorts. The wearing of unconventional attire is an ancient and supreme tactic designed to lull the opposition into a false sense of security. Shorts Man took guard and from the first ball took off on a series of kamikaze singles that wholly upset the fielding side…. and me. It was assumed this was not a cricketer of style on any front and he was my clear target to bring the innings to a close. A run out seemed inevitable. I decided with tactical genius to abandon the boundary saving field and crowded Shorts Man to ensure no further quick singles could be scampered. The upside was that this tactic worked perfectly and that was indeed the end of the singles. Job done you would have thought, but unfortunately this single stoppage tactic came at a cost when Shorts Man started biffing, swishing and slashing the ball all around the park – including a six into the school. Shorts Man’s innings was certainly bemusing and confusing – but also rather effective and game changing. His unorthodox approach yielded a personal tally of 20 runs and also helped his partner to get his score up to 42. They both fell in quick succession and the innings closed – but a total of 253 could have been much less had we bowled, fielded, caught, stumped and paid attention more. And if Shorts Man could have been quelled further!!! The 50 or so runs added by the ninth wicket pair – one with and one without long trousers - seemed to have potentially been a game changer.
I was gubbed. Hot, bothered, tired and still grumpy. Nothing could cheer me up it seemed. But I was wrong. There before me like a vision of loveliness on the tea table sat (no, not Chef Dave…) a J Sim bakery fairy cake. Perfectly formed, icing that was sweet but not too sweet, airy texture, a taste to die for and enough to put a smile back on the face of even the grumpiest cricketer. Calm was restored.
The reply commenced and Cammy and Lewis were despatched to face the Kinloch openers. The first over was bowled by veteran opener Bowman who is a wily campaigner, who whilst not having the same electric pace of years gone by can still drop the ball on a regular line and length. At the other end left armer Joya is pacier than Bowman (not that hard admittedly) but was a little erratic so the wides on offer were welcome. I had taken up my regular batting spot of being an umpire and was kept busy by some regular appealing from the visitors. The lingering taste of the fairy cake kept me happy.
Unfortunately the openers fell and 253 seemed a long way off when James and Fraser also quickly departed. A change of bowlers at both ends saw no respite for the home batters and the reply rather fell away as wickets fell cheaply at regular intervals. The only bright spot was young Lewis who did very well at the end of the innings. 118 runs were accrued and some points earned, but being honest, it was a very comfortable win for the visitors.
Kinloch look a good side and it is no surprise they sit at the top of the table. They have a well- balanced bowling attack and some aggressive hitters. They also have that surprise element that all good teams need. In their case, the X Factor is provided by a middle order player that occasionally blocks the ball…….and a number 10 that wears shorts.
We wish Kinloch well for the rest of the season.
For the young home team it was largely a day to forget.
I headed home wearily with various aching limbs. My fingers were sore from dialling numbers all morning, my hands were cracked from making rolls and doing dishes, my brain was sore from trying to tactically outwit Shorts Man, my ears were sore from appealing and my legs were….well just sore. But I suspect not as sore as Ted’s. As ever though, every cricket match always brings something unique even to old timers like myself - and today was no exception. The year 2018 has seen the emergence of the character that is know as Glenn. The once quiet, shy lad has been replaced by an outgoing chap who shouts encouragement throughout the game - among other things!!! He took his new found image to new heights on Sunday however when he took to the field wearing a rather fetching straw coloured Panama hat which he wore throughout the innings. It was an interesting sight to say the least. Never before had I seen a Panama hat sported on a cricket field – and one Kinloch player did try to compete in the headwear stakes by wearing a Peaky Blinders style cap. Again a first for me. Perhaps it was SPCU Silly Hat day and no one told me?
I will be keen to see if the Forfarshire Panama will be added to the new lines in the club shop for 2019. It would sit nicely I think alongside the Ditch Zinc Cream, Wally Flip Flops and Blackie Tool Kit.
Off for a lie down.
2nb 14w 20b 8lb
for 10 wickets
253 (43.1 overs)
ct Clark b Carnegie
ct Clark b Laing
ct Ross b Walker
ct Cam Walker b Robinson
ion8 Forfarshire Cricket Club 3rd XI Bowling
ion8 Forfarshire Cricket Club 3rd XI Batting
2nb 23w 12b 10lb
for 10 wickets
ct & b Bowman
ct Niazi b Bowman
ct Sadaat b Ashfaq
ct & b Shah
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