As Lukey faced the final ball of a dramatic 20 over game tonight four results were possible. Firstly, that Wanderers might win, secondly that Wanderers might lose, and thirdly that the match could end in a tie. The fourth possible result was that no one would be capable of working out any of the other three options because none of the players on the field had been issued with headlamps….
In a very friendly and all inclusive 20 over affair Brunswick Village, like virtually every team that plays the Wanderers, won the toss and batted. All outfield players were expected to bowl at least one over and the bizarre rule of no lbw’s came back into play. Any batsman reaching 25 was to be temporarily retired and moved to the back of the line-up. This was sensible in the circumstances giving the lower order a better chance to bat. However, some pretty neat and attentive stroke play meant that five players were in such a circumstance tonight. At least it means a pretty ‘not out’ for the end of season averages….
A collection of solid stands had given Brunswick a platform to take the match to Wanderers. Their 143-3 (two retired) had come at swift and even pace- five of the seven batsman reaching double figures. As usual, Alan Moroney had anchored the affair with his Tavare like nudges and nurdles and batsman Penney, Emmett, Shrieves and Wikramasinghe had plundered runs to many parts. Prash, although wicketless, had proved the most economic of the Wanderers bowling collective, and Baker Will maintained the monopoly that his family seem to have on the catches this year. My understanding is that there are more of them too. Have we ever had four different brothers take catches in one game ?
Wanderers turned events round quickly at halfway point. And they needed to. Light had begun to fade by the middle of the reply and towards the end reached dangerous levels. Thankfully the bowling was tame enough to continue. Again a steady flow of runs had come from the top order with three retirements. This has been most unusual for Wanderers in recent times. Master Wilson made 19, with The Big Bear, Raunak and Baker Will all retiring as per rules. At 88 after ten overs, and 120 after fifteen, Wanderers had followed two patterns of scoring. The first resplendent with regular boundaries, the second with quick and cheeky running between the wickets. Once Baker Will had to leave, and The Author became knackered by the exertion, the reply began to falter and almost totally stalled.
Wanderers found themselves with plenty of wickets and requiring 24 runs off five overs. But flighted slower bowling in fading light brings changing textures of vision and The Authors efforts to compensate for lost energy by smashing Keith from the air and even seeing to negotiate others slightly wider deliveries had pegged the score back. Johnno fell cheaply and the returning, and doubtless frustrated, Tim Warren played and missed at least four times in a single crucial over. With Lukey eventually joining The Author, ten runs were required for victory off Alan’s last over. A frantic passage of one’s and two’s meant it became four off two. The penultimate ball, a wider delivery, was struck crisply from the Kookaburra blade, The Author looked into the gloom, where had it gone ? Asanga, in the covers appeared to whoop with excitement, Mr Moroney purred with joy, at this point it dawned that a catch had been taken. Wanderers needed a boundary off the final ball.
Prash went to the non-strikers end. Lukey faced up. Alan bowled. The crowd was gripped with uncertainly as no one could really see from the sideline anyway. But the ball was struck, the first run ensued (it appeared the ball had gone deep), a second run and then the turn for an unlikely third. Shouts, whoops and hollers could be heard from the field. Luke was pushing to make his ground, where was the ball ? Not at the stumps it seemed- and Lukey had taken Wanderers to a rare tie.
And so ended an evening of much entertainment. The sausage rolls and roast tatties were yummy and the scrumpy divine. As ever, Wanderers and the Village mixed with tales of cricketing prowess that grow taller by the year. A splendid social outing.
Just bring your torches next time.
|1||Moroney (A)||Retired||Not Out||25|
|2||Penney (N)||c||Baker||b||Smith (L)||22|
|3||Fernandopulle (A)||c||Warren (T)||b||Naieu (R)||8|
|4||Emmett (N)||c||Baker||b||Johnson (M)||19|
|5||Wikramasinghe (A)||Not Out||24|
|6||Shrieves (G)||Retired||Not Out||25|
|7||Mulford (S)||Not Out||1|
|Fall Of Wickets||35,55,97|
|1||Wilson (J)||b||Fernandopulle (A)||19|
|2||Jones (G)||Retired||Not Out||27|
|3||Naieu (R)||Retired||Not Out||25|
|5||Fennell (I)||c||Wikramasinghe (A)||b||Moroney (A)||18|
|6||Johnson (M)||c||Penney (N)||b||Wikramasinghe (A)||5|
|7||Warren (T)||c||Shrieves (G)||b||Stapleton||2|
|8||Smith (L)||Not Out||8|