You thought the end of the Test match was nail biting? This finish made that particular scuffle seem like a whist drive at your local old folks home. A team thrown together and possibly written off at one point after tea came good at the last to snatch a win that not many outside of the home dressing room would have predicted.
Skipper Kean Folley was unavailable so the team was ‘led’ behind the stumps by Sir Bard Chuckalot. What a line up it was though, three generations of the same family, a prodigal son returning, a dead Prime Minister, a lady showing the old hands how it should be done and the usual mix of undiscovered talent and have a go heroes. Maybe it sounds like a script for a bawdy comedy but no-one could have predicted this carry on.
Tej opened the bowling and sadly picked up nothing but a new nickname. The opposing scorers misheard his surname and Thakker became Thatcher. ‘Maggie’ bowled with good pace, his usual fantastic control and a little inswing too but the batsmen weren’t for turning.
If Tej didn’t get his just deserts he wasn’t alone. Sam Pounds teased with his spin, debutant Wills recovered from a nervous first over to get one wicket whilst probably deserving more and Sam Walsh settled into a steady rhythm only to see balls go just over fielders or bounce just in front of them. Her turn would come later however and Newbold finished on 195 after their 40 overs.
The Kibby reply opened with Pounds Snr and very Snr walking to the wicket with bets being taken on who would run out who and how much money a swear box would raise. We need not have worried however as Dave did a very noble act, getting out for a duck so as not to embarrass his septuagenarian father. Ken in turn scored a graceful 7 before deciding that Pounds Jnr had been shown enough of an example and headed for both shower and bar.
Early wickets are not a great cause for concern but when it becomes 4 down and over 150 to get down the prospect of a heavy loomed large, not quite as large as Abbo after a Sunday Carvery, but not far off. Enter then ‘Jenko’ to steady the ship and bat like he had never been away.
When Sameer’s vigil ended he was joined by Badri and the desire for mere respectability quickly faded away as they stamped their authority onto proceedings. Respectability achieved the more optimistic then began to think of something altogether more glorious as the scoreboard ticked along at the required rate.
Jenko falling for a jug avoiding 49 could have signaled the end but Sam Walsh brought the house down with a double digit cameo and left the field to a well deserved standing ovation from a decent crowd on the lager terrace. Badri fell but that didn’t concern Wills who went in and supported Sam Pounds in a finish that boiled down to 2 wanted off the last ball. Pounds Jnr nervelessly finished what the old uns had begun by lofting the final cherry over mid on as lusty cheers, clapping and back slapping overtook the home dressing room.
For an unfancied team to play the right way, stick together on a hot afternoon and display such character was a real treat and each and every one should be proud of the part they played.
Pounds D, Pounds K, Wordsworth C, Jenkins G, Thakker (Maggie), Sameer, Badri V, Walsh S, Pounds S, Wills, Jennings W (Capt/ Wkt)