Detail: 27-07-2023 - Bricklayers Arms T20

Result: W by 34 runs

With an exceptional match report from Jimmy coming in less than 24 hours, I really felt the pressure to step up. If writing ability is not my forte, speed will be (insert joke about my strike rate).

Having gone from 16 to 9 in a matter of days, the prospect of not fielding 11 was a real possibility on Tuesday morning. However, the beacons of gondor where lit, and Max RL, coming of an extremely quick 50 against the Blues on Sunday, stepped up and brought a ringer, Greg from work. I was told in no uncertain terms, "I can't vouch for his cricketing ability, but his pub form is world class". Exactly what the Blues needed for a T20.

With all the admin out of the way, we rocked up to a very green and muddy wicket in Wandsworth park. With the toss won, Jack decided a bat first and set a total was a good idea. Also aided by the fact Prem was still 20 minutes away.

Jack and the lesser-spotted Aussie, Brando went out to face the opening bowlers. With the pitch doing absolute bits and the ball stopping on the stickiest of wickets, they both made it look hard work, other than a classic flick of the legs for 4 from Brando.

Having "got in" he proceeded to dolly one up to mid wicket and he was back on his way.

Fyfe came in next, and having triggered Jack last week, wasn't sure how he managed to get so high up the batting order. A run-out was surely on my mind to get one back on him.

Fyfe played some excellent shots and planted a huge six down the hill towards the river and the run rate started to creep up. With the Blues at around 60ish-1 of the first 10. Game plan to up the run rate was needed. Fyfe proceeded to hole out having gone through the shot to early. A very helpful 35. All the Blues bowlers were licking their lips in anticipation of bowling on this deck later.

Jack anxiously mentioned to Brando, I can't get a 30-odd red inker in a T20. Tried to get bat on ball, but with Bricklayers having an ultra defensive field had to settle for lots of 1s and 2s. Max RL came in and after a delightful cover drive for 4 also struggled with the pitch for the next few deliveries, unsure whether the ball was going to bounce or not. He proceeded to get stuck into a very quick and impressive 29.

Jack having played one too many mis-hits, skied one to mid wicket and was also departing.

Cef and Simon came in at the tail, two of the more explosive Blues batters. Cef caressing a lovely 4, and Simon making everything a two instead of a one, they helped the Blues to 150-5 off 20. Very defendable on this wicket.

Opening up the bowling with a batting average of +70, which he likes to remind any future match managers was Chellis, with Henry Giles in tow.

Chellis having seen a debatable wide called, used full advantage of the extra delivery to get the opener caught and bowled. Gilo worked perfectly in tandem and got the other opener playing a false shot, straight into the grateful mitts of Max RL, who looked far too casual for a Blues fielder under such a chance.

Prem and Will cam on first change to increase the pressure, and Prem got a wicket first ball with the batsman looping the ball up to Will at mid-wicket. 2 chances, 2 catches, and 0 drops.... unheard of.

Will bowled some tidy line and length, and was unlucky to end the evening wicketless.

Greg, world class pubsman, came on having not turned his arm over for the best part of 1/2 decade, around the same time Eddie J last scored runs. Showed you never lose it and had the batsmen in all sorts of trouble. In tandem with Fyfe, they slowed down the Bricklayers run rates and increased the pressure on the batsman.

Having done the hard work, Brando and Simon came on to reap the rewards. Brando with a sore back was warming up all evening having not scored runs whilst trying to get the skippers attention. Feeling generous I thought I'd give him an over and see how it goes. Ball one, full toss and ably dispatched into the trees. Luckily for Brando the trees were there, otherwise it would've been in the river. However, with Shane Warne esque rip on the surface he got the ball tacking and the batsman proceeded to cream the ball over Chellis at mid-off. Or so we all thought, Chellis backpedaled a couple of steps and looking like prime Schmeichel (Peter, not Kasper), leapt high and stuck out a right paw and the ball stuck. Cue pandemonium in the field.

With wickets tumbling Simon got in on the action and got a wicket in his sole over, not that any of the other bowlers were bitter (Fyfe).

With wickets falling, Chellis and Gilo came back into the action, and skittled the tail. Chellis with a wonderful variation that dribbled under the bat and hit bottom of middle. Tough for the batsman.

Gilo took the final wicket of the day getting the batsman to nick off and Cef taking an excellent catch behind the stumps.

Great work all round.

Go well Blues

[updated 09 08 2023]