It was a grey day when the Wanderers’ avant garde arrived at a deserted Twineham … grass grew from the stump holes and all looked desolate. But that’s Twineham, and we love ‘em for it. We pootled about, and threw a ball a bit. Almost practised … the home side dribbled in, and before we knew it Danny Sherwin, the day’s captain, had lost the toss and been invited to bat. The outfield was grassy, and slow. Did I say slow? Dammit, it was like every blade of grass was smeared with cricket ball nip …
Mike Hunton and new Wanderer Chris Pullen started the innings, and true to their aggressive style, there was some swinging … and plenty of missing … until they found their range. It wasn’t until the tenth over that the first boundary was hit – one apiece. Ten overs for 31 … a improvement on 8 overs for 20 … then the runs flowed a little as it became obvious that the aerial route was the real way to hit the boundary … a few cracking straight drives simply pulled up well short of the rope. It seems strange that two hitters managed only one six between them, but Chris holed out on 20, bring Kris to the crease. After 46 off the first 16 overs, 20 off the next 5 was a better return, and all was well until Mike was caught and bowled for 37. Danny and Kris added 40 for the third wicket, but the rate slowed down, as the bowling tightened and the outfield seemed to get even slower. 13 overs later Danny missed the ball, and the ball introduced itself to his off stump. In the 34th over, 106 for 3 was looking a little under par. Time for the newly sinister Pete to demonstrate his new-found ability as a blocker. 7 runs off the next 17 balls really didn’t look good, but suddenly pete and Kris started running …. regardless of where the ball went. The fielders fumbled, threw to the wrong end, generally let them off the hook. 25 runs off the final four overs did help … and one reason for it was Pete thinking the 38th over was the last … hence his stepping away and pulling balls from outside his off stump … and the frantic running put the bowlers off … the 40th over saw an almost respectable 144 for three, Kris finishing on 34 NO, Pete on 16 NO. With our attack, it was looking good.
We partook of tea.
We took to the field.
Ganesh took the first over, and by the end Twineham were 1 for 1. Top start. Jim Gibson took no. 2. All nice and tight so far. But all of a sudden we’re bowling too short and the ball is crashing into the boundary, er, hedges – mostly at the behest of Mr Pearce. Jim G had a torrid couple of overs, getting hit for 21 off the second and third before Jim B replaced him. His first ball troubled the cows, but then things tightened up. Ganesh began to suffer, going for 28 off 5, before Kris Radmall came on, and bowled Hunter for 20. Pearce carried on his big-hitting ways, however … but the fielding, oh, the fielding …
8 byes (a total helped by the outfield’s stickiness), and, er, several dropped catches … estimates differ, but either seven or eight went down – the culprits shall remain nameless. Finally, however, Pearce was caught at deep midwicket by Giri off Jim B, to be followed by Bunn. 86 for 4 off 16, and the game was tightening again. And then … nothing. Just runs. Twineham’s duo of Brock and Sheridan take the game away from the Wanderers, taking Twineham to, wait for it … 137 for 4. Things were not looking good. With twelve overs to go … hmm. The bowling was changed around, some catches were dropped … and then Danny and Giri combine.
But it was Jim Gibson’s astonishing catch which turned the tables … as Danny writes:
I’ll never forget
Jim Gibson’s catch……..
I GGGGGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOTTTTTTTT THHHHHHIIIIIIIIISSSSSSSSS…..!
If the catch was stunning, then it was nothing on the celebration. If there’s a case for pure chutzpah turning the tables, then this was it. 137 for 5. in Danny’s next over, R. Brock cuts to Pete at backward point, who takes a catch which might have impressed had it not been for Jim G’s stunner still sticking in the memory. 137 for 6. Danny bowls Simon. 137 for 7. Mike takes a nice catch off Giri, 137 for 8. Giri castles M Brock first ball. 138 for 9 (one wide). That’s right, five overs, five wickets, nothing off the bat. But the no. 11, Steinke, is a lefty.
The Wanderers almost snatch victory from the thighs of defeat, but it is Twineham who take home the garland of victory. But what a game. What a game.
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