Tuesday, December 23, 2008

v Epsom Taxes - 10th June 2008

Date: 10th June 2008

Versus: Epsom Taxes

Venue: Wandgas

Result: OC's win by 4 wickets


After recent emails, I was thinking of following up the Apprentice pastiche of two weeks ago with a Dad’s Army pastiche, Bisson as Mainwaring, Collett as Sergeant Wilson, Beeksy as Private Walker etc…however the events of the game at Wandgas deserved more than that.

There are a number of rivalries in sport that are well know, the Old Firm, the North London Derby, the Merseyside Derby, Ali & Frazier, England vs Australia in the Ashes. To that can be added Old Californians vs Epsom Taxes usually a game to be sure to be tight and this one was no exception.

OC’s lost the toss and the Taxmen took to the crease. Regular openers Daniel Reuben and Manuwar (15 off 4) opened the bowling with both being economical with the ball with the added bonus of a wicket for Dan (9 off 4 1 wkt 1 mdn).

The Taxmen pressed down on the accelerator as James and Mahesh were first change with both bowlers going for about 6 an over but Mahesh keeping up his great bowling season with 2 wickets including a catch behind which surprised stand in keeper Knoxy. John B was still rusty as his single over was expensive before Bisson brought himself and Beeks on with Beeks taking two wickets for 12 off two and Bisson getting one rabbit for 5 off 2 leaving a target or a round 100 for the OC’s

James and Knoxy started off at a canter at 7 or 8 an over leaving many to think that we’d have an early finish for football & beer (or rose wine for the travelling support). However the “pink” mist © Sparky took over Knoxy who fell to a rash shot "Stupid Boy" for 15 followed by James who was bowled by one that straightened up deceptively.

Sparks came in to anchor the innings against some tight and economical bowling supported by a brief cameo by Reuben the youngest Followed by Reuben the eldest. Despite keeping the runs ticking along, Sparky was protecting the wicket while Dan was having a crisis of confidence with the bat while the run rate decreased and the rate required increased, similar to the english retreat at the beginning credits of Dad's Army! Sparky eventually fell on 29 leaving OCs requiring about 25 with 4 or 5 overs left “we’re doomed!”. Bisson made a brief 4 before falling LBW bringing in Beeks to support Dan.

The tension was building, the team and sun chasing cheerleaders couldn’t contain themselves on the sidelines cursing and willing Dan in equal measure to cast of the shackles of caution and slog it without losing his wicket.

15 were required off 2 overs, no one could watch, Reuben the Father, not playing was now umpiring and probably playing every ball with his son leading us to think that he will get so involved he will pull a calf while umpiring!

5 came off the penultimate over with Dan on strike leaving 10 required, James mentioned the obvious that a boundary was needed in the first two balls, Ducklin paced around nervously practicing a stroke he hoped would not be required to play to become the hero of Wandgas again.

Suddenly, Daniel found his batting mojo again the final over goes thus, 2 runs, 2 runs after a misfiled and another two runs despite Beeks (5 n.o.) having the turning circle of a crude oil tanker leaving 4 required off three.

The Taxmen had set the field heavy on the leg side as usual with Dan’s choice of shots, the fourth the ball came in and he played to the boundary on the off side! Victory by 4 wickets with Dan getting almost half his 21 not out in 4 balls as the OC’s win with two balls to spare "Don't Panic!". Great Game, Great Cricket, and far more entertaining than the current New Zealand one day series.

Champagne Moment, a toss up between Knoxy’s surprised reaction to his own catch and Daniel Reuben’s winning boundary.

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