all things bright & beautiful
To the casual cricket fan, the comparison between Thomas Charles Bright, and his adversary on Saturday, Michael Hugh William Papps, is not fair one; a quick glance at their respective ESPN profiles above will give you a clue as to why.
Perhaps not a fair comparison indeed. However, to quote the great Benjamin Disraeli (who may or may not have coined the phrase), "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."
Luckily, good captains are blessed with an ability to see beyond, averages, economy rates, test caps, ability, etc… And on the afternoon of Saturday the 31st, having won the toss and asked the much vaunted Burbage batting line up to have first use of their home wicket, Dan Watson did exactly that. Casting a glance around a changing room buzzing in anticipation of the battle that was about to unfold, his eye came to rest on the left arm spinner pictured above.
Readers, Thomas Charles Bright, does not have Test run or wicket; Thomas Charles Bright, does not have an ODI run or wicket; indeed Thomas Charles Bright, does not have a First-Class, List A, or T20 run or wicket. What Thomas Charles Bright does however, are qualities that cannot be measured in a scorebook, analysed on a computer, or taught by over-paid professionals; tenacity, drive, the big game mentality, that little bit extra when it truly matters!! I urge you to look again Readers, at the (genuine and authentic) ESPN profiles above, look into the eyes of both men and tell me, was Michael HW Papps ever really ready for Thomas C Bright…?
Yes, the pitch resembled rolled sausage meat!! Yes, he may have shouted “Oh, sh1t!!” as he let go of the ball!! Yes, the ball may have bounced twice!! And yes, he may have been too embarrassed to celebrate what will no doubt prove to be the highest profile scalp (unless he ends up dismissing James Creed at some point) of his already over-achieving career!! But none of this will be recorded in the Marshfield CC 2014 1st XI score book!! This will be though:
Michael HW Papps: …1….. Bowled - Thomas C Bright – 1
He will dine out on this wicket for years to come. As I write this we are little past 9.30 on Monday morning and he has already given a full, and in most cases completely inaccurate account, of how he claimed his first Test-Class wicket to no less than 5 of his co-workers. If you weren’t there on Saturday and are yet to see Tom, I regret to inform you that you too will be subjected to the tale. But when it happens Readers, and you are regaled with the story of a delivery that was released from the hand at the perfect 61mph, drifted in a graceful arc to pitch on good length slightly outside leg, before ripping viciously past the outside edge and flicking the off bail, before you snort with derision and walk the other way, remember the statistics above, bite your tongue and allow Thomas Charles Bright to enjoy this rare moment of cricketing glory. They don’t come round too often for any of us, let alone him…
And also spare a thought for Michael Papps, who will undoubtedly be coming to terms with the fact he was clean bowled by a man that lives on an all carbohydrate diet, insists on warming up for cricket matches with a rugby ball, has a failing pancreas but still manages 29 pints of lager dash every week, once pooed himself on College Green, and last weekend wet himself at 24 years of age. Careers have been ended by less and I think I speak for all of us at Marshfield Cricket Club when I say, Michael, our thoughts are with you and we hope you pull through this dark period in your career.
I have received some gentle criticism in recent weeks, that the level of hyperbole reached in these match reports is quite ridiculous; a suggestion that the above introduction will have done little to disprove and one that I am going to completely ignore. Joking aside though, as I come back to the rather dull reality of having to report on the actual cricket that took place on Saturday, the above wicket was always going to have massive bearing on the outcome of the game, and so it proved.
For 40 overs our bowling and fielding was excellent, chiefly from the youth contingent (Mini Chopper debut). An excellent opening spell from Jeremy ‘The Bungalow’ Bond, deserved more than 1 wicket, particularly given the opening partner he had to work with. Cameron ‘School won’t let me play/ I love Dave/ I love Brighty more’ Walker was also exceptional with the ball and should, again, feel slightly hard done by to only pick up 2 wickets. Useful spells in the middle overs from The Mack and the happily married Ben White also claimed a couple of scalps. Sadly the last 10 went a little bit awry; 70 runs pillaged and 4 dropped catches… Those responsible are as follows:
- Cameron – Dolly
- Dan – Dolly
- Rupert – Dolly
- Willy P – Dolly with gloves on
- The Correspondent – F*cking screamer and would have been catch of the season if he’d held it (Dave Jenkins would definitely have dropped it)
One other point of note was The Mack’s decision to move Thomas Charles Bright from deep mid-wicket because he had absolutely no faith in his ability as a fielder, or human being – Seemed fair and also amused me greatly.
The batting started in the now typical manner of Pasc grinding away and myself hacking at everything that comes toward me. The Burbage fielders clearly recognised your honourable reporter’s fragile mental state and were good enough to drop me at least twice (Dave Jenkins reckons it was 9 in total and also that it was the worst 50 he’s ever seen – Not that he’s bitter about being bowled for 10 by a straight half volley or anything) which made the chase slightly more straightforward. Things got a little dicey around 75 for 4, but we needn’t have worried as The Postman and The Bungalow guided us home with relative ease, with the latter going to town on the opposition spinners and causing one observer to remark that he might hit the ball further than me. I calmly corrected this gentleman with a typically witty retort (that will no doubt be censored by the hierarchy), “Don’t be so blinking ridiculous. I hit the blinking ball miles blinking further than him and if I hear you say anything so preposterous again I’ll break your blinking fingers.” That said, one of the 6’s was absolutely blinking massive!!
20 points and over in time to get genuinely excited about the prospect of another happy hour, should the 2s and 3s be successful…; sure enough Colin ‘Class is Permanent’ Sinkins and Andrew ‘Form is Temporary’ Pierce delivered the goods!! This meant another successful weekend at the office for the club, but more importantly, that Brighty and I saved a total of £6 each on booze for the second time this season. If ever you need further motivation to win a cricket match than simply the fact you are representing the MCC, just think that every time we have a happy hour, Brighty can afford to eat the following week. (For those mums out there wondering how a 16 stone man can afford to eat for a week on just £6, please click here and here.)
As is customary I will close with the ‘James Williams Man of the Weekend’ award (there’s even talk of a trophy for this shortly). In all honesty nobody should have got close to Jeremy for the award this week; 2 great spells of bowling, decent catch in the deep and a brutal maiden first team 50; unfortunately Jeremy, as you will now be well aware, there is more to cricket than statistics alone. For that reason, and largely due to the fact I am still grinning now about how utterly absurd the dismissal was, the award is going to Thomas Charles Bright.
Top of the table clash to look forward to next week against Great Bedwyn, with their number 4, Rob Palmer, widely recognised as one of the best bats in the league. No doubt Brighty already has a beamer/half tracker/low full toss ready to account for him as well…
Until next week.
- Result: Marshfield CC - 1st XI - Won by 6 wickets
- Toss: Marshfield CC - 1st XI won the toss and elected to bowl
- Ground: Red Lion Field
- Highlights: MCC - J Bond 54*, J WIlliams 52, B&ERCC - A Lavis 47*, S Muckherjee 41
Burbage & Easton Royal CC, Wilts - 1st XI
|1||Sourish Mukherjee+||ct Jeremy Bond||b William Johnson||41||4||1||105|
|2||David Cope||ct Ben White||b Tom Bright||0||0||0||3|
|3||Michael Papps||b Tom Bright||1||0||0||14|
|4||Daniel Wootton||ct Daniel Watson||b Jeremy Bond||1||0||0||9|
|5||Haydon Amor||ct Ben White||b Cameron Walker||5||0||0||24|
|6||Thilina Batangala||b Cameron Walker||0||0||0||1|
|7||Nick Patel||ct Dave Jenkins||b Ben White||0||0||0||6|
|8||Tom Wallbridge*||lbw||b William Johnson||15||1||0||74|
|9||Adam Lavis||Not Out||47||2||2||41|
|10||Darran Freegard||ct James Williams||b Russell Lodge||20||2||1||23|
|11||James Lavis||ro Unsure||3||0||0||2|
|Byes (1), Wides (17), No Balls (3)||Extras||21|
Fall of Wickets
|14-2 Michael Papps (Sourish Mukherjee-7*); 23-3 Daniel Wootton (Sourish Mukherjee-15*); 33-4 Haydon Amor (Sourish Mukherjee-18*); 33-5 Thilina Batangala (Sourish Mukherjee-18*); 39-6 Nick Patel (Sourish Mukherjee-23*); 68-7 Sourish Mukherjee (Tom Wallbridge-9*); 85-8 Tom Wallbridge (Adam Lavis-8*); 142-9 Darran Freegard (Adam Lavis-38*); 154-10 James Lavis (Adam Lavis-47*);|
|* = notout batsman|
Marshfield CC - 1st XI
|1||William Pascall+||ct David Cope||b Tom Wallbridge||4||0||0||15|
|2||James Williams||ct Adam Lavis||b Adam Lavis||52||6||3||29|
|3||Dave Jenkins||b James Lavis||10||2||0||0|
|4||William Johnson||ct Adam Lavis||b Adam Lavis||1||0||0||12|
|5||Russell Lodge||Not Out||29||4||0||51|
|6||Jeremy Bond||Not Out||54||6||3||49|
|7||Tom Bright||Did Not Bat||-||-||-||-|
|8||Rupert Crockett||Did Not Bat||-||-||-||-|
|9||Daniel Watson*||Did Not Bat||-||-||-||-|
|10||Cameron Walker||Did Not Bat||-||-||-||-|
|11||Ben White||Did Not Bat||-||-||-||-|
Fall of Wickets
|27-1 William Pascall (James Williams-21*); 45-2 Dave Jenkins (James Williams-28*); 52-3 William Johnson (James Williams-34*); 72-4 James Williams (Russell Lodge-1*);|
|* = notout batsman|
Umpires Dave Young, Tim Tandy
Scorers Steve Wootton, Shane Henley