Dicko the hero as Jonah gets the monkey off his back!
In a game that ebbed and flowed all afternoon, Marshfield 2nd’s eventually prevailed by 1 wicket as the unlikely Dicko smote the winning boundary with two balls to spare. Even more unlikely was the fact that this meant victory for a MCC team which included the Cricket Manager among its ranks. At the 8th attempt in league games this season, Hodds finally found himself on the winning side despite his best efforts to sabotage the opportunity with both ball and bat.
The 2nd XI that rolled up at Westbury comprised at least 5 guys who would normally have expected to be playing at HMP Swindon Nalgo for the 3rd’s. However, the usual availability machinations at the last minute meant that G. Hodder and M. Dixon shared the new ball after the oppo had decided to have first use of a good-looking wicket and a fast outfield. While Dicko was in characteristic metronome mode (9-2-10-1) and gave the Westbury openers nothing to play with, Gary was positively philanthropic (5-0-24-0) providing generous doses of full tosses down the leg-side to be smacked away for 4. Ok, the poor chap had been up since 2 a.m. ferrying people to and from Heathrow but, well, really…
Chivers Minor was therefore asked to take over and bowled aggressively, taking a well-deserved wicket, but bringing the Westbury skipper to the middle. This fellow had obviously fancied what he’d seen of the MCC attack and proceeded to clobber it around for the next few overs before he unfortunately ricked his back at the end of a sharply taken run and was forced to retire. By now, the Increedible Hulk was on and providing batsmen and umpires with a running commentary on the game, their incompetence and his own genius. His rather decent 9 overs brought a couple of wickets (2-28) and a run out (just) thanks to a smart bit of work by the somnambulist Hodder (pick up, pirouette and throw to the bowler’s end).
With the match turning back in MCC’s favour, the Westbury no. 8, a certain Mr. S. McQueen, would you believe, had a look at a couple of deliveries, and then wellied just about anything within his reach in the general direction of deep cow. Newcomer Glenn Perry, Chivers Major and G&T suffered particularly from this onslaught (despite not bowling that badly, in fact) before the VC finally sent the aging film star back to Stalag 19. And that was pretty much it. G&T finally nabbed the obdurate Westbury no. 3 and young Charles also picked up a well-earned second wicket and the innings closed on 202 off 43 overs. All in all, a reasonable effort in the field and a definitely ‘gettable’ score. At one point in the afternoon, it looked like we might be chasing either 160 or 250, so the outcome, in the end, was a fair compromise.
Post-tea, the MCC openers got the innings off to a solid start but both then perished having done the hard bit. Next up were the Skip and Ellsy, who were able to profit from some less demanding first-change bowlers. While Ellsy was wrestling with the physics of making bat and ball come into intimate contact, Colin Fantastic was in destructive mode and caressed the ball all round the ground in a text book display. By this time, Westbury had finally called on their 5th bowler who seemed to understand the principles of the art rather better than his compatriots. Ellsy was undone for a solid 25 and young Harry Smith, in his first game of the season, quickly followed having left the gate invitingly open…
No need to panic though as the Senior Pro arrived to join the skipper, who was honing in on three figures. Even the surprise appearance of the injured Westbury leader to bowl off two paces did not disrupt Colin’s flow and there were plenty of overs left to knock off the 30 or 40 runs still needed. Sadly, however, it was time for a bit of ‘ebb’, with our leader having a lunatic heave-ho and departing clean bowled for 89. Glenn came in, looked stylish, but then middled one onto his pads and was given out lbw (welcome to MCC, old boy, are you available next week?). The Cricket Manager now joined his Jimness and decided that blocking out a few of the now dwindling overs was the sensible strategy. With smoke clearly emerging from the Creed lug-holes, and his polite suggestion to GH that he “get on with it” being even more politely ignored, it wasn’t long before two more wickets were gifted to desperate shots (Hodds having finally snapped out of his stupor to lob an attempted slog back to the bowler).
Shoulders were clearly slumping in the MCC dug-out as Dicko joined G&T in a classic “well, look at this fine mess that they’ve gotten us into” moment. Here, though, were two blokes with a completely hallucinatory belief in their batting abilities, and did not view the 20 or so required off 3 overs to be much of a challenge. G&T smashed a couple of 4s as only he can and then, suspending reality even more, our two heroes ran a 3 (yes, a 3, and no, that isn’t a typo). Unfortunately, they then attempted a “sharp” [not] single right after and that was only going to end one way… VC back to the pavilion and Al Chiv, our last man, to join Dicko in the final over. After some nonsense with the total, the field was brought in – 3 needed, then just one, and on ball 44.4 Dicko pierces the ring and his boundary takes us home! If we could’ve, we would have chaired him off (but it’s the thought that counts, right?).
In very uncharacteristic fashion, then, victory was snatched from the jaws of defeat. Gary’s attempt to go the entire season on the losing side was thwarted, and Dicko was predictably insufferable in the bar afterwards and will no doubt continue to be so for several weeks (years?) to come. On the whole, it was a good show by the team spoiled only by rather inconvenient periods of madness on our part and the occasional bit of good fortune too (well, what else can you call a 3 run by G&T and Dicko?). While the redoubtable Lancastrian will expect the MoM accolade for the final heroics, the award is mine to give and it goes, of course, to the Skip for his excellent innings.
As I’m an honorable man, this will not be withdrawn despite being summarily dropped from the 2’s for this week’s game. It appears I’m in good company, however…
|Type :||League: West of England Premier Cricket League Wiltshire Division 2nd XI - 2015||Date :||Saturday 20th June 2015|
|Toss :||Westbury & District CC, Wilts - 2nd XI won the toss and elected to bat||Start Time :||13:30|
|Ground :||Westbury & District CC||Rules Type :||Standard|
|Westbury & District CC, Wilts - 2nd XI||Marshfield CC - 2nd XI|
|Score||202 for 10 (43 overs) 'b' 't'||206 for 9 (44.4 overs)|
|1||Michael Wainwright||b Mark Dixon||14||2||0||0|
|2||Osmond Shallow||b Charlie Chivers||14||2||0||0|
|3||Kane Scott†||lbw||b Graham Tanner||47||4||0||0|
|4||James Cotteril*||retired not out||29||5||0||0|
|5||Dan House||b Jim Creed||0||0||0||0|
|6||Nick Whiting||b Jim Creed||17||3||0||0|
|7||Michael Tuck||run out (Gary Hodder)||10||1||0||0|
|8||sam mcqueen||b Charlie Chivers||34||5||1||0|
|9||Simon Higgins||not out||7||0||0||0|
|10||Joe willis||b Graham Tanner||1||0||0||0|
|11||Jake Andrews||did not bat|
|Byes (1), Leg Byes (4), Wides (16), No Balls (9)||Extras||30|
* = Captain, + = Wicket Keeper
Fall of Wickets
* = not out batsman
|Fielding Extras/Non-bowler wickets||5||1|
|1||Richard Guy||ct Kane Scott||b sam mcqueen||17||0||0||0|
|2||Charlie Chivers||b Joe willis||18||0||0||0|
|3||Colin Sinkins||b Osmond Shallow||89||0||0||0|
|4||Andy Elliott†||b Osmond Shallow||25||0||0||0|
|5||Harry Smith||b Osmond Shallow||0||0||0||0|
|6||Jim Creed*||ct Nick Whiting||b James Cotteril||6||0||0||0|
|7||Glenn Perry||lbw||b James Cotteril||4||0||0||0|
|8||Gary Hodder||ct & b Michael Tuck||4||0||0||0|
|9||Graham Tanner||run out (Joe willis)||9||0||0||0|
|10||Mark Dixon||not out||10||0||0||0|
|11||Alan Chivers||not out||0||0||0||0|
|Byes (3), Leg Byes (3), Wides (18)||Extras||24|
* = Captain, + = Wicket Keeper
Fall of Wickets
* = not out batsman
|Fielding Extras/Non-bowler wickets||6||1|